April 17th, 2020
Without a doubt COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on all of us and the places where we live, and our thoughts are with all of our current and former teachers, their families and friends at this difficult time. We want to take some time to share what life is like in China at the moment in the hope of providing more information to those who have family here teaching with us, or are hoping to come to China in the future.
Day to Day Life in China
As many of you will know from viewing our posts, all of our schools switched to online teaching in February and we have been incredibly proud of the way our teachers and students have risen to the challenges that being in a virtual classroom can bring.
About 20% of staff are working from outside of China, while all the rest have opted to stay and are working from their apartments here. As people around the world are now experiencing, working from home has its up and downs. Public schools in Fuzhou and Xiamen have started to re-open certain grades (with Shenzhen to follow soon) and so we are hopeful that over the next month or two we will be allowed back into the classroom.
Aside from school, day to day life in China has started to return to normal. Over the month of March more and more businesses began to reopen, albeit with policies put in place to limit the spread of the virus. Seating in restaurants is often spread out and customers needs to register and have their temperature taken. People are still encouraged to wear masks (which you can easily buy online, in pharmacies, or at supermarkets) and take precautions such as washing their hands often, but limits on how often you can go out are gone. Shopping malls, parks and other public venues are open once again as are many of our favorite restaurants and coffee shops. Supermarkets have remained open and well stocked throughout this crisis, and the abundance of online ordering options in China has meant that you haven’t really needed to go, opting instead to have everything delivered to your door. Public transportation is running and many of the internal travel restrictions in China are being lifted.
Health and Safety
For the past six weeks there has been virtually no confirmed cases of community spread COVID-19 in Fujian Province and very few in Guangdong Province, rather new cases have been imported cases – mostly from returning expats and Chinese nationals. In a bid to reduce this risk, the government first imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine on all individuals entering China, but shortly after beginning this, they made the decision to close the boarders to all foreign travelers entering China. While no timeline has been mentioned for when they may re-open the boarder, we are hopeful that as the situation in Europe and North America improves over the coming weeks and months that they will loosen this restriction. Despite the closing of the boarders, we here at York are still optimistic about the future and are continuing to interview and hire new teachers for planned starts in July, August and September.
If you have any more questions or concerns regarding anything we have mentioned, don’t hesitate to message us. This is an unprecedented time for everyone and we want to do our best to give as much information as possible. If you are interested in learning more about what its like being a teacher at York English, or how you can get started on this amazing journey, send us a message today and we will arrange one of our team members to get in touch.
Meet Our Counsellor Sam
Hi everyone, my name is Sam, it’s nice to meet you.
I am a level 7 Psychotherapeutic Counsellor. This means I studied for 7 years and worked for 2 years as a Psychotherapist – a talking therapist. I have helped people between the ages of 4 and 70, with varying issues, get their life together. I have mainly worked with children between the ages of 4 and 11, in addiction (drugs, alcohol, and gambling), and in bereavement services.
I taught with York for three years before getting back into therapy by cross-training in Online therapy. This means that I can help York teachers in Shenzhen, Xiamen, and the rest of the world too. I live in Fuzhou and can offer face to face counselling here. I mainly work as a Person Centred Therapist, though I am trained in CBT, Social Constructivism, Psychoanalysis, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, and Play Therapy, among others.
Here I work mainly helping people through Culture Shock. Culture shock can work both ways; you may miss the support from your family and friends, but they will also miss the support that you provide for them. Its okay to be in a difficult place emotionally – it means that you care. However, you don’t have to be there alone.
York is aware of the emotional strain of coming to China and are committed to supporting in every way that they can. Therefore, they employ me in a therapeutic capacity as well as writing Mental Health focused training and guidance for their staff.
I hope to see you in China soon. If you’d like to contact me for help, information, or just for a chat, my contact details are as follows:
email@example.com and my wechat is SamMartin1990