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Hong Kong has multiple beaches and hikes to explore
21 Mar 2020

An Ode to Chatteris

On World Poetry Day, Chatteris’ own Christina Welsh shares her elegy to Chatteris

Hopped off the plane to a team of smiling faces,
Squeezed on a crowded bus, aware of the tiny spaces,
Got to my room, jet-lagged and drenched in sweat,
But here I was ready for an experience I’d never forget.

Yes I was enticed by the food and that skyline so pretty,
But most of all, to teach English in this wonderful city!
And you’ll find that whether you’re in post-sec, secondary, or primary,
You’ll be experiencing a range of emotions simultaneously.

First of all, there’s definitely no better feeling than,
When the lesson you slaved over actually goes to plan,
Little Tommy who’s usually snoring in his chair,
Is finally on task working confidently in his pair.

Teaching with Chatteris brings so many opportunities
Teaching with Chatteris brings many opportunities | Image by Christina Welsh

And some days you feel you might lose the plot,
On my trousers, is that white paint or some snot?
But the crazy stories you’ll feed back to your comrades,
Is how some of the best memories are definitely made.

And what did I expect from Chatteris Educational Foundation?
Definitely not the implausible amount of vacation!
Three holidays, two weeks long, in a nine month contract,
Not to mention the public holidays – 18 to be exact!

Hong Kong, you see, provides a perfect base to explore,
Two hour flights to Southeast Asia and so many more,
And if you’re feeling the pinch and want a staycation,
This city with its beaches and temples is an ideal location.

Hong Kong has multiple beaches and hikes to explore
Hong Kong has multiple beaches and hikes to explore | Image by Christina Welsh

Chatteris is not your regular teaching opportunity, 
Our organisation’s ethos is to forge a community,
From the fun activities that range from eating to hiking,
You’re bound to find something that is to your liking.

And let’s not forget that Chatteris is a nonprofit organisation,
Whose aim is to reduce the inequality in education,
There are new opportunities cropping up all of the time,
From reading in libraries to a tutor-led pantomime!

So what happens when all of us come together?
Friendships are made that will last forever,
And I’m not being funny, it’s happened time and again,
You may find a fellow tutor who becomes more than a friend.

The skyline view from The Peak is breathtaking
The skyline view from The Peak is breathtaking | Image by Christina Welsh

I’ve come a long way since I started in 2017,
There’s been tears, laughter, and so much in between,
Virus and protests this year, but at least I know I’ll ace,
The interview question: Describe a challenging time you faced.

Chatteris really is unlike any other place you’ve worked for,
There are things you’ll want to improve and things you adore,
And at first, some customs and people you may think are silly,
Are the smiling faces who will soon become family.

Fancy working alongside Christina and the rest of the team? Head to this page to discover how you can join us as a tutor.

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