Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rejoining the workforce

Since we came came to China last September, I have not been working per se, but I have been tutoring children of various ages in my home.  While the work is rewarding, I get bored between classes.  It also happens that my wife is getting tired of the city she grew up in (Yanji) despite the large number of family and friends she has here (she had gotten spoiled, living in Texas), so we decided I would apply for a regular teaching position.  The thing is, if the position you was interested is filled, recruiters try to offer you other positions that are not necessarily to your liking. 

One thing most jobs had in common was that the pay was usually low and the area was not to our liking.  There was a few cases where the pay and area was ok, but the interview left me cold.  Most times it was because the "English Teacher or School Principal" who hired me language skills were so bad that I either did not understand them or made me wonder as to how good the school was.  I imagine I have torqued off a few recruiters who went through all the trouble of submitting my information to the school, convincing them I am worth their time, getting me the interview, having the school say they will hire me, only to lose their fee because I said in some cases not only no, but HELL NO!

I finally accepted a position that offered good pay (10,000 RMB/month) and I'll be teaching US History, English Literature and English type classes in regular Chinese Chinese high schools where the students have decided to forgo the Chinese college placement tests in favor of taking the placement tests for an American university. 

What made this school different was that the recruiter was an employee of the same people I would be working for, his English was excellent during the initial interview.  He also told me that I would be interviewed by a history teacher the next day.  Lo and behold, the teacher I was talking to was another American.  We had a short discussion about teaching methods, then he asked me my opinon about a disagreement he was having with a Chinese US history teacher about the policies of President Woodrow Wilson.  Soon afterward the recruiter told me that he would be submitting my name with a recommendation to approve to the head of the school.  My wife and I wanted to go to Shanghai/Nanjing area because she has friends there, but we will end up instead in Shijianghuang (south of Beijing) at their No. 2 High School.  Since then, my wife has talked to a friend there and they tell her that this school is the top school in the city.  She is still afraid that the city would be similar to Yanji, only bigger, but she knows how much this job means to me, so she will make the best of it.  I told her that if I do my time here and if we decide to stay another year, I can see if I can transfer to Nanjing, to which she said ok.  I am so looking forward to this new job and overjoyed I will actually be working in my major with a little English, I hope, on the side.

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