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TEFLOrTESL

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TEFLOrTESL

Hello,

 
I have taken a job in China for EF English and recently just arrived. I have some questions that are a cause for concern and I am looking for a little guidance.
 
1) I acquired a severe injury several years ago and after observing several classes, I feel like I won't be able to physically perform to EF English standards. I know its a business and they need to appease the parents so I'm nervous. I already signed the contract so I'm a bit nervous about how things will proceed further. I haven't committed to an apartment yet, but I get the feeling the staff is trying to expedite the process. I'm also aware that EF can fire me without much thought, which is stated in the contract. I don't know what will occur after that happens in terms of the contract. I'm assuming I will need to reimburse EF of all my expenses acquired throughout my stay.
 
2) I've also been told the police will pay me a visit randomly, once I have accepted an apartment. I'm extremely nervous because I know they haven't submitted my papers for the residence permeant yet. I also was told in the last month to acquire my FBI background check, which I had, but it wasn't authenticated so I had to hire an agency to submit it to the Chinese embassy in Washington. I know it hasn't been processed yet so I'm waiting for its arrival.  However, I have an authenticated local background check with me, which I thought was all I needed at the time. 
 
 
3) I have met the other teachers and apparently, some of them have just arrived, but it seems like they have been here a lot longer than they are letting up. Something just doesn't seem right and call me paranoid, but I have been on edge since my arrival. 

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DavyJonesLocker

as @ChTTay say you are worrying way too much. Nothing to be concerned about at all.

 

Remember china love rules and regulations and it all seems a bit overwhelming at the start but it is just a mass load of bureaucracy. I have often not gone to the police station to register a new address and months have passed by. When I did go, they never batted an eyelid. i am not the only one who does this. The police did arrive at my door once (during APEX week and the recent 60th anniversary. They just ask to see your passport and off they go. They are friendly.

 

China seems intimidating but in reality its not. I have been to many cities and countries and Beijing where i live, I can honestly say its the safest I have been to. Its all new at the moment so naturally will be over whelming at the start but it will get better and fast. Every year I go all sorts of hoops to get a visa as the goal post keep changing. 

 

Chin up, I'll bet any money in 6 months (when the weather is better) you will feel much different about the place :)

Keep telling yourself you can just get on a plane at any time and go home that day if you want. You won't but it's comforting to have a mental "escape route".

 

 

 

 

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DavyJonesLocker
3 hours ago, TEFLOrTESL said:

3) I have met the other teachers and apparently, some of them have just arrived, but it seems like they have been here a lot longer than they are letting up. Something just doesn't seem right and call me paranoid, but I have been on edge since my arrival. 

 

This could be that they have been working illegally in China and don't want to say. Just guessing

 

1 hour ago, ChTTay said:

Maybe it’s more common wherever you are but it’s nothing to worry about unless you’re doing something actually illegal in your apartment. If they do visit as standard, it’s literally just a standard procedure.

 

This is worth noting. If I had to summarise China and the law, I'd say its like this, you go about your daily life, don't cause trouble, you will have zero problems whatsoever with the police etc. You break the law as in drink driving, driving without a licence, do drugs, they will come down on you like a ton of bricks and your embassy will be of no help. 

 

Every case I heard of a foreigner getting into trouble with the police was because frankly they deserved it (drugs, fighting etc) and were arrogant and silly. 

 

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TEFLOrTESL

You guys have put my mind at ease. Thank you all for the feedback. I definitely can move around but have some dexterity issues with my hand and ankle. Unfortunately, I didn't inform them, which in retrospect, was idiotic on my part. I feel like I try not to classify myself as disabled because I'm able to mostly do everything on my own. I guess I let pride get the best of me. Do you think I should inform them? if I do, will I be punished for informing them of false information? Also, if things don't work out with EF and I end the contract, what will that entail? I am assuming I will have to reimburse them for all expenses acquired on my arrival. 

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Flickserve

I think you have moved out of your previous comfort zone, away from the familiarity and network of friends and looking for reasons to justify your discomfort. It can cause you to feel homesick and increase your anxiety over insecurities. Something I did experience myself long ago. My solution was to stay a year. Plus, I couldn't go back and say I got homesick after three months. It would have sounded rather silly!

