In 2000, teachers in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) were asked by their Government and employing body to ‘move’. The resulting movement was both figurative and literal in intent. Teachers were asked (a) to rethink their professional standing, and (b) to choose professional retraining options. For some, the latter required a ‘movement’ of mindset (from teacher to learner), of life paths (from recreation to professional development), and of location (from Hong Kong to overseas institutions). For Hong Kong’s teachers, these types of movement formed social imperatives linked to professional gatekeeping – one’s position as a language teacher would be lost if language ‘benchmarks’ were not met.