I want to find a teaching job in major training centers
2011-12-28 09:14:00

If you're looking for English teaching jobs in China, and are tired of your small, unreliable school, you might consider submitting your resume to one of the major training centers around China.

Although a great many expats worry that submitting to a contract with a major corporation would mean the end of freedom and fun, they do have a great deal to offer to experienced teachers looking for reliable, well-paid work. Multinational schools also offer something more casual schools do not: a next step after teaching in China.

To those who remain at small institutions where teachers feel they have more control over the classroom, names like English First and Disney conjure up images of overworked and under-stimulated drones repeating lesson plans written thousands of miles away. A lot of this stems from the increased accountability associated with big institutions: irresponsibility has consequences, unlike some schools run by Chinese businessmen that expect their teachers to do the bare minimum and then leave.

Teachers at these schools tend to be more qualified, with at least two years of experience, a TEFL certificate and a bachelor's degree. Salaries vary greatly from city to city.

English First (EF)

Established in 1965, English First is the world's largest privately-owned education company, and it shows. Teachers are provided with books, manuals and multimedia equipment, and a week of training before they are allowed to teach class.

With such resources at teachers' hands, it's no wonder full-time contracts are famously 40 hours a week, much more than any other. This is usually divided into 20 teaching and 20 office hours, although teachers may be asked to work more if the need arises. These office hours often include "life clubs," which are activity-based lessons, like English corners, that can range from watching a movie to discussing a book to cooking lessons. These are planned by the teacher.

Expectations at EF are high, and teachers work long hours. The real reason some people stay is the mobility it implies. English First operates in 51 countries, and transfers are not uncommon. Upward mobility is another appeal: a few years of faithful teaching and event organizing can mean a managerial position that is more highly paid and looks great on a resume. If you're really looking for a "China experience," a place like EF might be too time-consuming. If, however, you want to invest in opportunities elsewhere, a multinational corporation might provide the bridge you need.

Pros Cons
Good teaching resources Long working hours
Promotion possible Lots of lesson planning
Easy to relocate to other countries  

Shane English

Run by Saxoncourt, a British company, Shane has a similar appeal as an international organization. With offices in eight countries, Shane also allows some options outside of China. Most schools also pride themselves in providing modern equipment, as well as training and class observations. Few teachers report adhering strictly to the course guides provided, although all classes are organized on a timeline with exams at exact intervals. Teachers whose students consistently fall behind should not expect their contracts to be renewed. Unlike EF, Shane does offer some part-time work, but they still prefer standard, contracted full-time teachers.

An interesting benefit associated with Shane is the designated local "handler" that is in charge of attending to the needs of teachers outside the school. While most training centers are happy to provide a TA or someone who can talk to your landlord or take you to the hospital, teachers at Shane were quick to mention how useful and professional the assistance provided at the school could be.

It should be noted that this is only consistent amongst official branches of the school. Some Shane schools in China are in fact independently owned franchises. This difference can be a hidden advantage, though, since these new centers open frequently and draw on their own pool of existing talent to staff new openings.

Pros Cons
Promotion/relocation common Inconsistent branches
Professional caretakers Professional caretakers

Source:eChinacities.com Editor:乙姗姗