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Happy Town English (Hainan)
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rioux



Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 268

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:23 pm    Post subject: Happy Town English (Hainan) Reply with quote

Does anyone know about this school?...95 degrees sounds too hot (very humid there too) for me.


http://www.eslcafe.com/jobs/china/index.cgi?read=27146

Teach English On A Tropical Island! Starting each day in Haikou (the capital city of Hainan Island), I’ve always got a smile on my face

Posted By: Happy Town <jobs@happytowninternational.com>
Date: Wednesday, 7 November 2012, at 9:52 a.m.

Starting each day in Haikou (the capital city of Hainan Island), I’ve always got a smile on my face. The sun is shining, and the forecast says it’ll hit 95 degrees today. While riding my scooter to Happy Town, I pass the park and see small groups of people practicing Tai Chi - as they do every morning. In many ways, Haikou is just like the cities back home - sky scrapers, shopping malls, fast food joints - but with nicer weather, beaches nearby and palm trees lining all the roads!
Nibbling on some steamed buns I picked up on the way, I exchange pleasantries with coworkers and students as I head to the office. After gathering my materials for my morning classes, I shoot the breeze and share new finds - restaurants, parks or foods, with the other teachers.
The bell rings, and class begins. Our International Classes are really unique - we have the same students all day. They are immersed in an English speaking environment for 6 classes, 5 days a week. That’s more exposure to my language each day than to their own! And it shows - they absorb new vocabulary so quickly, and have the confidence to actually use it regularly. It also makes me chuckle when they pick up my own figures of speech!
After the morning classes are over, we’ve got a 3 hour lunch break. The school provides lunch if you’d like, but you’re free to do your own thing if you’d prefer. Some teachers head home (we all live close to the school), some do their shopping - either at the supermarket or one of the dozens of open air markets, and others (like me), are faced with the difficult decision of relaxing with a coconut in the park, or going to the beach.
I lift up the sleeve of my shirt, and look at my farmer’s tan. I think it’s a beach kind of day...
I return to work in the afternoon, my students are refreshed from their mid-day naps, and we’re all ready to get back to business. I noticed a movie about zoo animals had been playing on our AppleTVs, so I pulled out my iPad and we played a quick game of Pictionary to review some animal vocabulary. It had been months since we had all visited the zoo together, but they had no problems remembering the words. I love these kids!
Once the afternoon classes are over, I take a few minutes to look over my lesson plans for tomorrow and make sure I’ve got everything I need. 5:00 rolls around and we say goodbye to the students as their parents arrive to pick them up. Then it's time to go home. A few of us decide to grab some dinner along one of the food streets that open up in the evenings. We try somewhere new, enjoy the cool night air, tasty food, and vibrant night life together.

How was your workday?

Happy Town English

Happy Town English runs a progressive curriculum for children aged 6 months to 15 years old. We believe technology has it’s place in the classroom - as a tool, not a crutch.All teaching materials are provided. Coupled with the training you’ll receive when you arrive, you’ll have everything you need to confidently and effectively teach your classes.

When you join our family, you’ll get:
• 7500 RMB per month (after tax) for 24 teaching hours total (1 teaching hour = 45 minutes)
• A fully furnished apartment close to the school or 1500RMB housing allowance
• Sponsored Z visa, Foreign Expert Certificate, and Medical Exam, paid for by us
• Contract completion bonus of 5000 RMB
• 28 days of vacation

Schedule:
For a 24 hour per week contract, you can expect one of the following schedules:
D.E. Teachers
Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm with a 3 hour break from around 11:30 – 2:30. Weekends are off.
B.E. , C.E. and S.E. Teachers
Saturday and Sunday are when you’ll be working the majority of your hours. 4:30pm – 8:00pm on three weekdays.
*All teachers have two consecutive days off each week.

We’re looking for 3 teachers that are:
• North American native-English speakers
• Committed to a 1 year contract
• Passionate and creative about teaching all ages
• University Degree
• TESOL Certified (or possess previous experience)

Ready for a new teaching experience? Send your resume and a recent photo to jobs@happytowninternational.com.

For more information about our school, visit http://happytowninternational.com/teachers/
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Simon in Suzhou



Joined: 09 Aug 2011
Posts: 226
Location: GZ

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't comment on the school, but I've seen worse gigs and better gigs in the private sector. If 95 is too hot for you, you want to strike Hainan and most of Guangdong off your list of potential workplaces. For six months a year (at least) it is HOT and HUMID. Yeah, 95 degrees.

Another thing you should know is that Haikou is NOT the nice part of that tropical island. It's a bit of an urban sprawl dump with no beach in sight.
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rioux



Joined: 26 Apr 2012
Posts: 268

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the information.

How far away would the nearest (nice?) beach be?
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choudoufu



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 3226
Location: Mao-berry, PRC

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

take a look at haikou on google maps. 5-6km to the west of
the city center is "western coastline dazhuang park." nice beaches.
half hour by city bus, 15 minutes by taxi.

you can take the super-train to sanya if you prefer, under two hours,
85 rmb.
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LarssonCrew



Joined: 06 Jun 2009
Posts: 484

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That three hour lunch time will soon grind your gears.

It's fine to say 'oh I have three hours', but knowing after that time you still have to work really prevents you doing something you'd really like.

