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Q: Can I teach English in China if I am black?

Serious question here. I was really excited to come to China and teach English. I have read on here as well as other websites is that the main requirement is that you be from an English Speaking country and that you also be White. I've looked at a lot of schools and their respective Facebook pages and I haven't seen a single teacher of any shade of color. Now, of course I'm sure this is to stick attract Chinese parents as I have heard that most cannot fathom someone who is not Caucasian, speaking native English. This was told to me by an American HR manager for a school in China, after I responded to his email that he accidentally sent to me. He meant to forward it to another colleague and stated: "He is fully qualified to teach. I am shocked that he is of course black. Should we give them a chance or should I make up an excuse?"

 

So my question is: I am a young Latino/Black male, American born and raised, with a college degree in English, 160 hours of TESOL certification, and 4.5 years of private tutoring experience with ages range from 5-45. I also worked for a college for 2 years tutoring students on college entrance exams, course tests, Anatomy/Physiology, English, etc., and assisted with curriculum development for all of our degree programs. With all of my experience and qualifications, are my chances for finding a good job teaching English in China extremely limited due to the fact that I am not Caucasian? Is this how it is in every country or just China?

 

Thank you for any insight you may be able to provide on this matter.

7 years 22 weeks ago in  Teaching & Learning - China

 
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General

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Come on yo,lets face the facts and call a spade what it is.If you are in China then you know what I'm talking about.Physical appearance plays a major role in what you get here especially when the white skin is missing.

I'm just being honest with him.

If he is confident,has a good personality and attractive then skin color wont really be a problem,but if those qualities are missing, your race will be the order of the day.

I presently head a school with 10 foreign teachers,mostly Caucasians ,but I'm as dark as you can call it.

So...

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7 years 22 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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I was a teacher at the Mianyang Foriegn Languages School in Sichuan province in the People's Republic of China.  I was discharged after 30 days.  I was not paid a salary, severance pay, or travel reimbursement.  Do you support not paying foreign teachers at British Columbia Ministry of Education certified schools?

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7 years 22 weeks ago
 
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My question is, why China?  You seem to be very qualified, you could go teach anywhere else under better conditions....Japan, Korea... anywhere.  Not to discourage you, I'm black also (but I have no desire to work for a school in China), and living in China but from what I can see, unless you're interested in traveling and learning about Chinese culture, I don't see a benefit over other countries.

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7 years 22 weeks ago
 
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Degree in English + certification + years of experience.  Wait a minute! --  you're a real English teacher.   

 

Don't waste your time with all the mickey mouse English schools that discriminate, they're not professional nor seeking professionals.  If you got a thing for China, I would suggest  working for a credited university (who seek real English teachers based on qualifications and discriminate less).

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7 years 22 weeks ago
 
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Yeah man,just give it a shot anyway

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7 years 22 weeks ago
 
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Emperor

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Of course you can son.. I see no reason why not. Come and join us. I saw many great African American teachers working at Wall Street English.

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7 years 22 weeks ago
 
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DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME & TALENT for a place that will drain the life out of you.......... I know of an African- American Female teacher with over 5 years of teaching English who came over to teach and went back very depressed... she got a good salary 18k... but the stress from trying to prove yourself as a human being........ Not a good move.

 

I'm African.... it's another story altogether... these people cannot fathom the fact that English IS my native tongue... I do not think in another language then translate that into English then speak......... Yet I know people who have to think through a few other languages and have jobs on virtue of their white skin

 

BULL CRAP!

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7 years 22 weeks ago
 
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Of course you can teach English in China. I am a Chinese and i  am an English teacher in a training school. There is a foreign teacher who is from Africa and he is black but he can  speak English quite well, clearly with no accents and he is very active and very good at teaching. The students like him very much, so do the parents. So he can earn more than 8500 yuan per month in our school for part-time teaching and he also works in another school in which he can get another similar salary or even more at the same time. He is my good friend too. The teachers in our school like to make friends with him and offer him a favor when he needs a hand. Maybe sometimes some kids would say something like"  hei ren" which is offensive. But they are only kids so never mind and try to forgive them and tell them right from wrong and tell them should show the respect to others that is what I usually strengthen in my own class.  If you have no strong accents and have teaching experience you will have the chances. I interviewed many foreign teachers too. What i care about are  the accents and the experience not the appearance.

wish you good luck!

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7 years 22 weeks ago
 
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Thank you all for your input. I know on paper I look extremely qualified, but I guess my fear is that since I do not have any classroom teaching experience in ESL, that I won't have many options available to me in other countries such as Europe and the Middle East, who from my research, seem to be more difficult to get into. Also, with the cost of living being so low and the salaries being more the sufficient, I calculated that I would be able to pay off all my student loans in a matter of a year and a half. Also, China just seemed like a good place to start and get a couple years under my belt before setting off to other countries.

