Seeking a Teaching Job...please don't do the following

To All Teachers Seeking Work in China...

Please do not do the following to a prospective employer...drag your feet. 

Let me explain, as someone who hires teachers to work in the northeast of China I find it rather upsetting when I've spent weeks, and even months, to get a prospective teacher hired, and then at the very last when the letter of invite is about to be issued, the prospective teacher withdraws.  They begin to drag their feet...the truth is they have found a better offer, and then, don't want to say that.

It is a waste of my time and efforts, and it's going to eventually bite them back, too.  Here is the proper way to handle this for both parties, if you are not sure you want the job say so.  Don't keep pushing for the Z visa if you are pretty sure in the end you will accept another offer.  Don't lie to the employer.  It takes us a lot of effort to get your paperwork through the system, and we spend hours doing that, for you to just shrug it off and take another offer.  It leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth.

Also, honor your contract once you do come.  If you sign a one year contract then fulfill it.  Don't bail out before the end of that year it's bad for everyone, but it can bite you back even worse.  You must know that your employer in China MUST give you a letter of release and a recommendation letter, for you to get another job in China.  If you bail on your contract for ANY reason they do not have to give you anything, and they can, and most likely will, convert your visa to a stay visa or tourist visa meaning you will leave China and may not be able to come back.

There is a great need for teachers, and most employers are killing themselves to find them.  Qualified teachers (Native speakers and with a BA and TEFL) and given my recent experiences these are the teachers who have been the worst about this process.  Some areas of China pay better than others (I get it) but you have to weigh out many other factors, and not just the money.  Will your employer treat you well, will they pay you in a timely manner, do they really care about you???  Ask those questions and don't just look at the salary.  Many times working for an honest employer, who cares about your welfare, can be much more valuable then a few extra dollars.

So be honest in this process, don't jerk around with the prospective employer and make them waste time and effort if you really don't want the offer...move on.  It will be best for everyone.  Honor the contract terms and in the end, you may find your experience here in China is better than you expected.


the truth is they have found a better offer

With no intention to troll or create arguement, more a serious question.

How does the package you offer compare to rival places, and how much advertising do you do compared with them?

Is it possible your company splashes ads everywhere that attracts candidates, then they look around and find there are many better employers?

I know that sounds a bit rough, but have a go at the above with a bit of critical thinking and examine to possibility.

I'll expand ...

EF advertise like crazy for teachers to come to Indonesia, those jobs starting at Rp11 million/month, but when their applicants look around, they find they can easily get a job with with better hours and 20 million/ month .. and no evenings or weekends.
Large companies plant the seed and get the idea growing, but their salaries and conditions are manure compared to many other emplyers' offers so, the moment people explore other ideas, they  change their minds.
Just a thought. :)

Dear Fred:

Appreciate your views...truly.  We are NOT EF and our ad budget is very small.  I follow up on leads and we have recruiters who help.  However, it's while we are in the process that some candidates get cold feet and are not even bold enough to say it they just fall away leaving us to wonder.  I am very open and honest about what we can and can not do, They are told the truth from the start and given a chance to think on it before they say yes, but I have found some candidates (usually ones with higher degrees) play around and then drop off.  It means a lot of work for us and no pay off.  It's just inconsiderate of them and they need to think about it.  Your prospective employer is working hard on their end to secure your visa and then you don't even have the common decency to tell them you have reconsidered, coward.  How hard can it be to tell someone you have changed your mind???  Honesty is always the best policy and burning bridges will get your stranded one day. 

I appreciate that you are "critically thinking" this but trust me I have already done that, I am mainly venting over prospective teachers who in the end are probably saving me headaches later on by dropping off.  The most recent one however has really ticked me off.  It's just bad form.

