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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.

6 years 3 weeks ago in  Teaching & Learning - China

 
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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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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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Sure, but find a job, get a contract and proper visa before you come. Then you have the power, once you get here you loose your trump cards. And please teach them some ghetto English. Good luck. Did you see the movie ''White Chicks''?

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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Im sorry to tell you that the opportunity's are limited by the naivety of the Chinese in general and that goes for other Asian countries also. My wife hired a gentleman from Cameroon when she owned a school in the NTH East  , she felt cheated because she thought he was from Canada angry But on the Bright side there are a couple of your countrymen here with similar heritage and they seem to do very well in China . All the best  and good luck  (don't give up

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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Wear a diamond studded glove on one hand in the classroom, shout out eeee heeeee and grab your crotch every 10 minutes. They will love it!

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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I am a white African and whenever I apply for teaching jobs the first thing they ask me to do is send a photo of myself. I'm not an idiot, they're obviously checking what colour my skin is. I also often have to explain to them that English is my native language. I think you can make it work but probably only at reputable institutions like Berlitz or maybe Disney. If you go to smaller schools they'll be far more ignorant and just say no because you're black. Your experience is really impressive though.

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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If you're currently in China, and available immediately,  send me a PM. I may be able to help.

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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Center your job search to the Public Schools. They are in need (of FT), and they're less picky in that matter.

However, 'looking for job' (and finding it) is very personal experience, so I am just 'guessing...'

 

Schools in China are very picky, butt......'FTs demand in China is huge'. Native English FT of Asian descent (qualified, too!) have problems to find job in China.

 

Never stop sending your CV, and 'good luck'.

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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why not?although majority of english teachers here are caucasian ,i mean there wont be much problem to work here since you got lots of relevant teaching experience,besides,you are from english speaking countries(native speaker),those are what really matters,arent they?
actually one of my former classmate's teacher is black skinned.he teach in senior secondary school and very popular with students.so i believe if you really like teaching here,you should not give up.
just remember that you shouldnot have strong accent when speaking english.
i hopeyou follow your dreams and good luck .Smile

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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I think you should look at applying directly to middle schools in Xinjiang Province.

 

Be very surprised if you didn't have an array of jobs to choose from.

 

Good food in Xinjiang.

 

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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The matter will turn on the issue of the passport.  If you are a United States citizen, with a United States passport in hand, for many, many schools, that will trump the issue of race.  The chances for a (black) African on an African passport really grow slimmer by the day.  The chances for a (black-or-Latino) United States citizen with United States passport, and an educational background such as yours are probably 50% in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guanghzou, and 80% elsewhere in the country.

 

As I looked over your background stats, the fly-in-ointment, at least in my opinion, will not be the racial composition but rather the lack of two years of real classroom experience.  Many, many of the local FEB's are getting tough with that issue.

 

Personally, I think that you have a really good chance.  Don't be discouraged.

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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I was offered a job this morning by a UK based recruiting company with offices in China. They sent me the contact and it's with a middle high school in Hubei Province at 5000 RMB a month with accommodation and all utilities included for 22 hours a week. Does anyone have any experience working in this province? is 5000 RMB sufficient? Their original posting stating 8000 RMB a month. What do you all think?

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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Hello there, 

 

I do not currently teach in China (except for the off-hand time) as I currently run a business and make 60-100k RMB per month. I am not saying this to boast but to let you know that when I was a teacher making 5-6k RMB, I could basically live the same lifestyle. 

 

Watch the "extra hours" with promos or office hours... English corners etc. It also depends on location... if it is a 4th or 5th Tier city... your income is equal to that of a manager. You will make enough to travel and eat well. I buy lots of "luxury items" like burgers once in a while or wine-coolers but never spend more than 3k RMB per month. 

 

Try to negotiate it up to 6 or 7k... they are trying to get you at a lower price (for whatever reason). They will take you for 6k guaranteed....

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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You can, I've done it. It wont be easy to find a job but you will be able to find one. The school I taught at had people from different backgrounds there, me (black), a Latino American and a Indian guy from England and it was one of the biggest schools in the city.

