If you’re considering teaching English in China then remember that ESL teaching can be a exciting and rewarding career path! The opportunity to explore the world and experience an entirely different culture will create memories that last forever. Of course, teaching in China is also a challenge as you will need to adapt to new and unfamiliar surroundings as well as a job in which no day is ever the same!

Regardless of whether to intend to pursue teaching as a career, plan to teach English as a way to enhance your future career prospects in a different sector, or just wish to see some of the world while earning a good salary, you only stand to benefit from your time spent teaching in China.

Here we consider some of the qualities which make a good English teacher, which may help you consider whether teaching in China is the right step for you…


An important quality required to be a good teacher is enthusiasm, regardless of the country you work in! Moving to China will be challenging so it’s important to be enthusiastic about teaching. A positive attitude means you’re much more likely to enjoy your work.

Be Open Minded!

It’s vital that you remain open-minded and tolerant; Chinese culture will be very different from that of your own and will take some getting used to, so it’s important that you are tolerant of different opinions.


The school or education centre that you teaching in will be run in an entirely different way from that in the UK; generally school life tends to be a little less organised, and you may only be notified of lesson changes with very short notice. Key to dealing with this in a positive way is a flexible, ‘can do’ attitude.

You may also be teaching classes of different ability levels and ages; one class you may be teaching basic English to tiny children and the next class you could be teaching adults intermediate business English.


You’ll need to have a great deal of patience to teach English in China! You may find that some students don’t progress as quickly as you would like, that some can be a little disruptive, or a certain student will bombard you with lots of questions about your personal life! It’s important to be patient and remember that all students are individuals – it is how you as the teacher manage your students that can determine how successful you and your students are.


The daily challenges of teaching in China can be made more manageable with some creativity. Not all schools and classrooms will have the facilities that you might expect. Creative teachers can make good use of the resources they have to make fun, effective lessons, whether they make their own materials or play games to demonstrate grammatical points.

Read our blog post: 3 ways to make a great initial impression in the classroom

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