Jacob’s Visit and some other big CD5 news!
Just shy of a fortnight ago, CD5 was lucky enough to host the President of EF Kids and Teens, Jacob Torén, along with a contingent of the Shanghai team, which converted the centre into even more of a hive of activity than it usually is!
Jacob spent time in Chengdu visiting a range of centres across the city including the recently opened CD9. He returned to CD5, as 3 years ago during his last visit, CD5 had only just opened. The mall in which we reside hadn’t even been finished!
The CD5 staff arduously trekked along what is normally a very straightforward journey, from Tongzilin to Century City with the aim of arriving early. However, traffic, rain, and the general weekday morning rush hour made it seem like a losing battle.
Not a taxi was in sight, the bus was moving slower than a snail, and we just knew that the no.26 was going to make the world’s longest detour when Saiho Mall was in our line of sight. But between our knowledge of downtown Chengdu, some smartphones, and the ability to read Chinese characters, we ran flying into Saiho Mall, soaked to the skin, and still had half an hour to spare!
CD5 decided to put its well-known (or at least a plethora of EF parents must know about it given how frequently our CCs post videos of us) singing and musical talents to the test Wouter and Michael’s guitar playing, weekend office karaoke and singalongs, Ellen warbling around the school (yes, don’t think we can’t all hear you from the other end of the building…), and we’ve all heard Daniel falsetto the 'Hello Song' on more than one occasion. These are staples of the daily life at CD5. Thus, a revamped version of ‘Hello Song’ with some dodgy dancing was on the cards.
As EFL teachers it gave us the great opportunity to hold a round table on a range of EFL issues, which was great for newcomers to the sector like myself, but also for older teachers to develop and share their experience. Just because we spend our days teaching, doesn’t mean that we ourselves ever stop learning. Education is a lifelong journey.
First of all, Jacob explained to us his less than regular career trajectory in becoming President of EF Kids and Teens and provided us with much incentive to strive for new goals in the EFL sector. He then caught us up to date with EF, from its beginnings, to expansion, and consolidation in three main countries with new schools continually opening throughout China to match ESL demand.
After the presentation, and much notetaking, scribbling or typing on smartphones by teachers, as seemingly notebooks are so passé, the floor was opened to a Q and A, covering a range of topics. Some discussed were EF’s environmental policy and its impact, the use of technology in the classroom, automation of education, the future of EFL teaching, what makes a great EFL teacher, the future of EF and its expansion into other countries such as those across Africa, and how EF Kids and Teens China compares with EF Russia i.e. are the parents’ and country’s demands the same, and are the skills of an EFL teacher the same in different countries?
Jacob’s visit also fell on a very auspicious day for the school. We hit the 1000 student milestone!
This only adds to all the great news from CD5 so far this year, including our fantastic NPS scores across both Chengdu and China. And, of course, no celebration is complete without cake!