It’s Your First Week in China!
Congratulations on becoming one more international talent who will be in charge of an ESL classroom and launching a successful career (if this doesn’t apply to you yet, you are on the right website, contact Gold Star to be placed in an amazing school like EF Shijiazhuang and join their team). The school will help you and guide you through the visa and immigration process, in fact is a fairly simple and straightforward procedure. But if you’ve never been to China, what are your expectations? What is that first week in this amazing country like?
Before you arrive, do your research! Go on-line and read up on the city and the surrounding areas. You know about the school and you can get in touch with teachers who are already working there to give you some advice on what and what not to bring. But then go on-line and ask yourself:
• What is the city famous for?
• What’s the local cuisine like?
• What’s the transportation system like?
• What form of Chinese is spoken? (Mandarin, Cantonese, dialects?)
• What is there to do in and around the city?
As you find answers to these questions, you will find that coming to China just to teach is just not worth it. Its people, food, landscapes are an entire world to discover in their own right. You’ll be able to discover as many things as possible if you come prepared, not just with the necessary supplies but with the necessary information. Having this information will also give you something to look forward to and with so many public holidays and handsome paid-holiday packages from schools; you’ll have plenty of time to explore.
However, that’s the fun side of things. Prepare yourself to start teaching, having an ESL Certification means that you have the basic knowledge to teach English as a second language but that’s theoretical knowledge. Get practical, you’ll be able to find hundreds of games and activities over the internet that you’ll be able to use in the classroom. Make sure you familiarize yourself with a few activities, you’ll probably start teaching on your first or second week (depending on the school) so if you already have a couple of tricks up your sleeves, you’ll make a good impression and you will fit right in.
Lastly, before you arrive, think about what age groups you are going to teach and find articles that will help you understand different learning styles and approaches so once you meet your students, you’ll be able to understand them better which will result in better teaching and therefore attaining better academic results.
If you are the adventurous type, just get here and roll with the punches, but if that’s not your cup of tea, then contact your future Director of Studies and set up a time to talk over Skype to go over some last minute preparation advice. Ask questions and if possible, go over your first week’s timetable/schedule so you can prepare and get organized.
You are here, your first week. Your first week in China will be hectic; don’t feel discouraged, it’s the one week in a year when you have to become a teacher and a Resident of China at the same time. Fortunately, it’s an easy task because most schools in China have people that help you and guide you through this week. The weeks leading up to the trip to China are filled with anticipation and perhaps some anxiety, but once you have arrived, you will see that all that preparation was worth it and you will be able to settle in well and have a wonderful start to your ESL career in China.