What is your favorite travel memory?
Before coming to China in 2010, I had only vague ideas and knowledge of this country's - (and perhaps especially for Shanghai) the amazing energy, local culture and cuisine. My favorite thing about being in China during this time is the friendliness and welcoming nature of people, both expats and Chinese.
Then there is the ease with you can try out new ideas (from pop-up shops, finding a venue to host events, launch a side business to explore a passion) and find many others with similar passions and interests.
Of course, there are challenges - with the language and different approaches to doing things - but spend the time to make connections and learn some Mandarin, and life here continues to surprise me and keep me wide-eyed after six years.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
Being a trainer keeps me on my toes and also means I am continually improving my own skills as a teacher. I wouldn't pass on ideas and knowledge (be it personal tricks of the trade or teaching theory) if I hadn't proven to myself that they have merit and work.
Nor do the trainers have a monopoly on good ideas for the classroom; I've been happy to borrow original activities that trainees have shown me and tried out in our practice sessions. Never stop learning!
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
I think that all our trainers also continue to teach; this creates a positive feedback loop - none of our ideas and theory that we pass on to the trainees is "out of date" - we're practicing what we preach effectively and weekly.
In addition, our trainees also get the chance to visit us and alumni, and watch a real classroom.
One of the great things TN TEFL Academy does is allow trainees to visit two local public schools through a local charity where we teach children of migrant families.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Respect for all participants and sense of purpose for the betterment for the community you are working in/for/with.