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A new piece of proposed legislation submitted for public review by the Chinese Ministry of Education has recently been making the rounds among China’s sizeable community of foreign teachers. In addition to new provisions regulating part-time work by teachers outside of their main place of employment, the most discussed issue was the proposed introduction of a disciplinary credit system for assessing the professional conduct of teachers working in the country’s many language schools and training centres. This new system would punish teachers for violations of employment regulations and academic misconduct, with more extreme cases such as sexual assault or abuse of minors even resulting in a complete prohibition of employment. While the changes suggested in the draft are rather standard and were largely welcomed, one long-standing issue obviously remains unaddressed – namely, that of discriminatory requirements for legal employment and eligibility criteria for work visas.
Adventure, new cultures, and our students, these are my favorite parts about being an EFL teacher. The opportunity to meet students from all cultures and engage with them in a way that most people don’t get to is by far what keeps me working in this exciting field. For me, becoming a foreign language teacher was to do just that, move to a foreign country learn about the culture and meet people. I had been a teacher in my own country, but the opportunity for some adventure was the greatest allure. Now, as I have started doing the majority of my teaching online, I often get asked – so can you teach from anywhere? And the short answer is yes. I can teach from anywhere, but there are some things...
Let’s begin by saying this is a wonderful career that will take you into new cultures, open your mind to new ways of doing things and new world views that even the adventurous traveler will not experience. You will become part of the school’s and the wider community’s social network if you wish to. You will affect lives.
I will tell you some hard learnt lessons which I consider to be ‘must dos’ in order to make life great in and out of the classroom in a foreign country. I have broken down the advice into four sections: before you leave; upon arrival;workplace basics; and a tip for new ESL journeymen...
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