Raoul's China Saloon (V4.0 Beta)

The Teachers' Lounge => School Reviews and Experiences (ON-TOPIC) => Topic started by: JenniferWhiting on November 29, 2015, 07:18:24 AM

Title: Teaching at Birmy International English - China
Post by: JenniferWhiting on November 29, 2015, 07:18:24 AM
Hi everyone! I'm Jennifer Whiting, 24 and a teacher by profession, and soon I will be teaching at Birmy International English School in Taizhou, China. I would like to ask how's the life of a foreign teacher of English in China.

I've always wanted to travel abroad, so when I learned about the employment opportunities for native English speakers in many Asian countries, I decided I should spend about a year in any of those countries. As I did my research, I realized that there are so many job openings in China, and so I thought it could be the best destination for me.

I sent my application to Birmy English and immediately received a job offer. They immediately made arrangements for my visa, and said that I would be getting my plane ticket really soon. So while waiting, I would like to learn more about how it is to live and work in China. I'm really hoping to gain good experience in China, which will help enhance my career as a teacher.

Specifically, I want to ask about Chinese students. Do they love learning English? Are Chinese people accommodating to foreigners? And how do foreign teachers spend their free time?

I would really appreciate any tips or comments you could give me coz I need every piece of information so that I could know what to expect when I get there. 
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: ZachW on December 02, 2015, 06:02:08 AM
Teaching in China is good, but you can't expect a perfect life there. The major cities are great, but if you are to live in provinces, you should be prepared to live really simply. Chinese people are friendly, but of course, there are some who are rude as well. This shouldn't be surprising because I don't think there's a place in the world where everyone is kind and friendly.

So you're going to Birmy International English School? That's interesting because I used to teach there, too. Birmy was actually the third language school I went to in China, and by far the best as well. You don't have to worry about your visa because they will take care of that for you. Accommodation isn't a problem either as the school provides the housing for their foreign teachers.

As for Chinese students, well, they are so much different from our students here in the US. Chinese learners tend to take their English classes easy because it is in fact the most relaxing class they have. They enjoy playing games and doing interesting activities, so make sure you always have one for them.

I think Birmy English is an excellent choice, especially because it's your first time to teach abroad. As long as you are positive and friendly with your co-teachers, there will be no reason for you not to enjoy your stay in China.
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: unterieben on December 02, 2015, 06:41:14 AM
Welcome!

Did you see this thread about Birmy?

http://raoulschinasaloon.com/index.php?topic=5009.0
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: Just Like Mr Benn on December 02, 2015, 09:42:03 AM
It's a shocking indictment of the world, (and by world I obviously mean me) that one's first post on the forum has to be unremittingly negative and cynical, otherwise everyone (and again, I firmly believe that I am everyone) will think that you're a 'fake' who has joined up to say nice things about an under-attack employer.

Isn't it awful that I think the life of an English teacher in China cannot result in somebody as positive as Zach; at least not without the kind of medication that is so tricky to get in this country.

Honestly Zach, I hope that you're genuine and will tell us more about yourself. A bit of fresh positivity around here would be lovely. How many different schools have you taught in? I'm on my third and I'm not sure many of us have racked up more than that.

I wonder if the one question birmy ask potential employees is whether they believe everybody should use their real name on social media.
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: Isidnar on December 02, 2015, 09:58:18 AM
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Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: Just Like Mr Benn on December 02, 2015, 10:32:37 AM
No. I was cynical about her as well.

I once had somebody apply to my employer (by emailing me their CV etc) and it was so obvious to me that they were actually Chinese. The username, the way they wrote the email, just everything. It honestly was the most pathetic and unconvincing attempt at pretending to be a native English speaker that I had ever read, and I even had the email written to them basically saying, don't waste my time.

I suppose you can guess the end of the story. I sent a standard reply instead and they did turn out to be who they claimed.

But no, I honestly thought Jennifer Whiting was a fake as well. Admit it, we all did.

How's the life of an English teacher in China? Well, honestly Jennifer, it's a life full of a horde of weirdos and deeply strange people calling themselves foreign teachers where we think we're the sane one amongst them, and we have to make a constant effort to assume that newcomers to this forum are genuine and should be welcomed positively.
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: Isidnar on December 02, 2015, 10:52:38 AM
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Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 02, 2015, 12:47:41 PM
Oh no.

Now that I look over the OP with Mr Grammar's eyes...

Telltales:

- "how's the life"

- "in many Asian countries" (odd level of generality)

- "I decided I should spend about a year in any of those countries."

- "As I did my research, I realized that..." (tense oddity)

- "They immediately made arrangements for my visa, and said that I would be getting my plane ticket really soon. So while waiting, I..." (tense incongruity/time markers)

- "I'm really hoping to gain good experience in China..." (not entirely a giveaway since not "gain a good experience"

- "I would really appreciate any tips or comments you could give me coz I need every piece of information so that I could know what to expect when I get there."


Band 7.



Sorry if etc.
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 02, 2015, 03:02:42 PM
- "They immediately made arrangements for my visa, and said that I would be getting my plane ticket really soon. So while waiting, I..." (tense incongruity/time markers)

I believe I shall take that one back. That "would" doesn't have to be "will". That would could be would if a Ms Whiting would say would.
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: JenniferWhiting on December 04, 2015, 05:54:47 AM
I met a teacher working at Birmy International English School and she says that they have the most fun working there. Just last week, she says they held a contest called "Best Work Style." Pictures are taken while they hold a class. They are being judged on how they would dress and how they would handle themselves in front of their students. The teacher with the most votes get an iPad.

Frankly, no school I have been to hold fun contests such as this. They also have summer camps for students and teachers and they go to countries like Australia and the UK to help them understand the culture.

