Thursday, May 11, 2017

Why I'm a #TESOLteacher

Originally when my wife and I moved to China, it wasn’t because I had a deep desire to be a #TESOLteacher. I have to be honest.

There was a Teacher Recruitment Fair put on by my alma mater. At the fair, there were several school corporations represented. Personally, I was hoping for a Special Services position. But there was an organization that a “practice” interview had gone well for. The kick was that it was located in China. That organization’s interviewer then connected me with the private Chinese school that I have worked at now for nearly six years. 

In my time here, I have stayed up-to-date on current global education news, research, and networks. I clearly recall my first year teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) in China. It was quite the transition from American Education, and I was flexible and open to learning, which can be a strength and weakness. It can be a strength because of being willing to learn, try, reflect, analyze, and move forward alongside Chinese and other foreigners. It can also be a weakness because of going in naive, taking all kinds of advice, and not knowing how to discern what kind of education is actually best for the students. 

Since my first year, I have known that any growth or forward movement in my teaching would need to improve by connecting with others via Twitter, blogs, etc. Through this and continual reading, to be quite frank, I have found myself more connected with the students in our school than I have with other teachers. You see, the students and I agree on many educational issues while school leaders/teachers across our city look more at student numbers, test scores, and factors that an exam can't measure  The importance of these data continues to spill over. (Side note: It’s worth mentioning that China is not alone in this regard.)

These are just a few of the reasons why I’m a #TESOLteacher. I desire changes necessary for the betterment of education. No matter if it’s education in America, China, or the world, I don’t and won’t accept what has always been done.


  1. China is lucky to have you, Daniel, but if you are ever in Texas, come to Coppell. I am beyond lucky to work with many like "us". In the meantime, I hope the digital connections you make remind you that you aren't alone!!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Alli. The digital connections I've made not only provide reminders but also depth in so many ways. It's certainly hard to quantify the impact of those relationships in relation to the changes that have happened on the local level here.