Types of ESL Teaching Jobs in Hangzhou
- Public primary and middle schools
- Training centers
Teaching in kindergartens
As everywhere in China, children aged from 3 to 18 years are the main clients of a foreign teacher. Public school jobs in Hangzhou often need qualified teachers, who could handle a large class (up to 50 students).
This might be challenging, but quite fun for an experienced professional because with huge groups you can try some mini theater playing, games, and creative activities. However, if you plan to start teaching English in China with no experience, a state school might not do for you, since it requires a lot of self-control, discipline, and skills.
Teaching in schools
Some people say that ESL public school jobs in Hangzhou are tiresome and don’t encourage creative thinking – that’s not true! You might be tempted to turn to classic methods like reading aloud and doing endless exercises sometimes, because an English class is not meant to be 100% about fun and play, but don’t get lazy – students love it when a foreign teacher invests his time and effort into inventing educational materials and brings diversity in class. Inspiring students always pays off!
It’s really not hard to find a decent vacancy for teaching English in primary schools in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, but employers usually prefer mentors with experience with young learners and those having a special certification.
In spite of the difficulties, connected with the number of students, there is a great perk about working at a state school – your schedule will be stable, you’ll get weekends off and some extra days off. Plus you will end work earlier – by 4 or 5 pm, which will let you take walks around the city, go sightseeing and enjoy your free evenings with friends.
Some of our clients ask: ‘Is it possible to teach adults in Hangzhou?’ because they don’t feel like working with kindergarten children or teens. Well, yes, sure! In a city with 13 million inhabitants, you can get the job you want.
In fact, there are two main factors here – working hours and type of students. Instructors who prefer adults get calmer and more focused students, who usually need less attention and control. On the other hand, teachers from abroad who choose such groups, often have to work during the weekend, because most adults get some free time on Saturdays/Sundays and are willing to use it for studies.
Plus, when you work in Hangzhou as an English teacher at a training center, be ready to get home at about 9 or 10 pm, since classes for adults tend to begin later and last till 8 pm or 9 pm.
Of course, you still get 2 days off during the week and if you choose those schedules, you get rewarded by not having to wake up early – typically, classes start in the afternoon, so a night owl will be able to get enough sleep, no worries.
The truth about salary
The truth about teaching English in China is that it might be slightly different from all your previous experience, but it’s totally worth it. Plus, you are normally treated as a dear guest, you get paid very well, benefit from bonuses and extra days off, and everyone tries to help you.
When it comes to salary, ESL teaching jobs in Hangzhou are among the top best-paid positions. Wages in the city can attain $2,300 per month, average ones being between $1,750 and $2,050. It might not seem a lot at first, but if you consider the workweek and the cost of living, you’ll be surprised by how beneficial it really is.
Of course, the pay depends on your actual qualifications and abilities: positions for non-natives and jobs for students in Hangzhou are not paid as well as the ones for natives. However, you still get the bonuses and allowances.
What to expect from your role as an English teacher in Hangzhou
These are usually very alike for many teaching abroad programs for certified teachers:
- Teach from 15 to 50 students in the class
- 20 teaching hours + up to 15 prep hours
- Attend teachers’ meetings, training
- Help with placement testing
- Plan lessons, conversation clubs
- Provide feedback, answer students’ questions
- Use up-to-date materials, authentic video, and audio recordings
- Role-playing, games, creative activities in class
- Enhance students’ listening and speaking skills (important and difficult part of teaching English at a Chinese school)
- Perform demo lessons and presentations
- Attend school social and cultural events
As you already know, ESL jobs in Hangzhou provide free housing. This means that you’ll get to live in an apartment for free (your bills will be paid by the school as well).
- You choose your place: district, style, number of rooms.
- Do you want to have a flatmate? You can get a bigger apartment if you share it with a fellow teacher.
- All apartments are well situated and close to the school. You won’t spend a lot of time in the subway, getting to work or on your way home. Tourist attractions, restaurants, and shops won’t be far from your place.
What is it like to live in Hangzhou?
The city is considered one of the best situated and most prosperous in China. They say it’s the Chinese paradise, both because of the natural beauty and local economy.
Although, its population is not enormous and hardly surpasses 13 million (metropolitan area), the capital of Zhejiang Province is now one of the richest and most developed cities with a great job market.
It’s a favorite destination for foreigners, because of the variety of English teaching jobs in Hangzhou: it’s relatively easy to get a position here, especially if you are a native speaker.
That’s why meeting an American living in Hangzhou for a long time is not uncommon – the pay is high, there are lots of state and private schools to choose from, and the scenery is breathtaking.
Teachers are mostly wanted in schools and kindergartens here: there are over 170 elementary, primary and middle schools here.
Plus, there are around 15 huge language centers and private courses, where professionals, teaching English as a foreign language, are constantly needed.
However, as the conditions are very interesting, requirements for Hangzhou international school jobs tend to be strict and some centers hire exclusively qualified natives, so looking for work here might not be the easiest way to come to China.
What Makes Hangzhou Unique?
- Language: Mandarin + local dialects
- Population: 13,4 million
- Climate: subtropical with 4 seasons
- Public Transport: 2 railway stations, international airport, subway (3 lines), bus, taxi
It’s not by accident, that they call the city a paradise on Earth – there is everything here. It used to be a rich city hundreds of years ago thanks to the silk industry and trade, and it still has plenty of things to offer a newcomer. What makes the Hangzhou city truly remarkable is the mix of historical past, the greatness of nature and modern technologies, which both attract tourists and boost the local economy. Many companies like Alibaba, Nokia, and Huawei are based here, that’s why the city is often referred to as the Chinese Silicon Valley.
Being one of the most beautiful and cleanest places in the country, it attracts thousands of expats and foreign specialists. A little less than 10% of the population here are workers from abroad. If you consider teaching English in China but don’t want to be left alone with no fellow foreigner to talk to, this is the place.
Here are a few other benefits of living in Hangzhou:
It’s relatively clean
Unlike in many other populated areas, like Beijing, here you won’t suffer from polluted air and unpleasant smells as much, as the air quality here is better (between “good” and “moderate”).
However, before moving to Hangzhou, it’s recommended to buy an air purifier and some masks, this will decrease the risk of sinus infections, allergies, and other health issues.
Probably, one of the reasons, why we like the city so much is the Hangzhou climate: the temperature rarely goes below 0 C (32 F) in winter.
So if you don’t like snow and other attributes of the cold season, this might be the right place. Summers are usually humid and hot with lots of sunny days.
Is Hangzhou safe?
Totally! It’s one of the most convenient places to live as a foreign worker, because of the level of life and security. As long as you aren’t rude and don’t show aggression, you won’t get in trouble, that’s for sure. However, if you plan to go out at night, it’s better to have a local friend with you, just in case.
The best part of teaching abroad. We all know why we want to work in China – it’s either about food or endless sightseeing! This city is situated on the banks of the West Lake, which is simply picturesque. Plus, there is the old Qinghefang street and ancient temples like Jingci (more than 1,000 years old) and Lingyin, where you could take a few extraordinary pictures or just relax and contemplate the man-made beauty. Don’t forget about nearby mountains too – you can go hiking on weekends there and enjoy the view of the city.