 

That being said, it will NOT be easy. Most will see your photo and just move on or give you some half assed excuse, but once youre in the door, at one school if you plan on staying for a while, make sure you get in good with the Chinese teachers, bosses and staff at your school. This way, most of the time if you want to change schools or if parents have a problem with you, you'll have a few 'connections' and usually they will stand up for you. Its happened a few times in my case, but usually the parents had no problems with me. With the smaller kids, the parents were happy because I actually taught things and not just screwed around playing games and singing songs (in my classes, we had SCHOOL, not 'super happy, game, look at the foreigner jump in circles time' lol) and the older kids (taught in public high school for a while as well) were happy because they were 'expecting' one thing to walk in the classroom door and got something completely different..also, at the time, I didnt 'look' the part of the stereotypical foreign english teacher in my manner of dress or 'out of class' speaking and whatnot, so they were really happy about that as well. I cant tell you how many times parents would come up to me and invite me to their homes for meals and ask if I was available for private one to one tutoring sessions (the answer to that, if youre on a school visa is always 'NO', people do it anyway, but the line you give is 'I cant' until youve been  there a while, then its whatever as long as you dont get caught lol), come to me with their personal problems (high school and college students, not parents lol) and ask me about all kinds of random english/american questions they said they didnt think they could ask other teachers. I think the age and how I carried myself had more to do with that than the race thing, however, i dont know.

 

The old saying about having to be 'at least twice as good to get half the recognition' is definitely true but, really, that only lasts about 6 months to a year. If you do a good job and the kids are actually learning something (read: while 'other' teachers might be able to get away with the whole 'just jump around and scream and sing songs and play games but not one kid can speak a word of english when class is over' thing and everyone's happy but YOU CANNOT. you have to actually teach, period.) Basically, its really just do the job they pay you for. Show the parents and the school that they made a good choice in hiring you. Dont go around getting drunk, showing up for work late, not teaching (read: handing out worksheets and then playing games on your phone, which some teachers actually DID, etc) and doing nothing but games and songs in your classes and treat the Chinese staff with respect and courtesy (basically, like you'd want to be treated) and things will be good for you all around.

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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Yes. Send me a message. I'll get you a job earning 7500 RMB per month with a provided apartment and with utilities. Many other black people have taught at this school before, though most of them came from South Africa. Many black teachers have worked in this city without a problem. With your credentials, you'll have no trouble landing a job.

 

There are two schools in the city who would take you. In fact, you could probably work at both and make almost double the income, but that's like 25 hours of work per week. Let me know.

 

You'll need to pay for your own plane ticket, but you'll have a legit Z visa before you even enter China. It will be mailed to you in 'murica. If you have any issues with the school in question, you can let me know. Cost of living is stupidly cheap as well. You can live off less than 1k RMB per month. I'll be back sometime tomorrow (busy now), so I can't look today.

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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Hey Im a black American as well....private message me and I will give you the low down. I have basically your same credentials except the Masters....5000 yuan these days you cant live off...hulk and sinobear(no offense) its a bit foul what kind of jobs and how much you are offering.

As an American do not accept anything below 10k a month....Thats how much white folks are making if not more. In Shanghai if you are white one can make upwards of 30k a month teaching. This is for tutoring....but the Chinese wont allow black folks to tutor because they feel like they are being cheated....(read my articles...I have won twice already in the daily competitions held here)

I have stopped working as a teacher in Shanghai and other places in China....been doing it for 8 years...there is no reward for this job....Because of the constant racism and inefficiency of the education system here. There was no sense of worth or accomplishment. My suggestion to you is to bypass this part of your life experience and go somehwere else like maybe Japan, where you are a little bit more appreciated. Do not waste your time as a black person in China. You will not like it. They may like you more in the smaller provences but compared to white folks you will be alone more than 80% of the time...mostly contributing to the color of your skin.

You will be liked some of the time....hated most of the time....

You have been warned.

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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Hi guys , please do not mislead this young man, as black in china it's worthless ,I think with a master degree he's better off in the states than a teaching career in china.

am also black , I teach but it's very frustrating ,you can't develop yourself as an educated black here because the system and the mentality is so limited because a Russian or French Caucasian without any degree or diploma whose english isnt good will be preferred to you and given a better salary.

if you come you can always have a job for sure but I think you are too young to waste such precious time of yours.

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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Anyway if you got that fighting spirit you can make, it's better to come here on your own then start looking for a job, can come as a language student later you can grab some part time jobs, if you're lucking enough ,you could be earning something like 10.000rmb each month or more.

