China: A Revolving Door

I have been working at EF for 5 and a half months now, and in the past couple of weeks I’ve become one of the “old” people. There is always a constant rotation of teachers, as I’ve mentioned before. Since I’ve been here, Caitlin, Rob, Dan and Matt have left, and by next week James, Scott, Lara and Sarah will be gone and replaced by new teachers, 4 of which arrived and started training this week. This means that half the staffroom is new (within the last couple of weeks) and I have been propelled into a position where I can give teaching advice confidently, give an actual opinion on Hohhot life, and give directions to popular destinations around the area. This realization has left me feeling weird. I remember (as you might too!) what it was like when I first arrived in Hohhot, talking to people who had been here as long as I have now, and really relying on them for help and guidance and feeling nervous before stepping in front of my first few classes. It’s strange to think that I can be in a helpful position now, that I’ve already reached this hierarchal point during my year here! It’s a good feeling, and a sad one too. I’m really going to miss the people who are leaving, and I know that there’s going to be a new atmosphere / environment at work. But such is EF’s unofficial motto: One teacher leaves, another arrives. Oh, and probably the best thing about the new teachers coming in: most of the new teachers are European, which is great because it’s fun and interesting learning about the cultures and habits of people from other countries, and not just the Chinese culture. But more importantly, I’m getting a lot better at British, Scottish and Dutch accents and never hesitate to practise them in the staffroom. Win.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gail Johnson
    Nov 12, 2011 @ 21:48:09

    Steph you are learning so much about life and yourself. It’s so great to read about everything you write. Love Nan


  2. Lois Christianson
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 08:04:42

    I agree with your your Nan. What a truly remarkable experience you are having. Out of the mouths of babes come the realness of life. Justin said to me to-day…Aunty I know why you walk so slow…its because you are heavy… Guess I will do something about this.
    Hope you got some mitts, didn’t you bring your Olympic mitts with you?
    Enjoy the new people you meet for they will certainly enjoy you.
    Love Aunty


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