Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Teaching Abroad has its rewards

Teaching English Abroad can be a very rewarding experience. You can travel, explore new and exciting cultures, make money and gain a lot of new friends. This is a picture of Jack. Jack was a student of mine when I first came to Harbin. He was the kind of student we all want, but he was also the kind of student that other students sometimes resent. Why? Well he just was far superior in his development. This can sometimes be a problem in a classroom. He just put a lot more into it and so he was head and shoulders above the rest. I often face this same problem with my younger students. There are a few that just are exceptional students and progress much faster than others. They want to answer all the questions and when you are trying to involve everyone this sometimes creates a problem in the classroom. I usually deal with it in a humorous way. For example if I call on a student and another students jumps in with the answer, I thank the student who answers using the other students name. This works especially well with students of the opposite sex. Boys don't like being called a girls name. It's all done in fun but gets the point across well and nobody gets hurt.

We all want students like that so having a way to deal with it is a plus. When you see someone getting ahead as a result of your teaching you know you have made a lasting impression on them. Jack, who became my partner when I took over an existing school is a great example of what most of us hope to accomplish beyond the monetary reward. We ran the school together for a year or so and then he decided to pursue other options. I didn't resent that at all as we had become good friends and I wished him well. He is currently working in Wuxi, which is near Shanghai. He is working for a fellow Harbiner in an import export business. He escorts business people who come to China to companies and facilitates purchases and the company exports the products. He will soon travel to Africa where most of their clients are for a trade show to further the companies interests. This is something that could never have happened without his English skills. I'm so proud of him and I'm sure we will remain life long friends. Most Chinese have difficulty traveling as the visas and expense is beyond most Chinese, so this is a really big deal for him, being able to see the rest of the world.

You just never know how your influence will affect someone that you are teaching. This is ofcourse common for teachers, it's just great to see it and is a big part of the reward that is part of being a teacher. So for those of you that are considering teaching in china, you can really have a major affect on the students life, enabling them to fly high. Good Job Jack!

worldtour aka Larry Rhoe

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