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 excited 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.
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.