Teaching English in Hefei, China
Report submitted on 15 March, 2015 by Sally.
Teaching English in Hefei, China:
How can teachers find teaching jobs in Hefei, China?
There are many online agencies. I found mine through Atlantic Education International AEI-inc.ca.
The main English teaching jobs available are:
Teaching at private international schools. I teach at a Canadian International School. This one is Win Hefei which is located in Anhui province There are several schools owned by the same company scattered around China.
What are the minimum teaching requirements?
You need a Bachelor of Education at least. An M.Ed is also an asset. It would be beneficial to have some sort of TESL training but it is not mandatory.
What teaching requirements would you recommend?
Experience teaching abroad would be considered an asset, but again, it is not mandatory.
What are the levels of payment?
The pay is quite good and comparable to what other International schools pay.
How many teaching days a week is normal?
5 days per week.
How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
20-30 hours per week.
What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
If you work for the International School, you will get 2 weeks at Christmas and 2 weeks for Chinese New Year as well as the Chinese holidays such as National Day (1 week) and a few Chinese long weekends.
What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Hefei, China to teach English?
Do some basic research about the Chinese culture. Make sure it would be a good fit for you. It is certainly not for everyone. Training in TESL would certainly be of assistance.
What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Hefei, China?
The opportunity to travel within the region was and is a big draw for me. This year I have visited Nanjing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau as well as Thailand. I will visit Beijing in May to explore the Great Wall. Teaching young children is certainly a reward in itself. Meeting the local people and making new friends here is wonderful as well.
What are the negative aspects for teaching English in Hefei, China?
The culture shock can be disturbing at times. Maniacal drivers with a ‘me first’ attitude who seem bent on taking you out on crosswalks. Once you understand that they will not stop for you, it is easier to navigate the streets. Sometimes I just want to go about my business without being constantly stared at. Old and young men spitting on the street is jarring as well. We have a saying at our school ‘TIC’- this is China!
What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
Obviously the language barrier is the biggest challenge. I have 16 students at the moment and only one understands what I am saying. The children seem to be overly indulged, read-spoiled, so discipline can be an issue when they don’t seem to have heard the word ‘no’ before. I teach at a new International school on the edge of Hefei. The area is just being built up so we are quite far from shopping/entertainment.
Living in Hefei, China:
Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in China?
You must apply for and hold a Residence Permit for Foreigners.
What is the cost of living like in China?
Our apartments are provided free of charge. The only thing we must buy is food and entertainment.
What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
Our apartment is provided for us.
Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Hefei, China?
Opportunities for travel, meeting new people.
Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in Hefei, China?
What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Hefei, China?
Don’t compare Italians and the systems here to the one’s in your home country. There are many great aspects to this country, as there are many bad ones. Don’t focus on the negative aspects.
What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
I miss driving to shop for necessities. We take taxis and buses to everything. My daughter, friends and pets. Major holidays such as Christmas.
What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country?
Shoes in their size. Larger sizes can be difficult to find. Deodorant and personal items. Sufficient clothing. Larger sizes difficult or impossible to find often.
About Me and My Work:
My Name: Sally
Students I’ve taught in China: Pre-school / kindergarten (4-6 years).
Where I teach: Canadian International School of Hefei. Working here for 1 year.
How I found my current jobs: Online through AEI-inc.ca.
My school facilities: Excellent – It is a new school with excellent facilities. New library, smart boards in every classroom, swimming pool, cafeteria.
Teacher support at my school: Training / workshops, lesson observations, teacher evaluations.
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