We’ve written about how to start teaching English in China, how to actually find teaching jobs in China (and also how to teach English online), but we haven’t actually set out what a day in the life is like!

For all of you who are thinking about teaching English in China, or if you’re just curious about what it would be like, here’s an example of our busiest teaching days, which are Saturdays and Sundays because we work in a private school.

Not sure if you want to pack up your life and move to China? There’s another option – you can Teach English online from home, or anywhere in the world! If you’re from Canada or the United States, check out VIPKID and get paid to teach English online to Chinese students. If you’re not from North America, don’t worry, you can still teach online. Check out our article for details:

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english teaching in china
My favourite class of 3 adorable kindergarten girls: Yoyo, Mandy and Ada

8:00am – Arrive at the school, have a coffee, read over our lesson plans and get our materials ready.

8:30am to 10:10am – This is our first class of the day. During that hour and forty minutes, we have a 10 minute break.

10:10am to 10:20am – We only have a 10 minute break in between our first class and our second class. We have a quick scan of our lesson plan. It’s usually pretty rushed.

10:20am to 12:00pm – This is our second class of the day. We also have a 10 minute break during this hour and forty minute class.

12:00pm to 1:30pm – We have an hour and a half for lunch. We’ll usually go out for a walk, eat some food and relax. We also might have a lesson plan or two to write during this break.

teaching english in china
Nick writing a lesson plan in the office on his lunch break

1:30pm to 3:10pm – This is our third class of the day. Again, we have a 10 minute break during this hour and forty minute class.

3:10pm to 3:40pm – We have a half an hour break in between classes. We’ll have a coffee and review our lesson plan for the next class.

being an english teacher in china
Writing and reviewing my lesson plan for the next class

3:40pm to 5:20pm – This is our final class of the day. As with the other 3 classes, we have a 10 minute break.

5:20pm – Finished!

being an english teacher in china
Adorable Oscar with his little mohawk haircut

Saturdays and Sundays may seem like they are long days because we arrive at 8:00am and leave at 5:20pm, but as you can see, we have a lot of breaks during the day! Outside of the busy weekends, we work 1.5 hours each on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Mondays and Tuesdays are our days off.

teaching in china
My student, Frank and his little brother, Kobe. The 2 cutest students at our school, you should see the amount of attention these 2 brothers get!

Each class is different than the one before it, which makes it seem new and exciting every time we step into a classroom. We adore our students and really enjoy being English teachers here in China!

Teaching English is a great job, but there are so many more options out there for those who want to learn how to earn money and pay for travel. Check out our epic list of 101 Travel Jobs, learn how to find work, how much each job pays and what the work entails.

If you’re interested in Teaching English overseas, let us know if you have any questions. It’s the perfect job for travellers or anyone looking to try something new!




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Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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4 thoughts on “Teaching English: A Day In The Life Of A Teacher In China

  1. Thanks! Ya, it’s definitely what a typical weekend is like for us here. Love the cute kids 🙂

  2. I worked in Greece for seven years in a private language school. It was very cold and wet in the winter with no heating on, so the children and the teachers often wore thick coats, layers of jumpers and even gloves and scarves! No one thinks of Greece as cold but it is in the winter months. There are also ski resorts in Northern Greece.

    Your article and photographs were fantastic. Lovely children.

  3. Wow Janet, that’s really interesting! I wouldn’t have thought of Greece being that cold. So, just like here in China, teaching is done in warm clothing! I thought it was really weird when I first came here but then got used to always wearing thermal underwear and the only outfit everyone sees on me for a couple of months is my jacket and pants!

    Hmm, maybe we’ll look into teaching in Greece next. Which city were you working in?

    Cheers for the comment 🙂

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