Teaching in China you will have many questions.

Can I do it? Yes you can!

Most importantly you will to consider the environment that you would like to work in and the students that you would like to support.

Some teachers love working in a Kindergarten and some love teaching adults.

At SDE Seadragon International we often place teachers with younger learners. But fear not we have an array of positions to suit teachers needs.

We have written a short guide that will help you understand that teaching in China is for you. Teach English as a second language today.

Teaching In China Job Roles – Breakdown

  1. Kindergarten.
  2. Primary (Junior School) – Grades 1 – 6
  3. Middle School – Grades 7 to 9
  4. High School – Grade 10 – 12
  5. University –
  6. Business Classes

As you can see there are a lot of kinds of positions available.

Keep reading and we will break down each different job role for you.

We hope that this guide will help you make a good decision when seeking out your first ESL/TEFL Teaching job.

  • Kindergarten in China – Kindergarten focuses on children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old. The kind of English that you will teach will vary but it usually involves nursery rhymes, flash cards and cartoons. You would teach very basic English at this level. Including basic vocabulary topics such as numbers, foods and vegetables.

Teaching in a kindergarten is a lot different to teaching teaching in a middle school.

You would spend most of the day taking care of the young children.

So for example between your normal classes you would be expected to spend extra time with the children.

Either playing with them or taking them for food. For example.

  • Primary School in China – Primary schools focuses on children between the ages of 6 years old and 11 years old. This is a great level to teach as you can develop more conversational skills with the children. Not just fruits and numbers like kindergarten. They are at a level where they are keen to learn. Do you remember when you were in primary school? Asking the teachers for homework? Enjoying presenting your finished work to your teacher? Well it’s exactly the same here in China. Primary schools students will love you, you become their idol.

Teaching in China – Primary School – well you aren’t expected to take care of the children between classes.

This therefore gives you more time to prepare for your classes.

The children will usually visit you in your office and either ask for help with their English or they will just want to say ‘hi’.

  • Middle School in China – Middle schools focus on teenagers between the ages of 11 and 14 years old. At this time their vocabulary and conversational skills are peaking. But they are teenagers so they become more sulky in class and don’t put the the same effort in as Primary School. But you just need to encourage them. Push them. Deliver exciting classes and they will try hard for you. Use western popular culture to entice them.

Teaching in China – Middle School – again you aren’t expected to take care of children between classes.

You might be expected to attend some events such as sports day or the English Festival.

These times are great times to get to know your students better.

  • High School in China – High schools teach children between the ages of 15 and 18. This is slightly different to middle school or primary school. Students are focused more on their homework and tests. This is a very intense environment and often students will prefer to do their own thing during this class. So you need to make the best class you have ever made. And go for it. Get their attention. Make them interested in you and your lesson.

Teaching in China – High School – very much the same as middle school.

Join in on school events – they may even ask you to attend the weekly flag raising ceremony – don’t worry you will just stand there.

  • University in China – Teaching at university level has more cons that pros. Less salary being the main factor. It doesn’t make sense right? Well you will teach less classes than in any other kind of school. You may teach IELTs preparation at this level for students that wish to study abroad. Mixed in with conversational skills this is an easy gig. But salary is a lot less. Swings and Roundabouts!
  • Finally businesses. In this field there is a lot less positions available compared to schools and universities. There is just not enough demand to do this full time. So most recruiters will offer this kind of job as overtime work if they have it.

You might work 1 to 1 with a CEO of a major firm in Shenzhen.

Or you might teach a group of nurses in a international hospital.

This work really does vary and it is very casual – so a lot less hours in it.

Is Teaching in China Worth it?

Many teachers cover the same course multiple times each day, so it’s less time consuming to come up with lesson plans. 

You will most likely teach the same class content throughout one week.

As most schools will require you to each every class (for one grade) when you teach in a Chinese School.

The Salary

Most educational companies or schools will offer salary based on your experience and the level that you will teach.

Each level has a different base salary.

For example if you teach in Kindergarten you may get a higher salary than someone that teaches in university.

This is because there are a lack of teachers for Kindergarten level.

Salary Range

Kindergarten 20k – 25k a month

Primary School – 15 – 18k a month

Middle School – 15k – 18k a month

University – 12k or under per month

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