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I actually came to China with the goal of perfecting my then rudimentary Chinese language skills, and I got into teaching as a way to supplement my income. I ended up finding it challenging and exciting, and I enjoyed it enough that I am currently on my third year teaching English in China.


What advice do you have for people about the SDE recruitment and interview process?


Just take it easy, man. Make sure to have all your proper documentation, qualifications, and certifications and the interview should be quite relaxed. Do some research about teaching in China and prepare well thought out questions for your interviewer. Let the conversation flow naturally and you should do well.


How has SDE supported and assisted since you arrived in China?


I would say the four main characteristics that will ease the transition are being personable, understanding, reasonable, and flexible. They have helped me with applying for and renewing my working visa, opening a bank account, providing me with an apartment or suggesting an agent who will find an apartment for me, and helping me make documents to file taxes back home. Besides the big things, they will also help you with more menial day to day problems like purchasing a metro card, helping you take visa photos, receiving parcels on your behalf or translating for you at the bank.


You are with SDE Shenzhen, can you tell us about your impressions of the city? What do you like most about living there?


To be honest, compared to other cities in China, Shenzhen is strikingly devoid of unique character other than technology and money-making. This probably has something to do with the relative youth of the city: it has only seen rapid development within the past 30 years. Most Shenzheners are not originally from Shenzhen, so forming a sense of a shared community will likely take a little while longer.

If you don't mind not having much culture and prefer convenience, then Shenzhen has got it in spades. Public transport here is cheap and ubiquitous, and good food is just a short walk away in any direction. Most neighbourhoods have everything you need without having to venture out too far, but if you do, you'll find that Shenzhen also has beautiful hills you can hike and beaches you can tan on, along with hidden neighbourhoods flush with art or vibrant urban spaces. So there are things you can do here if you're willing to seek them out, but culture-wise, it's not exactly what you imagine “China” to be like.


What do you like most about teaching ESL?


I’m going to stray from the question a little and say what I like most about teaching English is not what happens in class (because sometimes you don't get the results you hoped for) it's about interacting with the students after class in a smaller capacity. With over forty students in one classroom, a lesson has potential to turn into a wild shouting match, with no particular student getting much time to speak or be listened to in an orderly manner. It is only when the class ends and a few students stay and chat for a bit
can I truly feel I can gauge their English level and make them feel like their thoughts are being heard. This is why I prefer teaching older students because I feel it's easier to find things we can relate to.


What is your favorite experience or class that you are teaching?


I have a couple favourites and they share similar characteristics, aside from behaviour. One class is always well-behaved and attentive whereas the other one has a few unruly students who can bring the class down, but aside from those few naughties the rest of that class is good. I like them because I have several inside jokes with them that just sort of naturally developed throughout the year, and they are also able to joke around with me as well. For example, I can't precisely remember why, but in one of those classes I call a student “Tsunami Man”, and the whole class now calls him that as well. It has also become a running joke in almost every class, as the mere mention of his name produces a chorus of laughter. These classes also have several students who are very active and will help me through a rough patch if no one wants to participate. The most awkward thing is to put something out there and have no one participate, but I've never had that happen in these classes as far as I can remember. Again, and maybe it's just me, but I feel like the actual teaching part is not as important as interacting with and relating to your students.


Talk us through a typical day teaching English in China.


I wake up with a pounding headache from the previous night's debauchery…

I'm totally kidding. Never teach hungover! I’ve never done it before but I know people who have and trust me, there are no shortage of regrets.

So getting back to the question: I arrive at the school usually an hour before I have my first class, just so I can do some preparation and show my face at the office. Some schools are anal about office hours, others like mine are pretty flexible. I will usually have 2-3 classes a day and I try to arrive at the classrooms at least three minutes before the bell to get set up. Lunch begins at 12 and my school cafeteria is a buffet style, grab as much as you want sort of deal. Most days the food is pretty tasty, although there are days where you wonder what on earth the cooks were thinking. After lunch, there is a designated nap time which goes from 1-2. Most teachers will use that time to get some shut-eye but I prefer to stay in the office and get work done or study Chinese. I'll teach my afternoon classes and usually stay after my last class for about half an hour (again to show my face in the office) and after that I'll head home.


China is full of new experiences and surprises, can you tell us about one you have had recently?


Recently, I went to a Xinjiang restaurant with several friends of mine. Xinjiang is a region in China's far northwest known for Middle Eastern style food and a flair for putting on live dance shows in their restaurants. We sat down and were halfway through our meal when the dance show began. It started out innocently enough, just two people performing a traditional cultural dance, marvelously offbeat and strangely hypnotic. About halfway through, they wanted to get the audience involved, so naturally they looked for the table of foreigners for willing participants (because foreigners are just way more willing to dance, duh). I crossed my fingers under the table and prayed they wouldn't choose me. Luckily, God answered my prayers and the dancers took two of my female friends by the hands instead and dragged them kicking and screaming onstage, where they then attempted to awkwardly mimic the dance routine as best they could. I was spared that day, but with all the crazy things that can happen in China, I'm always watching my back.

