I received a wonderful email from a reader named Jane, asking for help in identifying an opportunity to teach English in China. Here is an edited version of her note and my response FYI:
I want to teach English in China in February 2006.
Received Ed.D. 12/05. Years teaching high school business courses in Canada, USA, Zambia. Specialist in Accountancy, Data Processing, ESL. The headhunters I have contacted are working slowly. Is it because there are no positions?
Dear Dr. Jane,
First, hats off to you. Most people I know are content to sit at home and complain about the world’s problems; few are willing to rise from their Barcaloungers to do anything about it. In my book you are a real hero.
I think the single most important issue for our childrens’ welfare during their lifetimes is how the English and Chinese speaking peoples learn to get along together over the next 20 years. That will only happen if we get to know each other very well by spending time with each other and by learning each other’s language, history, and culture.
There are many opportunities in China to teach English for people with much less experience and expertise than yourself. You won’t make a lot of money there, but I guarantee it will be an unforgettable experience. And no, you do not have to be a Chinese speaker to make a contribution.
I am travelling to China next week and will ask my friends there in the Universities and in the Education Ministry how best to connect you and any others who have the same interest with the people in China who can make this happen. I will write about this as soon as I have an answer.
I will be happy to pass along any names and resumes people send me to the appropriate people in China. I am also interested in learning about situations in the US where schools are interested in hosting a Chinese student or teacher who would like to teach Chinese and learn about America.
More to come.