China decided to privatize schooling in order to increase literacy and, as is the case all over the world, there are high expectations placed on private schools. In return for steep fees, private schools are expected to provide a high level of teaching and much better facilities than those offered by public schools.
Overall, teachers have less time off working in private schools. On the flip side, however, you will have a lot more teaching freedom in private schools and will receive some of the highest teaching salaries in China.
Private schooling is highly-regarded in China and many parents will pay (and do pay) exorbitant amounts to have their children attend. As a teacher in a private school, you will likewise be highly-regarded in your community and, although you’ll have high expectations placed on your performance, you’ll also reap a lot more rewards.
The benefits of private school teaching are seriously impressive:
- The highest teaching salaries offered in China
- Fantastic teaching environment, including brand new classrooms, high-tech equipment, outdoor sporting fields and a lot more space
- More teaching freedom
- There’s a lot of teaching choice in the private school sector: from world-class international schools where you may need to have a teaching license. To bilingual schools and academies that will still require experience and talented teachers, but without the teaching license and qualifications.
- Usually, you’ll have weekends off, all public holidays, Christmas holidays, longer holidays for Chinese New Year and an even a Christmas Break
SUMMARY – Teaching in private schools in China is certainly appealing and something most foreign teachers aim to do. However, not all that glitters is gold. Yes, private schools do offer the highest salaries but the financial rewards do come with a price. Parents pay a premium to send their kids to private schools and their demands on teachers can be high. Sometimes, they’ll drive you bonkers and some have known to be pushy. Throw in the long hours, excessive planning, marking, meetings etc and you may just find yourself overworked at times.
However saying that, get it right and you will never meet the kindest and most grateful parents.
The potential is what attracts many teachers to private schools. A stint in a private schools often lead many to a career in teaching and a go on the international teaching circuit which turns a short stint in China to a lucrative career change.