I do not work as a teacher but some of my friends here do but I have never yet come across this negative attitude from other ex-pats towards ex-pat English teachers. I have come across this attitude from quite a few Chinese. They seem to view English teaching as little better than a way of keeping the kids occupied for a while irrespective of whether they are being taught anything or not. Hence if that is what you do here then you are obviously a loser because anyone can do that. Education is not seen here as a particularly high priority by a lot of people, probably because they in turn never received a good enough education to appreciate the benefits. Stupid parents are so ignorant and racist that they simply cannot see beyond the colour of someones skin and so we get schools pandering towards those people. Never let real education get in the way of increasing my bank account. Owners/managers of schools despise the level of salary they have to pay to get Mr or Miss White but know they have to do it. There are some excellent foreign teachers out there and they have my sympathy and admiration, I just could not put up withe level of bullshit that many of them are treated to. Most people from westernised countries appreciate that education is a valuable commodity and it takes certain specialised skills to do the job well. So I do think if people look down on the English teachers here the fault lies withe perception of Chinese schools hiring white monkeys. As to the few foreigners who look down on all English teachers just because of what they do are simply retards who are no better than the Chinese noveau rich who think money makes them a better person.

Apr 06, 2015 01:14 Report Abuse



Love how you started your point of not seeing discrimination by clearly stating you are not a teacher. Just had to point that out eh?

Apr 09, 2015 21:40 Report Abuse



lol Mike... just had to point that out.

Apr 11, 2015 22:08 Report Abuse



Decent article and most of it is true. Where I live, everyone (Chinese and foreigners) expects that I am an English teacher (and I used to be one), but when I tell them I am not... They (normally Chinese) act like I won the lottery or did something amazing. Being an ESL teacher is an easy job, being a good ESL teacher is very tough and equal to any other job in my opinion

Apr 06, 2015 02:04 Report Abuse



I like your thinking

Apr 06, 2015 08:47 Report Abuse



Same for me. When they find out i'm not a teacher their whole tone changes and becomes all together more pleasant.

Apr 06, 2015 09:36 Report Abuse



Best answer and so true. I am also in this situation I used to teach English but moved to a different job. I have noticed peoples reactions are a lot different when I tell them my current job than when I told them my English teaching job. Although it can be easy getting an English teaching job, it is not easy being a good teacher. I still work in the education business and deal with any English teachers. There is a huge difference in quality between good and bad teachers. It is a shame that some of the actions of a few bad teachers damage the reputation of all teachers.

Apr 06, 2015 11:01 Report Abuse



I'm in a position where I (more or less) recently moved here after having studied Mandarin at my university. I'm teaching for the time-being while I continue to study. I hate having to tell people that I'm a teacher sometimes because I fear their reaction. Some people have the perception that all ESL teachers are lazy, good-for-nothings. I'm trying to work my way towards getting a job outside the ESL field at some point and also applying to school here or in Taiwan to get my master's in "East Asian Studies" (a term I hate) while focusing on Mandarin.

Apr 06, 2015 11:17 Report Abuse



The diversity of ESL teachers is very wide ranging from those who just want a way to make a quick buck and pay off student loans, to those who genuinely have an interest in China and believe teaching is the easiest way to get there, to those who couldn't find employment back home (though experience teaching in China is a good way to go back to the states to either continue to seek employment or to get accepted into a graduate-type program.) Everyone I know who makes fun of ESL teachers was either a teacher at one point or ended up turning to teaching when their non-teaching job did a poor job of matching the pay of ESL teachers (who can get paid a lot to do a little). Also the "get back to work" mentality is not just applied to teachers. If you are employed by a Chinese employer, expect to work long, hard hours and even on weekends to make up for holidays. We get treated like workhorses because that is how it is here... Lawyers, doctors and teachers alike will get the same treatment (I have friends who work as lawyers and doctors here so I am not speaking from the air). It doesn't matter what your position is. I've worked in retail, and the same mentality applies. If you are breathing, you can work. I recommend people who come over to China gain experience in learning about the culture and the language so that you have valuable skills to take back home.

Apr 06, 2015 07:42 Report Abuse



Totally agree

Apr 06, 2015 08:46 Report Abuse



Many, if not the majority of, foreigners employed in "education" here are not just incompetent, they're really bad people, which is why they prosper among the Chinese

Apr 06, 2015 08:20 Report Abuse



Seen my fair share of drunk oriental fetishists. some have gold digger wives and half breed children that they can't talk to, even after a decade of living here

Apr 06, 2015 08:41 Report Abuse



Not true Mr. 388182. The majority of foreign teachers are conscientious and hard-working. I see how you managed to insult both foreign teachers and the Chinese in one sentence. Bravo. I think the author mentioned your kind in the article. Lateral aggression?

