Starting a career teaching internationally can feel like a daunting task. This week, fellow teacher Dean gives us a short but sweet account of his transition to living and teaching in China. Dean embarked on his first international teaching gig with Maple Leaf schools. Based in China, they offer a great opportunity to gain experience internationally as they welcome qualified teachers that may have little prior international experience. Maple leaf enabled Dean to make the leap into the unknown feeling supported and guided.
Maple Leaf Schools have been granted Certification status under the British Columbia Global Education Program – Offshore Schools and have the authority to offer educational programs at each school leading to the British Columbia Certificate of Graduation. Maple Leaf teachers must have British Colombia teacher certification. This is easier than it sounds as it’s possible to apply for this online relatively easily – it will take a month or so. To find out about the application process for your country, click here.
Read more about teaching in China with Maple Leaf Education and watch videos about MLES here.
Stepping out into the world
After the countless hours of getting all the correct paperwork together and all the emails sent back and forth, I left my home, my home for the past 29 years of my life, on a Sunday morning. Destination: China.
It took me two days to get to the other side of the world, not knowing what was in store for me at the end.
As the English language started to disappear with every flight I got on, it made me more and more nervous. I started to question my decision. Had I made the right choice?
After 2 days of travel, I had finally arrived in my city, Yancheng. Greeted at the airport by my headmaster, in English, I started to feel a little less nervous. It was business straight away, getting to know all my colleagues and my work environment. The meetings started right away with the anticipation of the new school year only a month away.
“You’re always one decision away from a totally different life”. This couldn’t be more true with my move to China. I was told about the culture shock I was going to have when I arrived but wasn’t prepared for it at all. Just when you think you’re getting used to the culture you see something that reminds you where you are and that you’re a visitor and you haven’t seen anything yet.
It has truly been an eye-opening experience and one that I wouldn’t change. Life is a journey, not a destination and I can definitely say that I’m on that journey.
Thank you, Dean, for your wonderful words. Let’s take a (maple) leaf out of Dean’s book and slow down, enjoy the ride, and be prepared to embrace new cultural experiences. Read further tips on settling into life and work in a new place here.
Have you ever considered teaching in China ? Browse our international schools in China for information and current vacancies. Have you taught in China before? Share your experiences with us!