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Warning - Shane English School, Suzhou
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michalski



Joined: 04 Nov 2005
Posts: 5
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 7:21 am    Post subject: Warning - Shane English School, Suzhou Reply with quote

I applied for a job at Shane English School in Suzhou through the net. A day after posting my letter I was given the job after a 10 minute telephone interview with a Chinese lady (I assume she was a staff memeber - no introduction) who had never even looked at my CV. She told me there was a lot of vacancies going there right now. Sure, this is not unusual in China.

What was unusual was the fact that 24 hours after the interview I received an email from Tom Fergusson, the DoS of Shane in Shanghai. He told me that there was no vacancies in Suzhou and that perhaps I could try Shanghai - as if I never had the interview with Shane, or any Shane staff members.

None too sure what the deal is here - whether there is a rogue Shane school in Suzhou - whether there is appauling lack of communication and management skills at play - or whatever the case may. No matter what, this is dodgy enough for me to say: Keep Clear of Shane English School, especially the Suzhou branch.
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tw



Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 3898

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect either the Chinese lady (most likely case) or the man claiming to be Tom Ferguson was a fake. You would show up in Suzhou only to be picked up by another employer.
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no_exit



Joined: 12 Oct 2004
Posts: 565
Location: Kunming

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't blame Shane neccessarily, like tw said, it sounds like it could have been an imposter. Or else the two schools might have just gotten their wires crossed -- afterall, I don't think the DOSses of different branches of chains are always in contact with each other over who has been interviewed and what positions have been filled or not filled. It could be anything really, but is it enough to write all Shane schools off the list?

Shane has a pretty decent record here so far. They came into Kunming this year and overtook EF as the highest paying employer. They've got pretty tight requirements for hiring, preferring only candidates with from Commonwealth countries. A friend of mine was turned down by them for being American. Sad Another two friends work there and while they say a lot is required of them, the pay is really good, nothing sketchy seems to go on, and overall they haven't got a whole lot of complaints.

My landlord told me his daughter goes to Shane school and he's really happy with it. He says they use "Western" methods and the kids really have fun learning English. My landlord is cool, he's read a ton of books on teaching methodology and totally hates the Chinese educational system, so if he's happy with it then maybe they're doing something right.

Anyhow, you might follow up with another e-mail and try to get clarification?
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poof



Joined: 23 May 2005
Posts: 161

PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2006 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Typically, new teachers are never interviewed by the local Chinese staff. With Shane, you should always be interviewed by their Western staff, and therefore go through their central recruiting system rather than approaching an individual branch directly. It's likely you got through to a school receptionist who thought she had the rights to hire you. When the DoS found out, he may not have been too happy and reversed the decision. Also, with Shane, there could be competition for popular places. Suzhou is quite popular, I think, so they may give preferences to move teachers who are already working for Shane. They also have 'key' branches which are financially strategic to them and will only place more experienced teachers there. I don't think you should write off Shane because of this incident. Ask Mr Fergusson where exactly they do have vacancies.
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englishgibson



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Posts: 4345

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 8:27 am    Post subject: Warning - Shane English School, Suzhou Reply with quote

OP, wouldn't that have been a recruiter that had contacted you the first time?
In any case, it's quite a story. I myself have inquired about Shane mill in China before. It's a rather interesting chain of schools around. Wink Apparently, their Head Office is in Shanghai as it is with some other centers/mills around (10-15 in China). So OP, you might wanna search for their contact in Shanghai's Head Office that I think has their own recruiting system too. From what I know they have a bunch of schools around and watch out for their contracts. They are not sooo standardized. Some quote that you might be moved from center to center (city to city) during your contract, if the Shane center doesn't do well. Shocked Then, some of their centers (I knew one in Shenzhen) have their own "techniques/procedures" and they "only carry the brand name" on. Smile That means that "your a*s is your employer's a*s" and those private language mills' franchisees in China are extreemly "uptight" Smile

Cheers and beers Very Happy
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Tom.Ferguson



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 5
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the Tom Ferguson referred to in the OP, I'd like to present a more balanced version of events. I am Director of Studies for Shane English Schools China, and my job does involve the recruitment of new teachers.

Mr Zlotkowski applied for a job with Shane through our recruit@shane.com.cn email address. He expressed a wish to teach specifically in Suzhou, and inquired about vacancies there. Some of our schools in China have a native speaking Academic Manager, and they are able to hire their own teachers without the need to go through ourselves at the Head Office in Shanghai. Suzhou is such a school. For those schools with no Academic Manager, then they must go through Head Office to hire teachers, placing orders for the number of teachers they need.

I presume that Mr Zlotkowski also applied to other schools in Suzhou and contacted recruitment agents, in a bid to find employment there. I believe that one of the recruiters he contacted passed his information on to Suzhou, where the decision was made to speak to him about a job. I was obviously unaware of this.

Therefore, I assumed, [wrongly I now admit], that as Suzhou had not placed any orders, then they had no need for teachers, and asked Mr Zlotkowski if he would consider any other locations in China, namely Shanghai. His reply was much like his OP. What he neglects to mention is the email I sent him apologising for this communication error, and advising that yes, he did have the opportunity of a job if the school there had offered him one.

I do not think that this is dodgy enough to issue a Keep Clear warning. I admit that it is up to an individual whether they decide to work for any specific employer, but to then publish their own limited experiences along with a warning, without giving a truthful account of events, is wrong in my opinion.

