I first came to Yichang to teach IELTS to senior middle school students. A group of four of us were sent to a rather high achieving school to teach the lowest and most privileged students. That is never a good combination. By the end of the first semester we lost one of the teachers. I can only speculate as to why they had us teach part time at a primary school. That year, I felt less like a trained teacher and more like a rented mule that could be leased out to another field from time to time. While some other teachers complained and felt at a complete loss as to how to adjust their teaching towards young learners, I was very happy. My enthusiasm and popularity was quickly noticed and I realized that, in Yichang, I had found a home. I actually was ready to leave China until that spring semester. I learned at that point that I really have a knack for teaching young learners. I have taught young learners since.

The following year, I got hired to work at that primary school with the condition that I would be allowed to continue to work at Hyde English. That condition was honored and turned out to benefit both schools.  I continued to work at both the school and the training center over the next 4 years.

Around the spring of 2012, I dipped my toe into kindergarten teaching, with a little more than a touch of apprehension. To my delight, what was once my fear turned into my new favorite thing. Kindergarten students require a lot of energy from a teacher. Rather than finding myself exhausted, I found that expanding my energy is not the same as expending it. And if I ever decide to go back to school, I will look into pursuing a degree in both clowning around and a Master's degree in Education. Both have their merits and learning the art of a clown might be more practical on a daily basis. Although perhaps most of the art of teaching cannot really be taught. What I really want is that all important network of like minded people.

While the work is gratifying, it is still work. At a certain point I decided that I had to find a hobby that was both interesting and required a lifetime worth of exploration and study. Photography has been that hobby. Since 2009 I have enjoyed not only photographing events and travels, but learning to look at things more carefully and thinking about how they appear in terms of lighting and composition. I have a lot to learn but I have found a lot of inspiration so far. 

Green runs Hyde and has been my dear friend for over six years. Hyde has developed a lot over the years. She has done a lot to develop the curriculum, while I have been tasked with implementing it. She has done a lot to build relations with parents and attract students, while I have been responsible for making the classes worthwhile for them to stay. She has worked out the logistical details of activities while I designed most of the details, developed student activities students, and helped run them. We have both provided vision for the center and then added two to three parts muscle for every ounce of vision. 

I have been working at Hyde English Training Center since 2007. The school liaison at a different school in town, where I was hired to work, introduced me to Hyde. I was kindly offered the chance to work in the evening and over the weekend if I chose to in order to keep me from being bored. Hyde was a very small school with only 30 students spanning over three or four classes.

After a few weeks of meeting with these students and noticing how much more responsive and bright, funny and pleasant to be around they were compared to the high school students, I realized that I love teaching primary school.

In the spring, the high school farmed us foreign teachers out to a neighboring primary school. They needed to recoup some of the lost money from having had to cancel high school classes since the end of the first semester left us short one foreign teacher.


This is the original copy of the first lesson plan that I wrote while at Hyde. It is dated Sept. 2007.

Be sure to click here to see more images are writing about events and trips around Hubei Province


Photo Galleries:

Hyde Training Center

Here is a collection of some pictures from the Hyde Training Center. I taught her for 8 years,

Children's Day Mac Donald's

Children's Day (1st June) is an important holiday in China. Every year we held an activity. In 2013, we went to Mac Donald's where the children could take one step closer to being fully conditioned to eat air baked pink slime and think they were experiencing an American culinary specialty.

Zhang He Reservoir

Each summer the school went on an outing. One year we went to a local reservoir to play games and have a nice lunch. 

Hyde Training Center

Here is a collection of some pictures from the Hyde Training Center. I taught her for 8 years,

Christmas Barbecues

Once we held an outdoor activity at Xmas time. The memory awoken memories of other, more turbulent Christmases. Read about the event and find the click through posts about a Christmas prank and a misunderstanding with my then-boss.


Here are pictures that I took while teaching the students about Halloween and having Halloween parties (2012-2014)

Hyde English Center Gallery

A collection of some of the students during class and between lessons. It never took much effort to get the students to come alive and pose for the camera.