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2 Contracts in China Question


Jamesjj10003
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Hello,

 

Any help anyone can offer would be very helpful.

I have two competing offers in China.

 

One is at a college teaching English as a second language.

The second is an IB school. The IB school pays roughly twice as much as the college.

 

I want to try and eventually teach in Hong Kong or Macao as an ESL teacher. Will I be better positioned in 2 years to apply to public schools in Hong Kong or Macao or the NET program with 2 years of ESL instruction under my belt?

 

I have a CELTA as well as other teaching experience and qualifications.

 

I also plan to get a PGCE, so I will also be able to apply to private schools in Hong Kong or Macao that offer IB curriculum.

 

What would you all advise I do? Money in the short run is good, but I’m wondering if taking less money and the ESL experience is worth the sacrifice. I will make the money back if I get a position in Hong Kong or Macao. 

 

Thanks. 

 

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No brainier! The IB school.

 

IB is the currently worlds “in” curriculum. Every international school that isn't IB has plans to be or is “making their own inquiry based curriculum” (read: making it more IB like). Having 2 years of experience in an fully accredited IB school (you should check) will stand you in good stead GLOBALLY. 
 

In comparison, having ESL experience in college that (likely) no one has heard of won’t look as good. 
 

If you want to work in a public school (i assume elementary/middle/high) then working in an IB school will translate better to that, rather than working with older kids in college. 
 

Assume you’d teach EAL in the IB school? 

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37 minutes ago, ChTTay said:

Assume you’d teach EAL in the IB school? 

That's what I was going to ask. The IB school is the better option if you're looking for a secondary education career outside of mainland China, no doubt. But if you wouldn't be teaching English at the IB school, I can see why you'd worry the experience won't be so relevant.

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19 minutes ago, roddy said:

But if you wouldn't be teaching English at the IB school, I can see why you'd worry the experience won't be so relevant.

Yes and no. If it’s an IB school in China then it’s bilingual or its fully English (rarer these days). in that case then, let’s say you’re the homeroom teacher, you’re responsible for your class English language development. You’d also do unit of inquiry and English math. Maybe others depending on the school. It’s all in English. 
 

It might actually be BETTER to have the experience as you can see exactly what students need in their own classroom from the perspective of teaching them day to day. This is assuming you’re in elementary. If you’ve already got a good amount of EAL experience then it’s a natural transition.
 

If you’re going to the IB place to be an EAL teacher then you’d still get the IB training. You’d also work closely with homeroom to help students that qualify for EAL support. 
 

The IB school is 100% the way to go UNLESS you want to teach English at University level. It doesn’t sound like you do Though. 
 

There are loads of ESL teachers out there. Much less with a nice 2 year IB experience under their belt (in any capacity). You’d also get at least 1 Official IB training a year and probably an introduction one when you join. 


I know teachers here who have switched between EAL and homeroom at various times of their career. It’s something that’s attractive to schools. 

 

Seriously, it’s a no brainier. 

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Better go for the IB school - it’s a better career option. 
 

If you get to HK after that, there won’t be any point being an NET teacher.

 

Check carefully on what you need to teach in HK. I think you need a diploma. 

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12 hours ago, Jamesjj10003 said:

I also plan to get a PGCE

As you’re planning to be in China I assume you mean iPGCE (the distance option). I know a fair few people who have done this. The main drawback is that it does not come with QTS. It’s just the “theory” part of a PGCE so whilst you get the certificate it doesn’t qualify you to teach in the U.K. In China, this doesn’t seem to matter most of time. Some schools here even recruit high quality candidates with the intention of them doing the iPGCE as they work. 
 

Anyway, the point I make is ...you can use this China but I’d check if it’s accepted in Hong Kong. It wouldn’t be accepted in the U.K. as is.

 

However, you can still get QTS but It’s just a longer process. If your school doesn’t want to pay, it can also be quite expensive. You have to pay to fly someone out here for them to observe you. Otherwise, I think you can find a school in the U.K. who will let you observe and teach there for a short period. I know people who’ve done these ways.  

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If you want to teach at one of the high-end international schools in Hong Kong, you might better start your career at a good international school outside the Mainland.

 

For better or worse, in some circles at least, "Spent two years teaching English in China" does not burnish your résumé much.

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Would anyone have any specific recommendations for what school to get a PGCE or iPGCE from in the UK? I am interested in the QTS as well in order to make my candidacy in the future stand out. If anyone was willing to PM me on that or discuss here I would be most appreciative. 

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I didn't intend to limit it that way.

