A Day in the Life
of an English Teacher in China
A day in the life of a teacher in China.
TEFL Panda teacher ‘Sarah Buckley’ took us through an average day teaching in China’s Sichuan Province.
Weekdays mean a nice early rise, I meet my fellow ‘lao wai’ (old foreigner) collegue for some breakfast at our favourite dumpling restaurant for some ‘shui jiao’ (dumplings) before heading through the local park to No.3 Middle school.At this time in the morning the park is already bustling with people. Mostly older people practicing tai chi and exercising (some walking backwards!) others that have taken their bird for a ‘walk’ yes, their bird.As we walk into the school the children give us a lot of attention and getting just from the school gates to our office can take some time!
Classes begin, I have normally planned out my Monday-Wednesday classes on Sunday evening. I teach 20 hours a week and all the lessons are oral English, which means organizing games, roleplays and speaking drills.
We spend lunch normally with the teaching assistants in the school canteen and sometimes use my limited netball experience to put the kids to shame on the basketball court before heading on to afternoon classes.
After school we head back through the park towards a different restaurant for some dinner. Eating out is cheap and so I only cook for myself occasionally, I have eaten at most restaurants on the way home and now have my top 3, the food is amazing especially the local spicy dishes that Sichuan is famous. In the evening time I split my time between study and play, I have a Mandarin tutor that teaches me for 30 yuan per hour for 10 hours a week, this has really enhanced my time here. I recommend any teacher learn at least a little bit, it means a lot to the locals that you have shown the effort to learn, even if its just a few basic phrases!After Chinese classes I normally watch a movie, go to the night market for some bargains and retail therapy or on weekends head to the local expat bar for some drinks and dancing with teachers at the local schools. The Chinese that go there speak English and it’s a great place to meet new people.