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Teacher Testimonials

Peter

time:2013-12-06

Hi, my name's Peter.  I'm 25 years old, grew up in Indiana, and was a Chinese major in college.  I've been in China for 2.5 years working on my Chinese and trying out both life as a teacher and life in China.  The most recent 18 months of that time has been spent working at Best Learning.  It's been a great experience so far that I would recommend to anyone wanting to try out teaching in China.

After a year of seeing exactly how bad working conditions for a teacher can get (I'm pretty sure I found the bottom of the barrel), Best Learning proved to be a breath of fresh air that has been hard to leave.  This would be clear if you were to make the mistakes I did.  I spent my first year in China working at several schools all of which had little or (more often) nothing in the way of academic support, much less concern for what I was teaching.  I was getting paid very little and cared about even less.  I'd be thrown in front of classrooms with no preparation whatsoever and told, "Teach!"  "Teach what?" I'd ask. "English!"  No text book, no hint at any curriculum whatsoever, or even any apparent concern as to whether or not I had any plans to teach with one.  Getting help setting up and finding an apartment, etc. was nearly impossible and I had to fight tooth and nail to not get screwed out of every other penny I earned.  Sadly, that constitutes a lot of the employment opportunities for foreign English teachers in China.

At Best Learning, we have a solid curriculum in place that gives teachers' curriculum direction and suggestions while giving us the freedom to change things around a bit to suit our personal teaching styles and--more importantly--the learning style of our students.  The wages are competitive, and the hours aren't too shabby.  Getting to sleep in on weekdays is nice.  It's a great place to try out being a teacher without all the drawbacks of being a "real" teacher in America.  You're not overworked, you're not underpaid, and the efforts of those who go the extra mile are definitely appreciated.  I've been here for a year and a half, and the experience has been something else.  I've gotten to improve my office/business Chinese, and have learned a lot more about Chinese culture and business practices from my coworkers.  The work environment is one that's really hard to find: relaxed but professional.  Everyone takes their job seriously, but manages to have a good time doing it.  And as a really fast-growing company, opportunities to move to different cities or move up within the company are not infrequent.  I'm not sure about what I'm going to do after this, but more importantly, I'm not sure when that will be, either.  I could see myself here for a long time!





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