I’m Dan, the founder of Teach English Global. It’s approaching four years since I started my own recruitment company that helps teachers move to China, so it seems about time I share the story of why I started TEG!
I spent my early twenties travelling all over Australia, New Zealand and Asia experiencing new cultures and meeting people from all over the world. I worked a variety of unique jobs: banana picker, travel agent, charity fundraiser and digital marketing salesman. In 2017, I returned to my hometown of Manchester, UK. Here, I spent the next 18 months working within a corporate sales environment and living a life very different to the years prior. Although the corporate world provided me with some valuable skills and experience, this environment and way of life just wasn’t for me. And as much as I love Manchester, it just didn’t compare to the beaches of Australia…
Disillusioned with what I wanted to do in life, I decided to travel around India by myself for a couple of months to reflect on what I wanted to do next. Whilst in India, I met a teacher from the UK who’d spent the last three years living and teaching in China. He told me all about TEFL, what life was like in China, and how much money he made… I was instantly very intrigued.
After weeks of research and some serious consideration, I decided that doing a TEFL certificate and spending a year teaching English abroad would be my next step. Teaching in China seemed like one to tell the Grandkids about, and TEFL in general ticked a lot of boxes for me:
- Be able to travel and experience a new culture
- Pick up some new skills
- Meet some new people
I completed an online TEFL certificate with The TEFL Academy, and after weeks of searching for jobs in China, I finally found a position working at a Training Centre in Shanghai that I was satisfied with. After undergoing the lengthy Chinese Z Visa process, I flew to Shanghai in the summer of 2019 and was excited about the journey ahead. Who knew, maybe this could be the start of a long career as a teacher?…
…well it wasn’t. But it was the start of Teach English Global!
Having worked as a recruiter during my time back in Manchester, I was extremely familiar with how an efficient recruitment process works. I thought finding a teaching job in China would follow a similar process… how wrong I was! While researching teaching jobs in China, I found the whole process rather confusing and at times a bit strange. Looking online was a minefield, with plenty of conflicting information and advice from various sources. I reached out to several different recruiters, but I wasn’t able to find a native English-speaking recruiter who’d been and taught in China themselves. The majority of the recruiters I did speak to were Chinese, and due to both communication and culture differences, the interviews were a bit…different shall we say. I did multiple interviews that were no longer than 10 minutes long, and then instantly received job offers despite being given no information on what I would be signing up for. The seed for TEG had been planted.
My experience teaching in China was positive; I enjoyed the job and loved my time there. The most rewarding aspect of teaching in China was the opportunity to immerse myself in a rich and diverse culture and have an impact on students who valued education. I found Chinese students to be incredibly enthusiastic and eager to learn. Their genuine curiosity made the teaching experience dynamic and enjoyable. Beyond the classroom, China as a country offered me a background for unforgettable experiences due to its vibrant cities, rich history, and stunning landscapes.
As my time in China went on, I started to meet more and more teachers who’d encountered the same issues I did whilst job hunting:
- Little to no information was given to them on the education industry and school types that exist in China.
- No genuine advice was given to them on which school type would best suit that individual teacher and the experience they were looking for.
- No advice or preparation was given on what to expect from life in China outside of work.
- Many teachers were offered jobs after extremely brief interviews, and given little information on what they were signing up for.
As 2019 came to a close, the TEG seed that had initially been planted during my search for a job in China had now blossomed into an actual business idea! I decided I was going to create a recruitment company that genuinely helped teachers find good opportunities in China. I wanted to:
- Help teachers find suitable opportunities for the experience level they were at.
- Make sure teachers fully understand what they are signing up for before accepting any offers.
- Make sure teachers are paid fair salaries.
- Help teachers navigate the complicated and lengthy visa process without any issues.
- Help teachers prepare for life in China as a foreigner, to give them the head start that many others don’t receive.
- Support teachers when they arrive in China, should any issues arise.
The COVID-19 pandemic started in January 2020, and the following month my school announced that all classes would be online for the rest of the academic year. I decided to move back to the UK in February 2020 and start building the foundations of TEG.
Since then I’ve grown Teach English Global into what I believe is the most genuine teacher recruitment company operating in China. I’ve helped hundreds of teachers realise their dream of teaching in China since the company was founded (which during the pandemic was no easy feat). Every teacher I speak to receives an honest and helpful insight from someone who’s been in their shoes, and this is what I think sets TEG apart from the majority of other recruitment companies that send teachers to China. The feedback and testimonials we receive speak for themselves.
If you’re interested in teaching in China and would like the help of someone who’s been there and done it themselves, please reach out!