Devante Charles

Moving abroad to work as a teacher is a big, brave step, but one that is taken by those who are inspired to use their skills internationally - to make a difference in places across the globe. To which after some time, are places that some may even eventually call their ‘home-away-from-home'.

For me, that place is China.

I joined EF towards the eve of 2017 shortly after becoming a graduate, and embarked upon my first year of teaching. It was like a rite of passage in a way. A year filled to the brim with training sessions to refine my skills, Teacher Knowledge Tests (TKT), high-energy classes, and robust challenges on one hand. While at the same time juggling with adjusting to a new culture, learning Mandarin, pursuing leisurely activities, and making new friends on the other. It was such a high-octane adventure that I hadn't taken much notice of time itself. To the point where I soon came to the realization that the year of 2018 was coming to an end. So, I had to stop for a moment and ponder, “What's the next step?”

If you're like me and is someone that likes to have a solid idea and track of their career development, one of the many reasons why I joined EF was because of the huge potential for engaging with a wide-variety of career opportunities. In the ESL industry, we are privileged with the rare ability to travel and work in most places around the world, and for many, they like the thrill of exploring a different country year-after-year; satiating many of their world's curiosities. But for myself, I personally wanted to stay in China and develop professionally.

So, as my first year was ending, and after a few conversations with many of my fellow EFers combined with a personal desire to try something a little different and new to what I was doing at the time, I soon came to learn about EF's job rotation program, managed by ‘Next Steps'.

This program enabled me to explore a wide-range of different and interesting opportunities within EF China. This included both Teacher Training and Recruitment (TRT) in Shanghai, and EFEC (Adult Centers) in Beijing. But at time of writing, there are many, many more opportunities available ranging from content editing, curriculum developing, programming, and even moving somewhere else entirely to work with EF Indonesia. Upon going through this program, I successfully transitioned from EF Kids & Teens to EFEC and now enjoy a new wave of teaching experiences.

To be able to travel around the world and work is one thing, but to be able to also enjoy and experience sometimes entirely different positions within EF is certainly one that ought to be considered. Especially as it offers you the chance to experience EF in a different context, while still keeping you familiar and engaged; very few organisations in this world can attest to offering such a wide variety of opportunity for teachers to flourish.

In EF, we are entrepreneurs, travelers, dancers, innovators, and professionals.

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