Where You Can Teach in China?



Teaching kindergarten in China is similar to teaching kindergarten across many of the Asian countries. It’s far more active and free than teaching older children (as you might expect). Dancing, singing and games are most of the lessons with the focus on keeping the kids engaged.

These positions tend to have fewer hours outside of teaching, because the lessons need less preparation and often less hours in general because of the age of the children.



This is the most common place to teach English. Teaching English is big business in China and it’s important to remember that a language school isn’t a public institution but a business. We can split private language schools into large companies and independent schools.

The independent schools are single schools (or possibly a couple of branches) and they’re all run by the same group of people, usually in a small area.

The large companies will typically be franchises. This means people start schools and then license the brand, materials and school structure of the parent company (e.g. EF English First). Although the schools have the same brand they’re all run by different people, often with little top down control. This makes it really difficult to evaluate the company because a bad experience at one branch has no bearing on the others.

Important stuff

·         They recruit all year round because they don’t have school terms.

·         They’ll pay the best, both in bonuses and salary (often 3000- 5000 RMB more than a public school).

·         They’ll work you the hardest. Teaching hours will go to 20+ and taking into account all the prep, you may end up doing a 40 hour work week at the largest places.

·         Smaller class sizes. Less than 15, often down in the single digits.

·         The hours will be more sporadic (evenings and weekends)

Unlike a public school, there’s virtually no regulation, so salary and benefits may change wildly from school to school.


These are more predictable than the private language schools. They’re regulated and with that come relatively standardized working conditions. The salary is lower than the private schools, usually 6000 – 8000 RMB a month, but the working hours are also less.

There are two semesters in China which run September to January and February/March to July.

Important Stuff

·         They recruit in seasons, usually a month or two before the semester begins.

·         Salaries are lower.

·         There are less hours than at private schools (14 – 24 hours a week)

·         Large class sizes, often 40 -50 or over.


Because they have terms, they also come with longer holidays as opposed to the private schools who’ll run all year around. Contracts will often be 10 months as opposed to twelve to avoid paying the teachers over the summer break if they don’t renew their contract.

Unlike the American system, public and private schools have their roles reversed, in China typically the public schools are more prestigious and the private schools less so.

This happens because well off children who are unable to get into the good public schools pay their way into private education.


These are share a lot in common with the public & private schools category above.

Again the prestige of public and private universities is switched, with public universities being the most highly regarded and private universities second best.

In 1995 China’s ministry of education began Project 211, which now represents most of the prestigious higher education institutions in China. 

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