 

Teaching, at least in the first couple of years, is as much a learning experience for the teacher as it is for the students. Teaching in the Mainland, a teacher learns how to work with Mainland students and within all sorts of Mainland organisational and cultural parameters.

 

That's great preparation for somebody planning on a career teaching in the Mainland.

 

My point is simply that the high-end international schools in Hong Kong don't model themselves on Mainland institutions. If you're ultimately aiming to teach at one of those schools, I think you'd be better off starting your teaching career at an international school outside the Mainland, the sort of school which HK international schools consider a peer.

 

(Note we're talking about the "international" schools in Hong Kong. If you're looking for a job with one of the "patriotic" schools, for example, then Mainland experience would probably be a plus.)

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OP hasn't given any further about the job so the mainland students that he may encounter (especially in IB school) may not be stereotypical 'mainland educational system style' types. For example the school may have kids who have had part of their education abroad and returned with family to China, or from other countries where English is not the Mother tongue but parents working in China.

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But it'll nonetheless be exposure to a Mainland institution working to Mainland standards of management, culture etc. Outside the Mainland, and in some sectors of Hong Kong society in particular, that exposure is often not considered a plus. The OP should at least be aware of this.

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24 minutes ago, 889 said:

working to Mainland standards of management, culture etc.

 

This I have some reservations in the assumption.

 

I am guessing that mainland schools that do IB do not have many teachers who are mainland educated. The majority of the teachers and especially the heads are going to overseas expats. That's simply a result of history. Not many mainland teachers would have left early in the careers and trained as IB teachers - especially the seniors who I would expect there to be far fewer in numbers who are familiar with IB. 

 

Thus , the working culture will almost definitely not be stereotypical 'mainland standard' since many of the staff will have had overseas working experience. Partially, yes, with lots of shades of grey. Whether that is or is not a plus on the OP's CV will be a moot point for getting a job in HK or Macau. It depends on luck and timing. I have seen quite a few expat teachers who travel to different countries on contracts for a few years so the OP could conceivably move to another country after China and then back. OP may have developed some niche skills which enhances the CV. We just don't have enough information.

 

One thing I am almost completely sure of is that getting a teaching job in HK will require a post graduate Diploma or Masters in education of some sort.

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No Party Secretary in the IB schools in China? 

 

Take a look at the YK Pao School, which offers an IB curriculum. Yes, they have a foreign head, but the people governing the school have all the sort of credentials you'd expect to find at a major Mainland school. If you're teaching there you learn the boundaries very quickly I'm sure, or you're not teaching there.

 

https://www.ykpaoschool.cn//About-Us/Governance

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@Flickserve has it dead right.

 

It really won’t matter about where they’ve worked as long it’s an International IB school and the OP wishes to move to an international IB school. 

That is the main reason why they should definitely take that job. 
 

Even moving to a non-IB school, having worked for 2 years in an inquiry based curriculum will be useful. Most schools are moving toward this style of curriculum regardless if they’re IB or not. 
 

51 minutes ago, 889 said:

No Party Secretary in the IB schools in China? 

I feel like you have a skewed idea of what international schools here are like. If you’re in education, I encourage you to visit when travel opens up. There are a lot of PD offerings based in China now as it’s the largest International school market in the world. 

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You're missing the point.

 

We're talking here about how starting his career at a Mainland school may affect his career opportunities later outside the Mainland, especially in Hong Kong.

 

We can talk till the cows come home about the reality of the situation in Mainland schools. But that's not relevant to the point.

 

The point is how those outside the Mainland will view that experience when he's looking for a job. What counts then isn't the reality: it's the perception of Mainland education and the perception of those who've spent their formative teaching years in China.

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Lots of points! 😂
 

Which country the OP has taught in or teaches

is very unlikely to affect it. It all depends on the type of school (IB, WASC accredited, UK curriculum etc), the quality of the school and the experience/training of the teacher. 

 

It’s not mainland education. It’s the IB. 
 

In my experience in International education I can’t see it having much influence at all if the above are all good. Unless you work in international education in Hong Kong and are telling me this from personal experience then I just can’t agree with you. 

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No, but you could check out the overseas teaching section on the TES forum.

 

If you want more information here, you're going to have to tell us a little more about this IB school and a little more about what you'd actually be doing there.

 

Personally, I'm inclined to think a school in Hong Kong will be more concerned that you have IB teaching experience, rather than where you got said IB teaching experience.  And, as with most things, the variation in quality of schools within China is more significant than the variation between China and other countries.  There are schools in Beijing and Shanghai which I'm sure top international teachers would love to have on their CV.

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