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Anyone worked at WECI School in Changchun, China?

 
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SerendipityAE



Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:33 am    Post subject: Anyone worked at WECI School in Changchun, China? Reply with quote

Hello everyone,
I was just wondering if anyone has worked for WECI school in Changchun, or has heard of them?
I saw a post here about it, but it was dated 2012, I'm wondering if anyone has anything new!
This is the website: www.wecienglish.com

If anyone has any information that would be great! I have an interview with them tomorrow! Thanks!
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Toast



Joined: 08 Jun 2013
Posts: 428

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.eslteachersboard.com/cgi-bin/review/index.pl?read=48655

From 2013...

Quote:


I'm not sure who Lannie is talking about in his reply - the owner of WECI is a woman and she has very little contact with foreign teachers. The director of the foreign teacher department is also a woman, though they have a foreign teacher supervisor who is a man.

The general consensus is that WECI is not a horror-story school, but it's not very good either. They will pay you on time and handle the visa paperwork reasonably well (though they do have teachers working on marriage visas, tourist visas, etc.) but beyond that, don't expect much. The school is growing very quickly and is having difficulty adjusting - schedules change often, and sometimes they will not give you the full time off stated in your contract. Generally, you can demand that they give you extra time off at a later date, but I'm not sure if this ever actually happens, and they will only discuss it if you bring it up first. Classes are longer than what is implied in the contract, because it says "50 minute classes" but what they do is string 2 or 3 of those together as one class, so you actually need to be prepared to teach for 3 hours. They may hire you to teach children, or adults, mornings or evenings, etc. but don't take any promises to heart unless you have it in writing. Most teachers at WECI are teaching outside the area they were hired for and are often stressed because the school will hassle teachers who are not meeting expectations, even if it is in an area they are not experienced in.

There is very little support at the school for foreign teachers, despite what they might tell you. Problems are left unresolved for months, teachers are placed in apartments with no water, very little heat, leaks, mold, etc. When teachers complain, the management will often ignore it, tell them to fix it themselves, or threaten to fire the complainant. The management also makes an effort to separate foreign and Chinese teachers so they do not become friendly. Chinese staff are often afraid to speak with the foreign teachers in front of their supervisors, and generally refuse to get lunch together or assist the foreign teachers with problems lest they be punished. This is only true at certain school campuses (there are 6, and I'd say 3 or 4 of them have this problem). Also, the foreign and Chinese staff have 2 separate management hierarchies, and often have conflicting rules and guidelines.

The marketing staff at the school are seen as the most important group. Because of this, the marketing staff will add students to classes which don't even have enough chairs, tell you to change your class in some way, forbid the Chinese teacher (whose job is partially to translate for you if the students can't understand) from speaking Chinese, and try to force you to work on your break time. Overall, WECI has an atmosphere of defensiveness on the part of the foreign teachers. They generally wait for the school to try and overwork or cheat them in some way, then complain. Several staff members have actually gone to management to say what they like about the school, only to have it taken away or removed from their schedules. There is very little initiative and most new ideas die out quickly. Many staff stick it out for their 1 year then transfer to another school or leave China.

Now for the brighter side - because the school is disorganized and unprofessional, you can personally have a lot of freedom if you are willing to put your foot down. You can tell almost anyone "no" and as long as your class ratings are high the management is generally not interested in punishing you. Though it can be difficult to talk to them in front of the supervisors, the Chinese staff are actually very friendly, gracious and intelligent. The students at this school are generally very eager to learn (as a cheaper alternative to EF, WECI often gets poorer students who truly want to improve themselves) and a significant portion of the foreign staff is very welcoming and helpful, though some of the older teachers seem to look down on recent hires.

In total, I would not recommend working at WECI, but they won't completely screw with you.
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SerendipityAE



Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"the owner of WECI is a woman and she has very little contact with foreign teachers. The director of the foreign teacher department is also a woman, though they have a foreign teacher supervisor who is a man. "

I wish they gave names so I could ensure we're all talking about the same school/people here!

Thank you for the link! I had seen this one! I've never done this before (teaching abroad... or even living abroad for that matter), so I don't really know what to make of negative reviews. As in, I wouldn't want to take a position if there were many reviews but there is just this one! Any thoughts?
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Markness



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 254
Location: Chengdu

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't do it based off the fact that they offer little support to the foreigners outside of class. It's a pain in the ass to get things done and if they cannot provide you with an adequate accommodation (like an apartment with no water/electricity) then that to me is not worth the hassle. Going your first time abroad is a huge challenge and the culture shock in combination with them giving you a shoddy accommodation will likely lead to you returning home in a gist. There are so many jobs in China, I would keep digging around personally instead of just settling.
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