Erica Fairchild

As December rolls around, it's natural to for us to look back and reflect on the past 12 months. What successes can we celebrate? What milestones have we accomplished? And most importantly, are there any setbacks can we learn from for the next year? Before the 2018 calendar year comes to a close, we asked our EF teacher bloggers all over China to highlight something significant they did this year.

“Looking back on what was a great year, I would say completing the CertTESOL was certainly a highlight. I learned a great deal from some very talented teachers and trainers, on what was a very enjoyable course. I'd recommend it for anyone considering taking that next step in their development. (I later had the opportunity to interview one of my trainers, which was a powerful experience and another highlight of 2018.)”

Patrick Hyland, Ireland

International Teacher, Shanghai Adults Center

“2018 for me included the decision to remain in China after my first year and move from the middle of the country (Zhengzhou, Henan) to the south east (Taizhou, Zhejiang). I have planted myself here in Taizhou with my focus on becoming a better teacher and building community here. The friendships I am cultivating here have been the most rewarding. This December, though I miss my family and friends back home, I realize I have the wonderful and growing circle of friends that I have hoped for here, and lots of fun, too! I am grateful for and humbled by the power of intention and focus. Bravo 2018 and I'm looking forward to the adventures in 2019!”

Susan Bradley, USA

International Teacher, Taizhou Kids & Teens Center

“As I reflect on my time with EF this year, I never thought that I would experience so much in such a short time. I moved my family around the world, visited the Jade Buddha Temple, experienced my first ancient city, and enjoyed numerous types of cuisines. Each day I'm surprised by the opportunities I encounter and feel truly blessed to be in the position to continue my exposure to Chinese culture. If the past is any indication of what the future might hold, I will not be disappointed.”

Keith Downing, USA

International Teacher, Shanghai Kids & Teens Online

“This year, our school moved into a bigger facility than our prior location. Our old school was already a big school, but our current location makes us one of the biggest Kids and Teens schools in the country! I'm proud of our teachers and staff for their flexibility, understanding and inventiveness to make this year stunningly smooth! Moving isn't easy and often comes with a lot of stress and complaints, but this hasn't been the case; we not only moved, but we grew as a school in staff and student number! Thank you SZ4!”

Paul Chan, USA

Senior Director of Studies, Shenzhen Kids & Teens

This year, I travelled more than I ever imagined I would. I also finally graduated from university and landed a job with EF English First teaching English as a second language in China. I moved to Shenzhen only just a month ago, but am throwing myself into every opportunity that comes my way and loving every second! I cannot wait to see what the year ahead holds.

Olivia Seaton-Hill, UK

International Teacher, Shenzhen Kids & Teens

This year, I decided to go on a plant based adventure and kicked it off by doing the VeganStep Challenge at the beginning of the year. This is a 2-week introduction a plant based diet lifestyle. One of the best things about the program is that participants got to enjoy discounts on vegan options from various restaurants around Shanghai. I have not eaten any meat since June 24th, I am approaching the 6-month mark! Additionally, I have also decided to break up with refined sugar. I cannot wait to see what 2019 holds; check in with me and my vegan journey in six months' time!

Mahalia Macingwane, USA

International Senior Teacher, Shanghai Kids & Teens

This year I made the huge decision to stay in Shanghai for another year with EF. I took on more responsibilities at my center and within my city by mentoring and training new teachers. I also had plentiful opportunities to travel around parts of Asia, including the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Japan. I also ventured within China; finally climbed the Great Wall, beheld the Temple of Heaven, visited the Beijing Olympic Park, and set my eyes on the vast Forbidden City. This was year was truly a year for the books (and my passport). With all these memories and a severe case of the travel bug, I'm already planning for trips I can fit into the schedule next year!

Alexis Selby, USA

International Teacher, Shanghai Kids & Teens

The highlight of the year in my career has been becoming Senior Teacher. It pushed me to stretch my boundaries, and I have gained many new skills. This role has even unveiled abilities that I did not know I had! It also helped me view myself in a new and positive light.

Yolande Deane, UK

International Senior Teacher, Harbin Kids & Teens

This year, I got to do something I've always dreamed of and traveled to Asia. I have been to China over 5 times but each time I was on a program that allowed no out of the country travel. EF finally gave me the opportunity to see the places I've always wanted to go to. In my 10 months here I've been able to travel to Macau, Korea as well as a few trips to Hong Kong. It always gave me the time to travel throughout China and get to know the country through amazing cities like Xian, Sanya, Suzhou, Nanjing and more. I am so grateful for the independence EF gives me to cross some must see destinations off the bucket list, as well as make memories that will last a lifetime.

Maggie Radl, USA

International Teacher, Shanghai Kids & Teens Online

What will you do in 2019?

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