Teaching ESL in Taiwan

Meet Mike Kish, Costa Rica TEFL graduate and English teacher extraordinaire. Since graduating in 2012 and getting TEFL certified, Mike has been living and teaching ESL to Taiwanese children in preschool through third grade.

How did getting TEFL certified prepare you for teaching ESL abroad?

I graduated Costa Rica TEFL in 2012.  Costa Rica TEFL taught me the fundamentals of classroom management and how to use the communicative approach to provide an effective and engaging learning environment. It also gave me the confidence that I needed to embark upon a career in the international education community. Additionally, by getting TEFL certified, I have had many more opportunities to travel.  Through traveling, I learned a very important life lesson.  It is that no matter where I go, we (humans) are all the same, relatively speaking, and kindness towards others has taken me a long way in understanding this.

Where in the world are you teaching English?

After a short teaching stint in Costa Rica, I realized that Asia was my next step. I researched multiple options in the South East Asia region and found that Taiwan seemed like the best fit for what I wanted.  Currently, I am teaching in Taipei, Taiwan.  I teach Pre-school through third grade classes. My students range from five to ten years old and class sizes can range from twenty one students to eight students. I also offer one on one classes that I provide for a higher rate.

What has teaching English in Taiwan been like?

Every morning from 9:30am-11:30 am I teach the funniest two hour class of my life!  I teach 20 little preschoolers who are balls of pure energy, excitement, and unadulterated joy.  They are better than any cup of coffee I have ever had.  My favorite moment with my preschoolers and kindergarteners had been implementing stage drama plays. Seeing everything come together after six months of hard work was incredible!  The pay off from that moment is something that I will never forget for the rest of my life.

When I’m not teaching, I like to take my motorcycle out of the city and explore the northern mountains, rivers, and beaches of Taiwan.  The scenery here is phenomenal.  It’s hot in the summer, cool in the winter (but only for a short time), and it is sporadically rainy throughout the year. 

What’s next in your teaching career?

I plan to stay in Taiwan and most likely return to school to obtain a Masters degree in Education. Eventually, I would like to obtain a teacher certification and teach in an International American Institution abroad ~Essentially, I plan on teaching and traveling for the foreseen future.

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