Who am I?

Niall Leah
3 min readNov 19, 2021

An Englishman in Chengdu

Photo of me taken by a friend.

I’m Niall. From Manchester in the UK.

I currently live in Chengdu, China. The food is fantastic, the people are friendly, and as a student of the Chinese language, where else in the world is a better place for me to learn?

I spent a year before living in New Zealand, the most beautiful country in the world, but right now, I’m thrilled to be living and growing in Chengdu.

So, what on earth do I do here?

I came here as an ESL teacher and am currently a manager for a small team of foreign teachers in an English teaching Campus. I study Chinese and can speak enough to get by, and I also love reading my kindle and working out daily. Whenever possible, I love to travel, and I think long hikes are the purest form of meditation.

My photo of my team.

I love my work!

There is a particular type of joy to be found in teaching. Watching students make gradual progress and take on the lessons you give them is deeply satisfying work. Kids can be the most insightful little people. By teaching them, you learn a lot about yourself.

Part of my job is also training adults and leading a small team. I try to cultivate an atmosphere of learning and improvement; whatever happens, we are all in it together. I love the experience of going through the highs and the lows with my team.

The golden rule for me and my team is that we all need to improve daily. If this position has taught me anything about leadership, it’s that you should both encourage and expect the very best effort from people.

I think trust, fairness, and patience are essential traits of a teacher and a manager.

Why do I write?

As a teacher, it’s become a habit of mine to love sharing ideas. As soon as I learn something new or have a thought that I think is helpful, I want others to understand and benefit from it.

Writing is also the most effective way I’ve discovered to collect my thoughts and deepen my…

Niall Leah

An ex-pat from the UK living in Chengdu, China. I satisfy my endless curiosity about the incredible journey of humanity by reading, traveling, and writing.