TEFL is a Journey: “Falling into” the Profession

Teaching English in China

China was a big step, but glad I took it. So not really sure where to start here. Like so many others, I never saw myself as a teacher. Just kind of fell into it while traveling. As a means to keep traveling around Europe. Mainly was teaching all around Spain. Started out as a Teaching Assistant and worked my way up. Which is actually a far cry from my profession in the US, which is firefighting.

So I never had really thought of working in China. I used to see adds all the time in the Facebook groups for VIPKID. Which wasn’t really my style by any means. Far to animated for me. Would see the positions for China from to time. Would see the wages and all, but I just assumed they were spam. With there being so many teachers in Spain, but none ever came out here. Until one night bumped into someone at the pub doing it. He had just came back to visit friends. Talked it up and let me know it was actually real.

A couple weeks later sure enough they were posting in the group again. Looked like a shady fake Facebook profile. He replied a week later and forwarded me to another person. Ended up doing a number of interviews at different schools while working at a summer camp in Spain. Next thing I know I’m on my way to China.

So far it has been great. I decided on a small town outside of Xia’men. Not a big city like so many. Can count the number of English teachers here on one hand. I would recommend others to do the same. Smaller towns, you are dropped in the deep end a little, but well worth it. Make the same if not more than what others are making in the big cities. Cost of living is significantly cheaper than bigger cities. Was able to get a nice place at a great location, scooter and many other perks.

I decided just to get my TEFL, just to make things on the paperwork easier. And see if there is anything that can help me improve my teaching methods. Like everyone knows, methods constantly have to keep evolving to better improve your lesson in the classroom. Which it has and will continue looking to see what else I can do as well.

I will being looking forward to see what else I can learn from China and the rest of the world. Might be here for now, but next year is another year. Could just as easily be another country. Glad I made the choice to come out here. I hope other will follow and see what the world has to offer and learn from


J. Smith