Dez left South Africa almost one year ago to pursue adventure and new opportunities in Shanghai. She was born in Durban but moved to Johannesburg, where she studied and then worked before making her move to China. Dez, also known as Teacher Desiree is currently teaching at our Caoyang branch. Let's read more about her experience teaching and about life in China!
What’s do you love most about life in China?
I love everything about China. Learning Chinese has been the most interesting part of living in China for me. I also love the vastly different social groups, especially amongst the expats. You meet people literally from everywhere around the world and that, in some way also changes your way of thinking and how you see the world. Who doesn't love the great summer days, the wonderful green parks, cycling and how easy it is to literally get anything you need. Everything is so convenient in China. It's so amazing, from food, to clothes, to literally anything you probably also don't need, but want. I could go on and on about China. I haven't really gotten enough time to travel through China yet, but I've been to Suzhou and it is also such a small beautiful city. China is just amazing, you need to experience it your own way.
What’s your go-to game in class?
Aaaaaah my go-to game in class is mostly Monster Hopscotch for mostly my K and Junior level kids. This game is fun but also very tricky, but it also helps my kids learn words much quicker. I usually draw hopscotch squares on the floor and place flashcards, so the kids have to jump and say the words but you can also add monsters and scary things when they jump in there they need to start again. They go absolutely insane with everyone cheering on ‘Jiyo’ (which means go!)
What is your most memorable teaching moment?
Every day is amazing with the kids, especially when you start forming bonds with them and they get more comfortable with you. My favourite teaching memory is when one of my shy students braved out speaking in front of a class, performing a song, and doing TPR. It really is amazing to watch the students use of English grow and they run back to you to repeat what you have taught them. The look on their faces is priceless.
Word of advice for new teachers coming to China:
Take everything as it comes. I repeat, take everything as it comes! China is literally what you make it to be. I generally love being around kids so I knew I would create a fun environment for learning in my classroom when teaching. Outside of work though, there is A LOT to explore in China, and the biggest part, I would think is the culture of food. Chinese food can either be overwhelming and underwhelming, nothing like what you've had before! Teaching in China is an experience of a lifetime. You experience the world differently, have fun, travel, do what you love and get paid for it, which is a bonus in my books!