I was born in Recife, in 1982 and since then I have lived In Alagoas, São Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul, but most of my life I lived in Recife. I got married in 2005 and we had our son in 2012. I studied Design at college, but during the course I saw an ad on a paper asking for English Teachers. After a fast consulting with a friend about how to do a demo class, I decided to take part and since then I have been teaching. I never finished my degree.
I always worked in local schools, always teaching groups of adults, teens but never kids. In one of my latest jobs I asked to be the kids teacher. I started, and again, never stopped doing so. Why? Because it is much more fun, exciting and challenging to teach kids than adults, at least I think.
When the opportunity on a Facebook group appeared, I was actually working in a good school, when I thought: What? Teaching in China? Wait, I fill up all the requirements they were asking there, so… maybe I could try at least to know how far I could go on the selection process. 3 months later I was departing to China in a 37 hours flight through Brazil, Ethiopia and 1 stop in Beijing, to finally arrive in Xi’an. ( I can share the adventure of flying to China on another post, believe me, it’s way cool/crazy/exotic ).
I arrived late at night on a Saturday and 1 week later I was already working, teaching in the kindergartens around the place. There are a huge number of schools, universities and mainly kindergartens. Xi’an is not a huge city, at least for China, but it was for me. There are almost 10 million people living, studying and working here. Can you imagine the number of kids they have? And no, they don’t have the one-child policy anymore. They can have as many as they want. Normally, families here have 2 kids.
Being a TEFL Teacher is more precious than gold here. And yes, they hire native, non-natives, everybody that can speak English without Asian accent. ( I also need to write about this detail, it’s way cool and you probably will laugh a lot. )
People here will treat you, a foreigner, very well. The schools are well equipped, in some you don’t need to prepare anything, they provide all the tools you may need for classes, some don’t, you have to prepare some materials. The classes last normally from 20 to 40 minutes. There are from 10 to 25 kids per class, it depends on how big the kindergarten is. Classes are easy to teach and you just have to spend more time on games and how to learn content.
We normally work from 3 to 4 or in some cases 6 hours per day. Not more than that. The salary is good and the quality of life in the cities are amazing: 100% safe, clean, beautiful and full of places to explore. People are funny and later I need to write more about the Chinese people. By the way, if you think you know or like Chinese food, you have no idea. The food here is totally different from what you may be used to. Spicy as fire from hell! There is so much more to explore regarding these pieces of information I have shared…
My journey in China is getting to the 8th month and every other day is like a brand new adventure that I have to face and go through. I feel glad for the opportunity to share some thoughts and moments with you all. Maybe next time I can focus on a specific point you may be interested. Hope you have fun on your classes and talk to you later!
Hycharlison Silva is a TEFL Teacher in China. Graphic Design degree for choice but Teacher for passion. He has never worked as Designer and since 2007, he has worked teaching adults, teens and kids, which is his greatest vocation. Full time father and husband, part time car and motorcycle lover. He believes that families and a good education are the basis of a brilliant and prosper nation.