Thanks and yes, some other big employers make offers then bait and switch, we don't.  We are open and honest from start to finish.  We know we can't match a salary from a 1st tier city but we are a 3rd tier city so you get a comparable salary for cost of living here.  We also offer other perks that you can't appreciate unless you have worked in China or live English speaking staff to help you with daily things that require language skills.  We pay your bills and rent, help you navigate other issues too and we give you two days in a row off, a solid schedule that doesn't change weekly, no office hours and the list goes on.  So, we do our part, all I want is for the prospective employee to do theirs, accept the offer, be honest, show up and work, and fulfill their I shouldn't have to beg for that.

Nuff said

Fairy Nuff  :gloria

Very, very good advice.

I would like to chime in to all the great information that @Irai has provided...

I, like most expats, used to teach. You do what you need to do to support your family and live. I was pretty good at it, and hopefully won't need to revert back to it. It's rewarding, but hard..hard work. Anyways, eventually I become the headmaster of the English center where I was employed in Louhu. Downtown Shenzhen.

One day, a American expat came in looking for work. He was friendly enough, but after some questioning, I found out what he was doing. He was traveling all over China and SE Asia. He would get a teaching gig in China. Work for four months and then leave and travel to another part of China.

He had been employed at other cities by my parent employer, and left without notice, letting them deal with the students them selves. It was terribly inconsiderate, and violated the terms of his employment contract, but also his visa. Now, today, I don't know if you can still be such a *****. But, anyways, let me finish.

I didn't hire him, and the guy just wouldn't take no for an answer. In fact, he was beside himself in getting it through to his thick skull that I would not hire him. He kept on trying to argue. Finally, I told him that this was beyond the paint of argument. he was not going to be hired under any circumstances by me for any reason. He had broken at least one contract, and has thus, in my mind, proved that he is not the kind of person with whom I should do any kinds of business with.

He left.

And he was probably hired by another school. Of which, he probably left, and is probably now teaching in Bulgaria or Thailand or Burma for all I know. Probably something like THIS.

The point of the lesson is this...

You might get by breaking a contract, or abusing any work promises that you have made in the past. You might get away with it once, twice or even three times. But eventually, the world has a way of catching up. One way or the other.

Be the person who looks you in the eyes, shakes your hand and means what you say. Be good, be real, and the world will open up for you. This is old fashioned, traditional advice, and it works. make no mistake. be the person that would make your grandparents proud.

Try to find the easy way out, and you will need to face the consequences.

Finally, @Irai, I am so very sorry that you had to undergo such nonsense. Just keep doing what you are doing. It will all work out, and let the chaff fall to the wayside.


You do get it...LOL  I am fine but I just needed to vent.  People (foreign teachers) have no clue how hard it is for the people (foreign managers) to hire them and then to have them lie or be unreliable it's just icing on the cake for me.  We do our best to be honest and to be forthright in what we offer and what we do...but I have had my fill of FTs with personal agendas who could give a twat about the company or how their poor behavior has consequences for the company and their fellow FTs. 

It was NEVER my intent to become Foreign Teacher Manager...but we really don't have anyone else that is qualified or who will stick with it.  I do it because I have been with the company 8 years and I'm not going anywhere else at this point.  I am semi-retired so it's a job and it's one that requires someone who will stick with it no matter how awful it can be at times.  I treat my FTs very well and we pay what we can although it's no where near what we should...but I can't change that.  I can however offer other perks and benefits including someone like me who is foreign and understands how to work with foreign teachers (you can't appreciate that unless you've worked in China).  All I ask in return is that you show up, do your job and complete your contract...WOW you'd think I was asking the moon.  Sorry venting again...LOL

Thanks for the support.

@Irai You know, please understand that I understand exactly what you are feeling and expressing. When I was in the education field, I managed the teachers and was the primary Marketing resource. Meaning, that I was used to draw students into the school. I was enormously popular, and as a training center, I was often booked up way beyond my abilities.

