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About Lauren Ringdahl
Lauren’s passion is education and intercultural learning. Originally from Massachusetts, she lived and taught in New York City for several years before doing her CELTA with Teaching House. She now teaches English to adults in Shanghai, China and writes about her experiences on her blog, An American in Shanghai. She lives for bike rides, ice cream, and learning languages.
Latest posts by Lauren Ringdahl (see all)
- The Classroom is a Stage: Teaching as Theater, Theater as Teaching - May 15, 2014
- 4 Tips for Connecting with Shy Students - April 29, 2014
- 4 Tips for Staying Fit While Traveling - April 10, 2014
May 15, 2014 | Lauren Ringdahl 3
All the classroom is a stage…and all the teachers and students merely players.
Let’s riff off Shakespeare today and draw parallels between education and acting. It’s not too far fetched to say these two professions are linked. I’m certainly not the first teacher to write on the subject, as any Google search will tell you, but it is one particularly close to my heart.
April 29, 2014 | Lauren Ringdahl 4
Imagine this: you enter your classroom to students with notebooks and pens poised. Your lesson plan is chock full of communicative activities and chances to practice language authentically. You’re armed with lexis, grammar, and helpful usage tips. You’re pumped and ready to get this class off the ground.
You start with a bright and cheery, “Hey everyone! How’s it going?” But there’s no response. You try again with limited success.
April 10, 2014 | Lauren Ringdahl 1
Whether you consider yourself an expert couch potato or a lean, mean fitness machine, chances are you will want to find an exercise groove while teaching English abroad. Not only does it help mitigate the massive amount of street snacks you’re bound to inhale, it’s a great way to establish a routine in your new life in another country. Plus, exercise helps battle stress and promotes clearer thinking (crucial for teachers working anywhere).
March 1, 2014 | Lauren Ringdahl 8
I arrived in Shanghai with two bags, one Chinese course book, and a lot of hopes for communicating in my new country. Riding along a dusty highway bound for the city, I looked out at dozens of inscrutable signs and billboards whizzing by. A fellow teacher was casually chatting with the cab driver in some impressively functional Chinese. The language gap was palpable. He turned to me and asked, “How’s your Chinese?” (A question I would be asked constantly for the next three months).
“Not great,” I admitted honestly.
January 20, 2014 | Lauren Ringdahl 6
If you’re about to move abroad to teach for the first time, or are strongly considering it, congratulations! You’re already one brave human being. By now you’re probably well aware of the trials and tribulations that go along with meshing your world with another. But you’re also excited! As you should be. You’re about to embark on an unbelievably fun and life-changing adventure.
Unfortunately, though, you’ll experience a necessary rite of passage shortly after you arrive in your new country: culture shock. When the honeymoon period is over, reality sets in: you don’t speak the language, your logic doesn’t apply to this new place, and it is difficult to get basic things done.