Rainbow Station, a Henrico-based company, is looking to hire University of Richmond graduates to fill teaching positions in China as part of its international expansion.
After opening its first preschool in Shenzhen, China last January, the company plans to establish 110 educational facilities in China over the next five years.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Rainbow Station will provide small classes that feature a curriculum based around teaching Franklin Covey's "The Leader in Me" program for children.
The company operates four locations in the Richmond area at Wyndham, Three Chopt, The Boulders and Hanover Medical Park.
"We are interested in recent college graduates who have teaching experience or an interest in early education to go on a great adventure in China for a few years," said Rick Sample, Rainbow Station International president, "and that's why we are interested in UR and schools nearby."
According to Rainbow Station's website, its vision is to be the standard of excellence in early education, school-age recreation and mildly ill care. The Chinese counterpart will adhere to a similar vision, accommodating the American educational model.
"In China, there is very much a cultural focus on education and many of the Asian cultures focus on education," Sample said. "The middle class in China has grown and they are interested in spending money on preschool for their children."
He expressed that the classes will all be taught in English mainly because China is interested in English acquisition in an American-style classroom.
Jessica Conradt-Eberlin, a recent graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University, has been working with Rainbow Station in Wyndham for about 14 months and will leave for China in June.
"I've always been looking for the opportunity to go abroad and go teach in another culture," she said. "It's just so fascinating--not just teaching them, but that they are also teaching you."
Initially, each school will need about seven lead teachers. Rainbow Station will continue to open schools overseas in China, Indonesia and other countries over the next several years.
The position in China will require teaching 60- to 75-minute enrichment classes, five days a week with about 10 students in each class. This is not a one-time need for teachers, but an ongoing need, Sample said.
Knowing the Chinese language or a background in Chinese culture is not required. The school will provide each lead teacher with a Chinese teaching assistant that will be able to speak proficient English to help communicate and assist parents.
Minimum eligibility includes native English language fluency, a bachelor's degree in early childhood education, childhood development or other child-related field and at least one year of teaching experience with young children.
"This is what's a little different for me since I have been with Rainbow Station and I know how they go about things," Conradt-Eberlin said. "I will need a bit more training as how to integrate the 'Leader in Me' program in China."
The company offers a transition program that helps teachers find a place to live and get to know the city and their surroundings. Housing is provided for the first month which allows time for the newcomers to find a furnished apartment.
"We provide training with Rainbow Station's curriculum and teaching method, but after they arrive in China we help them get settled in," Sample said.
As a benefit at the end of the first year, the company pays for teachers to either travel back to the United States to see family or travel to other countries as vacation.
Contact reporter Sheetal Babu at firstname.lastname@example.org