English schools in China
Shangrao Normal University is located in Shangrao county, Jiangxi Province. It is set in a semi rural area of Jiangxi province.
As a local area university it is not one of the big modern schools you find in major cities such as Shanghai, Beijing or Shenzhen.
The student population is around 10,000 with subsequent teaching staff to match. It is not a showy, glowy university and most of the students and many of the teaching staff are locals.
Facilities are not super fantastic but if you have a bit of imagination and spirit teaching here is pretty cool.
Many posts ramble on about the history of the school, its various departments and achievements. We don't do that. We are just and honest non descript university trying to improve our students.
We are about 3 hours away from Nanchang, the provincial capital by normal train. We are 3 hours away from Shanghai by the VFT or those really fast trains.
There are no western restaurants except KFC, no major niteclubs or entertainment places. This is just a quiet semi rural area where nothing much happens unless we make it happen ourselves.
The staff are friendly and our foreign affairs department is extremely generous with their time and efforts to help foreign teachers.
The English department is typically Chinese but they are all friendly and kind.
As a foreign teacher here, (there are 2 of us) we know this is pretty much a hands on school. There are no high tech teaching offices, photocopying services, adequate teaching resources, or even places to get resources. As such it has improved our ability to think on our feet and make do with what we have rather than complain about what we don't have.
The school does not promise much to foreign teachers but they do honour exactly what they say. Pay and reimbursements have always been exactly on time with out reservation. F/Ts are paid for the entire year Sept-Aug. Including winter and summer vacation even if you dont sign for a second year.
The salary is nothing to write home about but living costs are so low that the 6-7000 salary is more than sufficient to save at least half of it unless you want to live like a king.
As a typical semi rural school sometimes a piece of chalk, a classroom, 40 odd students is all you start with to teach but with some creative ingenuity we have been able to improve students learning curve.
We now have a 7s rugby program with 2 girl and 2 boys team check out www.irbchina.com for information about this.
We teach drama, have had an English major English singing competition, do fashion photoshoots, took a rugby field trip to Shanghai as well as instituting other innovations.
As a foreign teacher at Shangrao Normal University I know the conditions are not the greatest but my wife who is the other teacher and myself love it here and will sign for another academic year.
Shangrao Normal University is on the move and making progress to become more innovative and creative and with help from us as foreign teachers they will succeed.
This is the kind of school where REAL teachers who have some creativity, innovation, and really care about their profession and their students canreally make a difference.