Points of Interest
In the quieter suburb of Shekou, you’ll find Sea World – a popular plaza – not an aquarium as the name suggests. There are many different types of cuisine from around the world here. It’s also popular for its imported German and Irish beers, and you may feel at home in bars like McCawley’s. The Tavern and Terrace are also great choices that cater to both locals and expats.
Tien Hou Temple, Chiwan
Built originally in the Song Dynasty, the Tien Hou Temple was destroyed and rebuilt several times. It’s just a short taxi, subway or bus ride from Sea World.
Stand in the entrance to Sea World and look inland – you’ll see the lush green hills that make up Nanshan Mountain. This is a fairly strenuous loop hike depending on your fitness level. It’s around 700 neatly concreted steps to the top, which exercises the calf muscles significantly more than natural trails. Give yourself around 1 to 1.5 hours round trip. Double that if you decide to hike the loop.
Mangrove Seashore Ecology Park
This is China’s smallest national park facing Hong Kong’s Mai Po Marshes – a bird watchers paradise. Throughout the year, around 200 different species of bird migrate to Mai Po and also to the Shenzhen mangroves, and some even come all the way from Siberia. Nature lovers will especially enjoy this park, though it’s beauty is makes it suitable for any type of person.
Dafen Oil Painting Village
Dafen Village is one of Shenzhen’s top attractions: It’s the largest producer of oil paintings in the world, and home to thousands of artists who paint and sell cheaper replicas of famous historical art. You can take a picture or save an image of a piece of art you like, and you will find any number of artists who will replicate it with skill and precision efficiently and inexpensively onto a canvas in whatever size and shape you desire.
Dapeng New District is to the southeast of Shenzhen. Surrounded by sea on three sides and facing Hong Kong’s New Territories, it’s mountainous, forested and is trying to reinvent itself as an “ecological tourism resort”.
What to Talk About
Who You Are
One of the first things the school will want to know is who you are, here’s a list to help you prepare:
Where you are from
Summary of teaching and/or education
Why you want to teach in Shenzhen or this age group (or even better, in this particular school)
Consider what you have done that makes you suitable for working at this particular school. Do you have similar experience? Have you worked with kids of the same age before? Make a list.
Questions to consider:
Where have you taught before
What ages did you teach?
What aspects of English did you focus on? (Oral, Reading, Writing, Listening)
What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
What did you enjoy about this experience?
What did you learn that you think can help you to teach successfully in China?
What interests do you have that might excite the school? Beyond just wanting to teach English, do you have other things to offer? Music? Drama? Art? Sports? Schools love a teacher who can go above and beyond. Make a list.
Consider Your Audience:
All schools will have their own individual expectations, and you can always ask us if you are looking for more guidance. In the meantime, here are some general tips based on different types of school:
Public Schools in general will want teachers who can excite their students’ interest in English and become an active member of the school’s staff. With this in mind you should think about how you will engage and excite large classes of students that you only see once a week, and how you are willing to get involved with the school outside of your weekly classes.
Kindergartens and Training Centres will be looking for more lively teachers who can inspire their young students with songs and games. How can you show this in your call? If that’s not your style, but you’re still confident of your ability to teach these ages, how can you show that?
Middle Schools and High Schools will expect more experienced, and perhaps more “serious” teachers. Think about how you will demonstrate that during your call.
Make a list to prepare for your target school.
Show Your Interest:
One great way to express your interest in a school is to come prepared with a list of questions about them and how they do things. Just be careful not to ask too many overly-specific questions, as these may be difficult for school reps to answer and leave them embarrassed. Here are some suggestions:
What grades would you like me to teach?
What topics would you like me to teach?
Is there a textbook? Would you like me to follow it?
Are there any activities you would like me to help with?
What are the students at your school like?
These are good questions that show an interest in teaching, the students and helping the school.
How to Begin Applying for a Training Center Teaching Position
Fly to China
What’s behind you? Is it distracting? Does it give a bad impression? Is it noisy where you are? Are there other people or sounds that might interrupt your call? Eliminate all these factors before you start.
Can you do a trial run with a 1 minute video or Skype call to a friend or family member? This would be a great way to make sure your voice is clear and the video quality is good. If you identify problems through a trial run, you can avoid wasting time and potentially missing the opportunity to say more during your call.