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AISA Member Spotlight: Daniel Chaney from TASOK

POSTED: September 7, 2018Category: AISA ArticlesBY: Barnabas Suva

Role:  Elementary and Middle School Counsellor

School: The American School of Kinshasa (TASOK)

  • What is the best thing about living in Kinshasa? The best thing about living in Kinshasa is the ability to have different types of experiences all in the same day. From listening to Congolese music, having a drink or bite to eat on the side of the road, hanging out with friends on the Congo River, visiting galleries, or dining at an international or local restaurantthere are unlimited choices of cultural experiences to explore. I also admire the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Congolese people I encounter on a daily basis in one or all of the settings previously mentioned. Kinshasa is LIVE!
  • What is unique about your school? TASOK is unique in so many different ways, but I do think that our beautiful 42-acre botanical garden campus in the city of Kinshasa is most unique. Over the years, I have challenged myself to stop and take-in the fact that big, bold Baobab trees, aromatic cinnamon trees, and trees that bear fruit such as avocado, papaya, mango and a host of other seasonal edibles surround us. In addition, the beautiful and brightly coloured flowers and magnificent and rare population of birds greet us each day. 
  • Briefly describe your journey into international education. Initially, I did not want to be an educator, I had plans to work in Fitness, Sports, and Recreation. After completing a master’s degree in Recreation Management, I was encouraged by a friend to consider a career in education because of my passion for working with children and helping them to overcome obstacles and excel in sports and fitness. So, I embarked upon a life-changing journey and accepted an opportunity to teach in South Korea. Fast forward two years and I was hired at an international school in the capital city, Seoul. While working at the school, I knew that I had found my calling and wanted to take the next step to being an educational professional. I decided to go back to school in order to attain a teaching certification. Most recently, I completed a master’s degree in Counseling, which has led me to my current position. I do not think my international education journey would have existed without taking risks and a willingness to be adventurous. 
  • Favorite Book, Movie or TV series: I love the movie Coming to America. I am a huge fan of comedies. I just finished reading Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime and Other Stories; it leaves one reflecting and aiming to champion open-mindedness and inclusion
  • Personal or professional goal for the next 12 months: My professional goal for the next 12 months is to continue working towards building a comprehensive school counselling program at The American School of Kinshasa. At this time, we have the integral components in place to support our students’ personal, social, emotional, academic, and career development. 
  • Favourite destination and why: I love visiting Italy for the food, but I also love visiting Thailand for the wonderful islands and unique experiences through amazing cuisine and entertainment.  
  • Work-life-balance – best tips? What works for you? It is important to “take care of yourself.  There will be several requests from others throughout the day, but there has to be time to have a stretch, read an article, have a bite to eat, or listen to your favorite song. That time is worth it, especially if others will receive your very best support throughout the work day or week.

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