An Interview with Hailey at Webi English in Suzhou, China
GS: Can you tell us how you got started in your English Teaching career?
Hailey: So, in high school and university, I studied French. And, learning another language, I found it extremely interesting. So, I got interested in how people learn about new languages.
During this time I decided to take a year from university and went to France. And, while I was in France, I began to tutor English part-time and I really enjoyed it.
GS: What advice do you have for people about the recruitment and interview process when they are looking for jobs in teaching in China?
Hailey: I would highly recommend that they speak to a recruiter and get in contact with many different schools so they can start to ask questions about different centers and understand what is on the market. Most importantly, I think you should ask for the e-mail address or phone number of somebody who works for the company currently, this way you can get a better insight of the company itself.
GS: How would you describe the assistance in terms of training and finding an apartment you received when you joined our school?
Hailey: We’ve always felt very supported upon arriving to WEB, especially when we first arrived. All of the management and the tutors helped us to find an apartment, get a cellphone, set up WIFI, all of these things. And, they did this all in their free time, which we found extremely helpful, friendly, and welcoming.
GS: You are teaching in Suzhou at the moment. Can you tell us about your impressions of the city?
Hailey: Suzhou is an absolutely wonderful place to live. I especially love the gardens here. It’s a cultural center of China. People come from all around China to visit, which means my weekends are full of fun activities. But also, Suzhou is a really nice mix between the historical culture of China and modern amenities.
GS: What local food do you like the most?
Hailey: Ah, local food! Well, I love dumplings, Chinese dumplings. That will always be my favorite, but I also really enjoy spicy hotpot.
GS: What do you like most about teaching English?
Hailey: Teaching English… Of course, the most incredible part about it is watching your students succeed. So I love watching my students pass exams, get promotions, get new jobs because of their English language learning and their hard work.
GS: Can you tell us about your favorite class at the moment?
Hailey: I personally love teaching the Social Clubs. At the beginning, they are a bit more difficult, but with some experience, they become quite fun. During these classes, you can play games, you can really get to know about your students by talking about different topics, and you really learn about your students’ personalities.
GS: How many teachers are there in your school now?
Hailey: Currently, we have 3 full-time teachers and about 3-4 part-time teachers.
GS: In the school, more and more young learners are coming to the school to study. What do you think of teaching young learners?
Hailey: Actually, before I used to say that I don’t like teaching young learners, but Chinese students are really good. They are truly well-behaved and hardworking students. So I don’t have any problems with it at all.
GS: What teaching support and resources have you received in your school?
Hailey: Since we arrived, we have asked for a few different resources that were not available when we first came. Everything we have asked for has been given to us. We also asked for certain training and also provided training to some of the tutors here and everything we’ve requested has been met with a smile and has been done as soon as possible.
GS: China is full of surprises and unexpected adventures. Tell us about one you have had recently.
Hailey: Actually, last week, I was in Taiwan. While in Taiwan, I was told to try this delicious sweet on a stick. And it was only after trying a bite that we were told it was actually pig’s blood. So we were a bit surprised, but it was delicious anyways. So, the food in China is always an adventure.
GS: If you have friends who are looking for jobs in China, would you recommend them to us?
Hailey: I would highly recommend they work for WEB. I think it’s a great place for us to learn for us teachers. And, it’s a great opportunity to work in different parts of China because they have offices all over.
GS: Do you have any other advice or suggestions for us to make it better?
Hailey: My only suggestion would be that the whiteboards in some of our rooms are a bit small and the other one would be just to have a native English speaker review all of the lesson plans because sometimes there is the odd mistake.