发布时间: 2017 - 07 - 21
浏览次数:97

During University, I tutored high school students in writing and research, so I got a little taste of what it was like to teach someone and help them develop a skill. Then, my brother had gone to China to teach in September of 2014. A good friend of his had been working at SD and offered him a job, and I had just finished going back to school to get my BA. He offered me a job and I decided to take it, so I arrived in October of 2014.


What advice do you have for people about the  SDE recruitment and interview process?


Definitely ask about things like accommodations and the assistance the company is going to give you in terms of setting up a bank account, sponsoring a visa, and other aspects of moving to a new country (internet, transportation, understanding laws and culture, etc.)

As for the interview process, be genuine and accurately represent yourself. If you don't do this, you may find yourself in over your head when you arrive in China. Enthusiasm for teaching should be the number one aspect you possess. If you're not experienced, but have the capability to learn from others and develop your skills, you'll likely do well.


How has SDE supported and assisted since you arrived in China?


Initially, they handled most of the important stuff like housing, cell phone plan, internet, bank card, etc. Since then I have quite an extensive support structure with friends and coworkers, but SD still provides assistance for small things like transferring money back home and going to the hospital, if needed. The staff is usually available to handle non-vital things as well, and I'm very grateful for that.


You are teaching in Shenzhen at the moment, can you tell us about your impressions of the city? What do you like most about living there?


Shenzhen is a very modern city with a great public transportation system, lots of activities to do, and a sizeable expat community. These aspects make living here quite easy, despite the normal frustrations that can come living abroad. Also, because the city is located in southern China, and borders Hong Kong, travelling to other parts of Asia is super convenient and quite affordable.


What do you like most about teaching English?


Teaching is a great opportunity to impart knowledge on others, and I like being able to do so with my students. I also learn quite a bit from my students, which is great, and they're always full of surprises.


Can you tell us about your favorite class at the moment?


I have one class with these 4 girls who sit right in the front row, and they're great, Their English is very good and they're very enthusiastic. Their English is good enough where they can joke around and they make the class very entertaining.


Talk us through a typical day teaching English in China.


I've got 2 to 3 classes a day, so I generally get to school between 8:00 and 9:30, depending on when my first class starts. I teach my lessons, then go to grab some lunch at the cafeteria. If I have classes after lunch, I'll stick around and hang out in my office. If not, usually I am free to go do other things, like go to the gym, do some grocery shopping, hang out with friends, etc.


How many teachers are there in your school?


We currently have four foreign teachers; two for seventh grade and two for eight grade. This allows us to have split classes of about 20-25 students each. This isn't normal, but compared to teaching full classes at a primary school, I'm able to do a larger variety of activities with them and the classes are more manageable. We're also quite diverse in that we have someone from the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and the U.S.


China is full of surprises and unexpected adventures, tell us about one you have had recently.


In the beginning of June, I went up to the top floor to teach one of my sixth grade classes. When I got close to the door, I noticed there weren't any students in the room. So I looked inside and sure enough it was empty. Confused, I shrugged and turned around to walk back to the English office to see what was up, and I saw one of my students from the class. I asked him where all his classmates were, and he told me they had gone to the local middle school for the afternoon to check it out for next year. To this day, I
still don't know why he wasn't with them, but by then I had been in China almost two years, and shrugged it off as just another day

发布时间: 2017 - 07 - 21
浏览次数:65

I began teaching in 2010, the US economy was absolutely terrible and it was the height of our last recession. The job market was that great and I felt stuck, but wanted to see the world and experience new cultures, so I decided to teach ESL abroad. I began in the Republic of Georgia, and then taught in South Korea for six years and now I'm in China.


What advice do you have for people about the recruitment and interview process when looking for jobs teaching in China?


Ask a lot of questions. Don't be afraid to ask about what previous teachers might have complained about or what they thought was positive. Ask to speak to a current teacher, if that's possible; most schools will allow it. Really make sure you have a clear picture of what you'll potentially be doing from day to day and what you're personal life might be like as well. It can all help the make picking the right recruiter and job easy, and give you a good idea of what the transition will be like from your life at home to your life in China.


You are teaching in Shenzhen at the moment, can you tell us about your impressions of the city? What do you like most about living there?


Shenzhen is a very dynamic city with many diverse neighborhoods, from the artist District in Dafen, to the nightlife downtown or in Shekou. Even the outer district I live in, Longgang, has so much to offer. There's really no shortage of things to see, and locals always want to test their hand at English, so it's easy to meet many people. The fact that it's next to Hong Kong doesn't hurt, either.


What do you like most about teaching English?


When you work with a student and you finally see them have an “ah ha moment” and make a breakthrough in English, it’s such a rewarding fulfilling feeling that I don't think any other profession could offer.


Can you tell us about your favourite class at the moment?


My favorite class is grade 6, easily. I teach at a combined elementary and middle school, and the grade 6 students still have their young sense of wonder, but aren't jaded like the older kids are, yet. They work so hard, they always have a great attitude and they're just a blast to teach.


Talk us through a typical day teaching English in China.


