Staff Spotlight: Dean Barnes

Director of Recruiting for China
Dean began his teaching career on the island of Bali, Indonesia teaching young learners. Following this he took up a position in Taipei, Taiwan teaching people of all ages and abilities. Dean is a Director of Recruiting for Reach To Teach schools in China and Vietnam. In his free time, Dean leads a very active life; he enjoys hiking and absorbing as much Asian culture as possible.

Describe the ideal candidate to teach English abroad in China?

Dean: 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?

Dean: 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?

Dean: 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.