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Hainan Provincial Kindergarten, Haikou, Hainan
Marian Deborah Rosenberg
Marian@TheRosenbergFamilies.Net
July 4, 2004 
Haikou, Hainan, PRC 
As of Tuesday June 29, 2004 Hainan Provincial Kindergarten was perfectly willing to continue my contracted term of employment. They even filed the necessary paperwork and paid the necessary monies to procure a new Z visa so I could legally re-enter the country at the end of August 2004.

It was only on Friday, July 2, 2004 at a meeting to ask about continuing irregularities in my pay that I received the following letter. This letter is the first time I am hearing about any of these problems and the first time that I have been told that the school has any kind of professional issues with me as a teacher.

DISSOLUTION OF EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT

Hainan Provincial Kindergarten (herein referred to as Party A) wishes to dissolve the Employment Contract with Miss Marian Rosenberg (herein referred to as Party B) signed on the 9th of February 2004. Under section VII(3) of that contract:
Party A has the right to cancel the contract with a written notice to Party B under the following conditions: (1) Party B does not fulfil the contract obligations according to the terms stipulated and has failed to amend after Party A has pointed it out.

This is the first and only time I have heard of any failure to fulfil my duties. It is not possible to amend behaviors when one has not been notified that those behaviors are a problem

Party A feels that Party B has not fulfilled the contract on the following points:
1. According to the Employment Contract Appendix Point 16:
The School reserves the right to immediately terminate this cntract by summary dismissal in the event of gross misconduct or gross negligence by the Teacher.
L Party B failed to establish a good relationship with her Chinese helper and was often uncooperative when teaching. For example: ignoring the Kindergarten's suggestions; not following the agreed lesson plan causing inconsistencies in the teaching program; stubborn behavior towards administration and unprofessional attitude.

My relationship with Willow WANG Xiaozhou is so bad that she attends my parties, introduces me to her friends, and goes to lunch with me. It is so bad that she frequently helps me do things in her spare time. As she is an employee of the school I understand that it will be difficult to get her to corroborate my statements. However, I have over a dozen friends and acquaintances (foreign and Chinese) who are not employees of the school who would be willing to state that I have a good relationship with her and am, in fact, a friend of her?ˉs.

If suggestions have not been made I am incapable of ignoring them. Despite frequently asking for guidance from the Kindergarten on how to improve my teaching members of the administration never attended any of my classes after the end of my first month as an employee.

I wrote the lesson plan. Therefore, it is very difficult for me to refuse to follow it. Additionally, I know of no inconsistencies in the teaching program that were not caused by administrative last minute cancellations of classes, especially near to the end of the term. In the five months that I have taught the students of Hainan Provincial Kindergarten they have learned over 90 new English words, have added a variety of sentence patterns to their repetoire including: I want, I like, I don't want, I don't like, No, it isn't, and Yes, it is. They can also tell time in English, count to 100, and sing a large variety of songs and chants.

L Party B has attracted complaints from the parents of her students regarding her 'dirty' and unprofessional appearance and demeanour. Party B has consistently ignored advice from the administration to rectify this situation. Many parents have indicated that they will withdraw their children from the Kindergarten if Party B is still employed as a foreign teacher in the future.

This is the first I am hearing of any complaints from anyone at any job in any country about my dirty and unprofessional appearance and demeanour. If the parents of my students at Hainan Provincial Kindergarten have complained about my appearance no one has felt in necessary to say anything to me. As for so called threats to withdraw their children from the kindergarten at my continued employment: it would be the administration's responsibility to immediately tell me to immediately rectify the situation or immediately leave. As this did not happen, I find it extremely difficult to believe that any such action ever occurred.

Additionally, if such things were true I doubt that the Foreign Affairs Office of Shijiazhuang City would have awarded me recognition as one of twenty (in a city that employs over two hundred foreigners) Most Excellent Foreign Experts in December of 2003.

For the record, every single one of my students has been withdrawn from the kindergarten by virtue of graduation and every single one of them will be attending primary school next term.

2. According to the Employment Contract Sections I and VI:
I Party A wishes to engage the service of Party B as an English Teacher.
VI. 2. Party B shall observe Party A's work system and regulations concerning administration of foreign experts and shall accept Party A's arrangement, direction, supervision, and evaluation in regard to his/her work.
L Party B failed to heed Party A's instructions not to speak Chinese in the classroom, and continued to use non-standard Chinese including on the Open Day Demonstration Lesson.

As I am provided with a helper, Willow WANG Xiaozhou, who has excellent command of English and multiple dialects of Chinese it has been completely unnecessary for me to use Chinese in the English classroom.

One of the parents recording my Open Day Demonstration lesson and gave me a copy of this on VCD. It is clear from watching this that I did not use Chinese at all.

It is my understanding that the phrase non-standard Chinese is usually used to refer to dialects such as Hokkien, Cantonese, or Sichuanhua. While I am multilingual, have achieved basic proficiency in Mandarin, and am studying Hainanhua, I cannot currently speak any of the dialects. It is simply impossible for me to have achieved what I am being accused of doing.

At the time of the Open Day Demonstrations (June 8-10, 2004) the headmistress of the branch school commended me on my excellent lessons and offered me the afternoons off to ?°rest and recuperate.

3. According to the Employment Contract Appendix Point 20:
The Teacher should attach great important to her professional appearance and attitude in her approach to teaching, to students, to School staff, and administration.
L Party B has shown disrespect to her colleagues, supervisors and directors and her behavior has affected the work environment of other staff and attracted their complaints. Her poor personal presentation and frequent use of inappropriate body language while teaching is unprofessional.

I know of no occasion when I was disrespectful to colleagues, supervisors or directors. Certainly, if I was percieved as being disrespectful it would be the school's responsibility to tell me of such behavior so that I could fix this problem.

Given that I had a successful year and a half at the Number One Middle School of Shijiazhuang where they pleaded with me not to go at the end of my contract and given the fact that I was never once informed that anyone at Hainan Provincial Kindergarten felt there was a problem with my behavior I find this complaint, along with so many others, to be spurious in the extreme.

I am also extremely curious as to what the school means by poor personal presentation and frequent use of inappropriate body language and at what time this occurred.