So there are 5 hours a day of class? I'd much prefer 9:00-2:00pm straight then the rest of the day off, or 1-6 in the afternoon.

I found when I had private classes, if it was scheduled 10-12, 2-4, 5-7 etc. it would grind me down because of the number of hours spent at the school, much prefer to just do a block, get it over with and head home or out.
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zactherat



Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Posts: 292

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

one man's three hour lunch is another man's split shift.
Mon - fri 9-5 sounds like a 40 hour work week to me.

That "journal" is so sickly!
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Shroob



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 960

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haikou has at least one nice beach, at least it was good while I was there. Haikou's also one of my favourite cities in China (but I know it's not that popular among expats).

Baishamen beach/park was nice. It's on the smaller island to the north of the main part of Haikou. I looked into a job at Hainan University, but the sweltering summer weather put me off. It's OK in winter, but any other time is too hot and humid for me!
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Denim-Maniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1238

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked in Hainan for almost two years and would really really struggle to ever think about going back there. I never really spent a summer there as I would return to Europe in the summer hols, but the weather was pretty hard going quite often. Id wake up and see blue sky and think 'great', but then Id just have to stay home pretty much all the time in a room with AC.

Haikou is a pretty uninteresting city IMO. And there was very little English spoken anywhere which often made the simplest task difficult. Nothing going for it IMO.
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gtrevors



Joined: 08 Nov 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi! I actually work at that school!
The weather has cooled down now that Fall is here (it's 79 right now).
As for the school - I love my job. The kids are great, and the staff is like family. There's 11 foreign teachers, and you'd be joining the team - not replacing someone, as we are expanding.
The company treats us all very well, no hidden extra hours, awesome apartments, and all the support we need in and out of school.
That blurb at the top of the ad is a 99% accurate description of my day - the only difference is I go to the gym at lunch, instead of the beach.
I go to school in the morning, greet the kids as they arrive, teach 3 30 minute classes and then go to lunch. Come back, and do 3 more in the afternoon. It's a great schedule, and I really can't complain.
As for beaches, I live by our second location and am 5 minutes from Baishamen Beach. The teachers that live near our first location are about 15 minutes from Holiday Beach.
The school rents us apartments near whichever branch we work at, so that's really convenient.

Hope that answers a few questions!
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sean in guangzhou



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:21 am    Post subject: Happytown.. NOT Reply with quote

My friend used to work at Happytown, and if anyone is considering taking up employment at this school, I would advise you to seriously reconsider, due to the ongoing situation at the school which I can only describe as toxic. There are serious tensions and conflicts between the powers that be, and the situation has been so bad that over 6 employees left the company last month. Truthfully, I don't know how this company is still standing, and "expanding". My girlfriend and I considered applying to Happytown years ago, and decided not to. Good for us, but so for my friend.
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 2534
Location: Chengdu, Sichuan, PRC

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^Wow. The last two posts are from two new and different posters who tell two different tales about one place. Very interesting. Two sides to one coin to steal a cliche.

I like the names of some of these places: Happy Town! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Is everyone happy in Happy Town?

Cool

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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7969



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

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fat_chris wrote:
^^^Wow. The last two posts are from two new and different posters who tell two different tales about one place. Very interesting. Two sides to one coin to steal a cliche.

Well, one guy says he actually worked there, the other guy had a friend who worked there. Hard to know for sure but I'll go with the first hand non bitter account for now.
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jaffa



Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 304

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:10 am    Post subject: Re: Happy Town English (Hainan) Reply with quote

rioux wrote:
Happy Town English runs a progressive curriculum for children aged 6 months to 15 years old.


Very Happy Hehe. I would love to see the worst teacher I've ever come across (a fair few spring to mind, particularly the ones who just stand there reading from a text book, fully expecting all and sundry to understand every word) teaching 6 MONTH old kids! In China! Oh man ... hang on ... just fallen off my chair.

Does Happy Town school dish out happy pills in the morning?
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sean in guangzhou



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:47 am    Post subject: True, but.. Reply with quote

7969 wrote:
fat_chris wrote:
^^^Wow. The last two posts are from two new and different posters who tell two different tales about one place. Very interesting. Two sides to one coin to steal a cliche.

Well, one guy says he actually worked there, the other guy had a friend who worked there. Hard to know for sure but I'll go with the first hand non bitter account for now.


Sure, but it seems like this forum isn't the only place where someone is discussing about this school:

http://www.eslteachersboard.com/cgi-bin/review/index.pl?noframes;page=8;read=47838

"Haikou is a small city, many foreigners know that school. Does not have a good reputation. Agree with other posters, avoid.

Whatever school you choose, NEVER agree to enter China on a tourist visa (where school promises to get the paperwork after arrival, then a future trip up to Hong Kong for the Z visa).

MAKE SURE you get the paperwork sent to you and you enter legally on a Z visa, which can then get converted to a resident permit within 30 days. Schools which recommend you get the tourist visa first should be avoided at all costs.

Also references, the more the better. Any good school will have at least a few teachers who've worked there and can give solid references. Especially if the teacher doesn't work there anymore.

Keep looking and good luck in your job search!"

Doing your research and asking the school for references is the way to go!
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FreakingTea



Joined: 09 Jan 2013
Posts: 160

PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So are school adverts kind of like tea packaging? The prettier and fancier the packaging, the worse the quality? Because this school sounds desperate to me.
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