English teacher David's teaching story
'My teaching philosophy is to treat the students the same way that I would want a teacher to treat my own child.'
What attract you to teach in China? What do you like best about China?
The smell of adventure and a currency that is very favorable when transferring home again.
I like the sense of safety that China offers as well as how technologically advanced the cities have become since I’ve arrived.
How long have you been in China? Which cities have you been to and what’s your favorite city?
I’ve been to multiple cities for short vacations but have lived and taught in two; Hangzhou and Shenzhen. Hangzhou is my favorite city, because although the summer can be unbearably hot, the attitude of the locals with regards to working hard but also spending time with their families is what stands out to me. In Shenzhen many people work too hard and have little time for their families but here more families make time for one another. Hangzhou is also a beautiful city that is on the forefront of technological advances, in a big way this is thanks to its relationship with Alibaba.
Being a teacher for so many years, what is the teaching philosophy in your mind?
My teaching philosophy is to treat the students the same way that I would want a teacher to treat my own child. I believe that students are inherently good though they are young and as a result can become easily distracted as many things are new. So just be patient, don’t shout as it could ruin your voice and cause you to fall ill temporarily.
What’s the biggest challenge in your teaching career in China?
Not having an assistant when dealing with grade 1&2 classes.
In your opinion, what kind of class pattern is the most active?
Having students engage in educational games/activities on the touchscreen is very entertaining for them.
Are there any differences between Chinese and South African classroom?
Yes, in China middle school ends at grade 9, in South Africa High school starts in grade 8. Our school year start in conjunction with the annual year in comparison to China where it starts in September. In China the year is divided into 2 semesters but in South Africa it is divided into 4 terms. All public school classes in South Africa finish at latest 2:30pm with sports after school until 5pm. We have less homework on average as well. Schools in South Africa also have two break times, the first one generally at 10am (about 40mins) and the second at around 12am for 25 mins.
I think Chinese students are very hard working and have some fantastic classes available. The school I currently teach at even offers Fencing lessons to its students as well as drone flying hobby classes which is awesome.
How do you like Chinese food? Have you got used to Chinese food yet?
If I’m completely honest I do prefer the Cantonese food (chang fen and dim sum) as well as the Eastern Chinese food as it is less spicy. Hangzhounese food is also quite tasty, though I do have a sweet tooth and it fills it nicely. The food from the Xinjiang regions restaurants is also very tasty and has a lot in common with some of the western foods.
Is there anything else you want to share with us?
Enjoy your time in China and make many friends. China offers many opportunities for life, love and fun.