L Party B failed to abide the computer room regulations. Party A provides computers for lesson plan preparation. Personal business should be conducted outside work hours so that computer terminals are available for other staff, and Party B was informed of these regulations on several occasions.

Even if the school had told me of any computer room regulations (which they did not) it would not have been necessary as it is not possible for me to use the computer terminals during working hours. The computer room is located on the fourth floor of a building at the main school on 23 Haifu Road. During working hours I am at the branch school over one kilometer away on Qiongyuan Road.

4. According to the Employment Contract Section VI:
1. Party B shall observe the laws, decrees, and relevant regulations enacted by the Chinese government and shall not interfere in China's internal affairs
5. Party B shall respect the Chinese people's moral standards and customs.
L On the 11th March 2004, Party B photographed an anti-government protest outside the Hainan Provincial Government Buildings, and tried to run away when the guards wanted to stop her. Party B's conduct following this incident has hurt the good repuation of Party A, and caused embarrassment to its staff. Before the signing of the contract Party B was informed of Chinese government regulations according to section V(1) of the contract.

While it is true that I took a photo of the Hainan Provincial Government Buildings on the 11th of March, 2004, one only need to glance at the scars on my lower right leg to know that it is physically impossible for me to run away from anything. It has been impossible for over four years. My tibia is held together by a titanium-steel rod. As of the last time my leg was x-rayed a fractured piece of bone was still bridging the gap between the tibia and fibula. Additionally, the majority of the muscle mass at the front of the leg is simply not there.

At the time that I took the photo I was unaware of the nature of the crowd at the gate. It was soon made clear to me when the soldiers asked me to surrender my film. Not only was my film promptly surrended but I also gave a written apology for my inadvertant actions.

At the time of this incident Willow WANG Xiaozhou, the person with whom I have failed to establish a good relationship was the person who arrived to help translate and to explain the problem. The school administration claimed, at the time, that there was no problem because I had behaved correctly by apologizing.

However, speaking informally, Jade HUANG Haiyu told me that she didn't like me and hoped that I left Hainan Province as soon as possible.

Any claim that I was informed of Chinese government regulations is, quite simply stated, false. I have been living in China for almost two years at this point. At no time has an employer ever informed me of government regulations. Everything I know I have learned on my own and of my own voilition.

In fact, when presented with a point of law regarding treatment of foreign experts Jade HUANG Haiyu asked me why do you know that? and what business do you have reading Chinese law?

l On April 23rd and 24th, Party A organized a staff group activity to Golden Bay 5 tar Resort at Cheng Mai. A free set breakfast was provided on the morning of the 24th. Party B ordered a cup of coffee and was told it would cost 15RMB. After tasting the coffee Party B refused to pay because she said the coffee tasted strange and not like American coffee. Party B refused to accept Party A's help in negotiating the sitaution. This incident put Party A in an embarrassing situation during check out and damaged Party A's reputation.

The problem was not that the coffee was unlike American coffee. The problem was that the milk had been left unrefrigerated and curdled on contact with the hot coffee. It was only after I refused to drink the coffee (having never even gotten the chance to taste it) that the waitress told me that she still expected me to pay for the coffee.

Rather than refuse to accept help in negotiating the situation, I begged for help. The kindergarten, in the person of the foreign affairs officer Jade HUANG Haiyu, refused on the grounds that I can speak Chinese and that it is my responsibility to sort out my own problems.

Being forced to attempt to speak Chinese while surrounded by Chinese people and while being yelled at by a hysterical waitress was an embarrassing situation but it was I who was embarrassed, not the school.

Then, at check out, the Kindergarten paid for the coffee and deducted the cost from my salary without telling me until after I questioned the amount that I had been paid for the month of April.

In conclusion Party A feels that Party B has serious breached the abovementioned Employment Contract signed on the 9th February 2004. In order to prevent further damage to Party A's reputation, Party A's will dissolve the Employment Contract with Party B. Party B will be expected to vacate the accomodation provided by Party A no later than 16th July 2004. While she remains at the Kindergarten, Party B should respect Party A's rules and regulations.

Having now refuted every claim that the Kindergarten has made I would like to offer some counterclaims.

The school has repeatedly shown a pattern of abuse and negligence towards their foreign teachers. In May 2003, despite Hainan Island being one of the only places in China which did not have any cases of SARS, all but one of the foreigners employed at the school at that time took it as an excuse to leave. Three new foreigners hired at the beginning of the fall 2003 term (Shona, Jennifer, and Sara) also left before the end of their contracts.

I knew nothing of the problems experienced by previous foreign experts before my arrival at the school. However, there was clear evidence from the very beginning that the foreign affairs officer Jade HUANG Haiyu was negligent in her duties.

In December 2003 Jade HUANG Haiyu insisted that I must illegally enter the country on an L (Tourist) Visa and that it would be converted to a legal working visa after my arrival. On my previous entries to China there was always ample time to arrange legal entry beforehand, but although there was to be nearly two months between the time when they stated they would like to employ me and the time that they wanted me to arrive she claimed that this was impossible.

In the end, I did enter on a L Visa but only after requiring the school to fax me a letter taking all responsibility for any problems that resulted from this. It was personally signed by Jade HUANG Haiyu.

When problems arose over the conversion of my L Visa to a Z Visa (due to her inexperience and my having been previously employed in China) Jade HUANG Haiyu became extremely irate with me and asked on a number of occasions whether or not I still had that letter.

From the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs contract (ref 0019487):
# Party B has the right to cancel the contract with a written notice to Party A under the following conditions:
(2) Party A has not paid Party B as scheduled.

From the Contract of Employment for Foreign Teacher (ref A/4/2003):
l The Teacher?ˉs basic monthly salary will be RMB4500 (after-tax salary) for up to 6 lessons per day (3 lessons in th emorning and 3 lessons in the afternoon) of in-class teaching. Each lesson is 25 minutes in length.
L The teachers?ˉ monthly salary will be 4500.00 Yuan /month (RMB), and be paid on the last working day of each month.

On March 3, 2004 I received my February pay. Rather than the contracted salary of 4500 rmb, I received 1300 rmb cash.

Only after complaining about this did I receive, on March 8, 2004, a receipt for the 2000 rmb trust deposit mentioned in the appendix to the contract.

