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Author Topic: Best teaching gig in your opinion?  (Read 2400 times)

Nurble

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Best teaching gig in your opinion?
« on: July 30, 2014, 02:07:26 PM »
I read on this forum that generally the best teaching gig for ESL teachers was in universities. What is your opinion about that at the present?

Also, am I really qualified to be teaching at at university? I'm a 23 year old caucasian (I've read apparently that helps) male, and in addition to a B.Sc. degree, I have about 10 months experience teaching kids aged 13-16 (although not in a 'traditional' classroom, I taught them about prejudice among other things). I'll also have completed an online TESOL course by the time I get to China (an on-site one is not available in my country) and I plan to have studied up on some Chinese.

Thanks! :)

teacheraus

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Re: Best teaching gig in your opinion?
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2014, 11:31:27 PM »
One thing to be aware of is that depending on school, city, province, you may actually need two years "experience" to actually get a visa to work legally.
Sometimes it seems things go by too quickly. We are so busy watching out for what's just ahead of us that we don't take the time to enjoy where we are. (Calvin and Hobbs)

latefordinner

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Re: Best teaching gig in your opinion?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2014, 05:27:54 AM »
depends a great deal on who you most enjoy working with. Personally, I love working with uni/college students. They are usually bright (although there are exceptions) despite having been in the education system too long. When motivated, they are capable of doing interesting projects. They can be interesting to talk with after class. But of course there are also issues around grading and expectations, so have your syllabus prepared before your first class, and make it clear from day one what your standards and expectations are.

You can have a lot of fun with kiddies, and not surprisingly that is where the commercial market is most lucrative. I love working with kids 8-12, but older than that it can sometimes be a bit iffy. Especially in overcrowded middle prisons schools.

I've done my time (and then some!) with the little kindies, and find it very draining. Fun, but no country for old men.

bobrage

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Re: Best teaching gig in your opinion?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2014, 02:54:55 AM »
I'm a 23 year old...

Unless you're British it is unlikely that you are going to have graduated more than two years ago - which is a simple way to check whether or not you have the requisite two years of post-graduation experience.  Pre-graduation experience doesn't (normally) count.  Sorry.

To answer the question: in my opinion, university gigs are by far the best for self starting early career teachers who want to gain some experience and perhaps work on a further qualification by distance. 

Wagner

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Re: Best teaching gig in your opinion?
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2014, 03:18:12 PM »
I think you would have to define your idea of "best" first.  I consider a lot more than just salary like my healthy, cost of living, scam density, etc. Beijing and Shanghai are not even in my top ten and Universities are usually a safe and convenient option that come with furnished housing.

Cynicd05

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Re: Best teaching gig in your opinion?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2014, 08:53:37 AM »
I'm somewhat in the same position as op and I'm heavily contemplating English First. I am too young for China (22) but I think a language mill will give me everything, experience, hopefully confidence and a good starting foot.

I'm going to finish my TEFL course and get a seasonal job before biting the bullet but since I'm a loner, I may really go for EF.
Feels like I have to ship myself to a language mill. :(

babala

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Re: Best teaching gig in your opinion?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2014, 09:10:59 AM »
I think language mills are a good starting off point for newbies. They normally have a training period and lesson plans. It will give you a good basis of how to actually plan a lesson (aims, goals, timing). I would recommend EF (PM me for some good centers).
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Cynicd05

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Re: Best teaching gig in your opinion?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2014, 09:53:53 AM »
I think language mills are a good starting off point for newbies. They normally have a training period and lesson plans. It will give you a good basis of how to actually plan a lesson (aims, goals, timing). I would recommend EF (PM me for some good centers).

I am not allowed to PM yet. I just joined recently although I've already been taking steps towards TEFL even before I graduated and I am hoping to finish my TEFL course this month but yeah, I don't mind the work load as long as it's not crippling. Also considering I've always worked while going to school, I think I can manage.

Plus, from the reviews of EF, it doesn't seem too bad. It seems like the biggest gripe is the work load but they pay on time and give good accommodation. However, not sure if they discriminate based on race. I am still thoroughly raking through the net but no topics on that yet.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2014, 12:10:43 PM by Cynicd05 »
Feels like I have to ship myself to a language mill. :(

AMonk

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Re: Best teaching gig in your opinion?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2014, 11:35:57 AM »
I am not allowed to PM yet.

NOW you may bjbjbjbjbj
Moderation....in most things...

Tree

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Re: Best teaching gig in your opinion?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2014, 06:09:46 AM »


Plus, from the reviews of EF, it doesn't seem too bad. It seems like the biggest gripe is the work load but they pay on time and give good accommodation. However, not sure if they discriminate based on race. I am still thoroughly raking through the net but no topics on that yet.

If EF is similar to other chain training centers, then their hiring preferences will change from location to location. This is because they are probably individually owned.

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El Macho

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Re: Best teaching gig in your opinion?
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2014, 01:02:01 AM »
I think language mills are a good starting off point for newbies. They normally have a training period and lesson plans. It will give you a good basis of how to actually plan a lesson (aims, goals, timing). I would recommend EF (PM me for some good centers).
I agree with babala. Language mills can let you teach a variety of levels, so you can get an idea of who and what you might like to teach. The big chains have training and support, while the independent chains can provide lots of opportunity for advancement.
All the standard caveats apply. Try to talk to some current teachers at the school to see what it's like. Also, look outside of BJ/SH/GZ for jobs. Jobs in smaller cities might be more amenable to hiring someone who's "too young".
I think you would have to define your idea of "best" first.  I consider a lot more than just salary like my healthy, cost of living, scam density, etc.
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Badsmarty

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Re: Best teaching gig in your opinion?
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2016, 04:21:37 PM »
Best teaching gig CANNOT be found in China.  Go to a good country if you want one.  I honestly believe that and recommend it.

