- Study Abroad
- Volunteer Abroad
- Teach Abroad
- Intern Abroad
- Gap Year
- Travel Resources
Reach to Teach - Teaching jobs in China
Meet Jacqueline Scott
Why did you decide to teach abroad with Reach To Teach in China?
Jacqueline: I was in Bulgaria in the Peace Corps when I was looking for another job. I realized that I wasn't ready to end my experience traveling and I wanted to see Asia. I was looking for jobs in China and Korea and Reach to Teach China had the most knowledgeable staff who were helpful and friendly and answered all of my questions and concerns.
What made this teaching experience unique and special?
Jacqueline: When I was teaching in Bulgaria, I taught high school students. Here in China I am teaching with other foreigners and teaching young children which is very different for me. Way out of my comfort zone, but I am enjoying it a lot.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Jacqueline: Well I have met my fantastic boyfriend here. But seriously teaching here has given me the work and travel experience that anyone with a degree in International Relations needs to be taken seriously in the job market.
What is one piece of advice you would offer something considering teaching abroad in China?
Jacqueline: As a woman, realize that if you are coming here by yourself, that in many places in China you will not be the norm. Most women come to China with husbands or boyfriends. So you have to be able to make friends with men easily and you have to not take everything so seriously. Also be ready for the most adorable and cute kids ever.
Meet Laura Wilbourn
Laura is from Austin, Texas. She will be in Shanghai, China, September 3, 2012 to September 2013. She is 31 years old, and attended university for art. She teaches English at Kid Castle Academy. While she is not teaching, she is writing and illustrating children's books.
What inspired you to teach ESL?
Laura: I have always been interested in living overseas. When I was younger, my family and I lived in Thailand, and I loved it. We visited many countries during that time, and I always wanted to continue gaining more cultural experiences.
Why did you choose Reach to Teach?
Laura: I was searching the Internet for recruiting agencies. I submitted my resume and application to several. I found Reach to Teach actually checked up on me. Another recruiting agency just past me off from one person to the next, and I would never hear from the people I was sent to. If positions are filled for a country, I would like to be told so. Reach to Teach told me where there was availability, and did not leave questions unanswered.
Describe your day to day activities as a teacher in China.
Laura: The job I have now is very nice. The school I work for, Kid Castle, relies on the Total Physical Response method for teaching. It allows me to use my creative side with the children, which is a lot of fun for me. It also requires quite a bit of energy, as I am working with kids. I try to get them out of their seats as much as possible, jumping up and down, acting out vocabulary, dancing, and anything else that involves movement. I usually work 4-9 pm Wednesday to Friday, then 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. It is a great schedule, because during the day I can study Chinese and work on art.
How did you adjust to your wariness of China and how did Reach to Teach help you with that?
Laura: I suppose I adjusted to my wariness of China just by deciding to come to China and experience it. I was basing my concerns of China off of two people I knew who really disliked living in China. I would say that this isn't a fair way to know if you like or dislike something. I don't know if this is the best approach to take when going into something, but this is my approach to living abroad. People always seem to post the most optimistic views on what your experience will be like. However, I just go in thinking it's the luck of the draw. You don't really know what your experience will be like, but your attitude can make or break it. Make the best of any situation. For some people being incredibly optimistic helps. For me, I just assume that I will have a good time, but there will be things that happen that will be frustrating. It's bound to happen. Just deal with it in the best way you can. Really, the reason I came was to find out for myself whether or not I would dislike my time here. I have to say, I am having a wonderful time! I love the friends I have made, and my co-workers have helped me in so many ways that make me grateful to work with them.
What is one piece of advice you would give to others thinking about teaching abroad?
Laura: I think it is important to reverse the perspective, and experience what it's like to be the foreigner in another country. When you go home, maybe you will bring some of these experiences back with you.
Interview with Carrie Kellenberger
Describe the ideal candidate to teach English abroad in China?
Carrie: An ideal Reach To Teach candidate will be enthusiastic and flexible! They will enjoy teaching children and be a dedicated and caring teacher. Teaching experience is great, but not necessary. Enthusiasm, patience and cultural understanding are musts. We always tell our teachers that teaching abroad in China will be one of the most incredible experiences of their lives. However, there are challenges that come with living in China. Most teachers experience culture shock, some quite intensely. China is a different place- in both wonderful and frustrating ways. We like our teachers to be realistic about the experience. And they always know Reach To Teach will be there to support them!
How long has Reach To Teach been operating in China?
Carrie: Reach To Teach has been placing teachers in China longer than almost any other organization. We've been placing large numbers of teachers in China since 2005. Reach To Teach has grown each year, sending more and more teachers to China. This is a great thing for our alumni network, which allows teachers to connect with the many Reach To Teach alumni both in China and around the world. Reach To Teach also places teachers in South Korea, Taiwan and Georgia, among other countries.
What happens if Reach To Teach teachers run into problems while teaching English in China?
Carrie: First of all, we hope this never happens (and it's very rare!). If you do run into difficulties while teaching in China, having Reach To Teach to lean on for support is a great asset. Reach To Teach is a western organization and we genuinely care about our teachers. We keep in touch with our teachers on the ground quite regularly. Our teachers know Reach To Teach is ALWAYS available to help. This is true for big and small issues alike! We have teachers who ask our advice about little things like how to say a word in Chinese, or how to deal with a particularly sticky cultural situation. We enjoying helping our teachers in any way we can.
About Reach To Teach
As any ESL Teacher can tell you, finding a good teaching job abroad can be difficult. Similarly, a lot of ESL schools feel that finding a good teacher is equally difficult. This is where we at Reach To Teach come in. Our motto is matching great teachers with great schools.
There are a lot of ESL jobs available abroad, however it can be difficult to find one which matches your wants and needs. Reach To Teach is here to help. We carefully screen all our schools to ensure our teachers know as much as possible about their school and the contract they will be signing. You can feel comfortable and confident moving overseas knowing what your job will be like.