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Paid to Play with Kids!
It's already been 9 mos. since I finished 2 yrs at Golden Apple Mei Yu Kindergarten in the Zongbei district of Chengdu, but I still think abt my kids (taught them from age 3-5) from time to time and overall had a positive experience. The staff was friendly and really cared abt the foreign teachers. We had 5 there in all. They also encouraged creativity and using Western teaching lessons. Also we only worked 3 hrs a day and 30 minutes of that was for lesson planning, which is ample time to plan for kindergarten. We also had an endless supply of toys and blocks which came in handy for thinking of games and relays. The total lesson time ranged from 40-60 minutes and the rest of the time we basically just played with the kids and talked to them in English. Besides the lesson time their schedule was organized by Chinese teachers and we just followed them to their pottery, ballet, etc. lessons. (Yeah, this school has money.) The atmosphere was pretty low key and stress free as well. The main drawback for this job was no summer off and also the way the Chinese teachers were treated compared to us made us feel uncomfortable at times, but I think that's pretty standard for China. Also we didn't get summers off but got a 2 week paid vacation we could take any time and we also got all the Chinese holidays. The pay was 3700 a month plus 800 housing allowance, which is a little low, but it was in the morning so there was plenty of time to pick up extra hours elsewhere, and when you consider the lesson planning and travel time that some higher paying jobs required this job was really great. I definitely recommend Golden Apple!
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