I get to school and look at my schedule for the day. I'll generally have planned my lessons all beforehand, but I like to take some time in the morning to look things over and make sure I have my plan, down pat. Then I go to class. Each class follows a typical format: greeting, lesson, activity, closing. Some days the activity will be speaking exercises, sometimes a a game, but I always try to have fun with the kids.


GS: What are the teaching resources like there?


There aren't a lot of resources for me to use aside from the students' textbooks and the internet, but I never have a problem putting together a lesson. The students have so much they need to learn, there's always something to teach them.


How many teachers are there in your school?


I really have no idea. I work out of the grade 7 offices, but there are two Chinese English teachers per grade and I teach three grades. There is only one native English speaking teacher, and that's me. So many teachers throughout the school can speak English, and they all really do their best to make me feel like a welcome member of the team.


China is full of surprises and unexpected adventures, tell us about one you have had recently.


I don't even know where to start. Taking an e-bike taxi can be an adventure in and of itself. I guess I just like wandering and finding new things. A new place for some good street food and music bar with karaoke all the time, and meeting new people wherever. Recently I also found an outdoor roller skating rink in my neighborhood, which I'm definitely going to have to get a group to go to. Every day is full of adventures and surprises and that's one of the things I like most about living in China.

发布时间: 2017 - 07 - 21
浏览次数:66

I first got into English teaching about a year before I graduated from my university. I had always been told and mentioned that I would make a great teacher because of my personality and how I handled myself. I, myself, have always admired my teachers and professors for having the patience and putting in the time for all of their work. I knew this was a path I wanted to go down and try if given the chance.


What advice do you have for people about the  SDE recruitment and interview process?


I don't really have specific advice for this, but I think just being yourself and remembering to ask any crucial questions that you might want to get answered would be good enough.


How has SDE supported and assisted since you arrived in China?


Since I arrived in China, SDE has helped me get my visa sorted, find a place to live, how to get around the city, using the metro and other types of transports, get a bank account set up along with a mobile phone, and have helped me get out of some very serious situations. There are many more things that they have supported and assisted me with but these are just some of the main things. Always remember, that some things they may do for you because they know they are main things that need to get done, that doesn't mean they won't help you out with other minor things, just speak up and ask, and I know that they'll do everything possible to help you get what you need.


You are teaching in Shenzhen at the moment, can you tell us about your impressions of the city? What do you like most about living there?


I would have to say the markets; the abundance of food. Being vegan, i was very skeptical as to how living in china would affect me. I am so lucky to live in an area that has a 24/7 corner market. I can come and go as I please. I had actually just spoken about how back in the states I never liked to eat tofu, but since I have moved here it's become one of my favorite things to eat.


What do you like most about teaching English?


I teach K1, which includes 3-4 year olds, and getting to interact with them every day and seeing how exited they get when they see me at school or outside, is what I would say I like the most.


Can you tell us about your favorite class at the moment?


My favorite class is my second class of the day. They are just some of the brightest kids I have ever met! Since they're very fast learners than my other classes, I can do more with them and even hold little conversations with them. They have all properly learned my name and it's so cute whenever they call me. The Chinese teachers in that class have always been super helpful.


Talk us through a typical day teaching English in China.


I work at a private kindergarten near Chegongmiao station. My day starts off at 8 a.m. down at the entrance gates to wave and say good morning to the children. Afterwards we do their morning exercises outside together. I have three different classes throughout my day. Two class are before lunch time, and one is after lunch time. In each class I give a 30 minute English lesson. The English lesson for the day is dependent on the syllabus provided by the school. The remaining time in the classroom is used to feed, play games or teach rhymes to the children.


How many teachers are there in your school?


There are a total of 8 English teachers at my school. Four, including myself, are full-time from Seadragon. Three only work part-time, and another is full-time, not Seadragon related.


China is full of surprises and unexpected adventures, tell us about one you have had recently.


Before we broke out for holiday. Charlotte, Laura, Fiona, and I (we all work together) wanted to go hiking at Maluan Mountain. It is said to have amazing waterfall views, cherry blossoms, and lots of fruit trees. We had already worked out the route we had to take to get there, but then we came across a Chinese lady who influenced us in taking a different route. So we went. We walked about 30 minutes until we got to the area that said Maluan Park or something like that. Then we ended up following a path that lead to nowhere. So we decided to make our own path and came across some waterfalls so we thought we were going in the right direction. By this time Fiona had gone home and it was just the three of us. We were lost. Fifteen minutes before sunset we were able to climb back to the top of wherever we were and sit on some tree trunks. My phone was the only one with battery left so I called the police, then I called my supervisor Alistair , and then I contacted my case handler Kathryn. We were cold, wet, hungry, full of scratches and tired. The police worked with mountain rescue and a couple of hours later they ended up finding us. They had made their own path to get where we were at. We had to climb back out with ropes for about an hour and a half. When we were finally out, the police and photographers took pictures of us, and then took us to the police station where Alistair was waiting for us. He had brought us some food, and blankets. The policemen also had food available to us. They took more pictures of us, asked question, we ate our food, and then we were finally brought back home.

发布时间: 2017 - 07 - 21
浏览次数:72
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