An Interview with Wayne at American Eagle English in Chengdu, China
GS: So, can you tell us a bit about how you first got into English teaching?
WC: I decided after completing my B.A. that I would take a year and teach in Asia. I taught for a year at a training school in Vietnam. I returned home after this and taught for a few months at a local school. During this time I felt a longing to return and teach in Asia again, as I had this feeling that there was more I wanted to see in Asia. I then decided to pack my bags and head for China. I have since then been here for 3 years and have lived in 4 different provinces. I have been fortunate enough to teach students at all levels, and I believe this has been invaluable experience that I have gained as it taught me great flexibility.
GS: Could you give some details about your dealings with Gold Star TEFL Recruitment?
WC: The recruiter was very helpful and guided me through each step of the way. She kept in contact with me as well as the school during the interview process. She ensured that my transition to the new position was successful. She regularly checks up on me and asks how it’s going. They truly are invested in each candidate which is great, especially when you’re in a foreign country.
GS: You are working as Director of Studies in Chengdu at the moment, can you tell us about your impressions of the city? What do you like most about living there?
WC: I am currently based in Chengdu, which is the capital of Sichuan province, and home to the beloved Pandas. Chengdu is a great city to live in; the best way to describe Chengdu would be to say that; it’s got a tier 1 city feel at the cost of a tier 2 city. The food is amazing and famous throughout China.
GS: What are you main responsibilities as a DoS?
WC: My main responsibilities are; to manage the foreign teachers, lead training, lead the weekly meetings, and ensuring the overall academic standards of the school are being upheld.
GS: Talk us through a typical day as a Director of Studies and some of the challenges you have to deal with?
WC: I need to help plan the events that will take place at the school, and sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances, something may occur that will cause the plan to need to be altered. I need to be flexible and be able to alter the plan accordingly.
GS: What are the main criteria and competencies you look for when interviewing and hiring new teachers for your school?
WC: We like teachers with a positive energy as well as energy. Teachers who care about the students’ development. Teachers who are open-minded and willing to learn
GS: For a new teacher arriving at your school, what does the first week look like?
WC: American Eagle being the profession institute that it is, will provide all new teachers with a week-long intensive training. This training will ensure that the new teacher will enter their new position more confident and more equipped to face the challenges that may occur.
GS: What kind of support and training can teachers at your school expect throughout their contract?
WC: American Eagle staff is always willing to assist the teacher, and they are very understanding and sympathetic. Teachers will have a foreign manager who they are free to go to with any matter, or just in most cases an ear to listen, or some comfort when someone may be feeling homesick.