Rest assure its a good place for an adventurer, you can never be without a job if you insist on coming,

since you insist take the chance ,  life's awesome here sometimes .

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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Hey bro,

I'm a black guy from Cameroon,legally teaching here for close to 7years now.Forget all this internet noise,it mostly depends on how good looking you are regardless of colour.

Here true Chinese will quickly fall for the white skin at first sight but personal character goes a long way to keep that attraction coming.Once you are a good looking black guy with some gentle manliness ,bro u are set..

The students,parents and not to mention the hotties will go crazy for you...

Ask the white guys if I'm lying

 

so my advise,give it a shot

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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How good looking you are? which makes it even worse....dude what are you preaching man? Hes not here to get laid he is here to gain working experience. Anyone can get laid here dude thats not the point....And it is about race and color....Dont mislead him man.

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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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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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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He's right. 

 

I am a white handsome guy and people treat me like a king. Looks go a long way if you want to be a pawn, but brains go a long way if you want to be a king. If you got both, you will always win in life. 

 

If you got only one, make the best with what you got. Chinese people are racist, but they are changing... I guess the experience depends mostly on your perspective. DonMAC has the right attitude... shit will hold you down if you let it. 

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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hello everyone, i am looking for a teaching job in China, it's my passion. I have some experience and TEFL cert. with a unique grade 'A'. Can someone give me a help/assistance or tips how to get efl job? I am polish guy from Central Europe. Thank in advance!

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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  I've got a black mate been working here for over seven years. You're right what you say about people thinking stupid in terms of the colour of your skin being a factor in your ability to teach, but there is work there. My advice is to try everywhere, even the places you don't expect to find work.

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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@Donmac

From your name I surmise that you are some sort of player....a label black folks dont need in china. And when you talk about good looking...do you mean a black face with white features? a A roman nose...thin lips ect....or resembling an NBA player?

When you are dark skinned you will be judged based on that...You can hand me this story that you must have this unique attitude nonesense...Im sure you are an exception to the rule. I can hand you hundreds of numbers where people wont accept you just based on the color of your skin...nomatter if you have the personality and own a school...

Listen I used to work for Microsoft and things were going great for me. Finally thought I was on the right path...then when it comes time for renewing my residence permit the government says give my job to a local....eventhough a big part of my job was language and cultural understanding....now Microsoft has a just graduated local teaching soft skills and language to others who have the same ability as her. She got the jobs because shes good looking...I got the job because of my knowledge and experience but lost it partly because of color...some chinese paper pusher sees a black dude making it and has the power over his success and failure and chooses to be a dick head.(Even a black person can be more successful than me). So to push the sword further into my heart I was granted a 2 year resident permit...but Im not allowed to work on it...As an American losing the freedom to persue a dream put me off to China.

Truly successful black folks in China like yourself Don Mac are outliers...the four leaf clovers in a field of three leaf clovers...you might have just the right abilities that they need and the attitude(however slightly uncle thomish) but this is not a commen occurance. Im not saying a black person cannot be successful....you can if your company sent you here...but starting from the bottom with a dream with be 3x hard for you than whites and Chinese...and whites have a hard time seeing success as well.

I do know another African who owned a school and he was from Nigeria. Had white teachers too. Took great pride in that...The novelty wore off and now his school has closed because of lack of students.

My advice to this wanderer, though I doubt he will take it, is to go elsewhere...Why do you need to work 3 times as hard to becone 1x as successful? Its hard putting on that facade everyday and it turns one into a socialpath. China is changing but it hasnt changed enough...not only to blacks but to everyone in general. But I am sure he is the type that has to experience it first...just like me.

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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@don mac

a spade a spade? your race?

yo?

Are you really black dude? I doubt it.

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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If your heart is set on China, don't let go of it, send your CV to every school going, and you'll get a job somewhere. You may even get a very good job  However, my advice perhaps, try somewhere else..Japan, Thailand, Vietnam or Italy as you mentioned.  I think wherever you go, you will have a plethora of experience to take back to America with you.  It absolutely churns me up knowing how racist the Chinese can be, and how much they pin on looks (this could not be truer). If I were you, don't give them the satisfaction of coming over here and working 3x as hard for the recognition of someone white who may do a half assed attempt.  Go somewhere where you feel the need to prove yourself as a teacher..not as a black teacher. 

Either way good luck!

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6 years 3 weeks ago
 
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