New Teacher Orientation with Oscar Gonçalves

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In the last two weeks, we have welcomed a diverse group of new teachers from over five countries to join the Yew Chung International School of Beijing academic team. Our Human Resources Department has worked in conjunction with returning teachers and School Senior Leadership Team to guarantee a smooth transition for our new teachers into their new roles and life in Beijing.

During this past week, they have been engaged in professional training along, with returning staff, to get ready for the start of the new academic year. The training focused in particular on Collaborative Teaching, Child Protection, Classroom Management and, of course, the essential Chinese Culture 101 workshop, a survival kit for new comers.

We sat down with one of our new colleague Oscar Gonçalves, Head of Science, IGCSE Science and IBDP Biology Teacher, to get to know him more and learn about his first impressions of his new life in Beijing.

Oscar, who holds a Masters in Science Education, is not new to expat living; he has lived and worked in Croatia (Zagreb), the United Kingdom (London) and Czech Republic (Brno). China will be his new home and he shares with us why he chose YCIS Beijing and what he is looking forward to during his time here.


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1. Please tell us about yourself
I’m Oscar Gonçalves, originally from Fafe, North of Portugal. I just arrived 2 weeks ago and this is my first time in Beijing.


2. What inspired you to become a teacher?
I was lucky to grow up surrounded by amazing characters in my family. One of them is my uncle Pamplona, who is also a teacher. As a child, I used to love spending time with him during my holidays. In a typical day, he would take me to the university where he works (where I also graduated) to watch his lessons or attend science events. Watching him teach with such dedication and passion was my main source of inspiration.


3. Why did you choose Beijing?
There are endless places to visit, to experience authentic Chinese culture, it was also an opportunity to travel to different locations in Asia and try THE FOOD!!!


4. Why did you choose YCIS Beijing?
The opportunity to teach International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, in my opinion the most complete and challenging pre-university course. Working in a real international environment, surrounded by teachers and students from all over the world, with different backgrounds and ideas, purpose-built, innovative learning spaces (e.g. Learning Community, fully equipped labs, etc…) and its downtown location


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5. What are you looking forward to within the next school year? What can your students look forward to?
I look forward to continuing my teaching development, working collaboratively with a range of experienced teachers and ambitious students; take part in fabulous trips (e.g. Miao Liang Field trip; Experiencing China Week).

Students should expect a great learning environment, innovative lessons, and mainly someone who cares about them and their learning.

6. You have lived abroad for several years. What do you like most about it?
The people I met without a doubt, some of them now my best friends.

7. How did you find the teacher orientation week?
I’ve never seen such an amazing organization. It feels like I’ve been living in Beijing and working at YCIS for years. Great support from all staff. Special thanks to the HR department. They are great.


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8. What valuable information did you learn during this week?
Chinese Culture 101 (e.g. valuable apps, social conduct, eating with chopsticks, etc) and school policies and expectations.


9. How are you preparing for the new school year?
I started my preparation months ago, thanks to the incredible help and availability of the leadership team, trying to create working routines and habits. I recently joined a local football club and a gym. Sport helps me focus on my objectives.


10. Are there any other cool or interesting facts about yourself that you would like to share?
I am an enthusiastic Sporting CP fan. I enjoy listening to music, mainly Electronic, watching gigs with friends and I have a little puppy named Pascal.

We wish Oscar and all our new colleagues a successful year ahead!

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