JIMMYESL is run by a team of English teachers and freelance writers from all around the globe.
We deeply believe that traveling and teaching English is a great way to see the world, make a living, and educate ourselves. And beyond that, it contributes to a better world!
Shared language and cultural awareness help build bridges between people from different backgrounds, opening up opportunities for everyone in a globalized world.
That’s why we strive to make teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) as accessible as possible — without sugar-coating anything — by sharing our experiences and writing well-researched, in-depth guides.
Meet the Team
Meet Marcel on LinkedIn.
Marcel, Manager & Content Writer
Marcel is a seasoned freelance content writer, business trainer, and work-from-home expert with more than 15 years of experience, currently located in Southern Germany. With JIMMYESL, he aims to help dedicated individuals pursuing a meaningful career. He loves hiking, learning languages, his daily workout, and all things digital.
Meet Molly on LinkedIn.
Molly, Content Writer
Molly lives in New York, USA. After college, she spent almost two years in Shenzhen, China. There she worked in schools, training centers, and individual homes, teaching STEAM and ESL to students of all ages. She continues to tutor Chinese students and research topics in the world of ESL today. When she’s not teaching or writing, Molly can be found traveling, studying Chinese, or doing yoga.
Meet Jon on LinkedIn.
Jon, Content Writer
Jonathan from Nottingham, UK, has been teaching English for over 3.5 years. After coming back home from a one-year teaching adventure in Chongqing, China, he has really found his passion for online teaching.
Meet Andres on Behance.
Andres graduated as a graphic designer in Bogotá, Colombia. After two years, he quit his regular job in a design studio and backpacked throughout South America and Europe for another two years. Today, he works as a freelance illustrator in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and mainly creates cute imagery for kids, storybooks, and educational stuff.
I took this photo in Wutong Mountain with my Chinese tutor shortly before eating a gourd covered in pesticides. (Photo: Personal)
I decided to start teaching English in China for the same reason many people do: I was restless, lost, and unhappy after college.
In my search for weird and exciting job opportunities, I came across some websites that talked about teaching English abroad.
Before I knew it, I was buying a plane ticket to China, racing to get my visa documents in, and trying to figure out how to fit 17 pairs of shoes into one duffel bag.
No adventure is complete without a dramatic picture to prove that it happened. (Photo: Personal)
It wasn’t until I crossed the border into Shenzhen, a southern city in the Pearl River Delta, that the decision I’d made felt real. All of a sudden I was in a loud, dirty city where everything was in, duh, Chinese. It was overwhelming but totally exciting.
Getting comfortable with both the landscape and my new status as an ESL teacher was totally overwhelming, but in fits and spurts (and with no shortage of mishaps), I got to know both my city and my profession.
I ended up changing jobs a number of times while I was in China: I taught public school, worked at a training center, did private tutoring, taught at a drama kindergarten, and taught STEAM to elementary and middle schoolers. Through a combination of circumstance and antsiness, I got to see pretty much every aspect of what teaching there was like.
By the time I left Shenzhen, I’d fallen totally in love with the city and the culture. Oh, and the food. Seriously — just the mention of hot pot makes my mouth water. It’s Pavlovian.
Pretending to work on my Mandarin script with some very gracious friends. (Photo: Personal)
By the time I left, I also felt like I’d learned a lot about teaching — and hopefully imparted some knowledge on my students, too. I’d learned enough Mandarin to get by in conversation and I’d made friends that would last a lifetime.
Most importantly, I’d proven to myself that I could fend for myself even in a totally foreign country.
When I decided to go back to the States, I knew I didn’t want to abandon everything I’d learned in China completely. I still practice my Mandarin, I still teach ESL (now online through VIPKID), and I spend a good chunk of my time writing articles to help other people figure out how to teach abroad.
A good education is essential for all members of society, and traveling is an education all its own. By teaching abroad we fulfill a dual mission of educating others and educating ourselves. Getting on the plane and leaving home is scary and hard, but it’s totally worth it.
When I first got into teaching English, the goal was simple… I wanted as much change in my life as possible!
I was 25, living in Nottingham (UK) and working as a sound engineer. I loved my job at the time but was fed up doing the same thing in the same city and wanted to stretch my wings and explore the world. After finding out about friends of mine who started doing TEFL courses I decided that this could be my ticket.
After I had finished my course I had one area in mind, Asia. Once I found out about the vast number of jobs in China I just knew I had to go!
The training school in Chongqing I went to was heavily influenced by music with a heavy emphasis on singing and performance. This was ideal for me given my background in music as both an engineer and musician. We would learn new vocabulary and songs in class and then go out and perform them to parents and the public, exciting!
A pic of my journey to a rural part of Chonging, China. (Photo: Personal)
I got to see so many new things and experience new sights, food, and culture while I was there. It really was life-changing. I also loved the challenge of learning another language and adapting to a new environment.
Once I returned I was a little tired from traveling but couldn’t stay away from teaching, I was hooked!
This time I decided to try online teaching and I fell in love immediately. I was able to be my own boss, set my own hours and teach what I thought was most effective for a student. Also, when you teach in another country you learn about that culture, whereas when I teach online I learn about cultures from all over the globe!
There are a number of teaching platforms to help you find students; I mainly use Verbling and Preply. I also teach directly using Skype (cutting out the middleman) but most of my students come through other platforms which have a wider reach.
The stage where students and teachers performed in the language school. (Photo: Personal)
As time has gone on I’ve really become more interested in developing myself as a teacher. I want to know how to motivate my students, the best ways to teach certain areas of the language and how to use my teaching time in the most efficient way.
When I first signed up to my TEFL course it was maybe a temporary thing, a gateway to an extended holiday abroad. However, I’m now 3.5 years in and have really found a career that I feel passionate and care a great deal about.
Also, as I’m self-employed it really gives me a sense of ownership and responsibility for my own growth, goals, and destiny. That to me is freedom and happiness.