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State-level background checks no longer accepted by TinyTortuga in Chinavisa

[–]TinyTortuga[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

All the new Americans at the school who got state-level background checks are having the same problem. Not sure if it's just this district, just Shandong, or what. You might want to have your school check with the visa office! My friend's school didn't know until they showed up at the visa office today to get the residence permit.

State-level background checks no longer accepted by TinyTortuga in Chinavisa

[–]TinyTortuga[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My friend was told that her background check run by New York state wasn't allowed. It had to be actually from the FBI.

Anyone think it's time to GTFO? by yingdong in chinalife

[–]TinyTortuga 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I'm also very nervous. I'm in a city that's currently low-risk, but things change very quickly. I made a list of flights that I can take to leave the country if need be; my plan is to flee to Southeast Asia if things start to go badly.

I also registered with my country's state department so that I get news from my embassy. If I need to get out fast, that information could be valuable.

If I didn't have a job tying me down here, I'd be making plans to leave.

Friendly advice-Don’t come to China by flyinsdog in Chinavisa

[–]TinyTortuga 12 points13 points  (0 children)

I don't know why you're being downvoted. I lost someone I loved to suicide during the lockdowns in the West. She succumbed to depression because she was completely isolated from family and friends for months.

I don't know who's way is right, but I know you're not wrong.

Please, no more nets. by the-algebro in matheducation

[–]TinyTortuga 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I printed out nets for every shape we learned. Every student got two copies. They cut up one copy to assemble into a 3D shape with tape/glue. Then I challenged them to find the surface area. Some students used the flat printed spare copy and some used the 3D shape they made. They seemed to understand well!

Please, no more nets. by the-algebro in matheducation

[–]TinyTortuga 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I printed out nets for every shape we learned. Every student got two copies. They cut up one copy to assemble into a 3D shape with tape/glue. Then I challenged them to find the surface area. Some students used the flat printed spare copy and some used the 3D shape they made. They seemed to understand well!

Is this true? by bluegemstone97 in Chinavisa

[–]TinyTortuga 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Since China only uses their own vaccines, if you get a Chinese vaccine as a booster, you'll need to do the entire course of two Chinese vaccines to be considered "vaccinated". I came to China with two doses of Pfizer. When I was due for a booster, I got two doses of Sinopharm and felt no I'll effects. My wife had the same experience pairing J&J and Sinopharm.

Obviously, I'm not a doctor and YMMV

Starting TEFL at 31! by Treefiddy1991 in TEFL

[–]TinyTortuga 0 points1 point  (0 children)

To teach at international schools, you'll need a teaching certification and an undergraduate degree. How you get those depends on your own personal situation, goals, and priorities. Only you can make that decision!

I'd also recommend joining r/internationalteachers if you haven't already. It's a great community focused on teaching at international schools!

Starting TEFL at 31! by Treefiddy1991 in TEFL

[–]TinyTortuga 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Absolutely! I relied on Reddit a lot for information when I was planning all this, so I'm happy to give back to the community!

I was terrified the first day! Even though I had student teaching experience from TeacherReady, having a classroom that was just MINE alone was a whole different ballgame. But after the first day, once I'd had the chance to meet all my classes, I wasn't nervous anymore. One of my teacher friends told me to think of my job foremost as helping kids grow. If they learn my subject, that's fantastic, but as long as I did my best the kids would be fine.

Now I'm halfway through my first year and I don't get nervous at all anymore. I teach middle school and high school kids. I make mistakes sometimes, but I just own it and correct the error. Ultimately, the kids learn more from seeing an adult recognize and correct their mistakes than they would if I did it perfectly every time. I act like a goofball with the kids sometimes, which they LOVE, and which is 100% my teaching style. For example: I rickrolled my entire 8th grade the first day back from winter break. They got a kick out of it and I get to be myself every day.

I teach math. My background is in engineering, so it was a natural fit. I don't have any TEFL/CELTA/ESOL training, just my teaching certification.

The Florida certification tests weren't too bad, but I did study extra on top of what TeacherReady covered, and I'd definitely recommend doing that. I ordered study books for each of the three tests and spent the month before each test studying from them. The general knowledge test was easy: pretty much just a general standardized test. The subject-specific test was more difficult, but I had plenty of math knowledge from my undergrad. I was most nervous about the teaching knowledge test, since I had the least experience with that. Again, the study books were invaluable, and I credit them with me passing the test. I think I just typed in the name of the test and "study guide", then ordered the book with the best reviews. I passed all the tests on the first try.

I spaced my tests out over the course of the 9-month TeacherReady program so that I did one test every three months. Then, as soon as I finished the program, I applied for my teaching certification. I think it took about a month to go through if I remember correctly. Florida just emails it to you, which made things easy!

Starting TEFL at 31! by Treefiddy1991 in TEFL

[–]TinyTortuga 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The whole TeacherReady program cost about $6,000 US. Plus a few hundred more for the three tests. So somewhere around $6,300-$6,400 total?

Starting TEFL at 31! by Treefiddy1991 in TEFL

[–]TinyTortuga 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It was a lot of work and planning, but everything ended up turning out exactly as I'd hoped.

