Welcome to the first in a series of interview with new and existing teachers at York English giving insights into their experiences! Here we chat to Jodie who is at our Gu Tian branch. This article was originally published in July 2016.
1. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself. Where you came from, what were you doing before and what attracted you to ESL ?
My name is Jodie and I’m from British Columbia, Canada. I’m 31 years old and have been teaching English since February, 2016. I took my TEFL course at Tefl Worldwide Prague and taught in Prague for 6 months before coming here to Fuzhou. ESL was attractive to me because it is a great way to see travel the world, meet new people and experience other cultures. Teaching ESL is really a lot of fun also.
2. How long have you been in China now?
I’ve been in China for two weeks now.
3. What are your first impressions of Fuzhou? Is it like how you imagined?
Fuzhou is much bigger and busier than I thought it would be. It was a bit overwhelming at first but you get used to it quickly and the people here are very friendly.
4. What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen so far?
I still can’t get used to the way they rip around on scooters here with sometimes 3 or 4 people on there and one of the holding a baby. I also wandered around a huge abandoned mall today with a few of the other York teachers. That was pretty interesting.
5. How’s the training going?
Training has been great! I’m team teaching and slowly taking on some of my own classes now. I hadn’t taught children before coming here so I was really nervous about it but they coach you a lot and you are given so much help. You certainly don’t just get chucked into it which I really appreciated. All of the other teachers are more than willing to help if you need it as well.
6. Whats the best thing about being in Fuzhou?
The best thing about living in Fuzhou has to be the amazing people I have met so far. Everyone that works at York is so great and will go the extra mile to make sure you feel comfortable and happy. The kids are very sweet as well.
7. How have you found settling in?
I have settled in quite easily actually. Everyone has been so nice and helpful that i haven’t really had to struggle with much. There are obviously some things that are more difficult than others but that is to be expected.
8. Any tips for new teachers?
Have fun with it and enjoy the experience! I didn’t learn any Chinese before I came and I have been OK without it but I would say maybe learn some basic phrases if you can; getting a taxi, ordering food, etc.
More #teachertalks to come soon!