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Teaching ESL overseas

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We applied to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) in Korea but they wouldn’t have us because we were too old. When the
placement person for Korea found out I was 62 years old, he
laughed out loud and said, “We put people on the shelf at
that age.” I said, “Not me.” We applied to forty other places
that wanted ESL teachers. I was finally accepted through a
Mennonite agency, the China Educational Exchange.

In February 2003 we went to a Sichuan teaching
university––it had 70,000 students by the time we left. It
was a province in the center of China and the capital city
was Chengdu which is a ‘small’ big city of over ten million
people. Communicating was not too much of a problem
because the students came to university with six years of
English. There were a few other teachers that helped us get
oriented. We enjoyed ourselves very much and suffered little
culture shock.

Don’t let others perception of age stop you.
Nick Kaethler