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 Matt Fletcher at English First in China

This school is holding interviews now, apply today!

GS: So, can you tell us a bit about how you first got into English teaching?
MF: I am relatively new to the teaching world. I have only been a teacher for 6 weeks now as this is my first job as an English teacher abroad. My friend had inspired me, he had already taught in Sweden and was leaving for Russia after obtaining a 12 month contract in Moscow. After 3 years of university and a year of a job I didn’t want to do, I finally decided to take the plunge and here I am, nearly the other side of the world teaching English to Chinese people…. and I love it!

GS: Could you give some details about your dealings with Gold Star TEFL Recruitment?
MF: I came across Gold Star after I decided I wanted to teach in China. I searched the web for some agencies and websites that could help me and Gold Star really stood out! They helped me with my application and gave me a variety of cities to choose from. The most helpful factor was the contacts they keep with the teachers they have placed. I was able to contact some teachers already in the schools and cities I was interested in and really helped make my decision an easy one.

GS: What advice do you have for people about the recruitment and interview process when looking for jobs teaching in China?
MF: Research the cities you have received offers from as this is where you’re going to spend everyday for the term of your contract. In China especially, each province is so different so you want to pick a place that will suit your needs. In terms of the interview phase, be yourself and be confident. You have already got as far as an interview so making the right impact on the employer is the main aspect at this stage. Be clear, energetic and above all else don’t pretend to be someone you’re not as they will see right through this and will only cause you problems in the future.

GS: You are teaching in Taizhou at the moment, can you tell us about your impressions of the city? What do you like most about living there?
MF: Taizhou is a great place. I wanted to choose some where that wasn’t so busy like Beijing and Shanghai but also not too quiet. Taizhou has a relatively small population of foreigners so you are welcomed with a smile (and a stare) everywhere you go and you really do make peoples day by just saying hello to them. There are some good spots to go for nightlife and great scenery is only a short taxi drive away. As for cost, Taizhou is cheap and the food is great. I have only been here a short time but I already feel like its home and have my local spots where I like to shop and hangout and have been welcomed by everyone.

GS: What do you like most about teaching English?
MF: At first I didn’t really know what to expect, I was worried that the students wouldn’t understand me but it’s not the case. The support you get and training is really good and gets you ready. You build such a bond with your students especially if you teach a lot of younger children like I do. It is the only job I have ever had where I am excited to go in to work each day as no day is ever the same.

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GS: Can you tell us about your favourite class at the moment?
MF: I have a class of 5-7 year olds. Only 5 of them in my class but they are a great bunch of kids. They have loads of energy and love to learn about England and the English language. The best thing is that at this age you really get to see how they develop their English skills. Not only this, but they also have a loving side to them too and bring you sweets before class and love to play with you.

GS: Talk us through a typical day teaching English in China.
MF: Weekends are usually the busiest time for me so a typical day of teaching would be getting into the office at around 8:30am to prepare my materials for my first class that begins at 9:15. Depending on the age I would have them for either 2 classes of 40 minutes or 3 classes of 40 minutes. During this time we cover new vocabulary, sentence structure and play some games all focused on developing their English. Once my first class is done at around 11:30 – 12, me and the other staff both foreign and local usually go out to lunch.

We love the noodles here, which are so cheap at only 10 RMB for a huge bowl suitable for 2. After lunch I would either have another class or a block free for lesson planning or demos. Demos are where we do a class to new students looking to join our school and their parents can watch to see how we teach them. After this it will usually be 4:30 and time for dinner. We all go out again, usually more this time and eat dumplings altogether, which again are cheap but so delicious, and hand made. When we go back to the office it will usually be teaching an evening class which will take us to about 8pm and then it’s home time. Sometimes after work we will go to the local bar or go to KTV, which if you have never experienced, is a very high-tech Karaoke place where you have your own private rooms and order many drinks and sing Chinese and English pop songs. Definitely good fun! Not bad for a full days work… definitely better than my 9-5 back in England!Matt Fletcher at English First in China

GS: What are the teaching resources like there?
MF: The teaching resources at my school are top notch! We have interactive white boards in every class room, Chef Station (kitchen for cooking with the students) a small arena, a music room… it is unlike anything I had ever seen before and so colourful the children love it.

GS: How many teachers are there in your school?
MF: At the moment it’s only a new school that has been opened a few months so there are 2 foreign teachers and 3 local teachers. As the school grows, so will the number of teachers. It is a great size at the moment.

GS: China is full of surprises and unexpected adventures, tell us about one you have had recently.
MF: All I can really say is, China is one of the most diverse countries in the world in every way. You can be in the middle of a busy city and after a 20 minute taxi drive can be surrounded by beautiful mountains and lakes. It is truly an amazing place. Every little side street has some of the tastiest foods you will ever encounter, usually all home recipes that they have been perfecting for years. Words are hard to describe how China is until you experience it. My advice to anyone thinking about it, just take the plunge like I did. You will be pleasantly surprised and it will be hard for you to make the decision to ever return to your home country and go back to the same old 9-5 job. Teaching English in general is a great life opportunity and with so many people wanting to learn, your travel choices are endless.

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.