What I Learned From Teaching Abroad

  1. Do what is best for you. If you need a vacation, take it. You need a massage, get one. You need a (1) drink, go for it.
  2. You will meet people from all over the world. You may think China only has Chinese people or other Asians, but actually you can find a little bit of everyone. I met people from the UK, France, Germany, Russia, South Korea, Mexico, Chile, Ghana, Madagascar, Australia, Ireland, the USA, and probably other places I can’t think of.
  3. Some people will really care about your travels, and some won’t. It’s life. People usually do not show interest in what they cannot relate to. Don’t pressure people to care. And just because they do not care about your travels, it does not mean that they do not care about you.
  4. It’s hard to keep in touch (even before all of my numbers deleted). Honestly, I probably talked to 3-4 people consistently while I was abroad. One of them, of course, being my mother. Also, I wanted to be present in the culture, and not the culture of back home. It would be rude to go to someone else’s home and not talk to them, so why do it in a different country, right? I missed people, but I was too busy having fun.
  5. Everyone does not like English, and that’s okay. I had one student who told me he thought English was boring. I did not get mad or upset. It was my job to try to actively engage them, encourage them to want to learn. Some people just do not. English can be a little hard.
  6. Everyone does not hate English. I had some students who were always eager to learn, and they actively brought notebooks to class. Some have even told me that they were going to continue practicing it.
  7. English is confusing to those who did not learn it as their first language. A lot of the time I felt myself struggling trying to explain something because the ‘rule’ could change. Sometimes, the answer is that it just is.
  8. You never know what does not work until you try it for yourself. Nine times out of ten, you will not get things right the first time. Lucky for me, I had 8-16 times to tweak what I felt was wrong to make the class better.
  9. Give people a chance. I was given a chance by getting the job. I’ve never been a teacher. I’ve never taught a class, let alone a class with more than forty students. Granted, I wasn’t just thrown into a classroom, but it was something new. So, would I do it again? Absolutely!20160602_111807

One of my classes

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