Become a Teaching Nomad

teaching nomadMany of you contact us with questions about teaching English in China. A teaching job is definitely a perfect way for one to get to know the country, interact with its people, learn the language and, in doing so, make a proper living! To provide answers to all these questions, we reached out to the people behind Teaching Nomad, one of the most established and interesting organizations that work as intermediaries between teachers and schools in China. This interview will definitely help you clarify a thing or two about teaching opportunities in China.


Could you give us some background information about Teaching Nomad?

Teaching Nomad was founded in March 2011 on the basis of connecting great teachers with great schools in China. After moving to Shanghai, our founder, Brett, discovered a need to fill the gap between these two groups. A school’s reputation relies on its teachers. The teachers must trust their school as they brave moving to a new country. Neither group wants to be let down, but unfortunately many people were being let down. Teaching Nomad has been designed to be a cut above other recruiters, to provide a trustworthy source of great jobs for teachers as well as a time and cost saving tool for schools.

Teaching Nomad is here to take all the guesswork out of the equation, make everyone’s job a little bit easier and ensure that no one has to go it alone. The Teaching Nomad staff, many who are expats already living in China have experienced first-hand the positive impact that exploring the globe has on an individual. We see Teaching Nomad as our way of giving back and helping others to have great experiences teaching overseas!

Teaching Nomad strives to improve the global teach abroad environment by providing teachers with jobs in schools they can trust, believe in and enjoy working at. In turn, we provide schools with committed, excited teachers that will always maintain the highest standards of learning. In facilitating successful placements we are changing lives by helping others to experience global travel and bridge cross cultural awareness.


What kind of opportunities do you offer to candidates?

To ensure we’re always able to help teachers looking to teach in China, we recruit for a large variety of schools. This way both the school as well as the teacher are able to find the “right fit.” The “right fit” is extremely important in our line of work as we don’t believe there are “bad” jobs or teachers per se, but rather bad matches or fits. To guarantee teachers are placed at the school they’re happiest at we always try to maintain an average of 100 different teaching positions in 20+ different cities.  These teaching opportunities fall primarily into four broad categories:

(1) Private English Training Centers

Most foreign English teachers in China teach at these institutions. Great for beginners & short term teachers.

  • Required Teaching Experience: 0-2 years
  • Salary:                                                   7,000- 18,000RMB/month
  • Schedule & hours:                           Evenings & weekends
  • Requirements:                                   B.A. + 120 hour TEFL/Celta/Tesol


(2) Preschools and Kindergartens 

Children at these institutions are typically between 18 months and 6 years old. Short classes and few students

  • Required Teaching Experience: 0-2 years
  • Salary:                                                   10,000 – 20,000RMB/Month
  • Schedule & hours:                           Weekdays daytime
  • Requirements:                                   B.A. + 120 hr TEFL


(3) Public/Foreign Language Primary, Middle & High schools

Decent Salary & Benefits, reasonable teaching loads and more paid vacation days. Class sizes can be quite large (40-60 students).

  • Required Teaching Experience: 2 years +
  • Salary:                                                   8,000 – 22,000RMB/Month
  • Schedule & hours:                           Weekdays daytime
  • Requirements:                 B.A. + some positions require a teaching license or M.A.


(4) International Schools

Good hours, Great Pay, Fantastic Benefits. International are the best schools in China for teachers to work at, but also the most competitive.

  • Required Teaching Experience: 2+ years
  • Salary:                                                   18,000 – 35,000RMB/month
  • Schedule & hours:                           Weekdays daytime
  • Requirements:                                   Teaching License & B.A./Masters


Does one need to interact with the Chinese Authorities in order to teach in China?

Well, you’ll need to apply for your visa and residence permit, but aside from that your employer will take care of most communication with the authorities.


What is your advice to those thinking of taking the leap and teaching in China?

Do it! As cliché as it sounds, you only live once and you shouldn’t wait till you’re too old and regret the things you didn’t do. China is the future, and coming here for a year (or two) is a unique experience to get familiar with the country and its ancient culture.


How difficult can the culture shock be to foreigners?

It really depends on the person and the location. I’d say Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and even many tier two cities have large expat communities, so you can “escape” China for a while if you need to. I’d recommend these locations for teachers who have never really travelled or lived abroad as China can be taxing (both mentally as well as physically). I think somewhat larger cities allow teachers to cope with the anxiety experienced in the “negation phase” of moving abroad. When I hit the “negation phase” during my first year of China, I actually joined a group for Chinese who studied or worked abroad and experienced reverse culture shock! Having some people who speak your language and understand your situation does a lot to help teachers cope with culture shock. That’s why I recommend foreigners to go to slightly bigger cities if it is their first year in China.


To find more about Teaching Nomad, visit their website.