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Movie lover. Growing Capoeirista. Space enthusiast. Dedicated craftsman. And best of all, homegrown Los Angeles native. Wait, how in the hell did I end up in China!?
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Jack Ma, China's richest man, once said, "Before 30 years old [and after 20 yrs. old], it’s not which company you go to, it’s which boss you follow." I arrived in China at 25 yrs. old, young and still very much impressionable. On the opposite end of the world and on my own, my new journey could have went any direction. I could've complained lots here, could have got into tons of trouble there, or I could have hated every bit of it.
Just How Do You Teach English to Chinese ESL Students Anyways?
Over the years, tons of people have often asked, "Just how do you teach English to Chinese ESL students anyway?" My response? “Eh, it’s a lot easier than you think.”
10 Things I Regret Not Doing While Teaching English in China
I’ve been nearly 4 months removed from my awesome 7½ year experience teaching English abroad in China, but even now, I still find myself reminiscing on the incredible journey I’ve had living and working overseas.
Prepping for an ESL oral competition? Worried your students are going to fail so hard you’ll be left hiding your face, sneaking past parents, and dipping out of the building hoping to not get fired?
Life After Teaching English Abroad in China: All the Hits and Misses
Moving back home to the USA after living abroad in China for 7 years feels ... strange, to say the least. Don’t get me wrong—there are things I absolutely love about being back in the States, but at the same time, less than a week in, there are millions of things I’ve already missed from China.
The 1st Year: What to Expect Teaching English Abroad in China
“Don, what’s the process like teaching English abroad in China? From finding jobs, getting visas, and working at schools, to getting an apartment, traveling ... everything!?”
18 Songs That Define My 7+ Years Experience Teaching English in China
It’s been a wild 7+ years teaching English abroad in China—I know, I can’t believe it either. I’ve had ups and downs, highs and lows, experienced the good with the bad, and … yada, yada, yada. Who cares? Look, in the span of those years I’ve come to notice two genuinely important things: One, I don’t know who was/is a cooler president, Barack Obama or Xi Jingping? What do you think? Ah, that’s a tough one. Damnit!
After 7 long years, I’m over it—I’m done teaching English abroad in China. At least, that’s how I’d want it to be.
Teaching English abroad is one thing, but managing ESL teachers from around the world? Whoa, that’s tough! Me? I served as a manager for 4 out of the 7 years I’ve been teaching overseas in China. Was it challenging? Sure, but don’t be fooled, it was also one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had. Here are 15+ awesome tips for managing ESL instructors while teaching English abroad.
What's it Like Celebrating Halloween in China as an English Teacher?
Curious as to how young ESL students celebrate Halloween in China? Although Halloween isn't widely celebrated in China, it is a popular Western holiday observed by most international schools and English training centers across the country. Here's a breakdown of what you can expect on Halloween as an ESL Teacher in China:
I know what you're thinking: "I wish I could drop everything and quit my dead-end 9 to 5 job to travel across the world, experience different cultures, make new friends, fall in love, gain different perspectives, and rack up a bunch of unique adventures and memorable experiences before settling down and life gets serious."
23 Ways to Control the Behavior of Your Naughty ESL Students
While teaching English abroad your inevitably going to encounter disruptive and shy students that will have you thinking twice about this profession you’ve entered. So, to help counter these behavioral problems, I’ve provided some useful techniques that'll help manage your classroom. Let's take a look:
The 14 Main Duties of ESL Instructors Teaching English Abroad
I think I want to teach English abroad, but just what exactly are the job responsibilities of an ESL teacher? Well, let's see:
11+ Things Every ESL Teacher Should Know Before Interviewing For an ESL Job
Interviewing for a potential job teaching English overseas overseas? Wait! Before you get to it, check out my 11+ tips that every prospective ESL Teacher should know before doing an interview with an ESL employer.
20 Things Every Prospective ESL Teacher Should Check Before Signing Their ESL Job Contract
You're set. You've finally decided to take a leap of faith and teach English abroad. You know which region of the world you'd like to live and work in, but there's just one quintessential question eating you away: Which ESL job should I choose?
The Top 10+ Best Places to Find English Teaching Jobs (ESL Jobs) in China
Ok, ok, so you’re in search of an English teaching job in China and have not a single clue as to where to look. Or, you know to hit up the notorious Dave’s ESL Café, but is that really the best website to find English teaching jobs in the country?
When it comes to teaching English abroad a lot of people often ask, “Why China?” Why China over more US favorites like Japan and Seoul? Well, it’s simple actually. There were 3 specific reasons why I chose China to teach English abroad.
ESL Horror Stories: Why Hangovers & Teaching English Abroad Don't Mix
I had just started a new ESL teaching job at an English training center in Shanghai and I felt on top of the world. Shanghai had always been a city I wanted to live and work in after 4 years of residing in Kunshan—a significantly smaller municipality of Jiangsu Province—and I couldn't believe that I was finally carrying out my dream.
Here's What I Hate Most About Teaching at English Training Centers in China
As an ESL teacher in China, sometimes I can't help but feel like a dancing monkey in a zoo, hurled under the blinding stage lights to sing, dance, and "wow" the masses for a hefty batch of fresh bananas each month. And frankly, I'm getting tired of this s**t.
Teach English in China: Choosing Between a School, Kindergarten, English Training Center or 1-1 Tutoring
You did it. You've finally chosen China as your intended destination to teach English abroad but you're still unsure about which situation—school, kindergarten, training center, or tutor—will be most suitable for your schedule and role as an ESL teacher. Well, let’s take a brief look at what you can expect:
Teaching English Abroad: Wait, My ESL Student Did What!? | Oh Sh*t Moments
I was working as an English teacher for a training center in China. On one particular day I had prepared my classroom half an hour before class and returned 10 minutes later as parents rolled in with their children—ages 4 to 6—as was the normal process.
Thinking of teaching English in China but aren't sure about which city is the right place for you to live and work in? Well, check out my list of the 15 most popular cities to teach English in while in China.
[Part 4] What It's Like Living & Working in China as an ESL Teacher
My first week teaching English in China was very interesting, to say the least. I arrived on Friday, January 13th, and to my surprise, would start teaching by the next Tuesday. Oh China, how I love thee! But let's backtrack a little.
[Part 3] On the Road to China & Why Choosing the Right Employer Was the Most Important Step
My first experience as an ESL teacher in Seoul, South Korea was a blast, hands down. However, this time around my eyes were set on teaching English in Japan, specifically in Tokyo.
[Part 2] How My First ESL Job in Seoul, South Korea Would Change My Life!
Teaching English in Seoul was a blessing for two reasons: For one, it was an exciting travel adventure and I was exploring this popular South Asian region like I've always wanted.