China isn't a place for a newbie teacher or a newbie expat.  I can't stress that enough.

CWL

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Re: Best teaching gig in your opinion?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2016, 12:34:13 AM »
Somehow, people do find the best teaching gig in China.   However, I'm often perplexed how they did it and by what criteria they refer.   mmmmmmmmmm
For me, I taught in a language mill and then as a classroom teacher at a broadly international school while in China.  Both were sort of OK places and rather typical of similar facilities found throughout China.  Each presented various highs and lows in continuum.  The job is what you make of it.  I learned a lot and completed a MEd. in the process.  I have recently returned to South Korea where I am working in a higher tier international school as an English Language Specialist.  Personally, I am glad to have left China behind.  Yet, I realize that I may find myself back in China in the future.  Who knows???

My advice:  Understand China for what it is and if possible, work it to your advantage.  If you can't manage this, chalk it up to experience and bump.





Just Like Mr Benn

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Re: Best teaching gig in your opinion?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2016, 03:51:34 AM »
I'd say that my present (Unui) job is the best teaching job I've had. One shouldn't extrapolate one bad experience to the whole of China.

The administrative staff are very professional and competent. I'm able to teach the kind of classes that I want to. The students enjoy learning and are appreciative and (almost all) put the work in.

Of course there are bad things.

The job is in an arctic hellhole, and the fact that the job is great is kind of trapping me here.

Some of the foreign teachers are weird and I wouldn't want to spend any more time with them than I had to. Most of the other teachers seem to think that I'm weird and don't want to spend any more time with me than they have to.

I'd worry about a newbie teacher coming here, just because the other teachers don't make any effort to be friendly. Most teachers who are employed here have taught in China before, and i don't think the FAO would really be very good with teachers completely new to China. But its always a good idea for employers to avoid 'newbies' to China. Newbies are a gamble.

At my last Uni (which didn't have many foreign teachers) we made an effort to be friendly to new teachers and help them settle in, (an action which more than once had bad consequences for me) so i'm a bit pissed off that the teachers here are so unfriendly, but then again there's a lot of teachers who really do not like each other, and there's 3 or 4 that I'd regard as having something seriously wrong with them, so it's a real struggle to build up any kind of social cohesion.

In addition to the high incidence of abnormal behaviour amongst foreign teachers, you also have the fact that the standard for teaching is so low in China. I'd guess that a lot of teachers here are either useless (which you can pick up from general astudent feedback) or really don't give a crap about the quality of their classes.

This in turn leads to the Chinese teachers feeling a bit superior to us. I was chatting to one of them recently (I think she's relatively senior) and I was a bit annoyed that she seemed to want to give me unsolicited advice on teaching. I was prepared to humour her by treating her as an equal, but was annoyed that she seemed to think that she was better than me.

So, maybe some of these problems will be quite widespread in China, but they're fairly minor things. The teaching environment is great, and I can ignore the other teachers for the most part.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, 04:02:59 AM by Just Like Mr Benn »

Modernist

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Re: Best teaching gig in your opinion?
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2016, 04:56:11 AM »
Quote
Best teaching gig CANNOT be found in China.  Go to a good country if you want one.  I honestly believe that and recommend it.

China isn't a place for a newbie teacher or a newbie expat.  I can't stress that enough.

Depends on the person, in my opinion. If you can take care of yourself, I think it's fine. I remember my first time in China after being in Korea, it was like being released from prison. Korean culture is stifling and absurd. I will take even a backwater in China over anyplace in Korea. As for being scammed or ripped off in China, you can't tell me Koreans are any better. Or for that matter Thais, Vietnamese, etc. Pretty much the only places in Asia that you can be assured of straight, honest dealings just based on the culture are HK (if you can get in), Singapore (even tougher), or Japan (if you can get over the hordes of weeabos and are willing to save nothing in exchange for the glory of living in the Great Nippon). Otherwise, you just have to watch yourself and assume that every so often you will have some issues. Be willing (and able) to walk when that happens.

Quote
Some of the foreign teachers are weird and I wouldn't want to spend any more time with them than I had to. Most of the other teachers seem to think that I'm weird and don't want to spend any more time with me than they have to.

Quote
but then again there's a lot of teachers who really do not like each other, and there's 3 or 4 that I'd regard as having something seriously wrong with them, so it's a real struggle to build up any kind of social cohesion.

Let me tell you...it seems like this is an issue in just about every ESL group in the world. Some of the people I taught with in Korea, I wouldn't have trusted as assistant managers of a video store in the US, forget being engaged with kids or teenagers. I had a Korean co-teacher who was drunk in school about a third of the time, and hungover the rest, and he got promoted to head teacher my second year! At the visa-fraud, I'm sorry, 'school' I teach at now, I have co-workers who as far as I can tell, have no idea whatsoever what they are doing or how to help students learn anything. These people could never be real teachers, so they end up in ESL. Sadly for people who are actually capable, the smell sticks.