I really love teaching in ChinaIt occurred to me after reading brett's post in the previous post that it's been a while since I expressed how much I really enjoy my life as a teacher. You know if you have visited ESL forums, that much of the talk is focused on what is wrong in China, or perhaps the cultural differences. What fails to get mentioned enough is just how much fun it can be to live this lifestyle. Sure, teaching is a lot of work and if you are new to it there are some thing you will have to learn about the culture and there are also things you will have to re-learn. Most of us don't think about our grammar at all as it is our first language, so some prep time is needed. However as you progress your style emerges and you have to spend less time in lesson planning and good schools have the books chosen so you just have to follow the book and then try to engage the students into a new style of learning. Now that is no small task, so the creative types may have an easier time at it than others. Adaptability and flexibility are two main attributes that you need as things can get all twisted and sometimes management can be poor. Remember that for most that own a school first and foremost it is a business, and there are many ruthless business owners in China. There is not the same business ethic that exists in the West. As long as you are aware of that then you are a bit ahead of the game. That is why it is so important to find out everything you can about a school before you commit.
So I just wanted to say that living and working in China has been one of the most enjoyable and unique experiences of my life. I really didn't want to plod along back home, doing jobs below my education level, contributing taxes to the war machine, and I pretty much vowed not to return until we had a change in leadership. Don't get me wrong I bleed red, white and blue, but sometimes we are powerless to affect change. Having started out as a liberal person, I can say that this experience has truly broadened my world view. It's made me more tolerant in many ways, and it has given me an opportunity to affect lives in a positive way. Hey that's all good in my view. So if I sometimes get on a rant or start venting, it's just a cathartic thing we all do in China. It is that way for everyone that is in another country, you might bitch about it all but you will really miss it, and most come away changed for life and most for the better.
Larry Rhoe aka worldtour
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