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Does anyone still have the low-hours, low-pay university teaching gigs?


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I never had one of these jobs, but back in my early days in China they were pretty much the norm, as the private sector was only getting started. 10-16 hours (possibly 45 minute hours) teaching a week, modest but entirely livable salary (Y1500? Y1800), on-campus accommodation provided in usually decent apartments. The teaching was generally 'do some English conversation and if we ask you for grades, make sure nobody fails', and what you actually taught was up to your conscience and ability. There'd be a few of you doing the same work, possibly up to a dozen at bigger places, and you'd fall into little stereotypes - the bar-goers, the Chinese-practicers, the student-seducers, the pathological liar who claimed to be on the run from the IRA and the CIA (anyone else meet him? Changzhou or Yangzhou, or one of the Jiangsu -zhou's, around 98, 99? I never did destroy that roll of film like I told him I would.)


To what extent are those jobs still out there? Are they unchanged, bar some salary increases, or are they now squeezing the marrow out of you? Tougher visa requirements seems to dictate at the very least they're getting more qualified people in the door, and I'd imagine (and hope) they expect a bit more for their money. 


I had a very quick scout around and spotted this recent ad on eslcafe, which fits the template, but it's the only one I saw (obviously, these are not normal times and it's still early for September recruiting). I can't imagine that's a huge salary (Y7800 before tax) even in Yantai, but presumably fine with accommodation thrown in, and all the time in the world to do side jobs, study, or wander the streets. Do agencies have the market sown up, or can you still get a job on your own initiative? 

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I was doing this until recently. Salary was fine for how little work I was doing (8-9k). Classes were supposedly in 45 minute chunks but actually they were always two 45 minute classes together. No meetings, few classes, very little interference from above, maybe someone watching a class once a year. 


The salary has gone up a bit since I left and I think you could possibly get as much as 12k but the requirements are stricter now too (in terms of qualifications). I know that they were also trying to organise events for the foreign teachers to get to know each other so the "interactiveness" of the job went up a bit, but I think they still don't manage teaching quality or curriculum too much. Definitely a really nice job if you want to do other things on the side. 


5 hours ago, roddy said:

Do agencies have the market sown up, or can you still get a job on your own initiative? 

Not really sure about this one. I don't often see agencies advertising university jobs so I think often they are gotten through knowing people. Could be wrong on this count though. 

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I recently saw one of these gigs advertised in Teaching in China facebook group, advertising a salary of 8-12,000. Stuck out like a sore thumb amongst all the 18-35K adverts.  And they didn't do a great job playing up the long winter and summer breaks and minimal teaching hours.  You can still get a kindergarten half-day gig for 10-15K if you know where to look - I personally prefer this to university. 


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I had a very happy year or so after choosing to take a pay cut and move to a university where I earned 1,800 a month - the minumum legal amount I think - for teaching 16 50-minute hours of spoken English per week. I do notice this clause in the link Roddy posted though: Party A may adjust the workload of Party B in accordance with the current situation.

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3 hours ago, imron said:

Inflation is crazy. I remember when 5,000 was a high salary for a foreigner in Beijing!

I think it's a combination of the government clamping down on illegal working lately, and then more recently all the teachers who fled China when COVID started who haven't been able to come back. 


At the end of 2019 I remember seeing the average salaries of posted jobs around me were like 13 or 14k, maybe a little higher. By the middle of last year it was closer to 20, and the last couple of months I've been seeing more and more 30's. People need their English fix it seems.  

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Last July I saw some unis out west (Gansu) offering 4.5k per month plus on campus housing, air fare and the booboo health insurance they offer. If you read the fine print, they only paid you half wages in the summer, when you were not teaching.

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