Meet Matthew Ryan, ELL Chair at BASIS International School Guangzhou. Read on to learn more about his journey in international education and why China was the right choice for his family.
What made you decide to pursue a career in education?
I always felt I needed more from work than just a salary. Enriching the lives of my students and providing them with the tools they need for success is highly motivating. Teachers shape the future world. That being said, I chose a career in ELL education because it enabled me to travel and work abroad. There aren’t many jobs where you can do that and still be financially successful.
What influenced you to teach abroad? Why in China?
I have been teaching abroad for well over a decade now. I’ve lived in eight different countries during that time. It has been a fascinating ride that has shown me the vast wealth of diversity, complexity, and beauty within our world, as well as shaped me into the global minded citizen that I am. I met my wife in my last country–Azerbaijan. We now have two wonderful children.
I chose China because I have always been intrigued by what it’s like. This curiosity was tempered by the understanding that China is a booming market for international educators. I’ve been in the international teaching game for a long time, and it seemed like the right choice for us as a family. I can honestly admit it was the right decision.
What do you enjoy most about teaching internationally?
What’s not to like! It’s an incredible experience to wake up and go through everyday life in a country that isn’t your homeland. Each different country I’ve lived in has made my perception of Australia alter in a way that is unique to that country. Going somewhere for a holiday is an entirely different experience than living there.
When you came to China, what was pleasantly surprising?
What surprised me most about China was how green it is here. It is a fantastic place to raise a family. Everything here is super convenient. There is also a huge amount of traveling to do just inside the mainland. Our last holiday trip through central China was mind-blowing and epic.
What type of support did you receive from BASIS International Schools to ease the transition of moving overseas?
The teacher support network at BASIS International Schools is the best I have experienced in all of my years teaching internationally. That sounds like something a corporate shill would say, but I am speaking from my heart and years of international teaching experience when I say that. They bend over backward to help and support you. The HR service is excellent, and the additional financial support structures provided in the package are generous, helpful, and easily accessible.
Furthermore, the support I have received from my teaching colleagues, the administration, and the leadership team has been phenomenal. It is an amazing community to be a part of. Big ups to BASIS International School Guangzhou!
How has your teaching practice improved during your time at BASIS International Schools?
BASIS International Schools has provided me with the tools and training opportunities I needed to transition successfully to the BASIS teaching model. I have also initiated and run my fair share of professional development during my time here. BASIS has clear and transparent leadership pathways and plenty of room for internal promotion as it is rapidly expanding across China. Whether you are an inexperienced teacher, or a veteran looking for advancement opportunities, there is something here for everyone.
What advice would you give to teachers who are considering working overseas?
Get out there! Do it! Experience the world outside your box. You won’t regret it.
BASIS International School Guangzhou
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