 

Different people have different methods of encouraging learning. Remember, not all kids respond to the same teaching method. So you should expect yourself to be flexible and even innovative in your approach. Also try to work out what are the expectations. I think most parents would be quite happy with some improvement in fluency and speech in their kids. You would not be able to learn Chinese in three to six months so don't expect them to excellent speakers of English in 3-6 months of your classes.

 

Would you rather have a person with no physical limitation who then teaches with no enthusiasm, dead pan face with the students not learning......Or an enthusiastic teacher who is encouraging and emphatic and gets people to learn? I would pick the second. 

 

The ultimate example of a teacher with health problems has to be Stephen Hawking. So don't worry about being perfect and get on and do the job. Experiment with different methods, maybe develop new skills, a different style and accept a new learning experience in a different country. Different situations require different solutions. Problems are there to be solved, not to run away from. What you learn and overcome now will help you problem solve years later in the future.

 

 

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abcdefg

Wow! How about a prescription for Paxil?

----------------------

I realize that's not a helpful comment at first glance. But think about it a minute: here you are having a 24-karat meltdown and you haven't even stepped foot in the classroom.

 

A few minor and mostly imaginary problems have you wailing and wringing your hands. Will you be able to cope with one or two dis-interested or unruly students; with an angry parent; with a slack administrator? What about the problems of daily life (outside work) in a strange country where you don't speak the language?

 

This may not be the best fit for you, to be living and working in China, away from your home, friends and usual support system. Time for a sober self-assessment, not just platitudinous encouragement to "Keep your chin up" and "Everything will be OK."

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Lu
11 hours ago, TEFLOrTESL said:

I definitely can move around but have some dexterity issues with my hand and ankle. (...) I'm able to mostly do everything on my own.

You don't need to teach with your ankles. Find what kind of moving around while teaching works for you, teach the best you can, and if anyone at some point notices, just talk about it like it's no big deal: Oh, yeah, I have this thing that means I can't do X, so I just do Y.

 

I think you'll be fine. To my knowledge, EF is a legitimate, above-board organisation that won't generally resort to dodgy stuff. Don't get paranoid, and come back here if you have more questions.

 

Good luck and enjoy your stay!

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889

To look at this from a slightly different perspective:

 

China isn't for everyone. Teaching isn't for everyone.

 

Give it a go, but if you remain anxious and uncomfortable after a couple of months or so, then there's no shame at all in packing it in.

 

"I've started so I'll finish" is not a motto you have to live by.

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DavyJonesLocker
3 minutes ago, 889 said:

"I've started so I'll finish" 

 

That stubbornness what keeps me going when  learning Chinese. I probably should have packed it in years ago, given the lack of progress :D

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Flickserve
53 minutes ago, 889 said:

"I've started so I'll finish" is not a motto you have to live by.

 

Neither is "I'm finished before I have started".

 

To some extent, I agree with @abcdefg as well.

 

 

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HuayangAcademy

Lots of people have issues with culture shock when first arriving to work in China. 

The jet lag alone can leave our students in bed and on the edge of sanity for the first week at least. 

 

Make sure you eat and drink and get nutrition as long flights and the dreaded lag use up a lot of energy. 

You will no doubt relax into it. The stress will wear off and you will enjoy it and make friends. 

 

We find getting our students out to kick ball or just do some rock climbing or cycling helps a lot too. 

Some guys here are veterans who didn't have the luxury you have with EF, some landed straight into rural China and made it through

 

try your best to relax and get out with people and chat to them etc. 

 

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ChTTay

Everyone makes strong points.

 

You gotta at least give it a semester! Forget a month. It’ll take you a semester to feel anything like you know vaguely what

You’re doing work-wise. 

 

Also, leaving mid-semester is a massive headache for everyone. 

 

Give it a semester then you can say you gave it your best shot if you do decide to go back home. 

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imron

Removed a bunch of off-topic posts.

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