The additional 1200 rmb was explained that, despite my arrival date, the school only intended to pay me from the date of the signing the contract.

My March pay arrived on schedule on the 31st of the month.
My April pay actually arrived one day early on the 29th of the month.

L Private affairs leave will deduct 100 Yuan/day (RMB); 50 Yuan/day for the absence due to illness except he/she can make up the period.
L The foreign teacher will be fined 200 Yuan RMB from his/ her salary for every period he/ she fails to teach without reasonable reasons or permission from the kindergarten.

On May 31, 2004 I received CNY 4,275. When I asked for what reason I was missing CNY 225 Jade HUANG Haiyu told me that I was being docked CNY 25 for a day that a I ?°slept late?± despite having later made up the missed class. And that I was being docked CNY 200 for missing class on the afternoon of Sunday May 9, 2004.

When, on Friday April 30, 2004, Jade HUANG Haiyu finally told me that the school would not be following the written schedule (which clearly said that I would not be teaching that weekend) she gave me permission not to teach on the afternoon of Sunday May 9th.

Jade HUANG Haiyu told me that she did not give me permission and that my recollection of our conversation was incorrect. She also told me that a written schedule was not reasonable reason to expect we would not have class on the weekend. But, the CNY 200 was still refunded to me.

My June salary arrived on schedule on the 30th of the month.

The kindergarten will pay the foreign teacher 2200 Yuan (RMB) for the summer vacation from July 10th to August 28th instead of the salary for the time after he/she finished successfully his/her one-year contract.

If the special holiday salary is specifically to be paid starting on July 10, 2004 and ending on August 28, 2004 then it is clear that the normal salary will be paid through until July 9, 2004. However, the school claims because they cancelled classes they do not have to pay me. Instead of receiving CNY 1350 for the month of July I received only CNY 300.

# Party B has the right to cancel the contract with a written notice to Party A under the following conditions:
(1) Party A has not provided Party B with necessary working and living conditions as stipulated in the contract.
L The School will provide the Teacher with a rent-free apartment on campus during the contract period. Accommodation will be shared by three different foreign teachers. The apartment consists of three big bedrooms (each teacher has his or her own bedroom) with basic furniture, a living room with basic furniture, a kitchen and a bathroom/W.C. The apartment is equipped with telephone, TV, and air conditioner.
L The kindergarten will provide housing with bedroom(s) living room(s) Sq. Meters. Housing will be furnished with the following: Television, Couch, Telephone, Bed, Wardrobe, Washing Mach, Rice-cooker, Dining Table, Water Heater, Table-ware Oven, Refrigerator, Stove, Air Conditioner, Microwave, Western Toilet.

I arrived in Haikou on February 5, 2004. For my first two nights the school put me in a hotel. When I arrived at the apartment on February 7, 2004 I noted that the the television set showed only static.

When I asked Jade HUANG Haiyu about this I was told "there aren't any English channels you can watch, and you have a DVD player. Watch movies."

When I said that I rather liked watching Chinese television as it allows me to practice my language skills Jade HUANG Haiyu told me that I should instead make Chinese friends.

To date the television still does not work.

Despite being told, in the contract, that the foreign residences were only to be shared by foreigners, on February 17, 2004, I was informed that one of the empty bedrooms in my apartment was going to be given to Weiwei, a Chinese employee of the school who is also the daughter of one of the headmistresses?ˉ. She moved in on February 23, 2004 but by the end of the week when it became apparent I wasn?ˉt going to give her free English lessons stopped spending any time in the apartment.

On the evening of May 13, 2004 my refrigerator stopped working properly. Everything in it--vegetables and meat--spoiled. I told the foreign affairs officer, Jade HUANG Haiyu, and was instructed to leave the apartment door unlocked so someone could come and take a look at it. I returned home to find the door closed but the refrigerator still unplugged. Jade HUANG Haiyu claimed that someone came to take a look at it and ?°nothing was wrong with it.?± It still does not work properly and I have been eating my meals at friends?ˉ homes or at restaurants ever since then.

At the end of this document, I am including letters from Sara Williams and Jennifer Edwards to show that these problems with the school have not, in any way, only been limited to me.

I also have corrorboration from another foreigner (who wishes not to get involved for fear of losing her job) on a number of incidents that have happened over the last five months, including occasions when Jade HUANG Haiyu has broken promises both personal and professional, when she has been caught lying about trivial things, and when she has made threats.

One such threat, made in March of 2004, was that the school had the right to confiscate my passport for ?°safekeeping?± and that I should be glad that they do not do so. When I suggested that this action was highly illegal and any attempt to do so would force me to go to the United States Embassy and the Hainan Public Security Bureau with a formal complaint: Jade HUANG Haiyu?ˉs response was that specifically because it was illegal I should be glad the school didn?ˉt attempt to do so.

# If Party A cancels the contract without valid reason, it should pay Party B?ˉs return expenses and pay a breach penalty to Party B.

In conclusion, I feel that Hainan Provincial Kindergarten, and most especially the foreign affairs officer Jade HUANG Haiyu, have seriously breached the previously mentioned Employment Contract, signed on the 9th February 2004. I also feel that the letter I received on July 2, 2004 is an attempt to cancel the contract without valid reason. In order to prevent further damage I am asking for all of the monies owed to me, a written apology, a contractual breach fee, and a recommendation letter so that I can continue to legally work in China.

Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 05:09:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: sarah williams
To: marian@therosenbergfamilies.net

Dear Marian
Sorry it has taken so long to reply but Ive only just checked my e-mails.
I agree with everything you have said, the same problems were occuring during my time at the school as well.
I left because I was not happy in the country as well as with the situation.
I hope you find a resolution to your problems.
Good Luck
Sarah Williams

Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 14:15:33 ¨C0400
From: Jen Edwards
To: marian@therosenbergfamilies.net
Subject: Hainan Provincial Kindergarten

Hi, I got your e-mail address from Sara Williams, whom I used to work with when I worked for the kindergarten. I wrote this letter mere hours after I had left Haikou and arrived in Hong Kong, so I was still fuming. I worked there from November 2003 until January 2004 because my mistreatment was absolutely ridiculous and I wasn't going to tolerate it anymore. You are not alone in thinking that Jade is a complete and total imbecile. At the very least, I am hoping to get Jade fired to put her out of a job, destitute and alone, like she left me. [I am still very angry.] Below is a very brief account of what happened to me and my fellow workers. Thanks so much.
Jen
Hainan Provincial Kindergarten, Haikou City, Hainan Islands, CHINA
I worked at the Hainan Provincial Kindergarten from November 2003 to January 2004. Every day was a struggle and I still do not know how I managed to survive without dying of either boredom or the constant torrent of insults, insinuations, and tales of woe that they spun me every single day.
Before departing for China, I was told that I would receive 2,000 RMB the minute I got there to compensate for some of my airfare. At the completion of the first term, I was to receive the other 2,000. However, much to my dismay, the kindergarten had decided to change the terms of the contract so that I received the 4,000 at the end of the term in one lump sum. Although this was slightly irritating, it was acceptable.?-
The school [promised hoursing to me] on a beautiful beach. Of course, [I didn?ˉt] realize that their idea of a beach is the government housing on the 5th floor of the school, overlooking the playground where the students play, and consequently, has sand on it that surrounds the swing sets. The beauty of misinterpretations?-.
After one month of being in this school, I knew that I had to leave, or else, my angst ridden daydreams would start to have a body count. Thinking that I was doing the right and fair thing, I wrote the school a letter of resignation, stating that I would leave at the completion of the term, which gave them two months to find another teacher.
After this, I was treated very differently. After they found that no matter how much they tried to convince me to stay I was not going to, they turned on me completely. They quit inviting me to school sanctioned events, they demanded that my free time be spent being involved with the staff from the kindergarten (when, of course, I was deemed worthy enough to be invited), and when I didn't conform to this, things got even uglier.
For one month following my resignation, I lived with the fact that yes, these people hate me, but I'll be gone, so tough.
To prove how vindicative they can be, 27 1/2 hours before my plane left, they had me sign a piece of paper that stated I was to be fined 4,000 RMB. This was what I figured, so I was not surprised; a little annoyed that they waited until the last minute, but again, not surprised. However, in the end, they took all my December wages, all my January wages, AND they reneged on giving me my airfare back. All of this money that they just blatantly took still was not enough to pay off the fine that they wanted, which was not 4,000.
They wanted 10,000 from me, but of course, what I signed only said 4,000. So, when I refused to pay it, Jade Huang, the only person who speaks English there and who is self-deprecating and duplicitous to a fault, threatened me with police and court action if I did not "obey the contract". In addition, she told me that she would call the Meilan Airport and prevent me from leaving the island if the money wasn't on her desk in 20 minutes. Not even having all the money that they wanted, I was forced to borrow it from another teacher, which left me with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. NOTHING. I was broke and starving and I had one day left in Haikou and two days of airplane rides to contend with.
The story does not end there. My apartment, it turns out, had been rented out to a Chinese couple, without anyone ever informing me or even asking me if this was alright with me. When I returned to my apartment, there was a huge dinner set up on the table, which I, and my fellow foreign teachers, figured was an apology dinner for me, seeing as how I was now broke. We ate the dinner, which was later discovered to be for this mysterious Chinese couple that I had no idea were now occupying my home. We, especially I, were chastized verbally and again, threatened with police action for something concerning my keys and a book, that I did not have and was never given.
They tap danced around me so much, nothing made sense, except for the impending threat of "police action". Two other foreign teachers and myself duked it out verbally with Jade, who of course, claimed ignorance of the whole affair and of the English language as well.
Now that I have left and am pleased that I NEVER have to see any of these people again, I want to warn everyone to NEVER consider working for Hainan Provincial Kindergarten. They are abominable, blood sucking, vampire theives disguised as Chinese citizens who teach English. There is not one good thing that I can take from this experience, which judging by the fact that I cannot even take any money away from it either, only adds more fuel to my towering inferno.
Please, I cannot stress this enough, PLEASE DO NOT WORK HERE. You will regret it and it will not be a pleasant experience in the slightest.
[In no way does writing this letter come] close to placating me from the horrors of that school. I know, that by some unfortunate circumstance, I am forgetting details to add, but I believe that this is far above and beyond the call of duty and should send up a red flare that one should never ever consider this job to be anything less than a soul sucking, waste of your life.
Jennifer Edwards

Date: Fri, 02 Jul 2004 14:49:34 ¨C0400
From: Jen Edwards
To: marian@therosenbergfamilies.net

I suggest that we all pull our insight together and write letters to all the online TEFL websites to get this experiences out there. I sent my letter to all my friends, the school in Prague where I received my certificate, all the students who attended school with me, and several TEFL websites, but I never saw anything appear.

I'm glad that you are demanding justice, I wish I had the power to do the same. They also told me many of those things as well. Such as the reason that I had to pay the fee before I left was because "I was sick on the days when I taught the open lesson and the parents thought it was unprofessional behavior that I was teaching". However, despite the fact that I had bronchitis, and asked Jade if I could delay the open lesson, she told me that it was not possible and that I had to "go in my room, cry alone, then come out and teach". So, I did…and then I get punished for it?

In addition I was being punished for disrespect towards the headmistress for not eating the breakfast the school provided every morning (which is utterly ridiculous). I mean it is absurd the way that school runs business.

Jade refused to have the school transportation take me to the airport when I had to leave, so I had to go with Sara, who had to pay for the taxi ride, because I had no money left after Jade took it all. She also took my copy of the school contract, so I have no hard proof of what my contract stated.

However, I have two witnesses who can verify that Jade [verbally accosted me, Shona and Sara], threatening all of us, then she claimed ignorance of knowing what the word "threat" means in English. Shona laid into her and told her exactly what she was doing, how it was so completely ouside of the law it was frightening, and she displays a complete lack of human decency.

After I had to fork over 1,000 dollars I smacked it down on the table and told everyone in the room, which included Jade, the head mistress, and some guy, to "fuck yourselves". It was certainly unprofessional, but so was their behavior, and I had nothing to lose at this point, since I had already lost it all. I understand your frustration, and I am still so angry about it, I do not mince words discussing it.

