An Interview with Ashleigh at EF Qingdao
GS: Can you tell us a bit about how you first got into English teaching?
Ashleigh: I was originally studying medicine, and then I realized that it wasn’t for me. I didn’t really have the passion and the drive needed to continue. So, after I left I didn’t know what to do with myself, until someone mentioned maybe trying ESL. This way I could travel, and take the time I needed to find my passion. I discovered that teaching was my passion.
GS: Can you tell us about your favourite class at the moment?
Ashleigh: My favourite class is one that I’ve had for over three years. When they started they didn’t know much English but now they can’t wait to tell me about their day in English. I have seen them all grow and change so much and for that I feel blessed.
GS: You are teaching in Qingdao, can you tell us about your impressions of the city? What do you like most about living there?
Ashleigh: I love my city. It’s got such a wonderful atmosphere and is a great place to live. The coast is so refreshing, and the beach in the summer is always so much fun. I love going out to the beach with my friends and co-workers and just playing volleyball. Or going out to some of the many great bars and restaurants to just unwind.
GS: What do you like most about teaching English?
Ashleigh: I love the moment when a child, who has been working hard and struggling with a concept finally understands. It’s like a light bulb has been turned on, and it gives them a whole new drive to learn and to show what else they can do. Being part of that journey is so fulfilling and always makes me want to improve my teaching to help the students learn.
GS: Talk us through a typical day teaching English in China.
Ashleigh: I teach such a wide variety of students. Most of my day is taken up with teaching young children, who always run in to say hello. They then attack me with hugs and I’m nourished by their enthusiasm. I then have slightly older students who always have something to discuss with me.
GS: What are the teaching resources like there?
Ashleigh: I have never felt that my school is lacking anything. The books are wonderfully sourced and the interactive material is very engaging. We also have anything you could want to help captivate students, including hula hoops and interactive white boards.
GS: China is full of surprises and unexpected adventures, tell us about one you have had recently.
Ashleigh: Last May holiday I went to Xi’an with a friend and stayed in a really nice hostel. When we went to breakfast we ended up sitting across from two American guys, and after a while we all started talking.
It turned out that they worked for the same franchise in another city, and we ended up comparing schools and taking about new courses. After that we ended up going out to bars, and having a great time. And I’m still in contact with them. You really do end up meeting some great friends working in China.