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Questions about what to expect from your school and what might be expected of you from day to day, while you work.

School Life

Do I need to stay at school during office hours?

Yes, teachers are expected to stay during office hours. It will also depend on your school with how strict the office hours will be. 

Is there a dress code for teachers? 

Most schools don't enforce a strict dress code. Wear business casual at most. No sandals and/or tank tops. Try don't show or wear anything offensive while working at your school.

Language centers will have a uniform. 

Will I have a direct contact at the school?

Yes, our foreign teachers have a contact teacher at their school that will work with and support them. 

What's the relationship like with other teachers at the school? Are foreign teachers included in school activities? 

Both foreign and local teachers are very warm and welcoming. While not all local teachers will be able to speak English, they will still try their best to interact with you and say “Hello”. Foreign teachers are encouraged to participate in school activities.

Are there any other foreign teachers at the school? 

The number of foreign teachers will vary from school to school. Often SDE teacher are working at schools down the street from each other or possibly be teaching at the same school. Most of our schools have 2-3 foreign teachers. 

发布时间: 2017 - 07 - 20

Questions about teaching in the classroom, how much experience other teachers might have, and what material you'll be provided.

How long have SDE teachers been teaching?

From fresh teachers to senior teachers, people who work for us come from all backgrounds and experiences.

Is teaching experience necessary before moving to China?

While teaching experience is not necessary before moving to China, all teachers with less than 2 years teaching experience are required to have a teaching certificate (TEFL, TESOL, CELTA, etc.) before coming to Shenzhen to teach. We can help you get set up with a course. Once a course is started, it will take 2-3 weeks to complete.

Are online TEFL programs acceptable? Does SDE have any reputable recommendations? 

SDE works with TFA (Teachers for Asia Academy) to assist our incoming teachers to become TEFL certified. It is a 120 hour online TEFL in length and will provide a foundation to begin teaching English as a foreign language. It is 100% online without any offline attendance needed, and is internationally recognized. We can reimburse you after arrival covering the cost of this course. 

What are the general age ranges of students? 

Kindergarten: 3-6 years old

Primary school: 6-11 years old

Middle school: 11-15 years old

High school: 15-18 years old

Language Centers: 3-18 years old

Will I use textbooks in the classroom? Is curriculum provided?

Public Schools have curriculum for students in their primary English lessons. Most will not have a dedicated book for a foreign teacher’s class, as they already have an English book for the primary English lessons by a local teacher. Foreign teachers are welcome to build upon the curriculum by creating supplementary lessons with new activities and games to review with students. However, teachers will mainly be responsible for creating their own lessons and curriculum according to the level of the students.

Language centers (training centers) will have textbooks and curriculum for the teachers to follow more closely.

What will the students expect of me? What are their goals?

Student expectations and goals will generally vary by age group. K-12 students studying English are required to take an English course; for subjects outside of English being taught in English, students are generally preparing for international schools or study abroad. Students in adult training centers are seeking to improve their career and business opportunities.

Will the students know any English to begin with?

Students will have their primary English lessons starting from first grade. English is often heard from T.V. shows, movies, and commercials. Even those who have not studied English before will still know “Hello!” and “How are you?” Communication in English only is possible with students at all ages and levels and it’s surprising how effective body language and just one word can be. However, you will surely need to get creative in how you introduce more difficult activities and concepts. If it becomes too difficult, there may be a teacher assistant to help out!

Will I have a teaching assistant?

While it’s not a guarantee, classes under grade 3 typically have a teaching assistant to support foreign teachers in the classroom. Above grade 3, there may be student TA’s to make sure routines are adhered to. In training centers and kindergartens, there will be a TA present.

Do teachers experience any challenges with the large class sizes?  

During online orientation and after your arrival, we will go over the aspects of classroom management to share experiences and strategies with you.

Do teachers in China need a state teaching license from their home country?

A formal teaching license from your home country is not a requirement to teach English in China. If you are an applicant with a formal teaching license, then a TEFL certification may not be necessary.

发布时间: 2017 - 07 - 20

Questions about what you should bring with you to China, what will happen once you arrive and orientation, in general.

Flight and Orientation

What should I pack?

Please refer to the SDE packing list attachment below

Flight and OrientationNew Teacher Packing List

When should I arrive in China?

The exact date of your arrival will be given in written notice from your recruiter and Foreign Teacher Management Specialist.

When can I purchase the plane ticket?

