Teaching and modelling in Beijing, 2013

To an alien familiar with China, it is of no secret that working as a part time teacher and getting acting/modelling assignments are great ways to earn fast money.

Since the past decade, the need for English teachers in China has increased by a tremendous amount, and even more so for Native English teachers. There are several advertisements, several agencies providing work visas, a salary from anywhere between 10k to 20k, along with several other benefits, like the following example.

TIENS photo-shoot

In 2012, it was just another ordinary day as I was walking out my dorm in BLCU, Wudaokou, when a woman came up to me, took me to meet a group of quiet people she was with a few feet away and told me she wanted me to let her take pictures of my face profile. If they needed someone with my look they would get in touch. I let them take pictures, never actually thinking that a few days later I would be getting a call.  Phone calls and emails later, next thing I know I’m getting my make-up done for a pharmaceutical photo-shoot. I had a good set of foreigners with me; this was a new experience for some. But for 12 hours we were in it together and it was tiring but pretty amazing. To be honest, now that I’m back in the city, I do feel like going for more photo-shoots. It was good money about 1300 RMB for 12 hours and then again, a few days later around 500 more for 3 or 4 hours.

I was so unsure of getting into a van in a foreign city with a bunch people I didn’t even know. I remember telling my bestie to call the police if I didn’t pick up her calls or reply to her texts! I reckon we left around 7 in the morning and came back around dinner time, around 8 which is when we also got paid and signed what looked like contracted for letting these guys legally use our pictures. My make up lady was great, the shoot team were polite and respectful, and very professional, I must say.

A bunch us students from BLCU at the photoshoot in Tianjin for a 12 hour shoot


Another experience I had was that of teaching English which was completely new to me. The following are a bunch of my personal experiences. I want to be able to share these with others in my shoes, living and earning on this side, here in China.

The Classic Case of the Brat

So one bright morning, I went to the Sino education office located about 35-40 minutes away from my brother’s university BFSU. I reached on time and found out that I needed to wait out ten or fifteen minutes for the kid to arrive for her class. This cute girl was nicely carried in by her mom. I didn’t think much of this then but I’m beginning to understand why I’m bringing this into light now. A room full of funny looking chairs and props were kept for kids to play around with. The Kid’s mom was… oddly older for a child around 4 or 5? She had the skin of a 50’s lady –dark spots and no glow, absolutely. But, anyway, enough with how much noticing I took interest in. I was introduced to Angel, her name was the only anything angel about her though. Angel wore a nice bow around the head, would not sit still for even a second. But somehow, even I don’t know how, we got from A to well M as far as alphabets are concerned. Her mom, and another office member and I spent about more than half an hour trying for her to stick to her seat and interact with me. The only thing she was concerned with was A. freedom to jump around, B. that her mommy stay in the room. How this delightful session ended was with Angel crying her throat out behind the comical chair she sat/hide behind, and this is after her mom left the room for the student-teacher interaction to take place. I was not going to move my ass. I know better than to run around a spoilt princess crying for attention. I might not be painting a pretty patient picture of myself here but the truth is if you were there, you’d agree with me. Later, after the duo left, the office assistant Alice told me that because Angel’s mom already had a 18 year old son, she was the more focused on and therefore loved more. No wonder.

Irene- the real teacher

I met Irene through my sister. My first impression of her is my last impression of her. She is a professional, smart and polite Chinese lady who runs her own chain of English teaching classess around Beijing. She also gave us a good teaching rate per hour unlike other agencies that make it an almost never ending process for you to get to the point where you start earning what you well deserve. So far, I enjoy working for Irene. I don’t think I can forget how she always somehow manages to bring in “I see’, or ‘we’ll see’ in a conversation.

 

Author: Prachi Tyagi

Public Relations Enthusiast

  • Anonymous

    Yes, China is on fire recruiting many internationals to teach English in China. It’s a great opportunity indeed…

  • Yes, it has been for a while and still continues to grow!