Welcome to the November Teacher Of The Month!
Every month, we will interview one of our members about what teaching is like in their country and in their school. It gives our TOTM the chance to talk about why they became a teacher and what they do from week to week in their job. At the end of the chat, we will ask a totally random question just for the fun of it!
If you would like to be a Teacher of the Month, then drop us a line and we can arrange it. Also, if you have any fun ideas for Random Question of the Month, then please send Phil, Dave or Stuart a PM!
This month's TOTM is Peter Haydon, who is a teacher from England. He has been in Xi'an, China for over a year now!
Why did you decide to be an ESL teacher?
Well four years ago, I was studying drama at college and had planned on going to drama school, however after failing to get into a school I decided to take a couple of years out and travel. I soon came across the idea of being an ESL teacher, which seemed perfect for me, as it would allow me to travel and would also involve many aspects of drama. To be honest, since I’ve left England I haven’t really given much thought as to what I was doing before as I am too enthralled with what I’m doing now!
Where did you do your teacher training? Did it prepare you for real teaching?
I did what is called a 100 hour TEFL course, where you study up to 80 hours on the computer completing assignments etc. and then the other 20 hours were spent at a weekend conference/workshop. In retrospect, most of the training was actually teaching me about my own language, not about actual teaching! But I think that was what was needed, as nearly everything I’ve learned about teaching I’ve learned through real classroom experience rather than studying language and methodologies.
What is Xi'an like?
I think Xi’an is an awesome city, where there is always something going on. The city itself is one of the reasons why I decided to stay for another year and I seriously believe there is something about Xian which makes people want to stay longer. Most of my friends have been here for quite a few years, one of whom has just opened a bar called Vice Versa near Nan Men (The South Gate of the city wall). I worry that if I don't stick to my future plans then I could stay here for years, although all things considered that wouldn’t be bad idea!
What do you do in your free time?
I love to spend time with my girlfriend, studying Chinese with my teacher and socialising with friends. I’m also hoping to join a Wing Chun (Chinese martial arts) class near Xiao Zhai and learn Spanish as well soon.
Random Question of the Month: What is your favourite James Bond film and why?
That would have to be Golden Eye as it’s the one I remember from being a kid. However, I’ve really enjoyed the latest films and can’t wait until the next one comes out!