Do not purchase a ticket until you have received written approval from your Foreign Teacher Management Specialist. Once you have finished preparing the necessary documentation as set out by our recruitment and visa team, and have received written notice from your FTM, you may book the flight.

Will the airfare be reimbursed?

Airfare is reimbursed from a flat 5,000 RMB to be paid within a month after the first working day at the school.

Will someone be there to pick me up from the airport?

Yes, an English speaking staff member will be there to meet and take you to the hotel if you land in the Bao’an airport or in other cities of China. If you arrive in Hong Kong international airport, a specialist will meet you at the border between Hong Kong and Shenzhen to take you to the SDE office and your hotel.

What is covered in orientation? Is it mandatory?

Online Orientation and after arrival orientation is mandatory and will cover all aspects relevant to you working and living in China.

How long is the onboarding period?

The onboarding period will be 4-5 days as set out by your FTM.

Will I be provided accommodation during orientation?

Hotel costs will be covered by SDE for the first four nights. 

What support will be provided when I arrive?

Upon arrival, we will liason you to the hotel. Over the next 4 days, you will with your specialist to set up your bank card, phone card, finding an apartment and visiting your school. 

发布时间: 2017 - 07 - 20

Questions about our company, the resources you'll have available to you and other things you might want to know about us. 

About SDE

What is the FTM Specialist Role? 

FTM's will be there with you from the very beginning to help get you settled, find an apartment, communicate with your school, help you if you get sick, and anything else you may need help with (within reason). Remember to pause and say thank you to them as often as you can!

What others kinds of activities can I get involved in with SDE?

SDE has an academic consultant team, writing team, ambassador group and campus ambassador group. If you are interested in helping organize activities or participate in these groups, let someone in the office know!

How can SDE assist in finding additional part-time work for extra income?

SDE will advertise part-time opportunities to our teachers looking for extra income. SDE may also organize Summer and Winter camps for teachers who are looking to earn some cash over the holiday. If there won’t be any, there are plenty of other non-SDE Summer and Winter camps for interested teachers to join.

Can I join SDE at a different time of the year other than the beginning of a school year (September 1st)?

We have positions open year round. However, the most positions will be open for those applying to join at the start of each semester.

Can I stay for another year if I want to?

Of course! If you would like to stay, you can speak to your FTM or recruiter about signing on for another year. 

How many currently teachers are teaching with SDE. 

As of 2018, we currently have over 350 teachers. 

Where are your offices located?

Our headquarters is in Shenzhen. We also have offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Zhongshan, and Chengdu. 

发布时间: 2017 - 07 - 20

Questions about the visa process, how long it takes, and anything unexpected you might thing of when you're in the process of applying for your visa. 

Getting a (Z) Work Visa

Where can I learn more about the Z work visa process?

Please refer to the SDE Visa Guide and other visa support materials sent via email. If you have any questions, please contact your recruiter.

How long did the process take from start to finish? 

It will take around 30 days to complete the Z work visa process. However, this all depends how many documents are prepared prior to application. Most teachers will take an average of 45 days to fully prepare documents, and arrive in China.  

What is visa on arrival?

Visa on arrival can only be done for those going to work in Guangdong province. Once you have submitted your authenticated documents to your recruiter, SDE will apply for your notification of work permit. Once completed, we will send you an electronic copy and notify you that you can book your ticket to land in Hong Kong. Upon arrival, you will coordinate with an SDE staff member at the border of Hong Kong and Shenzhen to apply for the visa on arrival which will take 20-30 minutes. For the exact cost and process of applying for the visa on arrival, please ask your specialist.

Can I process the Z work visa at the Chinese consulate or consulate in my home country?

Yes, you can get the Z work visa at the Chinese consulate or embassy that has jurisdiction over your residency in your home country.

How much are the total visa costs?

Visa costs vary based on citizenship and how fast you want it processed.

Can I visit other countries while I’m working in China on a Z visa?

Before going out of the country, please let your visa handler and specialist know. Once you have finished your work and residence permit, you are able to travel outside of China and come back. 

I am American, what are some reliable sources to get a background check done other than local and state police?

There are several FBI-approved channelers to get a fingerprint background check done which is accepted for the Z work visa. Please refer to this link: https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks/list-of-fbi-approved-channelers-for-departmental-order-submissions

I am currently in China, where can I get a background check done?

Yes, please check the attachment below for your reference. 

Getting a (Z) Work VisaGetting a background check done in China

发布时间: 2017 - 07 - 20
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