Davita Eanes is the ELL Coordinator for BASIS International School Hangzhou. Davita has been teaching for 22 years and was a founding Kindergarten teacher at BASIS International School Hangzhou. She is originally from Alabama, U.S.A.

What made you decide to go into education?

Over the course of my career, I have taught students ranging from primary grades through middle school. I decided to accept the role in the ELL department because I have worked with students and teachers for over 20 years. With that combined experience, I have the capabilities of providing tools for students to read, write, and speak English proficiently. I have learned to manage students and adults with great success and this position definitely amplifies my skill set.

When did you first realize you had a passion for teaching?

I first realized I had a passion for teaching and coaching early in my teaching career. I am a descendant of parents who were functioning illiterates. This prompted me to teach them how to read and write as a child. As I studied to become an educator, I began to study and learn all of the techniques and strategies to teach children how to read and write proficiently. With great success, I have learned the formula that helps students to become fluent readers and for educators to perfect their craft.

What influenced your decision to teach abroad?

There were several factors that influenced my decision to teach abroad, first being my young daughter Gabrielle. As she is beginning her educational journey, I wanted to provide her an opportunity to learn about the world and different cultures that simply could not be taught from a textbook. Secondly, I wanted to challenge myself as an educator to see if the same classroom experiences could be duplicated in a different country where English is a foreign language. I am thrilled and excited that I was afforded this opportunity.

What do you enjoy most about teaching internationally?

What I enjoy most about teaching internationally is the cultural growth and experiences that I could not experience if I was a tourist. I am learning so much about myself and others by sharing my knowledge and also learning from others who are living here as natives and/or expats. It’s been a wonderful experience thus far.

When you came to China, what did you find pleasantly surprising that you didn’t expect?

When I first came to China, I wasn’t expecting people to be so nice and accommodating. Although there is an obvious language barrier, people have gone out of their way to help and assist me. People are so generous and kind even when it is not convenient for them. I truly appreciate that about China.

What advice would you give teachers who are considering teaching abroad?

My advice for any other teachers and/or school leaders is to give yourself the gift of change. Teaching abroad is a very positive change for those who are willing to come out of their comfort zone and allow themselves to grow professionally and personally. It is truly a worthwhile experience and I encourage anyone who is looking for a new adventure or chapter to consider teaching abroad. You will not regret it.

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