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Forums > Living in Kunming > Teaching In Kunming: K-12 vs. Language School

Chinese High School with special oversea programs.
The program will often be in a high school but in a separate wing and have its own admin staff and Principal or Director of studies.

Same as high school but the SS are usally in the upper quartile of academic ability. Teaching staff are a mixture of local teachers and foreign teachers. The curriculum is US/Canada/UK.
Accommodation is not always provided, but sometimes accommodation allowance is paid.
Good staff are very highly valued. Expectations on staff are high.

Pay is often better than high schools.

Parents have very high expectations. They are sometimes rich and unreasonable in their damnds, but leave this to local admin.
Exams are set and moderated externally. You have to invigilate and sometimes mark tests.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Teaching In Kunming: K-12 vs. Language School

Chinese High School
Same as universities
Students may or may not be motivated, and the English levels in a class can vary dramatically. Teenagers may also be, well? Teenagers.
Exams are set and marked externally. You will be expected to set and mark periodic informal tests, at no extra pay.
Foreign staff are valued by management.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Teaching In Kunming: K-12 vs. Language School

Other colleges.
These are usually vocational colleges. Some SS are highly motivated as they are from poor families. They may have failed GK due to not having access to a good high school.
The facilities in some of these places can be appalling.
Usually no accommodation or accommodation allowance.
Often no canteen. But there will be street vendors outside the gate.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Teaching In Kunming: K-12 vs. Language School

Colleges attached to a university.
Same as universities except:

Students are usually those who failed GK. They are not motivated, and most don't want to work. You still need to pass them for exams, however a degree from one of these colleges is pretty worthless. Many SS eventually realize this and are further demotivated.
Sometimes the university college cares more about the money than teaching.
Often no foreign affairs office. If you need help you are often on your own.
Staff are sometimes valued sometimes not.
No flights, people are usually recruited locally.

Hourly rates of pay are common.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Teaching In Kunming: K-12 vs. Language School

Students have all passed GaoKao (GK) the college entrance test. They are usually more motivated, but cheating is endemic and you have to learn to live with it.
University Deans expect students to do well in exams. They don't want to know about cheating. If the exam is too hard it needs to be moderated. This goes against the grain, but it is their house and their rules (This is China). Occasionally you will get students who never attend class, and these you can fail. The institution really cares about the students.
Teachers are expected to be on time and sober. That is the biggest gripe that any institution has about teaching staff. Get this right and you can dance with the devil and they don't mind. The schedule is fixed at the beginning of each semester, and so life is organized. Teachers must take attendance, it alsocan protect you from students who fail. In addition to your teaching you may be asked to give 1-2 evening lectures per semester on a general subject about English, or US/EU culture. You may also be asked to run or attend English Corners, I usually suggest that these are better organized by students. You may be paid for evening lectures, you will not usually be paid for English corner. Teachers are expected to prepare and mark exams, andou do not get paid extra for this.
Contracts are usually for the academic year only. Paid spring break, no paid summer break. Contracts are usually for a maximum n (often 15) teaching hours (50m) per week. Any more and you get overtime. For public holidays, they jiggle the calendar, this is usual in all places of work here.
Medical cover means you can go to the campus clinic/nurse. You also have emergency only cover at hospital. This is not full cover.
Accommodation is provided free. Look for those that offer an apartment. They may be basic but they are self-contained and you have 1-2 bedrooms, living room, kitchen, bathroom.
Access to the canteen which provides cheap food at set times only.
Flights home are paid, but sometimes they only have rules that allow for direct flights (this works in your advantage) but will only pay for port of Exit to port of entry. A disadvantage if you need a connecting flight.
Visa provided. If they like you, and you like them, you can sign up for the following year before you leave with will give you a longer visa.
The University will have a foreign affairs office to manage foreign teachers affairs. This means you always have someone to help. At least one member of staff here speaks English.
Staff are valued highly.


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That last comment was a bit unfair. There will be local officials who have to be seen there.

Think of this more as a conference, and trade event, with some public exhibits on the side, and less as an exhibition open to the public.



A reasonable choice of lumber that has improved over time. Fancy hardwoods like walnut, and mahogany are in abundance. There are some plywood and rubber-wood boards available. There are also some kiln dried imported softwoods and merbao available. Some of the lumber is very green, so look for the kiln dried if you need stable timbers.


Echo everything said by others.
Breakfast great and the serve from 8am. Most other places say 9am and they still are not ready.
Sandwiches are cheap 22-32, and really packed full of filling. We got some sandwiches for a day out, the only mistake I made was ordering two, as this was too much. These are seriously good sangars, and they are wrapped in alu foil.


In fairness to Metro, they are a wholesalers, and not really a supermarket. Hence the need for a card, which can be got around.

They have improved in the year I have been away. They now carry a more consistent range of imported foodstuffs and they also seem to have sorted out the mported milk supply.

They have a wider range of electrical appliances now, there is a coice of more than one toast. There is also a better range of seasonal non foods, like clothes, shoes, garden furniture and camping gear.