We only offer jobs to suitably qualified teachers, and all of our jobs are genuine, working for Shane schools that follow standard Shane principles. We do not move teachers from city to city, except at a teachers request. We do however consider our teachers welfare a priority, and try to make sure everyone who works with us is happy.
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HunanForeignGuy



Joined: 05 Jan 2006
Posts: 989
Location: Shanghai, PRC

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:04 am    Post subject: DOS Reply with quote

Re Tom Ferguson's explanation -- couched in polite enough terms.

Every single foreign DOS that I have had to deal with China has caused no end of problems for all of the teachers.

I hate to be so general but in four years in China I have never met a DOS who would have been in a similar position in the West. The ones I have met (for example the one that would go to teachers' apartments at 23h00 to scream at them) or I have dealt with have been by far-and-large the most self-serving of all of the FTs in China. In another case, the DOS so indundated the FTs with unpaid work and absolutely useless paperwork as to make several FTs flee.

I know of one of very reputable school in Harbin for example that can simply not find teachers easily now because for at least two or three years they had an Englishwoman as DOS who so mistreated the teachers that her odor (or is it odour) still lingers around and the name of the school has been nearly ruined.

Personally, I would rather deal with the Chinese management anytime, with all of their faults, than with a DOS who is making RMB 20,000 per month while the FTs are making RMB 4,500 per month.

Additionally, just a little note to Ferguson. It is NOT considered good manners on this Board to "out" the OP by listing his real name and place of residence. We have handles on this Board for that specific reason.

There was another case around here recently where a DOS posted all kinds of personal information about a FT, including the FT's employment history, presumed girlfriend, etc., etc., and then proceded to make personal attacks. All of those postings were quickly removed by the Moderators and I believe that that DOS was warned. So Ferguson, while we appreciate your comments, abide by the rules here.

As for the OP, given all of this -- personally, I am buying your version of events.

And for the record, I have a really good friend, an FT, in another large city, who was thoroughly f*cked over by Shane and left after only three months -- a qualified, competent teacher with much China experience and very beloved by his students. So let the warning stand.
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danielb



Joined: 08 Aug 2003
Posts: 490

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, it must be okay for the OP to use real names but not for subsequent posters?
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cj750



Joined: 27 Apr 2004
Posts: 3081
Location: Beijing

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As the Tom Ferguson referred to in the OP


the revealing of names are paramount with the posting ..if it is good for the goose then it is good for the gander...

Quote:
I do not think that this is dodgy enough to issue a Keep Clear warning


I would have to agree..if this throws the OP for a loop then life in China may be to challenging...
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no_exit



Joined: 12 Oct 2004
Posts: 565
Location: Kunming

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've actually had better experiences with foreign DOS than I have with Chinese management. My DOSses made nowhere near 20,000 a month mind you, but they were compensated fairly for what is generally a pretty thankless job. Anyhow, there is a lot of bitterness in your post HFG, but like cj said, the OP clearly "outed" Tom Ferguson in the first place (and no one called him out on it), so there is a bit of tit for tat going on here. I don't blame him for coming on here and posting his version of events, which sounds more plausible than fakes or scams, to me anyhow -- like I said in a previous post, simple miscommunication, not enough for a stay clear warning. If there are other reasons to dislike Shane school, then those should be clarified.
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Tom.Ferguson



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 5
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re HunanForeignGuy, I am sorry to hear of your negative experiences in dealing with foreign management in China. From your examples it would appear as if we are all the same, but even you should be ready to admit that, just as there are good and bad teachers, there are good and bad DoS also. I will agree with you that there are some people doing jobs here that they wouldn't get in their native countries, but that is true of most professions in China.

I am also interested in finding out more about your friend who was treated badly. If you could send me details I'd like to look into this. I personally do not like to hear of any teacher who has been dealt with unfairly, and try to ensure that none are.

Finally, I'd like to know which DoS jobs pay 20 000RMB per month. Without wishing to get into a discussion about wages, the teachers that work for me earn more per hour than I do.
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7969



Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 5682
Location: South China, by the sea.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds like mr ferguson has laid this issue to rest with his explanation of events, and no rebuttal to any poster over the past two weeks by mr zlotkowski, of christchurch, NZ. as a result, i for one, am buying mr fergusons version of events.

7969


Last edited by 7969 on Mon Aug 14, 2006 12:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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HunanForeignGuy



Joined: 05 Jan 2006
Posts: 989
Location: Shanghai, PRC

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 12:02 pm    Post subject: Conciliatory Reply with quote

For the record, I have also found Mr. Ferugson's post tremendously conciliatory and I will PM with additional comments.
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woza17



Joined: 25 May 2003
Posts: 602
Location: china

PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:07 am    Post subject: DOS Reply with quote

Hi Tom
Interesting post. I don't post on the forum anymore but would like to ask you, why do you do it, the DOS position. I have found working with foreign teachers a bloody nightmare and especially if you have to manage them. I will never do that again. I can make more money just by teaching and going about my own business.
Anyway good on you for defending your school's position in a civilized way.
Cheers
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takahiko



Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 3:55 pm    Post subject: Saved Reply with quote

Was in the process of applying for a job in Shanghai with this company, having gained TEFL & TESOL certificates to support my teaching experience in China.

Although I have no personal experience of this company, I was persuaded to discontinue my application after reading too many horror stories about this company on other ESL websites.

Still, things could be worse, I could have been applying for Beijing New Oriental Foreign Language School !

Ha - ha !!!!
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