PLACEMENTS & TEACHING
PART A: THE PLACEMENT PROCESS
China is a huge country with diverse landscapes, culture, and history. With this variation comes a large range in the experience that you can have in China depending on your location. We understand that not all locations will suite all applicants, with some applicants being more strongly suited for one location than another (i.e. an urban city vs a rural one). Also as applicants are expected to remain within their chosen city for the duration of their placement it is important that we get the selection right first time.
To help us provide the most accurate placement possible we have the "placement process". This process typically begins around April-May time. During this process applicants will be provided with a list of criteria for their preferred city (we say preferred because we can't always 100% guarantee, even though we will try where ever we can!). The criteria will then be used to match the applicant with a location and school that they will begin their visa process with.
FREQUENTLY ASKED PLACEMENT QUESTIONS
WILL I BE PLACED ALONE?
WHY CAN SALARIES VARY SO VASTLY BETWEEN PLACEMENTS?
WHEN WILL I FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MY PLAEMENT?
IS MY PREFERENCE GUARANTEED?
No, we can and never will guarantee your preference as some factors can and are out of our control sometimes. What we will say, is that we will do everything we can to get you the placement that will provide you the best experience that we can provide.
PART B: THE TEACHING
For the majority of our applicants this will be the first time they have ever stood in the front of the classroom and taught. It's easy to understand why this may seem like a daunting and uneasy task that puts some people off applying altogether. This fear is quickly lost however once applicants begin teaching at their school and find out that the job is a lot more fun (and less scary!) than they had initially expected.
FREQUENTLY ASKED TEACHING QUESTIONS
HOW CAN I TEACH WITH NO TEACHING EXPERIENCE?
WHAT ARE SOME GENERAL TEACHING RESPONSIBILITIES?
HOW CAN I TEACH STUDENTS WHEN I CANNOT SPEAK CHINESE?
WHAT DOES A GENERAL CLASS TIMETABLE LOOK LIKE?
The timetable of an applicant teaching at a school really does depend on the school that they are placed with. Some applicants get extremely lucky and find themselves teaching only 5 lessons per week while a few unlucky teachers could have up to 28 per week (around 35-40 mins per class). A general rule for the number of lessons is how central the school is in a city. If it is in the downtown area you are more likely to have an average of 20-25 while if you are in a suburb or less developed city you may have around 8-10 classes. Applicants that select the standard option should receive a placement that is towards the lower end of the spectrum while those on the Pacican option are more likely to have the higher end.
HOW MANY STUDENTS ARE IN EACH CLASS?
Just as with the timetable it is impossible for us to tell you until you arrive at your school as timetable planning can change at any given school. The only thing we can do is work on the feedback from previous teachers at those schools to provide a rough estimate of the number of students that the school will have per class (and the likely timetable scheduling). Some schools have been known to have as little as 15 teachers in a single class with a good estimate being around 35-40 students in a single class. This sounds like a lot and it is more than we are used to in western countries but is more than manageable once an applicant develops some teaching experience and has a teaching assistant present in the room.