Things to Consider Before Taking a Teaching Job in China

My hunt for a mentor job in China began with battling my method through scores of e-mails from employers and schools. From my home nation of England, I 'd sent my CV to hundreds of prospective employers and received a huge raft of emails in response. This was not because I was a first-rate educator, but since there is a variety of options for those looking for teaching tasks in China. As making an informed decision can be difficult, therefore, I bring you the three most important things to consider before taking a teaching task in China.

I found my first job through a recruiter by means of a procedure that fasted, smooth and remarkably easy, but I didn't truly know what I was getting myself into. After a couple of days, I understood my brand-new life was going to be a significant challenge.

The greatest lesson I learnt from my experiences when I first got here in China and my subsequent years living here is that in order to get the best task, it's crucial to know why you're coming, where you're going and what type of organization you're entering. You can generally split this code with a little understanding of the following 3 considerations.


While looking for a mentor job in China from far away in England, I fell under a trap that captures countless other newbies. In my mind, China was one uniform block of mystery and possible experience, so I simply looked for "a mentor job in China." I stopped working to understand that just like in the UK, the mentor positions available here vary commonly depending upon where you remain in the nation. Even if I was used what appeared like a great task, it didn't imply the place would be right for me.

Back in the early 2000s when I initially started mentor in China, I took a task in Dawufeng, little commercial hovel (and I do not utilize this word lightly) about an hour away from Tianjin. I found myself to be the only English speaker in town and a minimum of one hour away from the next expat.

While this might be the perfect scenario for some, for me it was a major challenge and a barrier to joy. Had I done a little bit more research into the place, I probably wouldn't have taken the job in the first place.

Public Sector

Even though my social life in Dawufeng was less than ideal, the battles I dealt with in this element of my life were nothing compared to those I discovered in the actual job. I taught at both the public main and intermediate schools, where classes were comprised of over 40 trainees.

In primary school I had an assistant who spoke some English, but in the center school I was totally on my own. Even the Chinese teachers who were designated to teach English could only handle the outright basics, which I expect is why they needed me in the first place. The entire scenario left me feeling overwhelmed and, sometimes, frantically dissatisfied.

Stories like mine are common amongst foreign teachers who work at China's public schools and universities, especially in less industrialized locations. But it's not all doom and gloom. The task in Dawufeng was plainly not the right suitable for me, however that's not to say it would not have actually suited another foreign teacher much better. Maybe one with more persistence, one who enjoyed his own business, or among those types that thrive when out of their convenience zones.

There are two standard things to think about before taking a task at a public school in China: holidays and wage. The wages in public schools tend to be fairly modest, especially in 2nd and third tier cities or really rural places. Universities typically pay a little bit more than schools, and both typically supply houses as part of any package, which frees up a huge portion of your earnings. Keep in mind that if you're in a less industrialized place, the expense of living will be lower.

The flip-side of the modest incomes is that the holidays available at China's public schools are typically luxuriously long, frequently taking in 3 summertime and prolonged durations at Spring Celebration. This gives foreign instructors lots of chance to circumnavigate China and the larger area.

You typically discover two types of foreign instructors working in public education in China. The very first are younger instructors with little experience who care less about wage and more about having the time and liberty to explore China during the vacations. The 2nd group is the worthwhile instructors who really wish to make a difference in China's grassroots education system. These people were maybe already teachers in their home nations and would most likely get on much better in Dawufeng than I did. They are most likely likewise eager to take in all they can about Chinese culture and language, so would delight in being "immersed" in a rural area.

Private Sector

China's private education sector consists of private schools, global schools and language training centres. In this sphere, the cash is much better but the hours are longer and the needs on instructors are higher. Those working at training centres will likewise discover they work their hardest at nights, on weekends and throughout the public vacations.

This is the sector that attracts those delighted to work more difficult for more money. On the back of China's pressing demand for English teachers, a lot of these private schools and business have actually turned into major corporations that can provide high incomes and real career advancement chances, typically matching what's on offer in the West. This sector, for that reason, tends to attract mid-career and older teachers who are either looking to advance or are already well established. There is also frequently a migration from the lower end of the marketplace towards the much better paid top end, as teachers accumulate experience in China.

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