Ciaran – teaching practicum in Beijing

Ciaran, studying English at the University of Oxford, spent six weeks teaching English at a summer camp in Beijing as part of his 150 hour TEFL qualification.

Why did you sign up for the program?

I love travel – I love going around the world and seeing new places.

I also really love teaching – I love seeing young kids and helping them to learn new stuff and grow. I thought that this was a great way of combining those two things.

What are your top teaching tips?

It’s important not to forget that we were all kids once – I try and have fun with them, because if they see you having fun with them they are more likely to like you and want to work with you. 

I think I’m so enthused because you can’t expect the students to be enthusiastic unless you’re enthusiastic as a teacher.

 I don’t want to be the type of teacher who lectures – saying “here are the facts, learn them!” Lots of kids, particularly young kids, don’t respond so well to that style of teaching. If you get down on their level, obviously you’re still the teacher but it shows that you’re trying to engage with them and understand them.

Would you teach in China again?

Yes – I must say I didn’t expect to have had such a good time as I have had! I’ve met so many lovely people.

I think I’d like to see a different part of China – I’ve been to Xi’an, Tianjin and Beijing so I’d like to travel more. Maybe I’ll even end up teaching here one day for real!

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