Teaching in China can be a great experience for anyone, but it can also be problematic if you don’t know how to go around things the right way and know what to avoid. So in this article I will describe the process from finding a teaching job up to starting work and things that you need to avoid.
How do you find a teaching job in China?
Of course, the easiest way would be if you are already in China, and just ask around on wechat groups or between your foreign friends. News about teaching positions goes around very fast in the expat communities. But in most of the situations you are outside of China and the best way to find a job is to use a recruitment agency. Most of them charge the schools so you won’t need to worry about costs. There are a lot of agencies on the internet that do recruitment for foreign English or Subject teachers. However the trick is not is it easy to find a school or agency, but are the schools, legitimate, are they trustworthy, decent, do they pay on time and they give you a z working visa? Etc
The solution?Do some homework! look around on the web, who do they work with? Does they’re website (not job board add) look credible? Beyond this going through friend introductions and recommendations that work in those very schools is even better, if they’ve had a positive experience you likely will as well!
You found a job. What comes next?
After an agency puts you in contact with the school and they’ve agreed on having you as their teacher, then you will need to negotiate your contact and start the paperwork. The school should offer you all the documents you need in order to get your visa and come to China. If you want more details about the structure of the contract and the salary ranges please check this article.
Some schools might try to give you student visa or business visa. Don’t accept anything else besides work visa (Z Visa). It’s illegal to work on any other type of visa. Today a lot of teachers are working in China illegally and the Government is starting to crackdown on illegal working expats.
Haggling is ingrained in the Chinese culture, if you’ve given a great interview, Demo and your credentials are up to scratch, don’t be afraid to ask for more OR let your agency do it for you, (they often have ongoing relationships and maybe able to help more than if you were just “going it alone”)
You have arrived in China.
The recruitment agency, if a good one, should have a service package for you that includes airport pickup, assistance with getting to know the city and all the things you need to get your local life started.
Beyond this good agencies will help you with any problems that you might have with the school, there can be situations when schools don’t want to pay on time or in the extreme not pay a teacher’s last month salary. Reliable agencies can intervene and help the teachers get the money and resolve release letter issues. I will talk more in detail this in a case study here.
After the paperwork is done and you start working, it should be smooth sailing from here on out. The kids are great and very excited to have foreign teachers, and your Chinese coworkers will enjoy getting to know you, about your country and about your teaching techniques. In China they have plenty of national holidays giving you the opportunity to relax and enjoy the new culture, food, and travel around the country.
In conclusion I would say either find a school through a reliable friends recommendations or use a strong, dependable recruitment agency because they will help you with all the problems you might encounter often for no cost from yourself.
Psst! Looking for teaching jobs in China? Go to MTA Teaching jobs to explore more!