Gold Star TEFL Recruitment has been assisting teachers secure the very best teaching jobs in Asia since 2009 and has close connections with Asia’s leading schools. For details on teaching jobs at major language schools have a look through our website and submit an application today. Read more interviews with teachers in Asia here.
An Interview with Michelle at her language school in Taipei, Taiwan
GS: So, can you tell us a bit about how you first got into English teaching?
M: I started off as a pre-med major in college but changed to elementary education after my second year. I have a sister who is 16 years younger than me. When I came home from college one weekend, we sat down together to read a book. She was about 3-4 years old at the time. She said she wanted to read to me. I didn’t think she would be able to do it but she did. She had heard the story so many times that she remembered it word per word and even had the expressions right with her voice. It amazed me and made me want to learn more about how children develop and learn. I spent the next five years earning my degree for grades PreK-6 with minors in special education and reading and language arts.
GS: What advice do you have for people about the recruitment and interview process when looking for jobs teaching in Taiwan?
M: If you are interested in teaching, you should be very flexible, confident, and always willing to keep on learning. You should have good communication skills and be ready to ask questions about the school and the position you are looking to get. Also, be prepared to possibly do a demo class so the school can actually see how you handle being in a classroom.
GS: You are teaching in Taipei at the moment, can you tell us about your impressions of the city? What do you like most about living there?
M: I love living in Taiwan and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Everything is very convenient. I don’t have to worry about driving a car or a scooter. Most things I need are within walking distance, and the public transportation system here is amazing. There are so many places to go and visit, and the food is the best I’ve ever had. Safety and great health care are also reasons that make Taiwan a great place to live and work at.
GS: What do you like most about teaching English?
M: I love being a teacher and watching my students learn, grow, and succeed. It’s especially rewarding to see them get really excited about something in class and do well on an activity that was very challenging. I also love that every year I get to learn from my experiences and perfect my teaching strategies and style with a whole new set of students.
GS: Can you tell us about your favourite class at the moment?
M: My favorite class is my K2 class (4-5 year olds). I have them from 9-4, so I run my class as a normal school day. I teach math, reading, science, life education, social studies, phonics, and art. I love the variety of activities I can do with my kids and really enjoy seeing them learn.
GS: Talk us through a typical day teaching English in Taiwan.
M: Every morning, we start with Morning Circle which is a time to greet all the students, talk about the weather, and the days of the week. We also spend time doing an activity that relates to our monthly theme, life education topic, and character development skill. Then we go have snack, and the children have some play time before heading back to class. Each class period is 40 minutes long. After the first class they get another 20 minute break for bathroom time and play time. Then we have one more class before lunch. The children eat lunch together in the cafeteria then go to nap in their classrooms. After nap we have class time, followed by afternoon snack/playtime, and then one more class period. After the children put their backpacks away, they go to their elective class from 4-5. We offer a logic, music, drama, PE, and cooking class.
GS: What are the teaching resources like there?
M: Teachers are provided with the necessary curriculum materials to teach each class. In the kindergarten classes, there are textbooks and workbooks that are used at each level. Teachers also get a packet of activities that relate to the theme, life education, and character development skill. There is also a lot of freedom for teachers to bring in their own ideas for art, life education, theme, and morning circle.
GS: How many teachers are there in your school?
M: We have about 12 foreign teachers and over 30 Chinese teachers/staff.
GS: Taiwan is full of surprises and unexpected adventures, tell us about one you have had recently.
M: I’ve lived in Taiwan for 7 years but never really explored the Tamshui area very well. Recently, I went to San Domingo Fort and learned about how the Spanish built the fort, but through the years it was passed on to different countries before finally being given back to Taiwan. It’s a beautiful area filled with cherry blossoms and lots of trees and grass. I also walked along the river, stopping at a café to drink tea and watch the gorgeous sunset. Afterwards, dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf was the perfect way to end a great evening.
Read more interviews with teachers in Asia 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 at major language schools have a look through our website and submit an application today. Apply now