Can an English teacher from China answer my questions?

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Can an English teacher from China answer my questions?

Unread postby Deffie » 15 Jul 2012, 19:03

Hello Everyone,

I have been researching opportunities on opportunities on teaching English in China. I have a few questions that I am unable to answer. I'll start with my qualifications and experience first. I realize the post is long and if you would like to scroll down to my questions. That would be fine as well. Any help will be appreciated.

I have recently graduated with a Bachelors degree in Arts and Humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas. I am 29 years old, American born Chinese male. I have been working for 13 years. My reasons for teaching in China is for the experience and the opportunity to save.

I have about two years of experience teaching children hip hop dance ages 8-13. I have taken a few education classes and have logged in fifteen hours of observation at a high school. I was an English conversation partner for two students from China for one semester. I am a Lead at my current job and part of my duties are to train new employees at a health lab at this position I train adults 25 and up. I have been at this job for a year. I'm not sure how my experience will be viewed by a potential employer.

I would like to teach in a non rural area. I've narrowed down my search to Sichuan, Shanghai and Hong Kong or around those areas. I would like to make 10,000 rmb a month with rent. I am willing to pay the my utilities and my plane ticket. I would like to teach 20 hours a week, 10 hours of office time with weekends off. Is this reasonable and is 10,000 rmb enough to live on?

My questions

I do not have a TEFL. Is this a requirement? If so which TEFL certificates will be recognized in China? If I take the $1,000 Oxford course will I get better offers?

A lot of job postings request a cv, passport photo, a copy of my diploma and TEFL? Are these people identity thieves or spammers? I feel comfortable providing a CV and photo for an initial interview before providing the other information.

What should I know about recruiting agencies and how should I view the bad review I have read online about them?
Deffie
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Re: Can an English teacher from China answer my questions?

Unread postby Suzanna » 23 Jul 2012, 10:00

Hi ya,

For china any TEFL certificate is recognized. I did a weekend course with i-2-i. You also need a degree for the school to be able to get you a visa.

Generally they ask for 25 teaching hours per week (full time) plus 15 office hours. If you work less teaching hours ( 16 to 20) then usually there are no hours hours included. If you work for a private school evenings and 1 weekend day will be required.

In shanghai 12,000rmb is enough per month which includes paying rent and bills. Schools will help you find accomodation. Be sure to get photos if they are going to provide accomodation for you. I lived in a nasty appartment when i first arrived in china.
Usually your flight cost will be reimbursed once a year. I was travelling home for a month every year and my school covered my flight cost.

Asking for copies of your CV and Certs is normal. They have to be sure they can get you a visa.

Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions. I lived in china for 5 years so am happy to help.
Suzanna
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Re: Can an English teacher from China answer my questions?

Unread postby Elissa » 30 Jul 2012, 07:03

This might sound awful, but the biggest problem you're likely to face is the fact that you look Chinese. In private schools in China especially, a lot of parents will object to having a 'Chinese' teacher. They are paying for a western teacher and although you are American, they may not look past the fact you look Chinese to them.

I've lived in China for 3 years and my best friend here is a Texan girl of Chinese ancestry, she found it very difficult to get well paid work due to the fact parents didn't believe she was a foreign teacher, and complained to the school if their child was put in her class. We lived a little outside of Shanghai for a year and that's where she found it the hardest; the more popular the destination the more picky the schools can be, I'm afraid. After 2 years she gave up and returned to the States.

Good luck, I hope you find somewhere that can see past your appearance :)
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Re: Can an English teacher from China answer my questions?

Unread postby Elissa » 30 Jul 2012, 11:19

Suzanna wrote:For china any TEFL certificate is recognized. I did a weekend course with i-2-i. You also need a degree for the school to be able to get you a visa.
Not strictly true. I've known many schools that will happily fake a degree in order to get western faces here. It comes down to how desperate the school is for an FT. I've seen some teachers who barely know what a verb is!

Suzanna wrote:Generally they ask for 25 teaching hours per week (full time) plus 15 office hours. If you work less teaching hours ( 16 to 20) then usually there are no hours hours included. If you work for a private school evenings and 1 weekend day will be required.

This very much depends where you go. My contract is 20 teaching hours a week, plus 20 office hours. The busiest days for me are the weekends. Most private schools will expect you to work both Saturday and Sunday as these are the days when students can come all day long.
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