A Teacher in Taiwan and Some Life Lessons

By Jennifer Fernandez

I moved to Sanxia, Taiwan, September 2017. I had never taught ESL before and my only previous experience was as a Teacher Assistant. Needless to say, I was nervous to start working at Carden American school. Thankfully, a fellow ITA alumna, who helped me secure the job, trained me and made my transition a little easier. My first couple weeks were filled with mistakes and I lost a lot of confidence. Those mistakes helped me become a better teacher, coworker, roommate, and an overall better person. I learned how to keep open communication with my coworkers whose first language isn’t English. I practiced my patience with classes whose progress’ was slower than others. I practiced my compassion and empathy when students would tell me about their days filled with experiences I hadn’t had.