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 English First 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 Christian at English First Qinhuangdao, China

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GS: So, can you tell us a bit about how you first got into English teaching?
CA: I personally felt like I needed change. I had been working in training and recruitment for many years. I had visited Asia before and really wanted to live in an Asian country and experience a different life. I’d already had experience training new employees and it gave me good satisfaction to see people learning new things. People have always told me that I was good with kids, and as somebody who doesn’t have any children of their own, I thought it would be good to use my particular skills to help children in China.

GS: What advice do you have for people about the recruitment and interview process when looking for jobs teaching in China?
CA: I think it’s important to read about the school and get as much information as you can. Be aware of the city and country that you’re going to. There’s lots of advice on the internet and it’s important to manage your expectations.

GS: You are teaching in Qinhuangdao at the moment, can you tell us about your impressions of the city? What do you like most about living there?
CA: My first impression of the city was a complete culture shock. It was a little like going back ten years in time. However, once I settled in, I was able to open my eyes and see a city that is quickly developing with plenty to see and do. There are new experiences around every corner and every day, things are changing.

As an Englishman, I’d have to say my favorite thing about the city is the summers. It’s great sitting outside in the evening by the beach enjoying a cold beer and barbeque, without having to pay the expensive tourist prices you may find on other more popular destinations.

GS: What do you like most about teaching English?
CA: As I mentioned before, it’s very satisfying to see people progress and with kids in China, you really see them achieve great things and express their characters. Growing up with them, and often being able to spend multiple years with the same group of students is a perk of teaching English in China that you can’t really get elsewhere.

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GS: Can you tell us about your favourite class at the moment?
CA: My favourite class at the moment is my 5-6 year-old class. These kids have been studying with me for almost three years now. They came to me when they couldn’t speak any English – they couldn’t even say their own names. In fact, they didn’t even have English names (which seems to be the culture in China!) so I had the pleasure of naming them myself. Now, I can hold a basic conversation with them and we look forward to meeting each other twice a week.

GS: Talk us through a typical day teaching English in China.
CA: The great thing is, in the weekdays, you can lie-in and have the mornings to yourself. I will usually go into work at about 2PM, giving myself a few hours to plan my classes for the evening and even the days ahead. There’s no pressure to do everything all at once and I’m able to manage my time quite freely.

In the evening, I’ll usually have a couple of different classes and then it’s home time and dinner time at around 8PM. The weekends are a bit busier, we have classes throughout the day, but it’s easy to prepare for them throughout the week and you get enough breaks to enjoy your lunch, relax, or recharge with a coffee. Although you’re sometimes a little busy on a Saturday or Sunday, the kids are always pleased to see you and it makes it worth it once you get in there.

GS: What are the teaching resources like there?Christian 2 -350
CA: There’s a wide range of teaching resources that come straight from the company. They’re very well-designed and many materials are stored on the computer network so we don’t have to worry about wrestling with other teachers for books or flashcards.

There’s an interactive whiteboard in every room and they’re all hooked up to the internet, so you’ll never find yourself lost in the classroom. It’s great being able to engage students with audio and video materials.

GS: How many teachers are there in your school?
CA: There are around 10 teachers including the DOS. We’re all either from the USA or UK right now, but there have been plenty of other nationalities before. We’re a very diverse and welcoming group.

GS: China is full of surprises and unexpected adventures, tell us about one you have had recently.
CA: Just last week, I was walking to work as it was a nice day and a little old lady walked up to me and started speaking fluent English. I was a little surprised that her English was so good, and she explained to me that she used to teach Tai Chi in the US.

Then, out of nowhere, she started showing me her moves in the middle of the street and asked me if I wanted to join in. I am never someone to say no so I tried my best in front of a gathering crowd of Chinese people taking photos and videos. Before I knew it, I was on the floor with several people helping me get back up.

Two days later, I came into work and found my bright red face on the front-page of the Qinhuangdao newspaper. What was meant to be a simple commute to work suddenly turned into a local news story.

This school is holding interviews now, apply today!

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 English First and other major language schools have a look through our website and submit an application today.
Apply now

INTESOL Course

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