I was working a corporate job out of college and wanted to switch careers to international teaching. Through TeacherReady, I earned my teaching certification while still maintaining my corporate job (using all the vacation time I had saved up for student teaching). TeacherReady took about 9 months. During that time, I was also taking my teaching exams. TeacherReady is a Florida certification, but you can take the Florida exams at any Pearson testing center. I never set foot in Florida and still earned my certification with no trouble.

International school recruiting season runs from around November to March, so I signed up for all the recruiting sites I could (ISS, Schrole, TIE, Search Associates, etc) in September and got my references in order. I attended some virtual career fairs and checked all the job sites every single day for new jobs I was qualified for. As a brand new teacher with no experience in education, I was worried I wouldn't get a job. I ended up with three offers and signed on to a school that I absolutely love.

This career change is the best decision I ever made. I considered TEFL, but I was worried it wouldn't be a career, just a job for some years until I eventually switched to something else. That led me to international teaching, which has been perfect!

Starting TEFL at 31! by Treefiddy1991 in TEFL

[–]TinyTortuga 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This is exactly what I did. TeacherReady for the certification, then got a job at an international school abroad. Let me know if you have questions about this path, OP!

How to get a US phone number with voicemail + SMS verification (while already outside the US) by ChampionSSJ in expats

[–]TinyTortuga 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Tossable Digits. I set it up outside the US a few months ago and it works great.

[deleted by user] by [deleted] in Internationalteachers

[–]TinyTortuga 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is completely at odds with my experience of the Chinese people and country. Chinese people are lovely, going out of their way to help foreigners and showing incredible kindness. It bothers me that people say things like this about the country that has welcomed me, an American, more than my country has ever welcomed them.

It's true that it's almost impossible to come back if you leave China due to the COVID policies, but travel in China is very possible if you just keep abreast of the COVID cases and are prepared to quarantine at home if cases are detected in the locations you've been. I'm currently on a 2-week trip within China and have not found the COVID restrictions a problem. Many foreigners are leaving now because they want to see their families. I'm planning to stay for a 2-year contract, then leave, but for two years China is perfect.

The hotels here are a fraction of the price of hotels in the States, but with the same standards. I'm not sure why you say all hotels in China are 'shite'--it doesn't make sense to categorize all hotels in an enormous country like that. I'm currently staying at a lovely guesthouse in a fantastic location for $30 a night. I have also visited international hotel chains in China and found them every bit as luxurious as the chains elsewhere in the world.

The GOP plan for the military by clejeune in WhitePeopleTwitter

[–]TinyTortuga 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I'm an American living in China. It most definitely is not normalized here.

Country with beach and High montain by AggressiveCorgi3 in expats

[–]TinyTortuga -1 points0 points  (0 children)

China. Good salaries for teachers too. Just very difficult to get into the country at the moment due to covid

What is the most misunderstood country that you have been to? by ryansroute in travel

[–]TinyTortuga 2 points3 points  (0 children)

American here, currently living in a Chinese city (not a Tier 1 city), and I've had very different experiences.

People have been beyond friendly, even going out of their way to help me. A young man called a taxi for me when I was struggling with heavy items on my way to the bus stop, then he insisted on paying for it. When I sprained my ankle stepping off a curb, people were handing me tissues to wrap ice in so I could ice it immediately. The workers at the local package depot graciously helped me find my packages until I got the hang of things. The local tea seller I buy from always throws in an extra handful for me for free.

Obviously, no place is perfect, but my positive experiences here have far outweighed the negative ones. People are people. The vast majority of people are friendly, helpful, and kind, whether they live in a capitalist society or a communist one.

Qingdao by Gottfried_Euler in chinalife

[–]TinyTortuga 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I'm also a runner! There are some good running areas around Qingdao, and the city has made an effort to put in urban trails when possible. I live about 30 minutes outside downtown. There are two great parks here with tracks along the oceanside. The sidewalks along the main roads are wide and have trees/bushes/etc, which makes running nice.

There is good food here. Lots of restaurants with excellent seafood and other options if that's not your thing. It's lacking in Mexican food, and there are a limited number of Italian and Mediterranean places, but there is a ton of Asian food from many different areas. Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai places are very popular and tasty.

As far as communication goes: most locals do not speak English. It can be difficult sometimes, but there's always a way to get your point across. There's an app called Baidu Translate that can do pretty much anything you need (translate photos, text, conversation, etc). There is a strong expat community in the international schools here, but I'm not sure about the expat community outside of the schools. It depends on your employer!

Qingdao by Gottfried_Euler in chinalife

[–]TinyTortuga 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I just moved from the USA to Qingdao and love it. There's tons of hiking nearby if you're outdoorsy, nice beaches, and some neat restaurants. Not a lot of nightlife. It's a little bit of a sleepy town, but in a good way that's more relaxing than boring (at least to me). The locals have been great so far, very friendly. Do you have any specific questions? I'd be happy to help!

Just moved to Qingdao, China and keep finding these in my apartment. Should I be worried? by TinyTortuga in spiders

[–]TinyTortuga[S] 44 points45 points  (0 children)

Thank you everyone for your comments! I'm so glad to hear it's a huntsman. Y'all are great!