Kid Castle TEACHERS make our schools great
Here are some of those teachers in the SPOTLIGHT
These are some of the indivduals that make Kid Castle unique, and make our schools a great place to work
Like many of our newer teachers, I arrived in Shanghai with little teaching experience. I also arrived in Shanghai with no real knowledge of Mandarin or what China was going to be like, so my first few months here passed in slow-motion as I got acclimated to my surroundings. While a little rough at times, my transition into life in Shanghai on average was quite easy, as I had a lot of good support from fellow teachers and friends who had been here for longer than me and could offer me solid advice.
I started out with Kid Castle working at Fengzhuang school, where I still have many of the same classes I did when I began. It’s been amazing watching these students not only improve their English ability over the years, but to also watch them grow into their personalities.
After teaching for a little over a year, I was asked to train incoming teachers. During my time as a trainer I was tasked with showing new teachers how to be the most effective teachers they could be, while also helping them successfully adjust to life in China. Trainers at Kid Castle essentially have three jobs: to teach their young students English, to teach the new teachers how to teach, and to also be a sort of mini-life coach to the incoming teachers as needed. However, the work never felt overwhelming and I always went home at the end of the week feeling like I’d really accomplished something.
I spent about a year doing training before I was asked to work as a Foreign Teacher Supervisor. Now, I oversee the foreign teachers in 12 schools in Minhang and Jiading Districts in western Shanghai. Practically speaking, my job is a logical extension of my position as a new teacher trainer: now I travel to schools and offer feedback to teachers so that they can better hone their skills after their initial training. My goal as a supervisor is to make Shanghai, and Kid Castle, feel as welcoming as possible to all of our teachers while also providing the tools needed to be a great educator.
To any prospective teachers out there reading this: I encourage you to take the plunge. I can promise with some degree of certainty that if you come prepared to give China a fair chance, you’ll find the experience deeply rewarding. And, whether or not you end up at one of my schools, I look forward to meeting you and hearing about all of your experiences!
I’m a South African, a teacher, a photographer and a travel addict. After living in four countries and travelling to more than twenty, I proudly call Shanghai home.
After a 24 hour flight to China, I lay in bed thinking, “What on earth have you done Ian? You had an incredible job and now you can’t even order food!” I woke up the next day and set out to explore Shanghai’s famous sites and scenes. Since then, I have never looked back.
Kid Castle was the starting point for my teaching career in China. Like all Kid Castle teachers, I worked hard at my school, and within a year, I was promoted to Foreign Teacher Training Specialist. One thing to say about Kid Castle is that they look after you from start to finish. Besides company parties and functions, my favourite time of the Kid Castle year is Summer Camp. Two Summer Camps and three years in, I am still enjoying all of my opportunities here.
I got the travel bug when I was young, and it has influenced much of the decisions in my life. China is an incredible country to be living in, and being an outdoor enthusiast and photographer, I’ve exploited the INCREDIBLE diversity that the country has to offer. From the Great Wall of China to the mountains of Yunnan and the beaches of Sanya, I’d like to return to some of the amazing places I’ve been and yet there are so many more still to visit.
I love that I have these opportunities to pursue my own hobbies and passion projects in addition to my work here at Kid Castle. And I’m glad that I’ve made a home here.
I started out working in the Coayang Training School, where I taught for almost two years. Children learn and grow very quickly, and being able to see the development of the students throughout my time there was very rewarding. It’s a great feeling when a student who could barely say “hello” to begin with, arrives at class and is able to tell you excitedly in English all about their weekend! I thoroughly enjoyed my time teaching and can honestly say there was never a morning I woke up and dreaded the day ahead (not true of every job I have been in)!
In July of last year I made my move to the Head Office and began working in the Foreign Affairs Department. Now I spend my days chatting to people all over the world and helping them get over here to China. It’s always nice to finally meet the people with whom I have spent months exchanging emails and Skype calls when they arrive in Shanghai! I’m looking forward to seeing you soon on a Skype interview too!
I had no teaching experience and my previous interactions with children were limited, for good reason, or so I thought. I started at Jinqiao Training School in Pudong, Shanghai. The staff, parents and students were all extremely welcoming, but I still had a lot to learn. After I found my feet I set myself goals and invested more time in developing my skills. I observed other classes, read articles, watched videos, actively looked for feedback and added my own ideas into the mix. My 6 months were soon up and it was time to return home and so I did… Just for Christmas to explain to my family face to face why I wouldn’t be staying in England. I had built strong relationships with my students and played an active role in improving their English as well as teaching them how to be confident, respectful and considerate. My students are the reason I had to return to Shanghai, a city I had barely scratched the surface of, and continue such a rewarding experience. Since then I have never looked back and now I’m proud to call Shanghai my home.
Before my first year was up I had been awarded the Kid Castle Teacher of the Year Award and then been promoted to Training Specialist in the Pudong district of Shanghai. This was a great opportunity to meet incoming teachers and give them a positive first impression of the job, share my knowledge, and show them how fun it can be. Leading into my second year I started working mornings for a Kid Castle Kindergarten as well as managing my Training School responsibilities. After 20 months at the kindergarten my students graduated and went to their respective public schools, I saw that as a fitting end to my time there.
As that chapter finished another begun and I started working as the District Foreign Teacher Supervisor for Pudong, overseeing 6 branches to begin with, and eventually rising to twelve. This got me in and around all the schools in that district, and I’m still involved with those schools today.
In February 2017, after nearly 4 years of teaching, I began a new challenge joining the Foreign Affairs Office’s Recruitment Team. Now I will be the first face you see when interviewing with our company. My goal is to make your experience in Shanghai and with Kid Castle as positive as mine has been. Who knows, you may even be placed in one of my schools.