Alumni Spotlight: Chad Buckwalter

Chad Buckwalter is from Lititz, Pennsylvania, USA and attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I enjoy learning about new cultures, reading and listening to music. I have been teaching in Beijing, China for almost 3 years and love it!

Highlights: The highlights of my teaching experience have been when seeing and hearing the students using English to communicate, or mainly using something that you have taught them while they don't know that you are listening. The young students absorb so much during the course of the day and knowing that they are learning from your class makes it all worth it.

I enjoy teaching abroad because I think the lifestyle for a foreigner is so different from anything you can experience back home. I am surrounded by another culture and am adapting my life to it. Everyday you see something new, try new foods, learn a new part of the language and it's all so foreign to what I've been exposed to in my home. I just find it amazing.

Morning: My current school is rather far from my home so my typical morning begins with either a 1 hour and 40 minute bus ride or a 40 minute commute on my electric bike. After arrival, I have a quick meeting with the head teacher, who I share an office with. During the meetings I let her know which chapters of the book I'll be covering that week, and then I'll head to my first class. I arrive at the classroom early (the students are outside doing their morning exercise routine) and setup the computer making sure that my presentations are all in order.

Afternoon: In the afternoon I join the rest of the teachers (all Chinese) in the lunchroom for school lunch. I have 1.5 hour lunch break and then will teach another 3 classes. I setup my schedule so that I teach all of my classes in a row so I mustn't do any office hours, just teaching hours. The afternoon classes are typically my highest level classes and go extremely well. When the final bell rings, I take a few minutes to make notes about the day's classes and then head home. At this school, I do not have any office time, so I do any needed preparations at home.

Evening: I do not work in the evenings so I use this time to relax and gather with friends. During the summer, I will head to a Chinese restaurants and eat kebabs outside, or maybe do some reading or internet work at an outdoor cafe. I try to do all of my class preparations in one day so that I can enjoy the rest of my evenings off. A couple days a week I will head to the gym directly from work. All-in-all it's a pretty stress-free lifestyle.