Teacher Spotlight: Caitlin Van Voorst

Programs for this blog post

Teach In China Program

Authored By:

CIEE Teach Abroad

Caitlin China Header

Meet Caitlin from Teach Abroad China 2016-2017! She’s super excited to share her experience with teachers past, present and future. Check out what she has to say:

Where are you from?

I’m from San Diego California!

What was it like to work at your school?

I taught at a bilingual boarding school in the Northeast of China. I taught 28 classes a week of Kindergartners through fourth grade. The students were fun loving and diligent, and loved to play hangman! My favorite thing about my school was the atmosphere. Since it was a boarding school we all lived on campus, so it was fun to see my students outside of class.

Grade 2 Class 3

Why did you decide to teach abroad?

Like a lot of people, I decided to teach abroad for the adventure of it. I thought it would be a good way to travel and learn about another culture. What I didn't realize was the insight I would gain into the working world. Coming from college jobs, it was so great to feel valued in a job where you are making a difference in the kids' lives.

What was your favorite place in China?

One of my favorite places I visited during my year in China were the terracotta warriors in Xi'an. They were commissioned by the first emperor of China, and buried with him in 210 BCE. It was an amazing piece of history to see.


What is the funniest thing a student said while you were teaching?

One time I had an older student ask why American women never wore underwear! She meant to ask why it isn't common for Americans to wear tights under their shorts and dresses.

What was the biggest challenge of teaching and living abroad?

For me, the hardest part was the language barrier. Although most days I was able to see the challenge in it, there were moments when it was very difficult.

What will you miss the most about teaching abroad?

The challenge of it! I loved lesson planning and thinking of the most interesting way to teach my lessons.

How did teaching abroad influence your career and life path?

It taught me the value in good, creative education. It also gave me valuable work experience that I could bring back to my next job.

Caitlin pic stitch