EF Education First Teachers

Shanghai Teacher Ambassadors

Iris Bi, EF Education Center, Adult Teacher

Her birthplace Weihai- a typical northern city in China- bestowed upon Iris a unique and warm character. Having lived in a tight-knit and friendly neighborhood throughout her teenage years, she managed to contribute to the community by starting a “kids cleaning squad” for the complex, whose responsibilities included visiting elderly residents who lived alone, and making makeshift homes for stray animals. Given these experiences, it may not have been a surprise to her parents that she would decide to embark on the career path of language teaching, a perfect combination of helping others whilst developing oneself. With a strong belief in immersion learning, and with a deep curiosity for exploration, Iris went to Durham in the UK (the so-called “real-life Hogwarts”) to pursue her Masters degree in TESOL (not Sorcery), and  started the wonderful adventure with EF upon her return. She has been with EF for one year, and she continues to enjoy endless opportunities for growth.


  • Advice for teachers: Go out, get to know new people, and never stop exploring! It will help you to adjust to the new life, understand the culture, and grow immeasurably.
  • Contact information: Iris.bi@ef.com

John Blackblock, EF Education Center, Adult Teacher

John studied geography at university due to his passion for foreign travel and learning about new and different cultures. He has now been to 40 countries on 5 continents and lived in half-dozen of them. Teaching English was a natural extension of this international lifestyle and has enabled him to live previously is Colombia, Argentina, Spain and various other destinations. He speaks fluent Spanish.  John joined EF in the September of 2016 due to a desire to teach somewhere outside of his comfort zone in a part of the world that he is less experienced in. He is based in Shanghai working in the central Jing An Temple school (JAT) which is very convenient for the EF Mandarin classes.

Clea Gacillos, EF Education Center, Adult Teacher

In search for a more challenging and rewarding career, Clea decided to leave her comfort zone, the Philippines, to join EF in 2014. Before coming to Shanghai, she was a teacher for eight years to English learners from China, Korea and Japan. Clea believes that learning English or any language can be quite difficult and daunting so she makes sure to always add a bit of fun to her classes. A couple of things she loves most about working at EF are having the freedom to be creative with her lessons and being provided plenty of opportunities to develop herself professionally. Clea is passionate about reading, cooking Filipino food, adult coloring books and paper crafts. She looks forward to visiting Maldives in the future but at the moment, she’s content with exploring the breath-taking beaches in her home country.


  • Advice for New Teachers: You don’t have to be great to start. You have to start to be great.
  • E-mail: clea.gacillos@ef.com

Cassidy Johnson, EF Education Center, Online Teacher

Cassidy grew up and attended University in Tucson, Arizona. Suddenly craving new adventures, she studied abroad first in Costa Rica and then a second time in Orvieto, Italy. These experiences allowed her to see the world from a different perspective and inspired her to combine her two passions, finding new cultures and helping others’ achieve their goals, after college. In February 2017, with the help of EF, she moved to China with very little pre-existing knowledge of Chinese culture or teaching experience. Once arriving in Shanghai, she quickly fell in love with this city, EF and the amazing students she gets to interact with every day here at the Shanghai Online Training Center.

  • Advice for new teachers: Patience is a virtue. Sometimes the language, the transportation, and the overall confusion can be overwhelming, but taking a breath and laughing it off is the best medicine for a stressful day.
  • Contact information: cassidy.johnson@ef.com

Cherylee Abiva, EF Education Center, Online Teacher

Cherylee considers herself a citizen of the world. She was born in Bitburg, Germany, and raised in northern California. Much of her adult life was spent celebrating the many countercultures of San Francisco, where she learned to embrace and engage with a multitude of diverse personalities that surrounded her. Cherylee spent most of her life in the comfort of California, but always dreamed of living in an exotic location or metropolitan city abroad. She worked several years in industries of fashion, beauty and hospitality, and eventually, found a unique way to work and travel by working on cruise ships. After a few contracts at sea, she decided to make a career change to become a teacher in Shanghai with EF. Cherylee also has a great passion for art, dance and performances. She has danced on stages across the states and internationally in Shanghai and Japan! She is very excited to be a teacher ambassador and share her spirit for life and love of teaching for all those arriving in Shanghai and beyond!

