Teaching in China

Teach Enrich Empower

Teaching in China

Sometimes I hear students pondering over this bitter-sweet question “What now” just before graduating from university.

There was no question – I had to get the 120 hour TEFL certificate.

They are not sure what they are going to do after the graduation. However, my story about this “What now” question and decision to take up the TEFL course starts when my fiancé, whom I met during the Erasmus+ exchange in Ireland, decides to go to China to work on lung cancer and continue his PhD. My name is Simona Jastremskaitė. I am 23 years old and this is the story about how TEFL pushed me towards my future full of opportunities.

At that point I was a final year student in MykolasRomeris University in Lithuania studying Translation and Editing. We had decided to move to Asia as soon as I finished by bachelors. Therefore, the problem was not the question “What now” but the question “How”. My fiancé and I talked about several job opportunities in China and since I have a degree in Translation and Editing in English and Spanish, teaching seemed like the most appropriate path. Moreover, teaching as a profession always appealed to me because the idea of teaching someone something new, always gave me a lot of motivation. However, finding a job in China was not as easy as we both thought it would be. The regulations regarding working visa for expats are becoming stricter every day. Moreover, not being from an English native speaking country made my application a bit more difficult. Even though I had more than a year of experience in teaching, some schools required the TEFL certificate as a criterion.

There was no question – I had to get the 120 hour TEFL certificate. I was a bit apprehensive at the beginning as I was aware of how to teach and I was quite proficient in the English language - quite often more than the native speakers that I had met during my Erasmus exchange. However, when I started to delve deeper into the TEFL-provided material I experienced that my teaching style was evolving. TEFL gave me a lot of tips about the sequence of every lesson and provided me with many new ideas for teaching. I can say that I am much more confident in my approach and abilities now and TEFL is responsible for that.

Now, I live in southern China in the suburbs of Guangzhou (widely known as Canton). I am working in “Chen Cun Great Man International Kindergarten” in Chencun, Foshan. I am working with almost 200 students from 2 to 6 years old – not only that, I train their teachers twice a week as well and it is quite an intriguing experience. Even though working in a kindergarten and trying to teach such young students can be challenging sometimes, but after the TEFL course I feel that there has been a significant improvement in my teaching skills. I am more decisive about my teaching plans and I manage to create a friendly and engaging atmosphere in the class that can help the students in improving their English language.

There was no question – I had to get the 120 hour TEFL certificate.

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