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Governor

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Q: What are the greatest difficulties facing an English teacher in China?

Most of us are not truly qualified beyond an easily earnt TEFL certificate, so where does English trip you up? Is it the perfect tense, the passive voice, the overuse of the word 'the' or 'will' or the under-use of anything outside of the present tense? Or is it cultural differences, business practices, sexual temptations, working conditions, countryside placements, shared housing arrangements, getting paraded through promotions or dressed up as Santa at Christmas celebrations, There are a tonne of potential challenges to face for the average foreign teacher. What have been yours?

7 years 22 weeks ago in  Teaching & Learning - China

 
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Posts: 1633

Shifu

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For me, although many things and situations are hard to take sometimes, I would have to say that the daily grind of absolute foolishness, weirdness, backwards thinking and an overall apathy and in many cases, an outright denial towards telling the truth drives me crazy. To give details here would take as much room as this site has to offer so I hope you guys get my drift here.

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7 years 22 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1847

Emperor

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I think the greatest difficulty facing SOME foreign teachers is the temptation to dive in and leave the security of their western home to come to China only then to find out that it is not as they had bargained for. The problem being that once you are in it can be very difficult to get out again. The lure of easy work on short hours, free housing, no utility bills, often surrounded by young people of the opposite sex can be too much to resist.

 

But it comes with a caveat. It is fine if you are a young graduate who is after a year or two out for adventure or somebody who has already retired, but if you are in mid stream career wise, it can be a killer to move on. You may find yourself hitting a buffer with nowhere to go but drifting from one teaching position to another.

 

The bottom line should be seriously consider if you are doing the right thing before taking the plunge. Many ex-pats believe that China is the greatest place on earth for a year or two but, once the novelty has worn off, it can be a deeply frustrating, lonely place where the disadvantages soon outweigh the pros.

 

Most (not all) foreign teachers in China will never be taken that seriously professionally. That can be a bug bear. If you do come here to teach, it is wise to have a back up action plan and career path just in case it turns sour.

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7 years 22 weeks ago
 
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for those not retired like myself , teaching with a state teaching certificate in other countries may be a good option as america goes belly up from the baby boom. im to old for this , but for 2000 dollars , you can get teaching certificate for any of 11 states , abcte.org and take the courses online while your in china, though you may have to teach a year in the states you can get to hell out and then make 5 large a month in the middle east, hong kong, japan depending on your skills. if your stuck being a teacher , might as well go for bucks, age discrimination keeps me in china instead of korea or taiwan, everyone has to deal with reality , good luck to the young ones.

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7 years 21 weeks ago
 
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Shifu

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the biggest problem is teaching rich spoiled kids that are just here to pass the time with no regards for money  the parents are so wealth they dont give #$%# about anything but when they can go shopping again

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7 years 21 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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The stresses of getting the visa. My first job was with a school that said they could get it within a month. After 2 trips to HK for tourist visas, they finally obtained it via another school, then I took my third trip to HK to get the Z visa. I was unsettled the whole time.

The other thing for me personally is often thinking that I should be back in Canada saving a lot more money. But for now, I am loving being here.

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7 years 21 weeks ago
 
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A: Going to HK would be the best bet I reckon, especially if you were loo
A:Going to HK would be the best bet I reckon, especially if you were looking for a church wedding. Chinese weddings are pretty grim IMO - you go to a barren govt dept with souless officials and navigate red tape so some guy can give you a red stamp and a marriage book. You get expensive pictures taken of you both posing in places you'd never go to in everyday life that is somehow supposed to represent your wedding, then a while later it's off to a restaurant where a game show host kind of guy makes sure it's as tacky as possible while the guests eat as fast as they can so they can leave as soon as they finish eating and gave you money. Hell, I'd go to Thailand or the Philippines and get married in Paradise.   -- Stiggs