Apr 06, 2015 09:16 Report Abuse



what's lateral aggression? where can I read about it? maybe I'm doing it but I don't know what it is yet. I'm always looking to improve myself.

Apr 06, 2015 17:13 Report Abuse



You could wiki 'lateral aggression', for example. The article implies a definition. Try the internet, you might find something there.

Apr 06, 2015 19:04 Report Abuse



Best article by far!

Apr 06, 2015 08:35 Report Abuse



yeah, in my opinion

Apr 06, 2015 17:11 Report Abuse



I'd say everything mentioned in the article is common knowledge in China :/ Plus, the headline doesn't have much to do with the actual article. I didn't expect to read abouta racial stereotypes here. Not really the BEST article.

Apr 08, 2015 13:05 Report Abuse



So much insight into culture, the others here and into the employers. A true immigrant not an "expat"

Apr 06, 2015 08:39 Report Abuse



Those who've been on this forum long enough probably have witnessed western commenters trashing EFL teachers. One reason, my guess is, they think along the lines, "how difficult can it be for someone to teach his native language?" For these ignorants all you have to do is to ask him (be him a chinese/indian/canadian...etc.) to teach his native language for a couple of hours then have the students, be they housewives, teenagers, workers, do the assessment. LOL Best thing to deal with egotistic talkers 'blessed' with a warmongering personality thinking lightly of anything with a 'how difficult can it be attitude' is to have them do those things they look down upon. This is a matter of perception. To turn around those negative attitudes, one can present EFL teachings as the key to future success if they want to fare well internationally. The locals know that. A young 20+ uni. graduate working in the export sales dept of a battery manufacturing plant told me he was paying RMB 2000+ for 'chatting' with westerners on QQ/Wechat monthly, organized by some company. Their monthly salary is typically only RMB 2000+ (commission included)!

Apr 06, 2015 10:20 Report Abuse



I was under the impression that expats in other fields, IT, Banking, Marketing, ...etc. earns more than EFL teaching. The figures shown on the salary table in this article are dated 2012. Perhaps they have changed since. Mind taking a look for me? Thanks. www.expatarrivals.com/china/salaries-for-expats-in-china

Apr 06, 2015 11:01 Report Abuse



Thanks for the info. Smart choice too, sounds like the job is more of HR nature. Normally, operating an agency or being the key staff within an agency (which is a business) lets you earn far more than those working as employees/contractors for the agency, in this case teachers. This is the same in other fields. And yes, land of jerks, fully agree. There is nothing wrong with you jerking the local jerks off. They deserve it. LOL

Apr 06, 2015 11:22 Report Abuse



Eorthisio. Wow, those are some impressive numbers there. I'd be "comfortable" with 1/3 of what you make per month at 100 teachers. I'd like to ask if currently you are having more of a supply or demand problem with what you do. If its a supply problem, private message me or email me at esportamerica@yahoo.com as I have some business ideas to throw around with you. Hope to hear from you soon.

Apr 09, 2015 10:55 Report Abuse



Sorry, I wasnt clear enough on the supply and demand part. If you are having more of a supply OF TEACHERS problem. not supply of teaching jobs in China.

Apr 09, 2015 11:04 Report Abuse



While I completely agree that all of the 'perceptions' in this article do exist in China in one way or another, I think there are a few problems to address with constructive criticism. There are a lot of 'mosts' going on. What I mean is "most employers...", "most Chinese....", this is problematic because its backed up with purely anecdotal evidence. I meet plenty of Chinese people who do have these perceptions of foreigners, but also plenty that don't. The racial discrimination thing comes down to a lack of the same understanding of race, ethnicity, and culture than that which we value in the United States. You cannot come to another country and expect these attitudes to be the same. When I've tried to describe certain behaviors as racist to my Chinese friends (in Mandarin), they simply don't see it that way. While it may not seem right to you or me, that's the way it is. This, at least, has been my experience. China hasn't had the same struggles that have been had in other countries regarding race and identity. Furthermore, they only just opened the country to foreign trade under Deng Xiaoping in 1978 (basically 1979). They've only had a lot of foreigners living and working here for the last 37 years. It is not right to discriminate, but there needs to be time for such sensitive understandings to come to fruition.

Apr 06, 2015 10:59 Report Abuse