I am a Year 5 teacher and literacy coordinator at St Christopher's International Primary School on the island of Penang in Malaysia. It's an international school with pupils of 32 nationalities.
At 5.30am, my alarm rings and I check WhatsApp for messages from family and friends in the UK. I set off at 6.45am via the nasi lemak drive-through at the bottom of my road. It's not exactly Starbucks but it is affordable and homemade. I eat two pyramid-shaped pandan-leaf parcels of rice, sambal, egg and fish, then head off along the jungle road to school.
By 7.30am I'm settled in class checking my emails. Shortly afterwards, my pupils arrive with a chorus of good mornings. We venture outdoors for our first lesson, literacy, using a fabulous fern- and vine-covered tree as inspiration - sadly there are no monkeys in the branches today.
During break duty I watch the children play football, four square and a variety of chasing games.
Next, it's time for our Maths Challenge. Since taking a team of eight pupils to Kuala Lumpur for a Maths Challenge organised by international schools group Fobisia, I've introduced the challenge to the top two sets in Year 5. The children love the maths trails and relays.
At 12.30pm, restaurants and family members deliver lunch to the children, who eat in class. Once the pupils are settled, I head to the staffroom. It's a hub of chatter about holiday and weekend plans - there's always something going on. Eating out is a big part of the culture here. Whether you go to a restaurant or to a stall selling satay chicken or char kway teow noodles, it's so affordable that there's little point in cooking. A beanbag cinema that costs the equivalent of pound;4 or less is also a must. Tonight's plan is to meet at Straits Quay for drinks, then head to a new beach bar to watch the sunset.
After lunch, my pupils use iPads to research and create iMovies as part of a presentation on myths and legends.
Our day ends at 2.15pm, unless the children have after-school activities or sports training (each teacher must run at least one activity a week). We see the children off at the end of the day. The system may seem chaotic, but it works: parents and chauffeurs drive through the grounds and we take each child to their car, opening doors and securing seat belts. It's an opportunity to connect with the adults in my pupils' lives.
Today I have a planning session with the Year 5 team. We're a close group - good friends in and out of work - which makes planning a treat, with lots of laughter and fast-flowing ideas.
At 3.45pm, I head home to book flights for the summer: Taipei, Seoul, Kyoto and Beijing are on my wish list. This is what life's about. Here, my holidays are holidays and my weekends are weekends.
Once I'm showered and changed, it's off to Batu Ferringhi beach to meet friends and watch the sunset. Sipping a strawberry margarita with the sand beneath my feet, I celebrate another week living the dream in Penang.
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