Seriously, for four years I was pulling 12 hours shift on every Saturday and Sunday, with nothing but my mere ten-minute  potty break. I would come in and open as the first one in, work all day, and be the last one out. This was not a 40 minute class. This was fifty minute one-on-one direct conversational face-to-face interaction. I did this when I was in my late 50's. Honestly, I don't know how I did it.

But, you know I loved it. I had this "Mr. Rogers" role that I would take on and I enjoyed it very much. Not to mention the great personal rewards of having students who loved to attend my classes.

But, the real young kids were darn near impossible, with ten-second memories and lack of focus. The biters were the worst. (You do know what I am talking about.) So, when I had an opportunity to move on back into my preferred career field, I took it.

Working hard, and doing so around (some) teachers who had no idea of what efforts and sacrifice that you make really started to get to me. I started to resent the revolving-door, "I'm an English teacher" fakes that would come. Back then, there were all kinds of non-degreed jokers posing as teachers. They just wanted some quick cash for their nightly debauch sessions.

Now, there is a screening process, and it's a good one. Though, the potential new teachers need to understand that if they are leading you on that you have the ability to completely wreck their China experience. Perhaps, it is time to make this crystal clear to your new applicants. It will save everyone any grief.

It's a pleasure to vent a little with you as someone who understands. You are not the only person to be betrayed by teacher promises and lies. about this... another teacher that steals your students... especially your best ones. Yeah. It happens. But, you know, everyone gets theirs in the end.


You sound like you could be my twin...well brother twin...LOL  Only I think I am much older than you.  I am doing this and I'm in my early 60's now.  I have been in China 12 years and took on this lovely role nearly 4 years ago because the company had no one else who could or would do it.

I have to be honest however, I WILL write the book and NO names will be payback as they say will happen.  I have stories about FTs that are the platform for a huge comedy career someday soon.  As I like to say, "You can't make this S**T up"  between the students, parents, management, and teachers, live is never boring.

Yep I have had the "biters, kickers, and screaming their lungs out kids"....I have been known to take them to their parents and send them home.  I am the "mean" grandma...but the funny part is they "love" me???  Go figure it. 

I do tell teachers the up and down side of teaching in China and the penalties if they screw up.  In my screening process I may speak with 10 teachers but only hire's become very difficult.  If a teacher begins the process it's common now for them to drop off for a myriad of reasons.  I just hate it however when they do so just as we are nearing the end of the process and they are a flight away.  It's a waste of my time and I don't have time to waste.  Like you did, I work full out weekends, I don't take one-on-one students as they are a waste of time for me.  I only teach classes.  I only teach on the weekends because during the week I work at the other job Foreign Teacher Manager and Director of my College Program.  I work 7 days a week, full weekends and haven't had a real break in 4 years.  However, I am semi-retired...LOL  Imagine if I were younger...LOL

Thanks for letting me vent...I feel like we do a good job at our school, we have many very good teachers and I am proud of them, but we have a few who need to clean up their act or I will replace them soon.  Our school motto is "Quality Education First" and I really do try to implement that.  For me it's all about the educational process and the product we sell has to be the best.  If not then why bother.  I even turn kids away, especially the ones who want a "quick fix" to pass the TOEFL or IELTS so they can go to an "easy" college in the west...LOL they are so clueless.  However, the other kids, the ones who do get it are so worth my time and effort.  The kids who go to the Community College in the US and then get accepted as transfer students to Ivy League schools...that's my pay-off. 

Okay thanks do get it.

You deserve a big smile.

So true like your comments why can't people be honest a contract is a contract.


Thanks...I just had another one fall off the to speak. 

In General to anyone else....

For anyone who wants to work here in China...please think long and hard and then do it only if you are very sure.  It's not something you can do quickly now, so it takes time and if you are not sure you are wasting someone's time here who is working to bring you and then you fall off or decide after 3 months into the process to have no clue how much effort we put into trying to push your paperwork through the system and then you decide on a whim to quit...on the other hand sometimes that is best for me because it tells me a lot about your character.  Nuff said

New topic