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Any teaching job "better" than a university?
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rioux



Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 312

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:49 pm    Post subject: Any teaching job "better" than a university? Reply with quote

I am pretty sure I will be staying another year in China. Are there any other jobs here that are better than a university?
When I say "better" I mean there could be jobs out there that although I may have to teach more hours than at a university they pay, or vacation, location, free meals, or other extras make up for it.
I teach 18 hours for about 5750RMB a month. Easy going atmosphere, low stress, great students. Working for 25-30 hours with more stress for 7,000RMB would definitely not be worth it.
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zactherat



Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Posts: 295

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cue Denim-maniac's ongoing memior of the joys of teaching small groups of adults in Yangshuo for pittance..

That obvioulsy works for him, uni obviously work for you. Some people hate big uni classes, the lack of any pre-defined learning outcomes and guidance.. others love the autonomy and the holidays and telling everyone that they are a lecturer/prof.

Previously I have been in a similar position to you - content, but curious, and this curiosity drove to move on to other jobs. My advice is that unless you are taking a huge step forwards professionally, don't do it! You sound like you are having a very positive China experience. Don't take that for granted. Bear in mind how many people here suffer quite heavy job-related stress - especially in language schools, where employers measure your wage against generated profit - and leave the country overworked, underpaid, bitter and twisted. That's not to say there aren't any good language schools out there, but it could be pretty tough switching to a full-time job after effectively working part-time for a uni for a year like you have been doing.

If you're really getting a lot out of your setup, just stay there. You'll be doubly effective with half the effort in your second year. If you move you'll have to start from scratch in terms of your teaching practice, student rapport and personal reputation.

If you are going to stay in teaching then it's good to have varied experience, but if you're only here for another year I'd say it's a case of 'not is broken, no need of fix.'


The other way to look at this, though, is that working a low-stress part-time job in China is doing you no good in terms of either your career track or your bank account. The longer you stay there, the more doors will close around you. Even the better employers in China, like employers in 'the West', don't value Chinese uni work experience. So you have to ask yourself - what exactly are you getting out of it?
An easy, laid-back lifestyle might great right now, but things tend to be tough further down the line for those who are so keen to put their feet up.

Surely a year kicking back in second-tier China is enough?

Target bigger and better things whilst you are still young.


Last edited by zactherat on Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3231

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Easy going atmosphere, low stress, great students


Quote:
Are there any other jobs here that are better?


No. (I'm assuming you're "in the sticks" [away from the Big Three].)
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Miajiayou



Joined: 30 Apr 2011
Posts: 283
Location: Nanjing

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I talk about university jobs with low hours, I'm still talking 12-14. I guess I've been here long enough to be out of touch, lol. 18 hours can actually be quite a bit of work and a lot of training centers only require 20-25 with far less preparation and often less of a commute.

I mainly stay because I am not interested in teaching kids and have never had a good enough offer from an adults-only training school (probably because I have no experience there). If I got such an offer, I would take it.

So, the question really is, what options do you personally have that are better than a university job?
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2465
Location: China

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jobs are a pyramid like most other things.
The 'better' ones are more highly sought after.
The corporate area attracts plenty of interest - either as English tutor or an export support role.
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kungfuman



Joined: 31 May 2012
Posts: 1416
Location: In My Own Private Idaho

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I left a university gig for a high school. Uni was easy - I taught business and did about 12 -16 40 minute classes a week. Pay was 10,000 a month.

High school - 12 classes a week. 15,000 a month.

A few friends laughed at me and said i took a step backwards. I disagreed, said it was a bout the money. The HS gig is pretty easy - I follow the course as it was laid out by the licensing company. Mark some papers etc. No real prep.

There is a chance I could stay here forever....
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Zac - I feel I cant post in this thread now! Wink
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2465
Location: China

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kungfuman wrote:
I left a university gig for a high school. Uni was easy - I taught business and did about 12 -16 40 minute classes a week. Pay was 10,000 a month.

High school - 12 classes a week. 15,000 a month.

A few friends laughed at me and said i took a step backwards. I disagreed, said it was a bout the money. The HS gig is pretty easy - I follow the course as it was laid out by the licensing company. Mark some papers etc. No real prep.

There is a chance I could stay here forever....


Not sure how many times this has come up but just tossing a monthly pay figure into the conversation is unhelpful - especially to newbies who have yet to come to PRC.
Think package.
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MisterButtkins



Joined: 03 Oct 2009
Posts: 1215

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kungfuman, what subject do you teach? and are you a licensed teacher?
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GeminiTiger



Joined: 15 Oct 2004
Posts: 999
Location: China, 2005--Present

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

teaching high school English forever would kill my soul.
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LarssonCrew



Joined: 06 Jun 2009
Posts: 581

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's also luck of the draw, so to speak.

I first came to China unsure, ended up at Kid-Castle Xi'an, surely the lowest rep school in China.

I remember working pretty much full time [5-9 Tuesday through Friday], then all day Saturday and Sunday, must have been in the office for about 30 hours a week, and after all that walking away with 2900 RMB, what a joke.

Found a new job at a uni, and because of the lack of English majors, I teach 2 90 minute classes a week for 4500 plus living expenses, and airfare[12,000 so add another 1,000] on top.

NOW, my contract states 16 working hours a week tops for that 4500, and if I were to work that many it'd be just ok in terms of work to pay. However, I'm also extremely happy that the university just let's me get on with things, try different things, my own way to grade etc.

But for many, 3 hours of work a week for 4500 is a great deal, and I've got zero bills[they even pay 200 a month for a cell phone plan].