I hope everything works out for you and I will be happy to help you get your just due
Marian Deborah Rosenberg
Marian@TheRosenbergFamilies.Net
July 4, 2004 
Haikou, Hainan, PRC 
As of Tuesday June 29, 2004 Hainan Provincial Kindergarten o
??ê??ú1?ó×?ù?°was perfectly willing to continue my contracted term of employment. They even filed the necessary paperwork and paid the necessary monies to procure a new Z visa so I could legally re-enter the country at the end of August 2004.

It was only on Friday, July 2, 2004 at a meeting to ask about continuing irregularities in my pay that I received the following letter. This letter is the first time I am hearing about any of these problems and the first time that I have been told that the school has any kind of professional issues with me as a teacher.

DISSOLUTION OF EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT

Hainan Provincial Kindergarten (herein referred to as Party A) wishes to dissolve the Employment Contract with Miss Marian Rosenberg (herein referred to as Party B) signed on the 9th of February 2004. Under section VII(3) of that contract:
Party A has the right to cancel the contract with a written notice to Party B under the following conditions: (1) Party B does not fulfil the contract obligations according to the terms stipulated and has failed to amend after Party A has pointed it out.

This is the first and only time I have heard of any failure to fulfil my duties. It is not possible to amend behaviors when one has not been notified that those behaviors are a problem

Party A feels that Party B has not fulfilled the contract on the following points:
1. According to the Employment Contract Appendix Point 16:
The School reserves the right to immediately terminate this cntract by summary dismissal in the event of gross misconduct or gross negligence by the Teacher.
L Party B failed to establish a good relationship with her Chinese helper and was often uncooperative when teaching. For example: ignoring the Kindergarten's suggestions; not following the agreed lesson plan causing inconsistencies in the teaching program; stubborn behavior towards administration and unprofessional attitude.

My relationship with Willow WANG Xiaozhou is so bad that she attends my parties, introduces me to her friends, and goes to lunch with me. It is so bad that she frequently helps me do things in her spare time. As she is an employee of the school I understand that it will be difficult to get her to corroborate my statements. However, I have over a dozen friends and acquaintances (foreign and Chinese) who are not employees of the school who would be willing to state that I have a good relationship with her and am, in fact, a friend of her?ˉs.

If suggestions have not been made I am incapable of ignoring them. Despite frequently asking for guidance from the Kindergarten on how to improve my teaching members of the administration never attended any of my classes after the end of my first month as an employee.

I wrote the lesson plan. Therefore, it is very difficult for me to refuse to follow it. Additionally, I know of no inconsistencies in the teaching program that were not caused by administrative last minute cancellations of classes, especially near to the end of the term. In the five months that I have taught the students of Hainan Provincial Kindergarten they have learned over 90 new English words, have added a variety of sentence patterns to their repetoire including ?°I want?-,?± ?°I like?-,?± ?°I don?ˉt want?-,?± ?°I don?ˉt like?-,?± ?°No, it isn?ˉt?-,?± and ?°Yes, it is?-?±.They can also tell time in English, count to 100, and sing a large variety of songs and chants.

L Party B has attracted complaints from the parents of her students regarding her 'dirty' and unprofessional appearance and demeanour. Party B has consistently ignored advice from the administration to rectify this situation. Many parents have indicated that they will withdraw their children from the Kindergarten if Party B is still employed as a foreign teacher in the future.

This is the first I am hearing of any complaints from anyone at any job in any country about my ?°dirty and unprofessional appearance and demeanour.?± If the parents of my students at Hainan Provincial Kindergarten have complained about my appearance no one has felt in necessary to say anything to me. As for so called threats to withdraw their children from the kindergarten at my continued employment: it would be the administration?ˉs responsibility to immediately tell me to immediately rectify the situation or immediately leave. As this did not happen, I find it extremely difficult to believe that any such action ever occurred.

Additionally, if such things were true I doubt that the Foreign Affairs Office of Shijiazhuang City would have awarded me recognition as one of twenty (in a city that employs over two hundred foreigners) ??Most Excellent Foreign Experts?ˉ in December of 2003.

For the record, every single one of my students has been withdrawn from the kindergarten by virtue of graduation and every single one of them will be attending primary school next term.

2. According to the Employment Contract Sections I and VI:
I Party A wishes to engage the service of Party B as an English Teacher.
VI. 2. Party B shall observe Party A's work system and regulations concerning administration of foreign experts and shall accept Party A's arrangement, direction, supervision, and evaluation in regard to his/her work.
L Party B failed to heed Party A's instructions not to speak Chinese in the classroom, and continued to use non-standard Chinese including on the Open Day Demonstration Lesson.

As I am provided with a helper, Willow WANG Xiaozhou, who has excellent command of English and multiple dialects of Chinese it has been completely unnecessary for me to use Chinese in the English classroom.

One of the parents recording my Open Day Demonstration lesson and gave me a copy of this on VCD. It is clear from watching this that I did not use Chinese at all.

It is my understanding that the phrase ?°non-standard Chinese?± is usually used to refer to dialects such as Hokkien [?
?¨?°], Cantonese [1????°], or Sichuanhua [??′¨?°.] While I am multilingual, have achieved basic proficiency in Mandarin [??í¨?°], and am studying Hainanhua [o???°], I cannot currently speak any of the dialects. It is simply impossible for me to have achieved what I am being accused of doing.

At the time of the Open Day Demonstrations (June 8-10, 2004) the headmistress of the branch school commended me on my excellent lessons and offered me the afternoons off to ?°rest and recuperate.?±

3. According to the Employment Contract Appendix Point 20:
The Teacher should attach great important to her professional appearance and attitude in her approach to teaching, to students, to School staff, and administration.
L Party B has shown disrespect to her colleagues, supervisors and directors and her behavior has affected the work environment of other staff and attracted their complaints. Her poor personal presentation and frequent use of inappropriate body language while teaching is unprofessional.

I know of no occasion when I was disrespectful to colleagues, supervisors or directors. Certainly, if I was percieved as being disrespectful it would be the school?ˉs responsibility to tell me of such behavior so that I could fix this problem.

Given that I had a successful year and a half at the Number One Middle School of Shijiazhuang where they pleaded with me not to go at the end of my contract and given the fact that I was never once informed that anyone at Hainan Provincial Kindergarten felt there was a problem with my behavior I find this complaint, along with so many others, to be spurious in the extreme.

