Journeying Back to Beijing with Hayley Edge
When Hayley Edge, YCIS Bejing Head of Humanities and Secondary School Coordinator, left Beijing for a holiday in January, never did she imagine she would be living from her suitcase in four countries and 15 different accommodations. Approximately seven months later, her penchant for travelling may be less after this experience, but she certainly will have entertaining stories to share with colleagues once she is back in Beijing.
When we spoke to Ms Edge earlier today, she was at a coffee shop in South Korea, preparing to move into her 16th accommodation.
Originally from England, Ms Edge moved to Beijing 4 years ago to teach Business and Economics in our Secondary. Her desire to teach abroad was sparked by many years of travelling, but she also states that“I taught Chinese students Study Skills at the university level in England. That is when I became interested in Chinese culture."
As a result, when the opportunity showed up for her to move to Beijing, she accepted it with open arms. Her journey in China and at YCIS Beijing has been one filled with positive experiences. “I love China,” she asserts. “I can’t see a reason why I would want to move at this point. I am happy with the life I have made here.” Like many expats, she came to China intending to move after two years, but as the saying goes, “Time flies when you're having fun.”
Professionally, Ms Edge has soared in the past four years. She started as a teacher, then moved to be Head of Humanities, coordinator and recently has been named YCIS Beijing’s Secondary Coordinator alongside Jonathan Mellen.
Speaking to her previous roles, she shares that as a Business and Economics teacher, she was able to incorporate her real-life experiences as an entrepreneur into the classroom. “Throughout my university career, I was self-employed, “ Ms Edge commented. Ms Edge ran a Graphic design company, t-shirt business and a milkshake bar. “My graphic design company was the revenue generator. I was making up to $50 000 a year while I was a fulltime student,”Ms Edge added, which is an inspiring piece of knowledge that students can learn from.
The role of Head of Humanities, which she will be continuing in the new school year, has been a great opportunity to share ideas with her colleagues regarding Learning Communities and building cross-curricular links with the English department.
This year, Ms Edge has been appointed as Secondary Coordinator. In this role, she will be responsible for overseeing Secondary and also the Year 10 and 11s in the IGCSE Programme in partnership with Mr Mellen, who will be responsible for IBDP students. “I’m looking forward to having an impact on all students, not just students in my classroom or within my department, but students at all year levels,” Ms Edge remarked.
While Ms Edge has called Seoul home in the past three months and created a routine by signing up for a gym and connecting with old friends and former students, she is ready to return to Beijing. “I’m looking forward to having a jianbing,” she said. Secondary school staff usually have ‘Jianbing Fridays’, just one of the aspects she has missed about her life in the city. “I am looking forward to socializing with friends and physically seeing our students as well,” Ms Edge added.
Despite the physical distance, preparations for the academic year are in full swing, and together with her team, they have been tirelessly working online towards the planning of what the new challenges for Secondary will be, with e-learning taking centre stage once again. She will return to Beijing on the 20th of August, and after a two-week quarantine, Ms Edge will be back in the comfort of her familiar home after months of nomadic living and will be welcomed back to YCIS Beijing campus.