Working at MLES

Our System

Maple Leaf Educational Systems (MLES) was established in 1995 and represents the vision of Mr. Sherman Jen, Founder & CEO, to operate a high quality, externally accredited, private school in China. The educational system Mr. Jen introduced is a blend of the model he had witnessed while living in BC, Canada, with the strengths and cultural richness that exist in the Chinese system.

MLES is a comprehensive, integrated educational system with over 30 schools from pre-school to high school offering both Canadian and Chinese graduation diplomas for grades 10 – 12. ESL is an important component of our educational system preparing our students in all levels of our school system to meet the challenges of the all-English high school program. MLES has made a commitment to increase the number of hours each week that students study English and to ensure that qualified native speakers teach at least 50% of these classes.

Our Schools

The Government of British Columbia accredited the delivery of the BC graduation program at our first school in Dalian in 1998. We now offer the BC graduation program in Dalian, Wuhan, Tianjin, Chongqing and Zhenjiang and are planning to expand this offering into our newest schools in Shanghai and Luoyang in 2013. Our first Foreign Nationals Schools was accredited to offer the BC grades K – 9 program in 2001 and we now offer this program in Dalian and Wuhan.

Our schools, with the exception of the Foreign Nationals Schools, operate on the Chinese model as full boarding schools on large campuses each with smaller western style classrooms, labs and special purpose teaching areas, gymnasiums, libraries, cafeterias, dormitories and teacher housing. Within our school system we offer the option of co-ed or single gender education. Our space requirements mean that our campuses are often in the newer development zones on the outskirts of major cities.

Our schools range in size from over 3000 students to fewer than 300, with our smaller, newer schools projected to go through periods of rapid growth.

Our schools range in size from over 3000 students to fewer than 300, with our smaller, newer schools projected to go through periods of rapid growth.

In making the decision to work with Maple Leaf, if will be important for you to have a clear idea of the time commitment involved, depending on which school model you are interested in. The international high schools have a different calendar than the Foreign Nationals Schools. To view the current academic year’s calendar, please click the links below:

International High School 2013-2014 Academic Calendar
Foreign Nationals School 2013-2014 Academic Calendar

Our Students

Our students are primarily PR China nationals. Approximately 7% of our student population is made up of international students from over 20 nationalities. The primary motivation of students in MLES schools is to achieve an internationally recognized high school diploma and qualify for admission to a western university. Since 1999 our graduates have accessed over 350 universities in 20 counties worldwide, primarily in Canada and the USA. At the pre-school, elementary and middle school levels most of our students are beginning English language learners.

Our Teachers

MLES currently employs over 300 Canadian teachers and administrators. Over 40 of these are TESL qualified ESL teachers and native speakers of English. ESL teacher are employed to teach students acquiring English language at the beginning levels.

Teaching with MLES

Academic (BC Program) Staff

The Benefits

MLES offers a very competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package, including return airfare, international standard medical coverage, visa costs, excess baggage, and orientation expenses for new academic teachers. Details of the academic salary scale, placement and benefits can be viewed at this link.

MLES offers a living and working environment with the support of Canadian colleagues and an understanding of western teacher’s basic needs and expectations.

MLES teachers find China a good place to save money. The cost of living related to the BC based teaching salaries means that most teachers can enjoy a comfortable life style, experience some travels in Asia and still have some savings at the end of each year.

For most MLES teachers the experience is very positive and rewarding and a significant percentage of our teachers extend their contracts after the initial two-year period.

The Challenges

Living in another country can be very rewarding and exciting but it is also challenging. New teachers to MLES can expect to experience a number of challenges, including unfamiliar medical tests and bureaucratic processes for obtaining residency permits, bank accounts and telephone services; difficulty in finding familiar foods and setting up an apartment in China. Our school staff helps with this as much as possible but there will always be points along the way when things become difficult.

Culture Shock is a very real phenomenon and most teachers will experience this to some degree. What starts as a fascination with new experiences turns into frustration and anxiety, before resolving into acceptance and adaptation to new living and working realities.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for an academic teaching position with MLES will care deeply about students and be committed to the teaching profession and ethics and have expertise in their academic subject. They will exhibit cultural understanding and respect and a desire to live and work in China. They will have a sense of adventure and an interest in contributing to the success of our system, schools and students. They will be well-balanced and positive individuals who are flexible and adaptable.

ESL Teaching Staff

The Benefits

MLES offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package, including return airfare, paid vacation time, international standard medical coverage, visa costs, excess baggage and orientation expenses for new teachers. ESL teachers also receive free on-site accommodations, where available, or a rental subsidy for offsite accommodations. Details of the ESL salary scale, placement and benefits can be viewed at this link.

MLES ESL teachers describe their experiences as very positive and rewarding and a significant percentage of our teachers remain at MLES after their initial contract period.

The Challenges

Living in another country can be very rewarding and exciting but it is also challenging. New teachers to MLES can expect to experience a number of challenges, including unfamiliar medical tests and bureaucratic processes for obtaining residency permits, bank accounts and telephone services; difficulty in finding familiar foods and setting up an apartment in China. Our school staff help with this as much as possible but there will always be points along the way when things become difficult.

Culture Shock is a very real phenomenon and most teachers will experience this to some degree. What starts as a fascination with new experiences turns into frustration and anxiety before resolving into acceptance and adaptation.

Some of our ESL teachers work in our larger high schools with many colleagues and some are hired to work in our smaller elementary and middle schools where there are currently fewer Western colleagues. For some teachers the relative isolation can be difficult, for others this becomes a very special cultural experience.

The Ideal Candidates

The ideal candidates for an ESL teaching position with MLES will care deeply about students and be committed to the teaching profession and ethics and have expertise in teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language. They will exhibit cultural understanding and respect and a desire to live and work in China. They will have a sense of adventure and an interest in contributing to the success of our system, schools and students.They will be well-balanced individuals who are flexible and adaptable.

If you are interested in joining the MLES team, please view our available vacancies.