I am excited to start working at Birmy English. I have also read positive Birmy School review wherein the person writing has had a wonderful experience working in the school. That is what I am after, a fun teaching experience and learning a whole different culture.
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: JenniferWhiting on December 04, 2015, 06:02:40 AM
I hope you would not call me a fake. I have been to China before to see the place before I finally decided to go back to start a teaching career. I started this thread because I needed more insight.
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 04, 2015, 07:38:00 AM
Hi Jen. You have an impressive level of control in your English expression. May I ask, what's your first language?
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: Just Like Mr Benn on December 04, 2015, 07:54:31 AM
Yep. I'm ready to call it.

I mean, I didn't get the reason for the first post, but it was obviously just meant to be a set-up for the follow-up post / adverts from yourself and Zach Wearealllyingfakes.

If your school was so good, you wouldn't be creating fake reviews for it.

For my low-level students' end of semester exam, I'm going to get them to pretend to be foreign teachers and apply to Birmy. Anyone who doesn't get the job, or waste at least an hour of Birmy time, will fail the course.
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 04, 2015, 10:09:04 AM
As for Chinese students, well, they are so much different from our students here in the US. Chinese learners tend to take their English classes easy because it is in fact the most relaxing class they have. They enjoy playing games and doing interesting activities, so make sure you always have one for them.

I think Birmy English is an excellent choice, especially because it's your first time to teach abroad. As long as you are positive and friendly with your co-teachers, there will be no reason for you not to enjoy your stay in China.

Zach, what's up? You strike one as a native speaker. Not all the evidence is in, but you seem like you might be a co-conspirator. Are you being held against your will? If you are not, and you are a co-conspirator, can we assume the above constitutes Birmy's vision of the role of a foreign teacher in their/your organization?
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: adamsmith on December 04, 2015, 04:12:08 PM
I just love the results you get if you search jennifer whiting teacher. I knew I had seen the name before. I truly hope that the op is a different person, although the chinese male (and some of the female) students would probably hope it is the same teacher. :wtf:
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: Isidnar on December 05, 2015, 11:03:52 AM
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Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: The Local Dialect on December 06, 2015, 03:37:35 PM
lol
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: JenniferWhiting on December 07, 2015, 05:46:55 AM
My dad is Filipino, and my Mom is an American. I have been going back and forth from the US to the Philippines all my life. When my parents passed away, I have decided to pursue a teaching career in China. I love the Chinese. (Especially because I am a huge fan of Chinese epic films and the rich culture as well.) I have studied in a Chinese school when I was in grade school. I loooove the food as well! :)
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: JenniferWhiting on December 07, 2015, 05:49:25 AM
I cannot really understand why posting a question and interacting with people in this forum would constitute a conspiracy. Does everyone have to have an agenda here?
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 07, 2015, 05:56:19 AM
In that case, my apologies for picking on your language. We do sort of have an agenda. It has sometimes happened in the past that Chinese employers (or representatives of employers) have joined the forum posing as prospective foreign employees or as happy former employees. Generally they are attempting to counter very negative reviews of their organizations, and they *always* give themselves away with ossified language and dubious forms of cheerful expression. So I guess we've - and I've - been language-ist.

Can we start over?
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: JenniferWhiting on December 08, 2015, 09:42:39 AM
Sure!

I have high hopes for this teaching career in China. I am planning to spend every days off going around the city and EAT! :)

I don't make friends very easily, since I am quite most times, but I would love it if somebody from where I stay would give me a city tour! :)
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: Isidnar on December 09, 2015, 03:41:33 PM
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Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: dragonsaver on December 09, 2015, 03:59:13 PM
Hi

We have a thread called Introductions.  http://raoulschinasaloon.com/index.php?topic=7.1815

Why don't you go there and tell us a bit about yourself.  We love to read about all the new members and where they are from and what their dreams are.   bjbjbjbjbj
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: JenniferWhiting on December 10, 2015, 05:50:45 AM
Hello!

I consider myself a native English speaker since I have lived most of my life in the US. I go back to the Philippines to spend time with close relatives only during summers and Christmas.

Jennifer Whiting is a good screen name. It's actually the name I will give my daughter if I will have one in the future.

Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: ZachW on January 19, 2016, 06:43:10 AM
I definitely agree that Chinese students are not like American or perhaps any other students from the West. I was a highschool teacher in Brooklyn before I came here in China last year. At first, I was really nervous because I had no idea at all what to expect from my classes here. Since it's my first time to handle and ESL class, I was just clueless. The good thing, though, was that staff from the Birmy head office were generous enough to give me some sort of orientation before I held my first class. They gave me pieces of advice on what I should and shouldn't do in class. But of course, not any amount of preparation would take away my fear because it was my first time to face a bunch of kids who have limited knowledge of the language I speak!

I must admit that my first day at work wasn't good. I didn't prepare enough, I guess, but at least, that first meeting made me realize what I needed to do. As they say, the rest is history!
If this is your first time to teach English in a non-English speaking country, you've got to be ready to be challenged. Chinese learners could be hard to communicate with and teach, but they're definitely fun to teach! Make sure you come to your classes prepared all the time!
Title: Re: How's the Life of an English Teacher in China?
Post by: Isidnar on January 20, 2016, 03:20:38 PM
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Title: Re: Teaching at Birmy International English - China
Post by: JenniferWhiting on January 23, 2016, 05:06:53 AM
I have started this thread when I was trying to decide where to teach in China. Thus, I needed to state the name of the school where I submitted my application.

Now, I have accepted the job offer at Birmy. I don't mean to offend anybody with my questions. My apologies if my thread vexes you. That was not my intention.
Title: Re: Teaching at Birmy International English - China
Post by: Isidnar on January 23, 2016, 04:02:26 PM
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