Question for teachers

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by centerstage01, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Finding a teaching job in China seems to be fairly easy. Most of the foreigners I've met working here as ESL teachers don't actually even have a teaching degree. If you go to expat websites there are always all sorts of schools and people looking for teachers.
     
  2. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    I don't mean an ESL teacher. I mean an international school teacher - for that you need a teaching degree, and be registered to teach in your home country. It's not easy, and you usually need to go to recreuitment fairs, but everyone that I know who has done, or is doing, it thinks it's worth it. The benefits and salary are fantastic, and get better over time and with extra qualifications (such as PhD or Masters). They also have a fabulous PD allowance, which often means travel to go to conferences etc.
     
  3. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    And I am talking about teaching English to students in regular schools, where it appears my salary and benefits are equivalent to everyone else.

    And I do have a teaching degree and my license. The school I am at is working hard to get qualified teachers. However, based on the job ads I have seen, not all are able to.
     
  4. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Teaching ESL at a local school has nowhere near the 20,000 - 30,000 RMB/month salary + 10,000 RMB housing allowance + PD opportunities + travel allowance + relocation allowance + health insurance etc. deal that good international schools, especially in Beijing and Shanghai but also smaller cities (including Chongqing), offer. That's why most local schools can't get qualified teachers; they can't afford them - but they also (mostly) don't want them. The majority of people who teach at local school don't have teaching degrees for the same reason you have had difficulties - qualified teachers usually think that local schools employ them to be qualified teachers, when really they don't. For the most part, local schools don't pay fabulous wages or benefits and they want a foreign face for status, playing games, entertainment, with some English thrown in - not because they want someone who is certified to teach and knows what they're doing and how to teach. English teaching is known as an easy way to get to China (though it's harder whenever they decide to crack down on visas) to have the "China experience" - it's pretty easy money, but it's a challenge for those who are qualified teachers. I couldn't do it, because I didn't want to do things the way they wanted them done (which in my view, was not very good). Plus, more/better qualifications usually don't mean more pay at local schools , though everything is negotiable. In order to get a work visa, you need to have at least two years post graduate experience in your field, which means two years teaching experience if you want a foreign expert certificate and residence permit/work visa. The international schools don't budge on that, IME the local schools fudge documentation.

    If your school is working hard to get qualified teachers, that's great - I hope they utilise them properly, and can actually keep them long term, but it's not common. I don't know any qualified teacher who would work for a local school over an international school who is not a missionary; not just for the money and benefits, but also because they really want to do their jobs. Some have started in local schools and not continued just because their teaching degree is not utilised at a local school (and local schools tend to be disorganised, break contracts etc.). I do think this is different teaching at universities though (though the pay and benefits are not fantastic, they value expertise) and of course there are exceptions, but local schools can never offer the same deals as international schools - international schools here cost up to US$30,000/year for a reason!
     
  5. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Have you got a non-native English community in your area? Could you find out what age level suits you by volunteering to teach English to them? Even cooking classes etc. are useful for learning what age level you "click" with.