Gemma Rourke

Teach Enrich Empower

Educating Future Chinese Rockstars!

Not long since graduating and my first job in advertising, I fancied a change from the norm. I wasn’t learning or doing much anymore and I didn’t like the direction I was going in so I decided I wanted to take a break and see some more of the world.

However, in order to do this comfortably and quickly, I knew I would have to work along the way too. Friends and family casually suggested I could be good at teaching due to the trust I so easily formed with most children in my previously mentioned ‘normal’ life and so I set about researching how I could do this. I discovered teaching English as a foreign language is a huge industry and to best stand out to an employer I should take a course. The TEFL Academy offered an attractive programme, convenient locations and dates and so I signed up to equip myself with the knowledge I would need to teach a class of young children.

My job search began with Europe, but soon it developed into Asia and I quickly landed a job in China, Guangzhou. The company I work for act as a management link between me and many schools across the south of China and so I am lucky enough to teach hundreds of children a week and given the number of schools I teach at, I think I’ll have added to the education of thousands of children as the months go by!

We sing, dance, play, learn, listen, speak and have a great time together every single day. They slowly pick up words and phrases and figure out how to use them in the right context even though some little ones are only three or four years old.

“Training with The TEFL Academy gave me the confidence I needed.”

Each day and each class brings with it new challenges and surprises, but it is the most satisfying experience I have ever had. Knowing you are part of the construction of someone else’s future is quite something.

I’ve seen their young minds boggle over spinning tops, prepared them for their rockstar performances and helped them smarten up for graduation day. I’ll be forever grateful for being part of their development.

China in general is a whirlwind of experiences, from the food, to the culture, to the weather. Here in the South especially, it has been a challenge to get used to the humid climate, but somehow the uncertainty of where you are going or what you are about to eat is exhilarating and such an adventure.

Training with The TEFL Academy gave me the confidence I needed as a new teacher to be able to handle a classroom for the first time and not be afraid to improvise or come up with ideas to make the classroom a fun place for all.

In the near future, I plan to put my new-found confidence and (wanderlust) into practise somewhere else around the world, and for that I owe a great big thank you to The TEFL Academy for educating and encouraging me to take the first steps into a world of opportunities.

For anyone wondering if it’s the right thing to do; who really knows what’s right and when? My advice would be to leave what you know behind, get out there and try something new. Make a difference to someone else’s life and tell me you don’t feel enriched and inspired for doing so.

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