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Talking To Teachers – Jeremy Arden

Jeremy-Arden-teaching-1

Gold Star TEFL Recruitment has been assisting teachers secure the very best teaching jobs in China since 2009 and has close connections with China’s leading schools. For details on teaching jobs with Disney English and other major language schools have a look through our website and submit an application today.
Read more interviews with teachers in China here.

An Interview with Jeremy at Disney English Hangzhou China

A review of the day to day life of a Disney English teacher, both inside and outside the classroom.

GS: So, can you tell us a bit about how you first got into English teaching?
JA: In 2009 I completed a 2-week TEFL course in the UK and then started searching online via tefl.com for jobs in China. I was quite lucky that it only took 3 Skype interviews before I decided to choose the school that kick started my China experience; EF Wenzhou. Two months after completing my TEFL course, I arrived in Wenzhou.

GS: What advice do you have for people about the recruitment and interview process when looking for jobs teaching in China?
JA: Prepare for it diligently. Even before I arrived, the reputation of teaching English abroad was something like ‘it’s a free holiday’. But after working in China, I have realized that the competition is high and recruiters want highly qualified and professional teachers.

GS: You are teaching for Disney English in Hangzhou, China at the moment, can you give us a review on your first impressions?
JA: My first impressions; the Disney English course content is very strong and the technology used in class, the workbooks and homework books are all nicely linked together. It’s a very communicative based course, but also contains a good amount of reading and writing to complement the English lessons taught at Chinese public schools. There’s also an underlining element of fun at Disney that definitely gets you through the busy times.

GS: What do you like most about Hangzhou?
JA: Hangzhou is stunning. It has its congestion and general city ‘busyness’, but in 20 minutes on a bike, I can be away from the crowds and traffic and be surrounded by tea fields and mountains. There is the beautiful the lake of course. But, my favorite places to go are the botanical gardens in the summer, which has a great outdoor swimming pool and a hike along the Western Hill Trail, in any season, with breathtaking views of all of Hangzhou and The West Lake.

GS: And what do you like most about teaching English?
JA: I love my students and seeing how they grow and progress over the course. I love learning a new technique; game or activity and seeing it work. I love meeting people from all over the world in regards to my colleagues.

GS: Can you tell us about your favourite class at the moment?
JA: My favourite class is called Mulan. In the first few classes, the kids cried for the entire duration of the class. Thanks to great help from my Learning Partner and other members of staff, we have not only helped these kids to feel more relaxed in class, but they are all amazingly smart and have surpassed our expectations in how much English they can now produce. Persistence does pay off!

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GS: Talk us through a typical day teaching English in China.
JA: I arrive at the center at around 1.20pm and get changed into the Disney uniform. I then check my email. Then I look at lesson plans that are located online on the Disney English teacher’s resource site called ‘Sharepoint’. The Sharepoint has a general plan for every single lesson for all levels taught. It’s kind of like a rough guide, and the aim is for each teacher to implement their own unique personality and ideas based around the target vocabulary/sentence structures.

As of writing this; its a Monday and I have 3 classes. I’ve planned all the lessons and will aim to meet the kids 15 minutes prior to the class in an area called the ‘Clubhouse’ which is located near the front desk/entrance of the center. The aim of meeting the students 15 minutes prior to the start of class is to get them ‘warmed up’ for class with review or preview games and also to show parents a little of what’s to come in the lesson. My day is finished at around 8.30-9pm on weekdays.

 

GS: What are the teaching resources like there?
JA: The first thing that Disney is known for is the excellent Interactive Whiteboard (IWB). However, there is also a ton of realia to accompany nearly all content taught in class, and each student gets a course workbook to accompany the content projected from the IWB.

GS: How many teachers are there in your school?
JA: Currently 7, but we will be filling up very soon.

GS: China is full of surprises and unexpected adventures, tell us about one you have had recently.
JA: Wow, where do I start? What can or should I tell 😉 Everyday has little unexpected adventures and when you walk out of your apartment there’s always something that you look at and think; “only in China”. My main adventures usually involve being treated like a VIP in a bar just because I’m a foreigner. But I’ve also been asked to model, taste and judge food in an expensive restaurant, speak on subjects that I know nothing about in front of an audience. I know it’s a cliché, but I can honestly say; “I work hard and play even harder!”

Read more interviews with teachers in China here.

Gold Star TEFL Recruitment has been assisting teachers secure the very best teaching jobs in China since 2009 and has close connections with China’s leading schools. For details on teaching jobs with Disney English and other major language schools have a look through our website and submit an application today.
Apply now
Apply now

INTESOL Course

Realise your dreams of living and teaching English worldwide with INTESOL.