IN THE CLASSROOM
Our goal in the classroom at York English is to make our students feel good about themselves and about learning. One aspect of teaching in China that can be hard to understand, is how such a large part of the Chinese education system and the classroom environment is based around points, scores and numbers. From a very young age, students are trained to strive for full marks in everything they do and often feel terrible when they don’t achieve it.
York English is fortunate in being independent of this approach. We believe that in some cases we might be the most positive education environment that students encounter. This comes through our teachers’ encouragement and enthusiasm. We place great emphasis on learner-centered teaching; teaching that makes the learners’ needs and experiences central to the educational process. And it’s these needs and experiences that drive our lessons.
WHAT WE TEACH AT YORK
DOODLETOWN4-6 year olds
STORY CENTRAL7-11 year olds
SMART CHOICE12-16 year olds
GO BEYONDAdvanced 12-16 year olds
WHEN WE TEACH
Below is an example of our teacher’s timetable. At York English, you earn a reliable, monthly salary with set hours, rather than the uncertainty of hourly pay and no set wages. You don’t travel from school to school like many other places require. You have set office hours in your branch which means you actually get paid to lesson plan. This also means you have the full support of your Academic Coordinator, Senior Teacher and your colleagues when planning your classes and thinking of new ideas.
We aim to have teachers on no more than 6 classes each, which you will teach twice a week, with ages ranging from 3-16 years old and never more than 16 students per class (12 in Shenzhen). Each lesson has clear aims and objectives, and target language and grammar that need to be covered that day, but you plan how each section will be taught. This can be through team activities, pair work, or an interactive class lesson. This creativity is encouraged and nurtured, after all, no one will know your students better than you.
*During these hours, you are not required or expected to be in before 4pm. However, a lot of teachers do find that if they are on the maximum number of classes (6) they will usually come in around 2/3pm one of these days get a head start with planning.
TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT
At York English we are a team of highly motivated, ambitious individuals with a love of learning! We offer extensive training and development that continues no matter how long you have been with us, whether you are a brand new teacher or an experienced veteran with experience both at home and overseas. Having this variety in staff experience is what we strive for.
Armed with this philosophy, we go even further, actively seeking out roles within our Education Department with development potential for our employees. And with funding opportunities for external courses, we take our teachers development seriously. Teaching English in China with us means a professional organisation that develops your skills, nurtures your career and offers plenty of opportunities.
We aim to create an open, honest culture of feedback for everyone so that you really can grow as a teacher, and we can really grow as a progressive organisation. Hear from our teachers at different levels on what teaching life at York is really like, as well as examples of how we will nurture your career below.
"Teaching at York English means there is a superb sense of family. Everyone works together and helps each other, no one struggles to admit problems or offer advice, and I think that's a vital part as to why I love working here"
- Alex, teacher since August '16.
"Being a senior teacher is extremely rewarding. Not only do I get to help my own students grow & progress, but I also get to help new teachers. It has given me a chance to step out of my comfort zone & challenge myself. I have gained so much valuable experience & really grown as a teacher in this role"
- Jodie, Senior Teacher since July '17.
"Being an Academic Coordinator gives me the opportunity to help teachers develop their teaching, as well as adjust to life here in China. You really get a chance to look after your team. And the varied nature of the role means no two days are the same"
- Pete, Academic Coordinator since Oct '17.
To continue to uphold an excellent standard of teaching, and to ensure all teachers are supported throughout their time with us, we provide structured lesson observations. These will be given by a senior staff member such as your Academic Coordinator. Feedback meetings are meant to be a collaborative and open effort to highlight your strengths and identify your areas of development.
A fantastic opportunity to sit down with your Academic Coordinator and look back on your previous three months at York. How have you developed as a teacher? What went well? What are your hopes for the next quarter?
Every Friday during your branch meeting, an activity exchange will be delivered by your Senior Teacher and one other member of the team. Once a month, your Academic Coordinator or Senior Teacher will also deliver a workshop. They are delivered to match your needs, the school needs or due to requests, and are always informative and interactive.
YORK TRAINING DAYS
York wide training days are an excellent time to hear from Tom, our Education Director, to participate in workshops with other branches, hear talks and engage in new ideas and teaching theories. It’s also a great time to socialise as a whole organisation where everyone is in one place at once!
To ensure a consistent standard across your branch as well as across the organisation, lesson plans are looked over once a month. The feedback is a great time for your Academic Coordinator to identify your teaching style, the activities you like to use, and give you any tips that could be introduced for the levels you teach.
At York English we have a funding pot available for external courses. We offer employees the opportunity to submit proposals for relevant courses that will aide them in their role, and it is open to everyone!
WORKING WITH YOUR TEACHING ASSISTANT
Here at York English each class will have a designated Chinese Teaching Assistant (or TA). The TA’s role is to support your teaching by modeling activities, working with breakout groups and individual students, behaviour management and occasionally translating, although we do aim to foster a 100% English environment. They are also an essential link to your students’ parents. They keep them informed of their child’s progress and assist with communication between yourself and the parents. For the younger levels, you will have your TA for each class. For higher levels your TA will join you once every other class. It can be a great partnership that leads to strong friendships which really allow you to learn more about Chinese culture, the language and the people!
WHAT WE EXPECT AT YORK
IF YOU HAD TO GIVE A DEFINITION OF A GREAT ENGLISH TEACHER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Are you dedicated to create the best learning environment for our students in the classroom?
Are you able to motivate a bunch of teenagers at the weekend, energetic 7 year olds, the cutest 4 year olds, yourself? We want motivated individuals who will put their all in to their classroom.
Are you able to adapt to a new environment, explore a new country and make new friends with people from all over the world?