Anyone who is looking for an ESL teaching job in China should do adequate preparation and plan accordingly before they venture out to teach. Apparently, new teachers who want to venture into the expansive ESL market in China may be overwhelmed with certain aspects including finding a good job. And, it is unfortunate that some of the best teaching jobs are never advertised. Such vacancies are either filled by way of mouth referrals made by teachers who are already employed at known schools or colleges. And, competitive positions in the top cities of Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou require personal interviews. The reason is that the big cities have a considerable number of foreign teachers. Therefore, individuals who reside in any of the big cities are better position to take up these jobs.
Best Time to Submit Applications
It is almost a norm for public schools and colleges in China to hire foreign teachers for 10 months on contract. This may commence sometime in August after reviewing application sent in the period between March-April (of the current academic year). If you want to work in a public school or university, then you should submit your application before start of the spring semester in February/March.
Where to Find ESL Teaching Jobs
1.Teachers’ Recruiting Service
One of the best ways of securing a teaching job in China is to procure the services of recruiters. Well, there are a good number of applicants who have had pleasant experiences with recruitment agencies. Legitimate recruitment agencies identify themselves upfront and they also respect and observe advisory guidelines stipulated by the SAFEA.
If you are starter, you should bear in mind that the school and not the teacher is the client, and there is nothing like an “official “recruitment agency per se, but the mandate to hire is attained by virtue of that the recruiter has a recruitment license. If you are non-native speaker below the age of 60 years and you find it difficult to get a teaching job, then it make more sense to engage a recruiter instead of expending your efforts on futile applications. Anyway, if you are highly qualified, then it is not necessary to engage a recruiter. You should only use a recruiter/recruitment agency if you get referrals from a colleague or friend who knows the reputation of the agency in question.
1.Cultural Exchange Programs
If you want to venture into China and take up teaching jobs, then you should also consider the prospects availed under the all-in-one cultural exchange programs. Most of the orientation-teaching placements are based in the US and have affiliations with universities that screen candidates and schools eventually leading to TEFL certification. You can get job placements by paying fees from $1,000-$3,500. However, this may not be of much help if you are a career educator, but if you want to get TEFL certification before submitting your applications then this is the best approach to securing a job. Unlike recruitment agencies, these kinds of programs are transparent and accountable to teachers under their placement.
2.Private Schools and Universities
The good thing about private schools and institutions with adult and corporate training offices is that they hire foreign English teachers throughout the year. There is a good number of universities which post adverts in ESL websites, but most of them don’t do so. When searching for listings, you will have to be proactive by contacting universities that hire foreign teachers of English. While a private school may provide you with flexibility to embark on a teaching career in China at any time of the year, it certainly limits you with regard to future employment.
3.ESL Job Boards & Sites
A considerable number of people come across teaching jobs in China by reading and applying for jobs posted on TEFL websites. However, you should bear in mind that acceptance of the job adverts by the websites shouldn’t be misconstrued as endorsement of the employer’s credibility. Ads are accepted in China EFL websites because they generate revenue for the owner of the website, whether or not the employer is reputable. Anyway, you should check out resources that provide a listing of EFL websites and job boards.
4.State Department & CIEE
If you are seeking genuine teaching employment opportunities in China, then you should consider visiting the US State’s Departments website and explore the possibility of teaching at American schools. There are quite a number of schools listed on the website via assigned recruiters. Alternatively, you can also apply directly for teaching jobs at the Council of International Educational Exchange (CIEE) which has a remarkable record in facilitating overseas teachers’ placement.
In conclusion, if you have the right qualifications and experience in teaching, then you won’t find it difficult to secure a satisfying job. Even so, you shouldn’t set your hopes too high because your experience may not be the same as those of other teachers who are already working in China.