Tag Archives: teaching in china

10 things nobody tells you about becoming a foreign teacher

  1. You will call all of your students your “kids”

Most of my students are 19, meaning I’m only a few years older than them. But despite their adult status and our narrow age gap, when talking about my students I always refer to them as my “kids.”

Because they’re your kids, you’ll feel every triumph and failure with them. You’ll be ecstatic when one student passes their driving test or gets accepted into a study abroad program or even when the two kids who’ve been flirting shyly all year finally get together. And then you’ll be crushed when a good student fails a test or doesn’t make the basketball team. Continue reading 10 things nobody tells you about becoming a foreign teacher


Things my students taught me

It’s funny that just seven months ago I was complaining about going to my 8 a.m. class every Monday morning. I mean, since then I’ve graduated college, worked at two quasi-adult jobs and moved half-away across the world. And I’m still complaining about getting up for my 8 a.m. class on Monday morning.

Granted, then I was sitting in the back class – usually working on an article rather than absorbing any of the information about political strategy or economics – and now I’m standing in front of a class, teaching 30 plus Chinese university sophomores about English writing.

Because I have no real prior teaching experience – three summers of teaching toddlers to blow bubbles and “do really big scoops” during swim lessons is a far cry from instructing on the intricacies of the English language – there’s a lot of trial and error. Continue reading Things my students taught me

Ghost stories from Guilin

In honor of Halloween and to wrap up our creative writing unit, I had my English writing students create their own ghost stories.

In small groups, they feverishly scribbled about everything from phantom filled elevators and spirits living within photographs to a roommate who either went missing or was seduced by an evil and guileful imp. Continue reading Ghost stories from Guilin

Rumpusing in the rice terraces

Weary from playing Frogger with our lives every time we crossed the street and anxious to spend some time away from the bustle and noise of city, I traveled with some foreign teacher friends a few hours north to a village near Longsheng last weekend.

Longsheng — known for it’s splendid views of rice terraces and quite hikes through the nearby mountains – had been a beacon beckoning us to it for weeks.

View from the hike
View from the hike

Continue reading Rumpusing in the rice terraces