Before I moved to China, I spoke to a friend of mine who’d lived and studied here for over nine years. She lived in the north, very far from here. Her life here was a little difficult at first, for she missed her family a lot. But, she was also blessed to find great friends. Through her, I got to know many foreign students teaching English in China as a part-time job.
Since my arrival, it has been clear to me, that the paler the skin, the prettier you are in China. When some Chinese look for English teachers, they prefer someone who is White, has blonde hair, and blue/green eyes. It doesn’t matter if the person can string two words together, image is everything.
I had no idea teaching English in China would be so challenging.
The first time I tried teaching English in China, was last year. Ashleen recommended me for a job. I had never taught kids before, so it was new for me. It was also very exhausting! I had to sing, be happy, talk in a sing-song voice like that irritating purple dinosaur. The kids are smart, so they knew I wasn’t cut out for the job. One kid in particular made it his job to irritate me. “This teacher is boring! She doesn’t play any games! Class dismissed! Class over! I want to GO!” Terrible experience. I to never vowed teach kids again!
My second job teaching English in China, also didn’t work out very well.
An acquaintance at school told me about a job opening at a school nearby. The owner of the school called me, and I went over there for a meeting. I had no idea Chinese kids studied the whole day. They start school after seven in the morning, and finish around eleven o’clock at night! My former teacher says, it’s because China’s so overpopulated, it’s so competitive to get into a good school. Students must have SUPERB grades to make it into exceptional universities.
One kid at this new school made teaching English difficult.
The new school, the second place I tried out, is close to where I live. It’s about a ten-minute-walk, more or less. My first day was a disaster. One very ill-mannered little boy kept talking about “my black face.” Then, when I corrected his homework, he grabbed my pen out of my hands, and threw it across the room. I had to pray to all the Gods in the whole universe not to smack the living day lights out of him. His father was there, he didn’t even apologize to me. I told the little boy to get up and get my pen, NOW! The father didn’t like it, but I could are less!
I put up with it for a month. The pay was also very sucky. The normal rate (everywhere) is between 100 and 200 Renminbi per hour. She offered to pay me 100 Renminbi for three classes! I agreed to it, for I had a lot of spare time, so I did it. But after I found my current job, which is the best of all, I told her I wasn’t going back. Chinese Calligraphy is still on my list of things to learn here in China. Oh, and learning how to draw, as well.
My current job teaching English in China is at a very prestigious training facility in China.
I found my current teaching job through one of my teachers. It’s been nice, so far. The colleagues that I’ve met, are very nice people. The students are adults, so I don’t need to sing, don’t need to talk in a sing-song voice, no playing games! I can’t tell you how much of a relief that is. One thing I do have to get used to is, the style of teaching here.
Again, sorry for the quality of the picture. I taught this class in January. These kids were AMAZING! They were well-mannered, so nice, and so eager to learn! I was amazed at how well their English was. At the end of the lesson, I rewarded them by allowing them to play Hopscotch. If all kids are like them, I won’t mind teaching kids again!