How Can I Prepare Myself to Teach English for the First Time?

We interviewed one of our finest teachers Justin and asked how he was able to prepare to teach English for the very first time. Here was his response:

“ When I first arrived in China I had little to no understanding of the Chinese language nor had I much experience working with young children.  I was nervous, to say the least.  I kept wondering if I would be effective at helping ESL students learn English.  Thankfully I was greeted with my orientation coordinator upon arrival and my training process began.

Most of us are under the impression that teacher training is about learning the curriculum you are to teach to the children but my training began as a get to know me and an understanding of the ways of the Chinese culture.  By learning their customs, it helped me better manage students.  The training process was one of my most enjoyable experiences as I was able to receive information and learn how to manage the language barrier between the kids and myself.  The training process then prepared me for teaching curriculum at my specified hire location.”  


What is the training process like?


Training begins with being picked up at the airport and being transported to our Megabrain office.  Accommodation during the training process in Shanghai is covered by Megabrain so you won’t have to worry about getting a hotel.  Training begins with an orientation of Megabrain and a simple cultural learning exercise as well as a lesson on "living in China".  The training for the specific curriculum is determined by the role of the teacher and location.  

The orientation coordinator informally gives insights into living in China, some of the emergency numbers that you should have in China, and formally give a presentation on living in China.  They will also explain what happens to the teacher after they arrive in Shanghai and depart Shanghai to their designated location of work.

Cultural training is one of our teacher's favorite parts of training. The orientation coordinator will share some simple tips and hints on getting around in China and discuss what life in China is like.  Existing teachers will also be sharing their experiences to new arrivals.  Simple Chinese lessons will also be offered, either online or offline depending on the location of work.


Training will not be very long. Training in Shanghai ranges from 1-2 days to 1 week depending on your role and location of hire.

During the last portion of training, the teachers will have the opportunity to do a demo and mock lesson. These are necessary to help the teachers prepare to teach in China.  There will be opportunities to interact with local students so you can get to know how Chinese students think and act.

Because the training is only a short period we encourage all teachers to do their own homework. Looking over sample lesson plans and understanding their job descriptions will allow the teachers to better prepare for their arrival to their location of work. Always be alert and really learn all that you can in the short period of time. Just remember that you will make mistakes and no one can fully be prepared to teach for the first time. But even when you make mistakes, learn from them and keep going. You will get to know your students and know how to help them learn English.