On Tuesday 6/7, I officially carried out my last work responsibilities in China! I had to give a placement interview at Tsinghua for an incoming student. With no closing ceremony like normal, it was an anti-climactic end to the year. Nonetheless it felt great to be done!
Over the course of my two years in China, I have held three official jobs: my full time work at Tsinghua, part time teaching at XinDongFong JingYing (New Oriental Elite), and part time tutoring at Hampson English. I also tutored a little bit on the side independently. I was grateful for these opportunities and the comparatively comfortable lifestyle they allowed Tian and I to live while here.
Whenever I visit another country, I really like to get inside the culture. During our time here, working in China was one of the best ways for me to do so on my own. I got to interact with hundreds of Chinese students, from 1st graders to post-graduates, as well as adult coworkers. Given the academic setting, learning and sharing was part of the expectation for everyone. So while I was technically teaching, I still learned a lot from them all. I loved surprising Tian with new vocab or cultural tidbits I picked up from work.
Of course, not everything was always rosy, and there were aspects of work culture that I personally struggled with. If you’re interested in hearing more about some of the challenges of teaching in China, I’d love to talk more about them with you individually.