I am also extremely curious as to what the school means by ?°poor personal presentation and frequent use of inappropriate body language?± and at what time this occurred.

L Party B failed to abide the computer room regulations. Party A provides computers for lesson plan preparation. Personal business should be conducted outside work hours so that computer terminals are available for other staff, and Party B was informed of these regulations on several occasions.

Even if the school had told me of any computer room regulations (which they did not) it would not have been necessary as it is not possible for me to use the computer terminals during working hours. The computer room is located on the fourth floor of a building at the main school on 23 Haifu Road. During working hours I am at the branch school over one kilometer away on Qiongyuan Road.

4. According to the Employment Contract Section VI:
1. Party B shall observe the laws, decrees, and relevant regulations enacted by the Chinese government and shall not interfere in China's internal affairs
5. Party B shall respect the Chinese people's moral standards and customs.
L On the 11th March 2004, Party B photographed an anti-government protest outside the Hainan Provincial Government Buildings, and tried to run away when the guards wanted to stop her. Party B's conduct following this incident has hurt the good repuation of Party A, and caused embarrassment to its staff. Before the signing of the contract Party B was informed of Chinese government regulations according to section V(1) of the contract.

While it is true that I took a photo of the Hainan Provincial Government Buildings on the 11th of March, 2004, one only need to glance at the scars on my lower right leg to know that it is physically impossible for me to run away from anything. It has been impossible for over four years. My tibia is held together by a titanium-steel rod. As of the last time my leg was x-rayed a fractured piece of bone was still bridging the gap between the tibia and fibula. Additionally, the majority of the muscle mass at the front of the leg is simply not there.

At the time that I took the photo I was unaware of the nature of the crowd at the gate. It was soon made clear to me when the soldiers asked me to surrender my film. Not only was my film promptly surrended but I also gave a written apology for my inadvertant actions.

At the time of this incident Willow WANG Xiaozhou, the person with whom I have ?°failed to establish a good relationship?± was the person who arrived to help translate and to explain the problem. The school administration claimed, at the time, that there was no problem because I had behaved correctly by apologizing.

However, speaking informally, Jade HUANG Haiyu told me that she didn?ˉt like me and hoped that I left Hainan Province ?°as soon as possible.?±

Any claim that I was informed of Chinese government regulations is, quite simply stated, false. I have been living in China for almost two years at this point. At no time has an employer ever informed me of government regulations. Everything I know I have learned on my own and of my own voilition.

In fact, when presented with a point of law regarding treatment of foreign experts Jade HUANG Haiyu asked me ?°why do you know that??± and ?°what business do you have reading Chinese law??±

l On April 23rd and 24th, Party A organized a staff group activity to Golden Bay 5 tar Resort at Cheng Mai. A free set breakfast was provided on the morning of the 24th. Party B ordered a cup of coffee and was told it would cost 15RMB. After tasting the coffee Party B refused to pay because she said the coffee tasted strange and not like American coffee. Party B refused to accept Party A's help in negotiating the sitaution. This incident put Party A in an embarrassing situation during check out and damaged Party A's reputation.

The problem was not that the coffee was ?°unlike American coffee.?± The problem was that the milk had been left unrefrigerated and curdled on contact with the hot coffee. It was only after I refused to drink the coffee (having never even gotten the chance to taste it) that the waitress told me that she still expected me to pay for the coffee.

Rather than refuse to accept help in negotiating the situation, I begged for help. The kindergarten, in the person of the foreign affairs officer Jade HUANG Haiyu, refused on the grounds that I can speak Chinese and that it is my responsibility to sort out my own problems.

Being forced to attempt to speak Chinese while surrounded by Chinese people and while being yelled at by a hysterical waitress was an embarrassing situation but it was I who was embarrassed, not the school.

Then, at check out, the Kindergarten paid for the coffee and deducted the cost from my salary without telling me until after I questioned the amount that I had been paid for the month of April.

In conclusion Party A feels that Party B has serious breached the abovementioned Employment Contract signed on the 9th February 2004. In order to prevent further damage to Party A's reputation, Party A's will dissolve the Employment Contract with Party B. Party B will be expected to vacate the accomodation provided by Party A no later than 16th July 2004. While she remains at the Kindergarten, Party B should respect Party A's rules and regulations.

Having now refuted every claim that the Kindergarten has made I would like to offer some counterclaims.

The school has repeatedly shown a pattern of abuse and negligence towards their foreign teachers. In May 2003, despite Hainan Island being one of the only places in China which did not have any cases of SARS, all but one of the foreigners employed at the school at that time took it as an excuse to leave. Three new foreigners hired at the beginning of the fall 2003 term (Shona, Jennifer, and Sara) also left before the end of their contracts.

I knew nothing of the problems experienced by previous foreign experts before my arrival at the school. However, there was clear evidence from the very beginning that the foreign affairs officer Jade HUANG Haiyu was negligent in her duties.

In December 2003 Jade HUANG Haiyu insisted that I must illegally enter the country on an L (Tourist) Visa and that it would be converted to a legal working visa after my arrival. On my previous entries to China there was always ample time to arrange legal entry beforehand, but although there was to be nearly two months between the time when they stated they would like to employ me and the time that they wanted me to arrive she claimed that this was impossible.

In the end, I did enter on a L Visa but only after requiring the school to fax me a letter taking all responsibility for any problems that resulted from this. It was personally signed by Jade HUANG Haiyu.

When problems arose over the conversion of my L Visa to a Z Visa (due to her inexperience and my having been previously employed in China) Jade HUANG Haiyu became extremely irate with me and asked on a number of occasions whether or not I still had that letter.

From the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs contract (ref 0019487):
# Party B has the right to cancel the contract with a written notice to Party A under the following conditions:
(2) Party A has not paid Party B as scheduled.

From the Contract of Employment for Foreign Teacher (ref A/4/2003):
l The Teacher?ˉs basic monthly salary will be RMB4500 (after-tax salary) for up to 6 lessons per day (3 lessons in th emorning and 3 lessons in the afternoon) of in-class teaching. Each lesson is 25 minutes in length.
L The teachers?ˉ monthly salary will be 4500.00 Yuan /month (RMB), and be paid on the last working day of each month.

