EF Education First Teachers

Teacher Ambassadors

East Region Adult Center Teachers

Suzhou

Rikki Bramley: rikki.bramleyrenshaw@efcom.onmicrosoft.com

Rikki was raised near the beautiful beaches of Sydney, Australia, but took the time to travel around Australia and New Zealand. After her graduation from University of Sydney and several years as an office clerk, she decided to pursue her real passions: teaching and traveling. Rikki joined Suzhou's EFEC JHC center in 2018 and immediately got started on the task of exploring the famous gardens and ancient streets of one of the most beautiful cities in China.  Each and every day, EF has given her the opportunities to become a better teacher - from online training to the excellent company of her colleagues over dinner.

 

Advice for new teachers: A few words and a smile go a long way. Learn how to say hello and ask "How are you?" and watch how many local friends you can make!

Hangzhou

Benjamin Irving: benjamin.irving@ef.com

Having studied music and performed in musical theatre since childhood, Ben often looked for a way he could use energy in his job; something that just wasn’t working for him back in the UK. After going to Sanya in Hainan, and also visiting the city of Chengdu for the wedding of a friend he made in university, Ben realised that China was one of the most vibrant countries in the world. He started his job teaching for a year in Xian, and after realising he loved the energy he could use as part of his job, he settled in Hangzhou where he’s been ever since. Ben loves the variety of activities he and his students can get involved in as part of the EF community, and also enjoys learning Chinese in his spare time.

Advice for new teachers:  Don’t be afraid or worried of trying new things (either in your job or socially) - even if they don’t work, you won’t have any problems from giving anything a go once!

Danielle Seitz: danielle.seitz@ef.com

A career change brought dual national British-Australian Danielle to work for EF in this fascinating country 15 years after having studied Chinese at Edinburgh University. Having forgotten far too much of what she learnt during her degree, Danielle decided to kick-start her TEFL career in the perfect place to rediscover the language and culture she loves. Working at EF in the beautiful city of Hangzhou has proved to be a wonderfully life-changing experience and  is one she recommends to anyone with a sense of adventure and a desire to both teach and learn at the same time. Becoming an ambassador has been her way of attempting to repay the kindness and supportiveness her EF colleagues and managers have shown her since she began her journey to China.

Wuxi

Cathal Kellycathal.b.kelly@ef.com

Cathal fulfilled a life long dream in December of 2017 when he finally arrived in China to live and teach. Having worked in the gambling industry for over ten years in Ireland, Cathal eventually left that industry, returned to college as a mature student before finally embarking on his Chinese adventure. He loves Wuxi due to it’s manageable size and friendly locals. A key part of settling in China for Cathal is making local friends and attempting to learn and speak Chinese. With EF, Cathal has travelled to Inner Mongolia as well as taking on different roles such as EEA Coordinator in his center and Teacher Ambassador with EF. Cathal has recently completed an online coaching course with EF and looks forward to taking on more courses through EF so as to develop further as a teacher.

Advice for new teachers: Get involved! Both with EF and outside the company. Create a separate social circle from EF to experience Chinese culture. 

 

West Region Teachers

Wuhan

Shirley Yang: shirley.yangwh@ef.com

Shirley was born and raised in a city near Wuhan, China. She has been interested in languages, especially English ever since she was little. Majoring in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language, Shirley was trained to be a teacher for second language learners in university, but she wants to help more Chinese people learn about English and western culture. She chose to become a teacher after graduation. She was a teacher for Kids and Teens for one year and she taught adults for three months in Shenzhen. But she missed her hometown a lot and Wuhan has been one of the most promising cities in China so she decided to come back. Shirley has been a local teacher in Wuhan TDC since May 2017 and she really enjoys teaching adults and working with teachers from different countries.   

Advice for new teachers: Keep an open mind and don’t worry about culture differences, once you get used to it, you’ll find that actually it’s such a bliss because it’s very interesting and you have a chance to know more about the world!

 

Xian

Claire Jorgensen: claire.jorgensen@ef.com

As a child, Claire was exposed to bad-tasting Chinese food, courtesy of her family, and thus developed a healthy caution towards oily spring rolls and chow mein. It came as a surprise then, when she decided to teach English in Xi’an, China, and even more so when she realised how good Chinese food can be. Prior to being with EF, Claire was working in South Africa as a university research project manager and administration manager, with a background in the visual arts and a love for English.

Advice for new teachers:  Always be flexible and open to new things, and be ready to land on your feet when life doesn’t unfold as expected.

Chongqing

Christopher Jackson: christopher.jackson@ef.com

Chris comes from the Carolinas in the USA. He grew up outside of Charlotte, NC, and attended university in Charleston, SC. During his studies, he traveled to Latin America, Europe, and Asia. With a background in Political Science and International Relations, Chris decided to focus his language and political studies on Aisa. After graduating from university, Chris spent time teaching English as a Second Language and Spanish, working to develop university level English textbooks, and even working at a Latin Dance Studio in the evenings. Finding a job with EF Kids and Teens in China was a natural fit given his educational and work background. Chris is now based in Chongqing, China, and has been there for more than one year. He certainly considers Chongqing a second home. He is studying Chinese language and is currently a T4 teacher at Chongqing 8. He intends to stay in China long term.

Advice for teachers: When working with small kids, remember that they are not worried about your lesson plan or the perfection of your teaching style. Adapt your lessons and style to the kids, and you will find success.

Kendra Miller: kendra.miller@ef.com

A small-town girl from northern Iowa, Kendra has an incessant desire to see anything and everything the world has to offer. She fell into teaching ESL via her Spanish and Linguistics programs in college, and has never looked back. After completing a Cambridge CELTA in May 2018, she moved to Chongqing to begin teaching. When she’s not at school, Kendra enjoys exploring her new city, country, and continent. Her favorite trip in China (so far, of course), has been to Yangshuo in the Guangxi province.

Advice for new teachers: Do it. If it scares you, do it scared.

Bethany Piper: bethany.piper@ef.com

Previously located in a small village in England, Beth completed a sports degree at university whilst also working for the Royal Naval Reserves. The Royal Navy encouraged her to keep engaged in a sporty active lifestyle however, she just couldn't settle and Beth started to search for something more. 4,873 miles later, she now works for EF in Chongqing, she describes life here as exciting and positively challenging.  EF can give you many opportunities to explore new cultures, cities, meet like minded people and most importantly the journey to finding yourself.

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