How I Changed Careers From Being a Nurse to Teaching English in China
I might not have realized it before since I was busy studying and just trying to achieve my short term goals but I believe that my mother has been an inspiration for me to become a teacher. I could remember seeing kids at home being taught by my mom and she used pictures to identify certain shapes and animals. My mom was a regular housewife then. She taught only for fun and to make my brother and I be more engaged in learning things with the company of our friends, our playmates.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Marie M.
“I thought that I didn’t have what it takes to become a teacher.”
I remember how I strived hard to be able to be the best in my class when I was in elementary school. My mom would always prepare review lessons for me before my periodical tests. I was always the top 1 in my class. When I reached high school, I started to form an idea what I wanted to do in the future. Although there weren’t any specifics, a lot of factors made me decide to take up nursing as my degree. During my studies, I had believed that I couldn’t be a teacher because I felt that it was a very difficult task to do. I was so shy to be in front of people, to talk about a certain topic and explain myself in a group. I thought that I didn’t have what it takes to become a teacher.
“After two years, I tried to look for other jobs that I could apply for with reasonable pay.”
As I continued my studies in nursing, I learned that one of the roles of a nurse was to be an educator. Apparently, it’s one of the things we, nurses, have to be good at in order to help the patients be informed about their health. I was hesitant about it at first and it’s actually overwhelming to imagine myself to be in the position of an educator. I thought to myself, I probably could perform the other roles of a nurse but it doesn’t necessarily mean that I should be a very good educator.
After graduating, I received training from the hospital and was able to work at a primary hospital. After two years of not being satisfied with the salary, I tried to look for other jobs that I could apply for with reasonable pay. Then, a friend of mine asked me if I could accept a job to teach English to Korean and Japanese students at a language school and, fortunately, got hired and trained.
“How am I going to teach others if I am not sure if I could use the English language fluently myself?”
I was reluctant at first, thinking that I was not that confident with my English skills. “How am I going to teach others if I am not sure if I could use the English language fluently myself?” This was the question that kept on and on in my mind, but it also became my driving force to spend a great time preparing my lessons. As a new teacher, I was assigned low beginners with books that matched their levels. The classes were 50 minutes for each student and I tried my best to follow the system of the school. 10 minutes for free talking, 30 minutes for classwork, and 10 minutes for review. I handled one-on-one classes for speaking and reading and time has made me become a better teacher.
“I started growing in this career and learned a lot of things from training, practice, and experience.”
As I have become familiar with the course and its contents, I have incorporated my own approach in the way I teach my lessons. I also learned from my co-teachers, as I attended some training given by the school. I also learned a lot from my students, as I conduct classes with them and assess how I could help them reach their goal in language learning. With hard work, I was noticed by the school’s administration and offered me to take training for becoming a group class teacher of high-level students.
From there, I started growing in this career and learned a lot of things from training, practice, and experience. These things led me to be promoted to head teacher for the listening department. I was able to take part in developing curricula with my colleagues and creating special courses for certain groups of students in the school. I was also handling training of teachers to help them improve how they conduct their classes and evaluate their performances as teachers.
“I was ready for a greater challenge and more experiences that I could refer to and learn from to be able to better.”
Four years of teaching and learning at the language school have gone by fast. I couldn't even imagine how that happened, but one thing I was sure of that time, I was ready to expand my knowledge in this career. I was ready for a greater challenge and more experiences that I could refer to and learn from to be able to better. I decided to take Professional Teaching units at a Teacher's College in my hometown to be able to qualify for the National Teachers' Licensure Examination.
After a year completing these units, I took my licensure examination and was able to successfully passed it. That didn't stop me from my goals. I wanted a new challenge, a new motivation, and a new reason for me to explore more things in teaching. That's when I decided to apply for a teaching job in another country, considering my experience teaching students from other countries, I would want to try to experience it out of my comfort zone and see what other countries have to offer. This led me to teaching English in China. I still have a long way to go, a lot of things to learn, and a lot of experiences to gain. I am ready for it and I am looking forward to it.
Are you ready to teach English abroad?
Speak with an ITTT advisor today to put together your personal plan for teaching English abroad.
Send us an email or call us toll-free at 1-800-490-0531 to speak with an ITTT advisor today.
- Differences between Young Learners and Adult Learners in the TEFL Environment
- How Learning A Foreign Language Made Me a Better ESL Teacher
- The 5 Best Places to Learn French When Teaching English Abroad
- Top 5 Skills Teachers Need To Set Their Students Up For Success
- 4 Super Easy Tips for Teaching Vocabulary to Young Learners
- All the Documents You Will Need to Teach English Abroad