American English tutor with 17 years experience teaching kids in Shenzhen!
By: Thomas < Show E-mail >
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014
Location: Asia (China)
Hello, my name is Tom, an English teacher from America living in Shenzhen. I've been teaching English for 17 years, and was an English teacher in America before traveling to China. This means that I am a "certified" public school teacher in my home country of America. This is no small thing, because teaching in America is very different than teaching in China, and becoming certified as a school teacher in America takes not only a Masters Degree in the subject you are teaching, but it also requires at least 1 year of teacher training working as an assistant teacher, and passing a great many tests. As I said, becoming a certified public school teacher in America is a little different than becoming a teacher in China, and is no small thing.
I studied English in university, receiving my Masters Degree in English, and education. I did not study something other than English, and then come to China to teach English. No, I studied English, and how to teach it properly. I then became a public high school teacher in America for 10 years. Teaching is my profession; it is not something I do for fun, or to pay for a long vacation. It is my career, and I love my work.
I am a certified public school teacher from the USA, and the subject I taught before coming to China was English.
Don’t settle for a teacher who was not a teacher before coming to China. Do not hire someone to teach you who does not have a degree in "English." Do not let someone teach you if they are not a trained "teacher." Finally, don't pay good money to only learn "oral' English.
"What is Oral English," you might ask? That is a good question.
Oral English is when you and your teacher spend the entire class talking, and the only teaching they do is to occasionally correct mistakes you make. That isn’t teaching, that is just talking, and anyone can do that.
Oral English classes are just not enough, not if you want to master the English language, and certainly not if you are paying someone money to "teach" you. An English teacher must be able to teach you grammar as well, something most native English teachers cannot do effectively, as doing so requires a lot more education and training on the subject than most of them have. In addition to this an English teacher must also be able to "teach". Proper teaching takes proper education on the subject.
It is because of this that the majority of Chinese believe that native speaking English teachers are only good at helping Chinese students with their "oral" English, meaning pronunciation, and some vocabulary. Sadly this is true, but only because most western English teachers living in China "don't" have the proper training, education, or experience required to teach English correctly.
I specialize in teaching children. I love kids you see, and I have always been very good with them. This is not to say I cannot or do not teach adults. No, I simply enjoy teaching kids more, and have a bit more passion for it. Children also love learning from me, and I must admit I like making children smile and laugh, so it is really the perfect profession for me.
Now I would like to ask you, the student an important question. Why would you want you, or your child to be taught by someone who is not qualified? Why would you want to hire a teacher whose only qualification is that they are white, and happen to speak English? Don't you want someone who has benefited from the proper training, and has the prior experience required?
In addition to teaching grammar I also teach reading, writing, listening, pronunciation, comprehension, vocabulary, and usage. I am also a published writer, and learning to write is a part of my class. As a professional writer I do not only teach your child English, I also teach them how to "write." This will help them even if they are writing in Chinese. Writing is a skill after all, and it is one of many that I teach students as I am teaching them the English language.
Subject based lessons are also a part of my lessons from time to time. What is a subject based lesson? A subject based lesson is when I teach something about a different subject, like science or art to a student as part of a lesson. This is to keep the student interested, and to expand their knowledge. While a subject based lesson will have art, or science being taught, the main subject I am teaching the student is English. The subjects are merely to keep things fresh, new, and interesting.
In addition to subject based lessons I also , depending on the age of the student of course, will lay games with the student. Now my games are not really games, not by themselves, I simply take a lesson I wish to teach, and make it into a game, sometimes, so as to keep things, fresh, fun, and enjoyable for the student. As a professional teacher you must use your imagination as often as possible to keep things fresh, and interesting. It is not enough just to teach, you must also make it fun, otherwise students will lose interest after a time, especially very young students. My lessons are always a fun and interesting, and a good teacher knows how to make something fun, but also high educational.
I also teach lessons to people in these various situations. People who wish to study abroad. People who need help preparing for a visa interview so they can travel to a foreign country. People who need to prepare for the TOEFL or some other testing format, usually but not always for admittance into a foreign school, where English is the main language. Preparation for job interviews with English speaking companies, or for interviews with University or MBA programs. I have a great deal of experience in all these areas, and more.
Choosing a teacher for yourself or your child can be difficult. There are many choices out there. If you are searching online, you will see many attractive pictures of foreigners, dressed in suits and ties. They try to look as professional as possible, but what ar they professional at? Most of them are not professional teachers, and do not have backgrounds, or educations in teaching.
You should choose a professional teacher with the experience and education to teach you or your children properly. Don't give your money to someone who will only practice speaking with you, but teach you little, or nothing about English. Don't hire someone to teach you who doesn’t know how to teach.
My education and experience before coming to China were in English and Education, not something unrelated to the teaching of English, as is the case with most native speaking English teachers in China. My experience experience in my home country was teaching children, and young adults for 10, and I have spent the past 7 years teaching both kids, and adults in China. There is no aspect of English that I do not teach. My teaching is professional, as well as enjoyable, and highly interesting. There is nothing ignored in my class, and you will learn in a systematic, and professional way.
I have worked hard to make my lessons, and my style of teaching as simple as possible, not more complex. The more complex something is, the more things that can go wrong with it. I believe in the KISS principle, which means "KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID." The more simple something is, the easier to understand. What someone is teaching might be cmplex, but any good teacher should be able to explain it in a way simple enough for "anyone" to understand. I am always focused on making my lessons as simple to understand as possible.
No time is wasted in my classes, I make sure of this by giving new students more than 30 different tests. I will test every aspect of their ability to use English, and once I have done this I will know everything they know. This is very important, as I cannot teach someone if I do not know where to begin. Once I know where their strengths and weaknesses are, I will create lessons for them and them alone. I do not use many textbooks, though I do use some. However most of the materials I use in classes are created for the student I am teaching. What does this mean? It means that I spend a great deal of time making lessons for my students, as each lesson is only for one student. All students are different, and have different ways of learning. Some students do well when something is explained to them, others do well when they see examples of how to do something, and still others do well when simply "doing" what they are learning. Basically, everyone learns differently, and everyone has a different "level" of English speaking ability. Why would you teach everyone the same?
All of my students are different from one another, and we all learn differently from one another. I pay attention to the different ways my students learn, and teach them based upon those differences. To be honest this is the most difficult way to teach, and the majority of teachers teach everyone the same way. Teaching students based on their own personal needs an ways of learning takes a long time, as you must prepare both lessons, and materials specifically for that student. However, in my experience the most difficult path is usually the correct one to walk. This is also why there are so few really good teachers out there. Creating lessons that are personalized, and focus on the needs of the individual student is the most difficult form of teaching there is. It is also the best way to teach.
Do not fooled by the many attractive pictures of foreigners you will see online. Yes, some will have blond hair, or blue eyes. This can be interesting to look at, but these things do not make someone an English teacher. A good English teacher is someone who is trained trained properly, and has years of education and experience. Being white and having light colored hair, or being attractive to look at are not the qualifications you should be looking for; years of classroom experience and training are what you should want.
I have been teaching for most of my adult life. I love my job, and that love comes across to the students I teach. My lessons fun, very educational, and never boring. If you want a teacher who truly cares about their job, takes it seriously, and is a "real" professional in their field, then you need to contact me at ExcelinEnglishLTD@gmail.com I promise you will not be disappointed in my work.
I look forward to hearing from you soon. Take care.