 

I have to admit, I had no idea whatsoever that China was the way it was until hearing from you all and my own experience with that HR manager. I grew up in the deep south in the US (no southern accent though), and I have never once experienced any type of racism, so China really made my head spin. I agree with those who say it may not be worth it. I don't mind working hard at all, but I also don't want to think in the back of my mind that these people only hired me because they could not find a Caucasian to hire in time. I live in Los Angeles, and could easily find a ESL job here in the city, but I wanted to explore the world and other cultures and allow my experiences to shape me into a more globally mindful individual. I have so many recruiters and hiring mangers email me over the past week ever since I posted my resume online, and many them I haven't even responded to because I don't feel like getting rejected. I feel like I need to reupload the resume and put at the top that I am a biracial black guy, so they are aware of my skin color before they contact me. I mind is still blown by this whole experience.  My grandfather, who is Black and was an college English Professor turned district school board superintendent from 1950s-80s, would tell me to fight on and be the change...but it's 2013 and this is China we're talking about....'ain't nobody got time for that' lol.

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7 years 22 weeks ago
 
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Cultural/racial sensitivity isn't in the Chinese dictionary. I'm white, but the amount of value judgements I've heard about black people are enough to give me serious pause. Anyway, if you do get here, prepare to be treated like a language school's foreign monkey attraction - you become an entertainer instead of a teacher. There's some measure of respectability, but the spoiled rich kids can make you feel that there's no dignity to your job. Give it a try, I'd say, but brace yourself for extreme culture shock, possible disappointment and so on. I wouldn't stay if I didn't have a wife and child here. My baby son makes teaching in China worth it.

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7 years 21 weeks ago
 
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Dear Wandering Teacher,

 

Please just your PM.  Thanks, Belle

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7 years 21 weeks ago
 
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Minor Official

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Hi. I am currently in China working. I'm an african-american woman.  There are other brownies in Beijing as well.

 

It is possible to work in china but it can bea pain. Mostly because many chinese are ignorant about the real face of americans.     It may take a little longer but I'm sure you can find something.  

 

a note of caution: many schools actively try to pay black people less (don't get me started) make sure to research salaries before you accept anything. 

 

It's a challenge but so is living here. And don't worry, once you get here you'll make plenty of friends. Especially chinese girls. 

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7 years 21 weeks ago
 
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i dont want to discourage you but come only if you've already got a job and the proper papers.. dont come here and try to find for a job because you can be disappointed. Good Luck.. you have many degrees and experience you can get a good job somewhere else. Smile

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7 years 21 weeks ago
 
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hahahaha.. You can't be serious... There's no chance in HELL of a school giving you a decent job..  Most parents here in China are ridiculous about skin color.. WHITE is RIGHT and BLACK is EVIL...   Thats the Chinese way..    Do the Michael Jackson gimmick and go white..

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7 years 21 weeks ago
 
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Hey there, i read you question and i understand your point mostly. However, let me tell you this... if you live in one of the more modern cities such as Suzhou, where i am, or Shanghai, Wuxi, Guangzhou etc. then you are going to have no problems really. I know many black british and american english teachers out here. They are, thankfully, judged on their teaching ability and not their colour or race. I have a friend who works for the university, and for a training centre. He is an African American and he's very popular with people. He's never had a problem getting a job. 

 

In all honesty it depends which part of China you want to go. If you want to try the west of CHina then i would advise being careful as they are more prone to not accept foreigners, including white guys as well in all truth. But generally i would say you will be absolutely fine. In fact if you would like a job send me an email and i can hook you up with an agency and a few training centres in my city for you. 

 

Good luck

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7 years 21 weeks ago
 
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Hey there, i read you question and i understand your point mostly. However, let me tell you this... if you live in one of the more modern cities such as Suzhou, where i am, or Shanghai, Wuxi, Guangzhou etc. then you are going to have no problems really. I know many black british and american english teachers out here. They are, thankfully, judged on their teaching ability and not their colour or race. I have a friend who works for the university, and for a training centre. He is an African American and he's very popular with people. He's never had a problem getting a job. 

 

In all honesty it depends which part of China you want to go. If you want to try the west of CHina then i would advise being careful as they are more prone to not accept foreigners, including white guys as well in all truth. But generally i would say you will be absolutely fine. In fact if you would like a job send me an email and i can hook you up with an agency and a few training centres in my city for you. 

 

Good luck

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7 years 21 weeks ago
 
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Answer of the DayMORE >>
A: If you earned a Master's Degree in English Literature or a related sub
A:If you earned a Master's Degree in English Literature or a related subject, you can teach English legally in China even if you don't hold a passport from the usually accepted list of countries. The visa requirements clearly specifies this “loophole”.Nonetheless, I think this requirement is only for teaching English. If you are a licensed teacher of another discipline, such as Math or Physics, you don't need to be a native speaker, although most schools would rather hire a teacher from a country where English is the native language.Right now China’s borders are closed (does anyone have new information?), at least that’s what everyone is saying. China is probably only going to reopen the borders again once most of the population is vaccinated, and that might take a while. -- samvelasco87