China: non-white teacher can't find a job

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China: non-white teacher can't find a job

Unread postby RobJames » 13 Jul 2010, 17:39

Hi there!

In China: My colleague is having trouble finding another job.

He is American, can speak basic Chinese, and has been teaching for 18 months. So no problem, right?

WRONG: there is a problem, he is about 40 and his parents are Phillippino, so he's not white. I think he s a fantastic teacher, but I think Chinese recruiters dont want him just because of his colour.

I am wondering is there any way to overcome this? Are there any schools in big cities or on the East Coast of China that will accept him? Please help ! Thanks.
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Re: China: non-white teacher can't find a job

Unread postby markc » 15 Jul 2010, 00:14

I don't know why your colleague isn't asking this, but....

Being of Filipino descent is a problem. Being 'about 40' is a problem. And 1.5 years teaching experience is not a lot.

Persistence is the answer. And applying to large internationally owned schools, or small schools who are desperate for teachers. It shouldn't be this way, but it is. I suggest widening the search to more countries.
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Re: China: non-white teacher can't find a job

Unread postby edoopoo » 17 Jul 2010, 06:40

Hi there,

I'm Australian but my parents are Chinese so I had the same problem trying to find English teaching jobs in China. I'm in my mid-20's, have a university degree and essentially no teaching experience.

After applying to directly to several schools I registered with Gold Star TEFL Recruitment which is a free recruiting agency. They're really professional, replied to me the next day and I received several emails of interest from schools in China that same week. English First is a major chain school in China and the Taizhou branch didn't care about my ethnicity. Unfortunately I've heard some bad things about EF in general so I chose to work at York School of Foreign Languages in Fuzhou which is a small growing school who have just opened up their second branch in Fuzhou. I'm really loving it here: all the staff are great, we have teaching assistants, plenty of support and get to plan our own lessons. When I was applying I found that non-Chinese recruitment managers are more likely to give you a chance.

Hope this helps
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Re: China: non-white teacher can't find a job

Unread postby RobJames » 19 Jul 2010, 16:28

Great, thanks for both replies.
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Re: China: non-white teacher can't find a job

Unread postby atlantean » 04 Aug 2010, 22:28

Can't help but comment on markc's comment "Being 'about 40' is a problem".
Are we living in the same China? I came here 3 years ago at "about 50". I've never had a problem finding good paying work. In fact, I have to turn it down quite often. I know even older codgers who at age 60 are still in demand. I have a Masters and a Celta and had a career before arriving here and many people seem to prefer that. Chinese Business people don't want some punk kid teaching them, generally. There is a big market here for us coffin dodgers, just not at places like EF. Who wants to work at those places anyway?
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Re: China: non-white teacher can't find a job

Unread postby englishbiz » 09 Aug 2010, 15:46

Sadly, this is all-too-often an issue for teachers who are not "the image of foreigness" (is that a word?) in the eyes of prospective employers. The issue is compounded with a soft economy (in Japan anyway) and a flood of applicants looking for work.

It is true that while there are many brilliant and talented teachers over 40 (and beyond!) many language schools are looking for younger teachers fresh out of university to come and play and jump around with the kids. Such a shame... it makes the art of teaching into a cheerleading competition...
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