Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Why are employers in China so awful?
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> China (Job-related Posts Only)
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
creeper1



Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 205
Location: Beijing, China

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:29 pm    Post subject: Why are employers in China so awful? Reply with quote

Words of wisdom written on another thread

"No degreed teacher should ever bother working for training centres such as Disney English, Aston English or English First. There are plenty of threads around on various internet sites that detail the constant attack teachers must put up with on their pay and conditions of employment at these institutions. They are all dysfunctional and systemically corrupt which is a salient feature of education in China generally. If you believe otherwise, you are either naive or deluded.
These businesses only exist to make as much money as possible and do not care for the quality of the teaching nor contents that are taught.
You have been warned yet again!"

I agree with all of that but I don't see other options for us TEFL teachers. I mean, to set up an English school you must have connections or a ton of money because a huge percentage of the jobs offered in China are from these institutions and let's be honest - we'd rather not work for these companies.

We would rather work for companies that weren't sweatshops or didn't treat every complaint from a 6 year old like it had come from an emperor.

But what other companies? It is easy to find warnings and complaints about the above schools but precious little in the way of "come to this school - it's awesome."

My suspicion is it is prohibitively difficult to set up here. Otherwise the above institutions would die through lack of teachers willing to put up with their BS.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally take much of the criticism I read with a pinch of salt.

In addition, these complaints are not unique to China, but part and parcel of the whole industry. The private sector is often said to be far to interested in the financial side of things (not been my experience in fairness), and the state side is often far to concerned with simply 'teaching to the test' (which is probably the most common complaint aimed at non-native teachers in the state system).

Each school and employer needs to be judged on their own merits, with careful consideration given towards each review and the reviewer. The diversity of jobs in China is matched by the diversity of the FT's working here. The opinions of the long-term China FT working mainly in the university sector is going to be in total contrast to the young newbie CELTA-type who is enjoying an adventure before going back to their real career. Who is writing a review (either positive or negative) is as important to me as the review is.

And to some degree ... this diversity may be the beauty of the jobs in China. Because I really believe there is a job for everybody here .. and Im not so sure that diversity is available everywhere. The scope and scale of jobs in China is hard to navigate, but really is a big plus IMHO.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lack



Joined: 10 Aug 2011
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I haven't actually been to China yet, but I have been searching for Chinese teaching jobs on here and other sites for 2-3 hours a day for the past couple of weeks. I look up every single job posting that looks good...and promptly find out that it has a slew of horrible reviews, and warnings of "NEVER, EVER WORK FOR THIS SCHOOL/USE THIS RECRUITER."

I think I hit a low point yesterday when I researched a job posting and found a story on google about how 2 foreign teachers died under "mysterious circumstances." Gee.

So I don't even know what to do. There are tons of other countries out there but I have been focused on China because of its huge job market and low barriers to entry.

This isn't to say that I don't find plenty of bad reviews for other schools/countries, but China seems to always be the most severe.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Simon in Suzhou



Joined: 09 Aug 2011
Posts: 247
Location: GZ

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Denim-Maniac wrote:
I personally take much of the criticism I read with a pinch of salt.

In addition, these complaints are not unique to China, but part and parcel of the whole industry. The private sector is often said to be far to interested in the financial side of things (not been my experience in fairness), and the state side is often far to concerned with simply 'teaching to the test' (which is probably the most common complaint aimed at non-native teachers in the state system).

Each school and employer needs to be judged on their own merits, with careful consideration given towards each review and the reviewer. The diversity of jobs in China is matched by the diversity of the FT's working here. The opinions of the long-term China FT working mainly in the university sector is going to be in total contrast to the young newbie CELTA-type who is enjoying an adventure before going back to their real career. Who is writing a review (either positive or negative) is as important to me as the review is.

And to some degree ... this diversity may be the beauty of the jobs in China. Because I really believe there is a job for everybody here .. and Im not so sure that diversity is available everywhere. The scope and scale of jobs in China is hard to navigate, but really is a big plus IMHO.


EXCELLENT post, Denim! There are good jobs and bad jobs in China. As well, China is not unique in this aspect. The whole ESL industry WORLDWIDE is rife with bad jobs in the "English-for-profit" industry. This is why I no longer teach in private institutions where I'm considered more of a commodity than a teacher.

Quote:
This isn't to say that I don't find plenty of bad reviews for other schools/countries, but China seems to always be the most severe.


Actually, in my experience, you are much more likely to get PAID your salary in China than in some other countries with corrupt bosses (another prominent Asian country comes to mind which cannot be mentioned here). You also need to keep in mind the quality of the people who work in the ESL industry. There is a massive range from excellent, well-qualified teachers to very good yet unqualified amateurs (if you will) to complete crackpots. The expat scene in Asia draws a higher percentage of loonies than just about anywhere. These are often unbalanced people whose opinion you wouldn't give the time of day about ANYTHING if you met them in person, but anonymously on the internet as "teachers" they can gripe, complain, and slander and appear somewhat credible.

So take internet reviews with a grain of salt. If a school interests you, talk to several teachers who work there. If you find a school that has more than one teacher who has been there 3, 4, or 5 years it's probably not so bad.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Javelin of Radiance



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1187
Location: The West

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lack wrote:
Well, I haven't actually been to China yet, but I have been searching for Chinese teaching jobs on here and other sites for 2-3 hours a day for the past couple of weeks. I look up every single job posting that looks good...and promptly find out that it has a slew of horrible reviews, and warnings of "NEVER, EVER WORK FOR THIS SCHOOL/USE THIS RECRUITER."

I think I hit a low point yesterday when I researched a job posting and found a story on google about how 2 foreign teachers died under "mysterious circumstances." Gee.

