Sports Day 2019 with Amy and a few students.
and working in China, one must be able to enjoy the journey. What are
your expectations being in China? What do you want to tell your
grandchildren 30 years from now? Don’t you think you should bloom
wherever life plants you? Just think about it. It all begins with you.
Leaving my apartment for work.
Sociable, fun, vibrant and hardworking is just a few words to describe me. I’m very passionate about teaching, hence the reason I chose this career. I’ve been in China for over a year now, had ups and downs but, hey I still love China. It’s a blessing to be here and I’m forever grateful. I have been able to meet new people, experience a new culture and explore many beautiful places.
Work and social life
My secret for being happy while I live and work with my students and colleagues in China is being positive. I smile, laugh, listen and learn from my students and coworkers. Currently, I’m teaching 22 Oral English class to over 1,000 awesome students (who I don’t know all their names haha) in a primary and middle school. Sounds crazy right, but I love it. Though my focus is teaching English, I also try to interact with teachers from other departments as well as other members of the school population.
For me, I’m able to balance and be flexible. During my free periods in the week days Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, I use the time to plan and prepare my lessons for the following week. On Wednesday afternoons after company meetings I try to learn Chinese with teacher Penny or online via duolingo.com. This means on the weekends I am free to do whatever I want, however I want and wherever I want (relax, have fun and spend time with friends).
Weekend vibes with friends Oneka, Phillip and Cathy.
As I said before I am teaching over 1,000 students who I find to be really awesome. It took me a few weeks to get to know their different learning styles but I ensured I did so I could cater to their learning needs. Being the bossy, strict and grumpy is not the teacher I am. After observing teachers who are often like this the students are less interactive and filled with boredom in class. Of course, there’s a time and place for everything. Learning should be fun and my students, know when it’s time for games, time to listen and time to stay focus and learn.
Chilling with few of my Grade 3 students
At times I even try to speak Chinese just to make my students laugh in class. A simple greeting when I enter the room (ni hao) or a simple command (qi li) to get them to stand for our action dance. Of course, they burst into laughter and assume I know Chinese. For the middle school students I do the unexpected, I dance with them, sing and even say a simple “I love you” and you should see the cheeks filled with smiles and blushes.
Sports day selfie with grade 7 and 8 students.
After class selfie with grade 3.
A trip to Splendid China with Sunny.
Boat ride with Jessica and the staff.
Being the antisocial, isolated teacher who just comes to work sits in the office, goes to classes, then goes home at the end of the day. No! This is not what your coworkers are looking for. Your coworkers though often shy to speak with you often because of language barrier actually wants to socialize and get to know you. I think you would love to get to know them too.
My coworkers, Amy, Li Zhu, Sunny, Ruth, to name a few have been super helpful and kind from the moment we started working together. Though we are often busy with lesson planning we still find time to make jokes, socialize a little and even share about our weekend activities. In our office we all share with each other whether it’s snacks, candies or fruits. If either of us need help we can always count on each other. We live like a family.
Let your life, students and coworkers be a blessing to you in China. Get to know your students learning styles and abilities so you can cater to their learning needs. Don’t be isolated and antisocial with those who you are amongst. Plan wisely and be prepared at all times. Embrace your life, culture and people you meet in China. Always remember flowers grow with rain and sunshine. It’s all up to you. Find your balance and be great!