Last Updated on November 21, 2022 by

China is a remarkable teaching destination offering various teaching opportunities for TEFL teachers. You will need to have the right qualifications, meet all the eligibility requirements, commit to a teaching contract and choose the right school that you will be able to teach comfortably and efficiently. Knowing the differences between private and public schools is vital since it will help you decide on the best teaching environment. One of the differences between public and private schools is funding. Private schools are funded by the students’ fees and owned by a company or individual, while the Chinese government supports public schools. Numerous teaching jobs in China are found in both public and private schools.

Public Schools

Teaching in China can initially be challenging for a fist time TEFL teacher. However, a public school with a structured curriculum can be much more convenient and make your teaching experience much more manageable. Additionally, the teaching schedule, set up and arrangement can make your teaching job more manageable. Most of the first time, TEFL teachers find public schools convenient and an incredible way to attain teaching experience. Some of the features of a public school in China include:


One of the main features of a public school in China is the school’s facilities and amenities. In public schools, there is less use of technology than in private schools; therefore, teachers in public schools have more flexibility in classes and can engage with students often both in class and outside during outdoor leisure activities. Most public school classes do not have air conditioning equipment, making it exciting to spend time in outdoor activities and a well-deserved refresher after long study days in class.

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School Curriculum

In public schools, lessons are adjusted to suit the high number of students in a class. A focus on learning, pair work, listening and any constructive activities to benefit a large number of students in the class is prioritized. Teaching in China public schools is enriching since you will engage with students in an extensive range of activities based on the set curriculum in the school.

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Private Schools

An expat can find many teaching jobs in China, particularly in some reputable private schools in the major cities. China privatized schooling to increase literacy and enrol many students in schools. Private education is highly considered in China, and many parents pay huge amounts of money to have their children join the best private school. A TEFL teacher in a private school is highly regarded, and parents, schools and the community expect high expectations from them. On the other side, the teacher will be paid the highest teaching salaries and have lots of teaching freedom in private schools. Some features of private schools include:


One of the features of a private school in China is ultra-modern facilities and equipment that enhance the learning experience of students in schools. The ultra-modern facilities include modern vending machine areas, snack shops, basketball and tennis courts, while classrooms are well equipped with computers, white boards, air-conditioning and internet access. There is also ample outdoor space and playing areas for students to play various games and sports.

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School Curriculum

A foreign teacher teaching English lessons generally does not have a syllabus they ought to follow and teach students. This means a teacher has free reign over which skills to focus on and what they decide to teach. Due to the freedom to teach what you want in each class, you can adjust your lessons or classes efficiently to suit the learners. Over time, learners become more interested in learning, understanding and speaking the English language.

Teaching in private or public schools has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s vital to research and find out the benefits, qualifications and experience required in private and public schools before joining a particular school. A foreign teacher will find numerous reputable schools in China that offer high salaries, accommodation, teaching freedom and an enriching teaching experience.

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