So, after those two days are done, I *COUGH* could *COUGH* moonlight and perhaps end up making 20000 for about 30 hours a week.
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shenzhenbound



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LarssonCrew wrote:
It's also luck of the draw, so to speak.

I first came to China unsure, ended up at Kid-Castle Xi'an, surely the lowest rep school in China.

I remember working pretty much full time [5-9 Tuesday through Friday], then all day Saturday and Sunday, must have been in the office for about 30 hours a week, and after all that walking away with 2900 RMB, what a joke.

Found a new job at a uni, and because of the lack of English majors, I teach 2 90 minute classes a week for 4500 plus living expenses, and airfare[12,000 so add another 1,000] on top.

NOW, my contract states 16 working hours a week tops for that 4500, and if I were to work that many it'd be just ok in terms of work to pay. However, I'm also extremely happy that the university just let's me get on with things, try different things, my own way to grade etc.

But for many, 3 hours of work a week for 4500 is a great deal, and I've got zero bills[they even pay 200 a month for a cell phone plan].

So, after those two days are done, I *COUGH* could *COUGH* moonlight and perhaps end up making 20000 for about 30 hours a week.


Agree there is a lot of luck involved. There are many ways to go about the OP's endeavors.

I teach 21 x 40 minute classes and get paid 9k a month. I get plenty of vacation, and I'm paid for it. Technically during my 2 month summer holiday I'm getting paid my flight allowance and a bonus, but whatever I get paid for 12 months a year and I get more than 3 months vacation. Next week is testing and "sports week" so this will be my 2nd full week off since I started in September.

In addition to the great benefits (subsidized food, free electricity, apt, no office hours, no weekends, get off early on Fridays), I can teach my students privately @250/hour, the school's going rate. I teach 10 hours of private classes a week so I make almost 20k and work less than 30 hours a week.

OP, for me a boarding school is better than a university... Other boarding schools probably have similar contracts, you should research them and inquire about any positions available.
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ rioux

I think you have to define 'better', and identify what that means to you.

There is a recent thread in the general China section that refers to people who have lots of gunk in their ears due to pollution. There are not so recent threads that talk about people having bad coughs / chest problems etc due to pollution. Taking a job in one of those types of places would never be better for me, regardless of other benefits in their packages.

A friend of mine has just gone to DongGuang for a better job ... and this better job gives him 10 hours of commute time per week, classes at evenings and weekends, and no accomodation provided. For me, thats just horrid, but for him ... the higher salary makes it better.

As Zac pointed out earlier, the jobs I do tend to be better for me, but may not be so for you or others. Before anyone can really say what job would be a good fit, you need to tell us and decide yourself what 'better' actually means to you.
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rioux



Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 312

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK my wish list:
1. No more than 20 teaching/working hours a week. -> Willing to stick around (not teach) for 30 hours a week if the price is right.
2. No pay under 8k. -> Will take as low as 6k if the hours are as low as like 12.
3. Decent apartment with the usual amenities. Within a ten minute walk to my job. Non-shared apartment. No traveling all over the place to teach my classes.
4. Real vacation time. At least a month off in summer and a month off in winter.
5. Adult students. -> as in 18 or over. Willing to work with middle or high school kids under the right conditions (no more than 10 per class).
6. I don't mind living in small cities but they have to be within a 45 minute reach of civilization. -> It is imperative I have access to Western food and restaurants.
7. Live/work in a place with low pollution levels (China-wise I guess).
8. Preference: Teach near the coast.

What I have to offer:
1. Hey, I'm a cool guy.
2. I taught at the university level in Korea, the Philippines and did some volunteer teaching at a university in the USA for one year. I taught in Japan for a two year period as well.
3. I have a M.A. in Education. My Filipina wife should have her M.A. (Education) by the spring of next year.
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LarssonCrew



Joined: 06 Jun 2009
Posts: 581

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you can get everything you want on that list.

From what I can see, and have learnt, China becomes easier and better in terms of jobs the longer you are here.

For instance, I was offered a PT job at a translation university in the city, it was a trek [30 minutes in a taxi] away, but they offered 700 RMB for 2 hours work.

HOWEVER, it was an 8 o clock start, meaning a wake up of 6:30, something I didn't really want to do.

I had worked previously with an ex teacher at that university, and had done some IELTS teaching with him, so he put in a good word and they upped their offer to 900 RMB, I took it. Sure, it's 3 and a half hours in total, but I get 900 RMB extra a week for what is essentially me done and dusted by lunch time, one day a week.

However, like many have said, working a normal 9-5 teaching all hours is just impossible here, and if I commuted 30 or 40 minutes [plus waiting for a taxi time], 5 days a week, I would be sick, I'm sure, although yes, I'd be about 20000 a month better off.

One thing I realized here was that, after a while, the offers of a job were more and more, and unfortunately in my second year I put greed first, kept thinking 'damn I can make 24,000 this month!' , but after working 10-9 most days, I ended up in hospital, the lack of sleep and 'me' time took it's toll.

I agree with those who say the best is a moderate paying uni job with few hours, and then 'topping' it up with the right students. If you can get 5000 a month, house for say 15 hours, add another 10 hours privately at 150 an hour [let's be realistic, not everyone can find 300 an hour jobs], and you'll be sat on 11,000 a month, with no real bills except feeding yourself.

However, bare in mind with university apartments, you get some good, some bad. I had a nice place before, it was located in my university hotel, but was large for one person, and I had zero bills. BUT, they changed the hotel to another dorm, and I don't REALLY enjoy the idea of living amongst the student's I teach, so I leave that home purely for my gym equipment and if I need to get away from the girlfriend. Therefore I incur the cost of additional rent on another property, because the university did not consult me before converting the hotel into another dormitory for our students.
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