MCC is seeking persons to teach conversational English to education majors in teacher’s colleges in the People's Republic of China.
All MCC workers are expected to exhibit a commitment to: a personal Christian faith and discipleship; active church membership; and nonviolent peacemaking.
MCC is an equal opportunity employer, committed to employment equity. MCC values diversity and invites all qualified candidates to apply.
English Teacher in Several locations in China
Date Opened:December 19, 2012
Start Date:Available Now
Mennonite Partners in China (MPC) is a program of Mennonite agencies of N. America, having worked in the area of education in China since 1981. Each year approximately 12-18 persons serve in China with MPC, and Chinese academics also travel to Mennonite college and seminary campuses in N. America as part of the exchange. Through this exchange, Mennonite agencies have the opportunity to partner with Chinese educational institutions in providing a space where understanding, cooperation and friendship can be developed.
The teacher's college will provide an apartment and a monthly allowance of 3,500 yuan (US$540). The allowance is enough to cover food and other incidental living costs during the semester. Participants will need to cover their own passport and visa costs, international airfare, orientation and travel in China. Total estimated cost per person is US$5,500. Health insurance and medical costs are the responsibility of the participant.
Teachers are needed from August 2012 through June 2013. Participants are encouraged to attend MCC and MPC orientations prior to the year of teaching and/or the MPC mid-year conference and MCC NE Asia annual retreat during the year of teaching. Information on the additional costs involved and dates for these orientation/conference/retreat sessions is available upon request.
MPC places teachers at the invitation of Chinese universities. When possible, teachers are strategically placed in a setting where they may relate closely to a local church partner of MPC.
The normal teaching work load is 16 hours per week of classroom instruction. MPC teachers may teach classes as small as 15-25 for listening and speaking or as large as 100 for certain lecture courses. Chinese teachers are responsible for classes in grammar, linguistics, composition and other skills; MPC teachers are needed for practice in speaking and listening. Included in these conversational English classes is the teaching of cultural information. Classes are normally taught in two-hour blocks with no more than four hours in one day. Students are eager to practice their English outside of the classroom and seek opportunities to engage the MPC teachers in their homes, in the cafeteria, on outings and at special English Club sponsored events.
When there is a local church partner in the placement city, MPC teachers are expected to respond to requests from the congregation. These requests may include participation in church activities, singing in the choir, teaching weekly English classes and assisting church youth with English studies.
MPC partner schools are primarily in Sichuan Province (southwestern China). MPC teachers are generally placed in smaller cities (population 300,000-600,000) that have teacher training colleges. Normally there are few foreigners in these cities with often only several foreign teachers. College campuses are self-contained, with classrooms, student dorms, faculty housing, dining and some stores all on the campus. Student populations vary from 15,000 to 30,000. Colleges provide furnished apartments to their foreign teachers with all basic facilities and needs. Internet is widely available. Colleges provide a monthly stipend ($410 each month) on which the MPC teacher is able to comfortably live while in China.
Contemporary China is an incredibly dynamic and exciting place to live. Everything seems to be changing at a very rapid pace—this affects college students, faculty and administration. The Chinese people are being rushed into the 21st century without having the luxury of the time that it has taken the Western world to get there. Students face difficult challenges in their education, with their families, and as they prepare for the future. As outsiders, foreign teachers often play a unique role as listeners, as counselors, as interpreters of the Western world, and as friends.
China’s reform and opening has emphasized materialism at the expense of its own ancient traditions and values. Many in academia are searching for greater meaning and worth than just more material acquisitions—as Westerners steeped in a material world, the challenge to learn and also share with new friends takes energy, humility and wisdom. China still contains more than 20 percent of the world’s population.
At times North Americans can feel as if they are all on their doorstep. Crowds, noise, strange smells, authentic Chinese food, and a very different culture and way of doing many things can be both intoxicating and energy-sapping.
MPC workers have often felt that they are rarely included in their department's activities or informed in advance of decisions affecting their teaching. This sense of isolation can cause frustration, but MPC workers should realize that it is not unique to their schools. MPC workers have found that making one's resources available to colleagues on an informal basis works better than seeking inclusion.
One semester in China is quite brief, but it is an intense time of learning, experimenting and glimpsing. Yes, meaningful friendships can develop, as well as many more casual acquaintances that are significant for students. The major risk is that persons will find themselves torn between staying another semester or saying good-bye to one of the best experiences of their lives.