Guangzhou is the capital and largest city of Guangdong province. Teaching in Guangzhou is many expats' destination, because life in Guangzhou is great as well as the local people and food. Many expats don’t understand the difference between teaching in public schools and in training centers in Guangzhou, particularly those who have never taught English in China before. Here are some details we would like to share and hope it will help you to make a better decision.
Public schools and language centers
Public schools in Guangzhou are built by state or government, it means the standards, rules and requirements are higher and stricter. However, training centers usually are privately-owned or funded by many people/companies, most training centers are running for profit. The property and the operation of public schools and training centers is very different.
Public schools usually process a working visa for qualified English teachers. Public schools in Guangzhou require teachers hold a bachelor degree or higher, TEFL/TESOL certificate (If your subject is in education, you are not required to have a TEFL/TESOL certificate). In some small training centers you may not need a BA or any certification/s as each training center sets its own requirements by their needs. If you are a native speaker and don’t have any teaching experience even if you don’t have a BA degree and have your own style with enthusiasm in teaching and make the students like you, you will find it easy to get a job teaching English in Guangzhou. Do note if you do not hold a BA degree you cannot be issued a working (Z1) visa and you should understand the risks and be prepared to handle your own visa costs if you go ahead with teaching English without a BA degree in China.
Compared with public schools, Class size of training centers in Guangzhou are smaller. They usually have 3-10 per class. Some may be 20 or it is possible for a teacher to teach one student in a class. Public schools provided many grades students from 1 to 9 and class size is bigger than training centers. 30-40 students in the same class are normal.
Teaching English in public schools in Guangzhou your schedule is usually is the same. You have class every day and teach 3-5 hours per day. You get up at 7:30 or 8:00(it depends on the time your schools begin), you will have lunch at 12:00-14:30 and in the afternoon you finish working around 4:30 or 5:00 pm. Weekends are off always. A bit different from teaching in a public schools, teaching in training centers you don’t have to follow such a routine- your schedule will generally be more flexible. The classes are usually held in the afternoon or evening. Training centers don’t have classes in the morning from Monday to Friday and classes usually begin at 14:30-17:30 and 19:00-21:30pm. While teachers usually don’t have weekends as they need to teach from morning to evening. Students from training centers are those who study Chinese lessons in their schools and want to improve their English out side. And who out off work on weekends and spend their evening time and weekends to study English. To teachers who prefer to enjoy night life in Guangzhou and would like to have a wonderful weekend, we recommend you choose a public school.
Salary and benefits
Chinese people prefer to teach English in public schools when they have chance. Because teaching English in public schools means more stability with employment. You can get more bonus, medical benefits, house funds, medical insurance and higher pension. Many benefits you can get from schools and government especially when you finish 1 year or 2 years contract. One thing you need to know is the salary which will be transferred into your bank account is lower than teaching in training centers in Guangzhou. Teaching English in training centers in Guangzhou, you can get higher salary of course but usually there are more working hours. The salary in public schools usually is 7000-11000RMB (exclude benefits and bonus), however, 10000-15000RMB per month in training centers
Finally, before you choose your teaching jobs in Guangzhou, make sure you know the details we mentioned above and compare them, which kinds of schools suit you better?
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