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Which type of school should you teach at in China?

by The Panda Team in Types of Schools 14/04/2017

Teaching in College and Universities (Public & Private)

Teaching at a college or University is ideal for someone whose primary motivation in coming to China is to experience the place and people, learning Chinese, traveling, starting a business, or just wanting to have a lot of free time. The work hours are relatively low compared teaching in other institutions. You don’t need a degree in English or teaching. You just need to be a native English speaker.

For most universities, there are 16 to 20 hours of class per week and four months of paid vacation: January, February, July, and August. Classes are generally an hour and a half. You will probably not have more than two such classes each day. There are people who only work two days a week and spend the rest of their time traveling. Lesson planning will have to be done outside of class, but once you get better at it, lesson planning will be easier and take up less and less of your time.

Salary

One drawback with teaching at college or universities is that it doesn’t pay as well as other institutions. The average salary will range from 5000-8000 RMB per month plus some bonus. This is quite enough for you to live on while also having a great time traveling, you won’t be saving much money. However, if you take into account that you are only teaching 15-20 hours per week and you get paid vacation, the hourly rate is actually quite good. Also, most schools will provide housing so you don’t have to rent. In addition, most schools will reimburse your airfare.

Teaching in k-12 Schools

Besides college and university, another popular option is teaching at K-12 schools (kindergarten through twelfth grade). The working hours are teaching hours plus office hours, normally is 35-40 hours per week with Monday to Friday schedule. Classes are generally an hour in length and usually held from about 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Depending on the school, you may or may not have to work all these hours, some school don’t require office hours.Students in primary (elementary), middle, and high school will have a similar schedule to those in college, but the semester breaks are shorter. Instead of four months off every year, they will only have one month off in the winter and another two months off in the summer.

Students in primary (elementary), middle, and high school will have a similar schedule to those in college, but the semester breaks are shorter. Instead of four months off every year, they will only have one month off in the winter and another two months off in the summer.

Salary

Salaries will range from 6,000-10,000 per month in tier 3 cities; 8,000-11,000rmb per in tier 2 cities. Tier 1 cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen will pay the most more; typically, anywhere from 10,000-18,000 RMB per month. K-12 schools will all include housing accommodations or allowance International schools will pay in the range of 14,000-20,000 RMB per month or more.

Training Centers

Training centers are the third types of schools where foreign English teachers are in high demand. There are basically schools where anyone can go to take extra English classes. With a growing economy, more and more Chinese are moving into the middle class and a strong emphasis on education and grades, many parents are sending their kids to these types of school to further improve their English. Students can range from primary school, middle school, high school, and even adults. Currently, the most popular group are primary school students. Training centers will have class every day of the week. Classes during the week are held in the evening. Classes during the weekends are usually held all day long.

There are both full time and part time positions for training centers. For a part time position, the center might ask you to teach a few class each week. For a full-time position, you will be asked to work 40 hours a week all year round. You will probably only be teaching about 20 hours a week, but you have other responsibilities as well. Training centers have the same national holidays that colleges and K-12 schools have, but you don’t get winter and summer break off. In fact, those are the busiest times of the year for training centers since students are off from school.

Salary

Out of the three types of schools, training centers generally offer the highest salary. A full-time position can pay anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 per month in bigger cities. The largest downside is the long work hours which means you won’t have much of a social life. But if you prefer a high salary, then teaching at training centers are for you.

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