So I don't even know what to do. There are tons of other countries out there but I have been focused on China because of its huge job market and low barriers to entry.

This isn't to say that I don't find plenty of bad reviews for other schools/countries, but China seems to always be the most severe.

The title of this thread would have you believe that too. China seems the most severe to you because by your own admission you're focusing on China. Another reason China has more bad reviews is because China has more schools. The country is huge and the ESL industry here is huge. A lot of bad reviews are the result of Chinese employers hiring a lot of bad teachers. They hire the unqualified, alcoholics, drug addicts, and in general losers in life. the school can be blamed for hiring these people but that doesn't absolve the teacher for their shortcomings. Check out some of the other country forums on this site and you'll find just as many bad stories about employers as you will on this China specific forum.

There aren't a lot of good reviews about schools online because people tend not to report that kind of stuff. There are lots of bad reviews and many of them are written by people I referenced above. Many of those reviews look worse than they really are. Some are written by people who didn't read the contract carefully, and only after they started working did they realize they had to do 10 office hours per week, then complained about being tricked or treated like a slave. A lot of school reviews only tell one side of the story, and there's a lot of nuance to them that you won't be able to interpret well if you've never been here. Here's a story to help illustrate what some schools and students have to deal with (take this with a grain of salt too, there are lots of good people working here):

http://diaspora.chinasmack.com/2011/features/monica-tan-the-great-pretenders-chinas-unfireable-english-teachers.html

Like Simon wrote, China has its share of crackpots trying to teach here . People like that make it almost embarrassing to admit you're a teacher.


Last edited by Javelin of Radiance on Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:15 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
roadwalker



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1459
Location: Ch

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never in my life had a job where I thought it was perfect. I've taught EFL in four different places in China and two or three elsewhere and none has been perfect. As Denim-Maniac put it, there are different likely issues depending on what area you teach in. I've enjoyed teaching in China, and I've enjoyed complaining about teaching in China or living in China or dealing with the Chinese education system. I have more time in China to complain about things. That's the difference. Some take on more work, study something, raise a family. They don't write about it as much as those of us with more free time.

If you are interested in teaching overseas, get at least basic credentials and training, learn a bit of the culture beforehand, and have enough savings so that if you do end up in a "nightmare" situation, you have options, including returning home if necessary.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hilena_westb



Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The job is what YOU make of it and how YOU prepared before accepting a position. Employers get away with such conditions because of the immaturity and lack of smarts that accompany far too many of those that come here "for this job." That simple.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Shroob



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 1220

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've landed on my feet with my employer I think, that is compared to what some of my friends/people I've met have said about their employer.

Having said that, I did a lot of research about which position to accept before coming to China. I took a job that paid less than other offers, but where the current/past employees said the best things about the employer. I'm glad I did.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 3135

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shroob wrote:
I did a lot of research about which position to accept before coming to China. I took a job that paid less than other offers, but where the current/past employees said the best things about the employer. I'm glad I did.


+1

Warm regards,
fat_chris
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wonderingjoesmith



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 910
Location: Guangzhou

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Javelin of Radiance wrote:
Lack wrote:
Well, I haven't actually been to China yet, but I have been searching for Chinese teaching jobs on here and other sites for 2-3 hours a day for the past couple of weeks. I look up every single job posting that looks good...and promptly find out that it has a slew of horrible reviews, and warnings of "NEVER, EVER WORK FOR THIS SCHOOL/USE THIS RECRUITER."

I think I hit a low point yesterday when I researched a job posting and found a story on google about how 2 foreign teachers died under "mysterious circumstances." Gee.

So I don't even know what to do. There are tons of other countries out there but I have been focused on China because of its huge job market and low barriers to entry.

This isn't to say that I don't find plenty of bad reviews for other schools/countries, but China seems to always be the most severe.

The title of this thread would have you believe that too. China seems the most severe to you because by your own admission you're focusing on China. Another reason China has more bad reviews is because China has more schools. The country is huge and the ESL industry here is huge. A lot of bad reviews are the result of Chinese employers hiring a lot of bad teachers. They hire the unqualified, alcoholics, drug addicts, and in general losers in life. the school can be blamed for hiring these people but that doesn't absolve the teacher for their shortcomings.....
Speaking of "shortcomings", are the Chinese employers qualified, abstinent and accustomed to doing business without friendships?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
milkweedma



Joined: 19 Nov 2006
Posts: 151

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a symptom of Chinese culture that operates across all employment fields and is not peculiar to the ESL industry. It's a feudal system of entrenched power relations between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' which controls wealth creation and distribution and operates through the guanxi network where protection of the 'haves' occurs and is located. Guanxi always comes first and the law usually plays second fiddle to this system in an official capacity and unofficially it is directly involved.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DirtGuy



Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 529

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Um, I have 2 employers and may take on a 3rd job. I get treated just fine. No complaints so far. Maybe I just got lucky.

DirtGuy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wonderingjoesmith



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 910
Location: Guangzhou

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DirtGuy wrote:
Um, I have 2 employers and may take on a 3rd job. I get treated just fine. No complaints so far. Maybe I just got lucky.
Is this about so much free time or freebies to do?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Javelin of Radiance



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1187
Location: The West

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wonderingjoesmith wrote:
DirtGuy wrote:
Um, I have 2 employers and may take on a 3rd job. I get treated just fine. No complaints so far. Maybe I just got lucky.
Is this about so much free time or freebies to do?

Does it matter? the guy likes his job.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
thatsforsure



Joined: 11 Sep 2012
Posts: 119

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The industry does not pay enough. I make most of my money writing online. There are other things you can do if writing is not your thing. If you want to be in China, get the lowest-hours job you can find, then find something to do online that makes you a Western-size paycheck.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> China (Job-related Posts Only) All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next
Page 1 of 10

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC