TEFL teachers are fun-loving and adventurous people from all walks of life. Currently, as long as you have a bachelor's degree and you're willing to learn and live abroad, you can teach English as a foreign language with EF.
In this interview, Ben Hengst from EF English First shares his story. He tells us how he got into the TEFL industry, what challenges he's faced, and what he likes most about TEFL teaching. This TEFL teacher interview is part of a series, so make sure you subscribe to learn more about teaching with EF, and teaching English in China.
Ben's is from Cleveland, Ohio and has a background in media production. He came to China about 2 years ago, and is now teaching career advancement and life club lessons. Ben was attracted by EF's program because they offered a free 120-hour TEFL certification. Now, Ben is a city-wide life club teacher that develops content and lessons for adult students in Shanghai, China.
Q: Thanks for coming in and talking to us. What's the company culture like in EF?
A: It's an international company and you can experience many different cultures and work with different people from all around the world. EF provides many opportunities for you to learn and develop as a person and teacher.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about teaching?
A: The fact that you can learn from students as much as the students can learn from you. They are all experts in something and you can learn about people and their backgrounds just by having discussions.
Q: Can you give us an example of the time a student has taught you something?
A: I had a student who was a doctor and his English wasn't that great. I didn't realize he was in an occupation that was so important. I started talking to the student and realized they just couldn't express themselves yet. So it was a learning experience about the student's personality and the entire situation.
Q: What's the most memorable experience you've had as an EF teacher?
A: I'm a life club teacher, so I get to teach a lot of the fun classes. Life clubs are classes outside of the center or classroom, that focuses on real-life skills. I taught a beer tasting class which was fun for me because I used to work as a brewer. I have a lot of expertise and interest in brewing beer, so it was cool to see my Chinese students open to the new experience, even if they didn't like the taste of the beer.