  • Advice for new teachers: Remember to be patient and make friends along the way. Continue working on things that you are passionate about and never stop believing in yourself.
  • Contact information: Cherylee.Abiva@ef.com – WeChat: cherylee526

Kimberly Wu, EF Kids & Teens Teacher

As a well-traveled Shanghai native, Kimberly has amassed a wealth of experience. Her desire to engage with different environments and cultures has taken her to 15 different countries and 30 cities throughout China. This includes her three years spent studying abroad in the U.K. It was her passion for education that motivated her to join EF. She was eager for the opportunity to nurture young learners, and help them develop skills that would help improve their lives. Since joined EF in 2016/10, she’s participated in several events, including being an MC at city-wide life clubs and this year’s summer party. More importantly, she’s managed to be an effective teacher and has gained the admiration of many of her students.

  • Advice for new teachers: Be clear about what you want and create a plan to work towards it.
  • Contact information: Kimberly.Wu@ef.com

Wendy Gu, EF Kids & Teens Teacher

Born in Shandong, China, Wendy grew up as a very outgoing and helpful girl. After graduation from university, She finished her oversea study in Florida, USA and then moved to Los Angeles to work. Since university, she has taken teaching as a part-time job continuously. In America, she even worked as a volunteer in Fo Guang Shan temple for teaching Chinese for her students all over the world for half a year. She loves adventure and traveling, during her stay in America, she has traveled all around the west coast and east coast of US and enjoying different cultures and gained her effective communicative ability. She is now a mom of a 5 year old boy. The motivation of kids education inspired her to EF, Shanghai on Nov 19th, 2015. Besides teaching, she is now learning painting and ukulele in her free time.

  • Advices to new teachers: Talk to people, you might achieve more than what you expected.
  • Contact information: wendy.gush@ef.com

Felicia Wu, EF Kids & Teens Teacher

Felicia was born in Taiyuan, the capital city of Shanxi province, located in northern China and is very passionate about travelling, learning languages and exploring different cultures. Before coming to EF, she travelled through parts of Europe and lived in England for a year to complete her Master's Degree, as well as teaching Mandarin in her spare time. Felicia realized that she enjoyed teaching a lot during this time, so she decided to relocate to Shanghai to teach English. She joined EF in 2016 and became a teacher at a Kids and Teens School, where her own experiences learning English enabled her to help educate and inspire her own students.

  • Advice for new teachers: Always be patient and pay attention to what your students are saying; their responses will help you guide them forward.
  • Contact information: felicia.wu@ef.com

Rainbow Yan, EF Kids & Teens Teacher

Rainbow has dreamed of being a teacher ever since she was a little girl. Now she gets to live her dream every day.

Starting as a teacher assistant in college, she has been a dedicated ESL educator for more than 8 years in both training schools and private schools. She firmly believes every child is an angel, gifted with unique genius. It is her privilege to help each and every student unlock their potential. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she also coordinates the school Life Clubs, manages the teaching supplies, and mentors new teachers, helping them to better and more quickly adapt to Life at EF.

  • Advice for new teachers: We are all here to help and support. Don’t worry about asking questions.
  • Contact information: rainbow.yan@ef.com

Nomhla- Mahalia, EF Kids & Teens Teacher

All the way from Mthatha (Nelson Mandela’s hometown), South Africa, Nomhla-Mahalia loves people and for her teaching abroad is a dream come true. She believes in doing everything with love and  her disposition is positivity come what may! Having been in boarding school since age 10,Mahalia has learnt the art of not just being a survivor but also being adaptable. She always takes each day as it comes and is definitely always up for an adventure.Before coming to EF, Mahalia taught English as a First Language for 6 years. She joined EF in March 2017.


  • Advice for new teachers: Never forget that teaching is the most rewarding job in the whole wide world!
  • Contact information: Nomhla.macingwane@ef.com

A few more!

Kamaal Majeed, EF English Centers, Adult Teacher

  • Contact information: kamaal.majeed@ef.com

Nomhla- Mahalia, EF Kids & Teens Teacher

  • Contact information: matthew.delgado@ef.com


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