Q and A with teacher graduate James Hale. He taught in Chengdu for a year after graduating from the University of Sheffield. Since returning to the UK has started his career in Consulting. During this Q and A, James discusses the importance of the transferable skills he gained during his time teaching in China.
You went to a top university, and have an excellent degree. Why did you choose a graduate teaching job in China, as opposed to a ‘traditional’ role in the UK?
When I graduated from university, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my career. I’d always wanted to travel and it seemed like a great opportunity to do it, as well as to give me some space to think about what career path to take.
What was the aspect that you enjoyed the most about your role?
I most enjoyed being able to see the effect my teaching was having as my students got better and better as each week went by.
What places did you travel to, either in your city of work or further afield?
I travelled a lot around China, including a long trip through the Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. I also visited South-East Asia, and of course many places in Chengdu where I was living.
Most memorable moment in China?
Playing football in Tiger Leaping Gorge!
What key transferable skills did you learn from your teaching role?
I gained a lot of transferable skills teaching, communication and presentation skills being first among them. I also learned a lot about building relationships with clients as I was constantly meeting with parents to understand what they hoped to achieve from my lessons.