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I’ve been recruiting ESL teachers for nearly 15 years. Over the last decade and a half I have looked at tens of thousands of resumes and helped many thousands of individuals find work teaching English abroad. I have also come to the conclusion that most individuals seeking work as ESL teachers, or seeking work in general, have no idea how or even why to write a resume.

Recently I had the good fortune to be selected by Anhui Television to be featured on a program called “Experience Anhui”. This program is shown on their international channel and its focus is about the lives of foreigners living and working in Anhui. The TV crew spent 3 days following me around the city and the college. To be frank, I was rather exhausted when all was said and done.

Last weekend I had a very meaningful experience. Because of the Chinese Qing Min Jie (Tomb Sweeping Festival – a time when people remember their ancestors by returning to their tombs) observation, my school had a three day weekend. I decided to take opportunity to travel to Shanghai for a mini vacation.

Notes from China

I have now been teaching oral English at the same Chinese University for 7 years. As a teacher my goal is to simply help the students gain both competency and confidence as English speakers. Over the years I have learned time and again that to achieve this goal, I must help the students create a positive atmosphere that promotes cooperation in the classroom.

As a part of my job I regularly give talks to groups of local TESL/TEFL/TESOL/CELTA students who are finishing their TESL courses. I get invited by local TESL schools local colleges with TESL programs to talk about international employment opportunities for TESL graduates.

It is not unusual for immigrants in Canada to do their utmost to try and maintain parts of their cultural heritage and the Chinese community in Canada would certainly be a good example of this. For instance, many of them celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year with great gusto allowing Canadians of all backgrounds to enjoy the festival as well.

When I am living in China, Chinese people frequently wonder if I now consider my home to be China. When I am in America, my American family and friends frequently wonder which country I consider as my home. For years I struggled with these two questions. To choose a country would make my listener either very happy or very disappointed.


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