Many people write requesting jobs in public schools or private schools because they assume that one is ‘better’ than the other. Many certified teachers request jobs in Chinese public schools because they would be working in public schools at home. Other teachers want jobs in private international schools, while others only want to work in language schools. If you have decided you want to teach English in China, what route should you take?
First, it’s important to point out that public school jobs in China are probably the worst possible jobs in China. They pay less than any other type of job in China and while housing is usually provided, it comes with a curfew attached (and usually a pretty crappy apartment). In my 10 years in Asia, I have never heard a teacher discuss anything positive regarding working in Chinese public schools. For this reason, we do not actively recruit for public school positions. Please note this is not the same in every country and it is very possible there are exceptions no one at Eastland Recruiting has heard about. This is not the same in every country- South Korea has a very nice program for public schools. Every country is different and we do not recommend Chinese public school jobs.
Private international school jobs are highly competitive. Most of those schools do their own recruiting-the demand for those jobs is so low and applications so high that they do not need to use companies to help them recruit. They get many more applicants every year and easily fill open positions. If you are a certified teacher in your home country (government license, not just a TEFL or CELTA) and especially if you have more than 2 years of experience, pursuing these jobs is a great option. Note that they are usually looking for people with a specific education specialization to fill specific positions (elementary ed, subject specific, phys ed, etc).
Most of the jobs in China are in private schools. Most are language schools, but there are some private schools teaching many subjects to a younger group of students. All of the schools we work with are either western owned or managed. In China and Taiwan, there are many cram schools (buxibans). This is very similar to the Korean school jobs in hogwans, but generally speaking, private language schools in China have a better reputation than their counterparts in Korea.
Our best advise is this: do not sell yourself short by requesting only public school positions. When looking for a job, it’s best to describe the type of environment you are looking for. When we ask most teachers why they only want public school jobs, for example, may say something like “at home public school jobs provide stability and look good on resumes.” In this case, it’s best to tell us you want a stable job that will improve your future career prospects rather than assuming you will get that in a public school in your chosen country. We want more than anything else to help teachers find the types of jobs they are looking for, both for the experience itself and to help obtain future goals. Let us steer you in the right direction-we have no reason to do anything other than help you find the type of job you want!