News: International Teaching in China: Where Urban and Suburban Meet - Jan 3, 2022
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Monday, January 3, 2022School Spotlights

International Teaching in China: Where Urban and Suburban Meet

On the outskirts of Shenzhen and Guangzhou rests Tsinglan School (TLS) a highly successful bilingual international school in Southern China. Funded by technology giant HUAWEI and led by the renowned Tsinghua University High School, TLS aims to foster a warm, 21st-century learning environment that prepares its boarding and day students for a bright future.

TLS humbly opened its gate in 2017 with just over 100 students. It has since blossomed into a leading bilingual international school that is home to 1,500 Pre-K to Grade 12 students and 340 staff members. The school is accredited by Cognia/AdvancEd and is a candidate of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

TLS’s two governing bodies are both at the top of their fields: technology giant Huawei and Tsinghua University High School, a branch of China’s top university -Tsinghua University. Dating back to 1915, Tsinghua University High is a very reputable education group with dozens of public, private, bilingual, and international schools under their wings. Because of its special relationship to Huawei, TLS staff members are given access to "European Town," the company’s gorgeous, state-of-the-art campus and headquarters, and TLS is endorsed by the government.

The school’s location in the Songshan Lake District offers a perfect blend of the urban and suburban lifestyle, slightly away from two top-tier cities in China yet near the gorgeous and peaceful lake. Whether it is a leisurely bike around the lake, lychee picking at a local ranch, or a weekend shopping trip to downtown Shenzhen, there are always great options for leisure outside of school life. Shopping complexes, banks, fine hospitals, international clinics, and other necessities can all be reached in about 15 minutes.

For those who prefer an urban experience, Shenzhen—arguably the most developed and popular city in China—is only an hour away. Spending the weekend in Shenzhen is a popular choice for TLS staff. Guangzhou, another tier one city in China, is only 90 minutes away. TLS is zoned under the city of Dongguan, a new tier one city in China, whose downtown offers more great choices for glamour and diversion.

The vividly, green and spacious main campus encompasses six buildings that occupy about 50% of the site. Students enjoy outdoor leisure and play-based equipment in the open spaces. About 30 minutes away, a second, small campus is home to TLS’s nursery and kindergarten students. Plans are underway to move the pre-school to a site one block away, at the beginning or end of 2022-2023.

In addition to plenty of teaching and shared learning spaces, the school’s top-class facility includes multi-purpose rooms, a library, an arts center with a 500-seat theatre and orchestra hall, multi-level dining facilities with highly-rated catering, a staff lounge area, and a coffee shop. TLS encourages fitness and fun with its sports hall and gymnasiums, a fencing hall, a specialized tennis court, multiple soccer/football fields, a swimming pool, fitness center, indoor archery center, and a rock-climbing wall at the pre-school site.

TLS delivers Montessori in the early years, followed by the U.S. Common Core, International-based Middle Years Curriculum, IGCSE, A Levels along with choices for Advanced Placement courses. The teaching staff represents 18 nationalities and includes 181 educators from China.

In addition to evening study halls, TLS offers a wide range of co-curricular activities. The school boasts its own orchestra as well as academies for tennis, fencing and the arts. Sports teams of different age groups and disciplines routinely participate in competitions in both local leagues and through conferences. Saturday clubs are also carefully designed for students of different age group and interests. Non-high school students can also take part in a scout camp. Finally, TLS actively encourages and promotes student-initiated organizations and activities.

The school takes advantage of its great location for exploration and travel. During each school year, students may participate in two school-organized study trips, each offering a multiple-destination program. Staff members who travel internationally have options to depart from Shenzhen, Guangzhou, or Hong Kong.

TLS can hire educators of all profiles, including those with non-teaching partners, newly-certified candidates, and seasoned teachers lacking certification. Candidates must hold their academic degree in the subject they will be teaching. Exceptions can be made to candidates that display strong competence and experience in the field of teaching but without a relevant academic background. Teachers up to the age of 58 may obtain a work visa.

The benefits package includes allowances for monthly housing, moving, annual international airfare, and free transition housing for up to one month. International teachers benefit from free tuition for up to two children. Other benefits include free school meals daily and a generous annual stipend for professional development. Health insurance in Asian and Oceanic countries is fully covered. The TLS package is an opportunity for outstanding savings or the chance for a family to live on one salary. Additionally, there are local employment opportunities for non-teaching partners.

TLS goes the extra mile to treat its staff members like family in all aspects of life. The school hosts a variety of functions for staff throughout the year to lift morale and increase inter-connectedness. On holidays—Chinese or international—thoughtful gifts and holiday bonuses are given to teachers. Extra care and assistance can always be found at TLS, for both local and international staff. Whenever there are COVID-19-related incidents, or a lockdown, the school always provides the maximum amount of support, by communicating, coordinating, comforting, and supporting all staff. Recently, the board awarded staff members an extra bonus to show their appreciation for the teachers’ dedication and efforts during the school years that have been impacted by COVID-19.  There is definitely a community feel at TLS: Since most of staff’s children attend the school, you can often find TLS families joining for social gatherings or weekend leisure activities.

Tsinglan School’s full profile on the Search Associates database, including a list of any vacancies, candidates can apply for membership by clicking here. Candidates already registered can easily access the school profile directly through their dashboards.

Please note: The information presented about this school was valid on the date published. This information may change, and the most up-to-date information can be found on the school profile.

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Ray Sparks's over 30-year career as an educator has involved working in Canada, Europe, and Asia.