On March 3, 2004 I received my February pay. Rather than the contracted salary of 4500 rmb, I received 1300 rmb cash.

Only after complaining about this did I receive, on March 8, 2004, a receipt for the 2000 rmb trust deposit mentioned in the appendix to the contract.

The additional 1200 rmb was explained that, despite my arrival date, the school only intended to pay me from the date of the signing the contract.

My March pay arrived on schedule on the 31st of the month.
My April pay actually arrived one day early on the 29th of the month.

L Private affairs leave will deduct 100 Yuan/day (RMB); 50 Yuan/day for the absence due to illness except he/she can make up the period.
L The foreign teacher will be fined 200 Yuan RMB from his/ her salary for every period he/ she fails to teach without reasonable reasons or permission from the kindergarten.

On May 31, 2004 I received CNY 4,275. When I asked for what reason I was missing CNY 225 Jade HUANG Haiyu told me that I was being docked CNY 25 for a day that a I ?°slept late?± despite having later made up the missed class. And that I was being docked CNY 200 for missing class on the afternoon of Sunday May 9, 2004.

When, on Friday April 30, 2004, Jade HUANG Haiyu finally told me that the school would not be following the written schedule (which clearly said that I would not be teaching that weekend) she gave me permission not to teach on the afternoon of Sunday May 9th.

Jade HUANG Haiyu told me that she did not give me permission and that my recollection of our conversation was incorrect. She also told me that a written schedule was not reasonable reason to expect we would not have class on the weekend. But, the CNY 200 was still refunded to me.

My June salary arrived on schedule on the 30th of the month.

The kindergarten will pay the foreign teacher 2200 Yuan (RMB) for the summer vacation from July 10th to August 28th instead of the salary for the time after he/she finished successfully his/her one-year contract.

If the special holiday salary is specifically to be paid starting on July 10, 2004 and ending on August 28, 2004 then it is clear that the normal salary will be paid through until July 9, 2004. However, the school claims because they cancelled classes they do not have to pay me. Instead of receiving CNY 1350 for the month of July I received only CNY 300.

# Party B has the right to cancel the contract with a written notice to Party A under the following conditions:
(1) Party A has not provided Party B with necessary working and living conditions as stipulated in the contract.
L The School will provide the Teacher with a rent-free apartment on campus during the contract period. Accommodation will be shared by three different foreign teachers. The apartment consists of three big bedrooms (each teacher has his or her own bedroom) with basic furniture, a living room with basic furniture, a kitchen and a bathroom/W.C. The apartment is equipped with telephone, TV, and air conditioner.
L The kindergarten will provide housing with bedroom(s) living room(s) Sq. Meters. Housing will be furnished with the following: Television, Couch, Telephone, Bed, Wardrobe, Washing Mach, Rice-cooker, Dining Table, Water Heater, Table-ware Oven, Refrigerator, Stove, Air Conditioner, Microwave, Western Toilet.

I arrived in Haikou on February 5, 2004. For my first two nights the school put me in a hotel. When I arrived at the apartment on February 7, 2004 I noted that the the television set showed only static.

When I asked Jade HUANG Haiyu about this I was told "there aren't any English channels you can watch, and you have a DVD player. Watch movies."

When I said that I rather liked watching Chinese television as it allows me to practice my language skills Jade HUANG Haiyu told me that I should instead make Chinese friends.

To date the television still does not work.

Despite being told, in the contract, that the foreign residences were only to be shared by foreigners, on February 17, 2004, I was informed that one of the empty bedrooms in my apartment was going to be given to Weiwei, a Chinese employee of the school who is also the daughter of one of the headmistresses. She moved in on February 23, 2004 but by the end of the week when it became apparent I wasn't going to give her free English lessons stopped spending any time in the apartment.

On the evening of May 13, 2004 my refrigerator stopped working properly. Everything in it--vegetables and meat--spoiled. I told the foreign affairs officer, Jade HUANG Haiyu, and was instructed to leave the apartment door unlocked so someone could come and take a look at it. I returned home to find the door closed but the refrigerator still unplugged. Jade HUANG Haiyu claimed that someone came to take a look at it and nothing was wrong with it. It still does not work properly and I have been eating my meals at friends homes or at restaurants ever since then.

At the end of this document, I am including letters from Sara Williams and Jennifer Edwards to show that these problems with the school have not, in any way, only been limited to me.

I also have corrorboration from another foreigner (who wishes not to get involved for fear of losing her job) on a number of incidents that have happened over the last five months, including occasions when Jade HUANG Haiyu has broken promises both personal and professional, when she has been caught lying about trivial things, and when she has made threats.

One such threat, made in March of 2004, was that the school had the right to confiscate my passport for safekeeping?± and that I should be glad that they do not do so. When I suggested that this action was highly illegal and any attempt to do so would force me to go to the United States Embassy and the Hainan Public Security Bureau with a formal complaint: Jade HUANG Haiyu?ˉs response was that specifically because it was illegal I should be glad the school didn't attempt to do so.

# If Party A cancels the contract without valid reason, it should pay Party B's return expenses and pay a breach penalty to Party B.

In conclusion, I feel that Hainan Provincial Kindergarten, and most especially the foreign affairs officer Jade HUANG Haiyu, have seriously breached the previously mentioned Employment Contract, signed on the 9th February 2004. I also feel that the letter I received on July 2, 2004 is an attempt to cancel the contract without valid reason. In order to prevent further damage I am asking for all of the monies owed to me, a written apology, a contractual breach fee, and a recommendation letter so that I can continue to legally work in China.

Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 05:09:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: sarah williams
To: marian@therosenbergfamilies.net

Dear Marian
Sorry it has taken so long to reply but Ive only just checked my e-mails.
I agree with everything you have said, the same problems were occuring during my time at the school as well.
I left because I was not happy in the country as well as with the situation.
I hope you find a resolution to your problems.
Good Luck
Sarah Williams

Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 14:15:33 ¨C0400
From: Jen Edwards
To: marian@therosenbergfamilies.net
Subject: Hainan Provincial Kindergarten

Hi, I got your e-mail address from Sara Williams, whom I used to work with when I worked for the kindergarten. I wrote this letter mere hours after I had left Haikou and arrived in Hong Kong, so I was still fuming. I worked there from November 2003 until January 2004 because my mistreatment was absolutely ridiculous and I wasn't going to tolerate it anymore. You are not alone in thinking that Jade is a complete and total imbecile. At the very least, I am hoping to get Jade fired to put her out of a job, destitute and alone, like she left me. [I am still very angry.] Below is a very brief account of what happened to me and my fellow workers. Thanks so much.
Jen
Hainan Provincial Kindergarten, Haikou City, Hainan Islands, CHINA
I worked at the Hainan Provincial Kindergarten from November 2003 to January 2004. Every day was a struggle and I still do not know how I managed to survive without dying of either boredom or the constant torrent of insults, insinuations, and tales of woe that they spun me every single day.
Before departing for China, I was told that I would receive 2,000 RMB the minute I got there to compensate for some of my airfare. At the completion of the first term, I was to receive the other 2,000. However, much to my dismay, the kindergarten had decided to change the terms of the contract so that I received the 4,000 at the end of the term in one lump sum. Although this was slightly irritating, it was acceptable.
The school [promised hoursing to me] on a beautiful beach. Of course, [I didn't] realize that their idea of a beach is the government housing on the 5th floor of the school, overlooking the playground where the students play, and consequently, has sand on it that surrounds the swing sets. The beauty of misinterpretations.
After one month of being in this school, I knew that I had to leave, or else, my angst ridden daydreams would start to have a body count. Thinking that I was doing the right and fair thing, I wrote the school a letter of resignation, stating that I would leave at the completion of the term, which gave them two months to find another teacher.
After this, I was treated very differently. After they found that no matter how much they tried to convince me to stay I was not going to, they turned on me completely. They quit inviting me to school sanctioned events, they demanded that my free time be spent being involved with the staff from the kindergarten (when, of course, I was deemed worthy enough to be invited), and when I didn't conform to this, things got even uglier.
For one month following my resignation, I lived with the fact that yes, these people hate me, but I'll be gone, so tough.
To prove how vindicative they can be, 27 1/2 hours before my plane left, they had me sign a piece of paper that stated I was to be fined 4,000 RMB. This was what I figured, so I was not surprised; a little annoyed that they waited until the last minute, but again, not surprised. However, in the end, they took all my December wages, all my January wages, AND they reneged on giving me my airfare back. All of this money that they just blatantly took still was not enough to pay off the fine that they wanted, which was not 4,000.
They wanted 10,000 from me, but of course, what I signed only said 4,000. So, when I refused to pay it, Jade Huang, the only person who speaks English there and who is self-deprecating and duplicitous to a fault, threatened me with police and court action if I did not "obey the contract". In addition, she told me that she would call the Meilan Airport and prevent me from leaving the island if the money wasn't on her desk in 20 minutes. Not even having all the money that they wanted, I was forced to borrow it from another teacher, which left me with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. NOTHING. I was broke and starving and I had one day left in Haikou and two days of airplane rides to contend with.
The story does not end there. My apartment, it turns out, had been rented out to a Chinese couple, without anyone ever informing me or even asking me if this was alright with me. When I returned to my apartment, there was a huge dinner set up on the table, which I, and my fellow foreign teachers, figured was an apology dinner for me, seeing as how I was now broke. We ate the dinner, which was later discovered to be for this mysterious Chinese couple that I had no idea were now occupying my home. We, especially I, were chastized verbally and again, threatened with police action for something concerning my keys and a book, that I did not have and was never given.
They tap danced around me so much, nothing made sense, except for the impending threat of "police action". Two other foreign teachers and myself duked it out verbally with Jade, who of course, claimed ignorance of the whole affair and of the English language as well.
Now that I have left and am pleased that I NEVER have to see any of these people again, I want to warn everyone to NEVER consider working for Hainan Provincial Kindergarten. They are abominable, blood sucking, vampire theives disguised as Chinese citizens who teach English. There is not one good thing that I can take from this experience, which judging by the fact that I cannot even take any money away from it either, only adds more fuel to my towering inferno.
Please, I cannot stress this enough, PLEASE DO NOT WORK HERE. You will regret it and it will not be a pleasant experience in the slightest.
[In no way does writing this letter come] close to placating me from the horrors of that school. I know, that by some unfortunate circumstance, I am forgetting details to add, but I believe that this is far above and beyond the call of duty and should send up a red flare that one should never ever consider this job to be anything less than a soul sucking, waste of your life.
Jennifer Edwards

Date: Fri, 02 Jul 2004 14:49:34 ¨C0400
From: Jen Edwards
To: marian@therosenbergfamilies.net

I suggest that we all pull our insight together and write letters to all the online TEFL websites to get this experiences out there. I sent my letter to all my friends, the school in Prague where I received my certificate, all the students who attended school with me, and several TEFL websites, but I never saw anything appear.

I'm glad that you are demanding justice, I wish I had the power to do the same. They also told me many of those things as well. Such as the reason that I had to pay the fee before I left was because "I was sick on the days when I taught the open lesson and the parents thought it was unprofessional behavior that I was teaching". However, despite the fact that I had bronchitis, and asked Jade if I could delay the open lesson, she told me that it was not possible and that I had to "go in my room, cry alone, then come out and teach". So, I did…and then I get punished for it?

In addition I was being punished for disrespect towards the headmistress for not eating the breakfast the school provided every morning (which is utterly ridiculous). I mean it is absurd the way that school runs business.

Jade refused to have the school transportation take me to the airport when I had to leave, so I had to go with Sara, who had to pay for the taxi ride, because I had no money left after Jade took it all. She also took my copy of the school contract, so I have no hard proof of what my contract stated.

However, I have two witnesses who can verify that Jade [verbally accosted me, Shona and Sara], threatening all of us, then she claimed ignorance of knowing what the word "threat" means in English. Shona laid into her and told her exactly what she was doing, how it was so completely ouside of the law it was frightening, and she displays a complete lack of human decency.

After I had to fork over 1,000 dollars I smacked it down on the table and told everyone in the room, which included Jade, the head mistress, and some guy, to "fuck yourselves". It was certainly unprofessional, but so was their behavior, and I had nothing to lose at this point, since I had already lost it all. I understand your frustration, and I am still so angry about it, I do not mince words discussing it.

I hope everything works out for you and I will be happy to help you get your just due