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Renshou, Sichuan -- Review
I recently finished teaching two semesters at Renshou No.1 High School, a leading school in the area with a license to hire foreign teachers. The pay and conditions here are a little above average for Sichuan and the teachers and staff friendly and helpful. I taught Junior 1 kids, who were eager to learn, Junior 2, a waste of time, and Senior 1 and 2, somewhere inbetween. At this school you can't put kids out of the room for misbehaving, so teachers have to put up with a lot of nonsense at times, a deplorable situation.
I've found the Chinese to be lovely people all over China; even the malicious ones have been pleasant to me, the greedy cops or dishonorable managers. So the people here are quite friendly. And if you drink and smoke, you won't mind the bad subtle energies (the feng shui) of the school or town. If you care about a good environment, though, you'll be headed for Chengdu on the weekends, because the area around the school is dirty, noisy, crowded, and ugly. The only redeeming thing about the town is the nearby hills, just a five-minute walk from the school, and a lifesaver for someone who needs some beauty and orderliness.

If you hear of an offer from some other school here, you may run into some bumps getting your pay on time, or getting your flight reim-bursement, or dealing with the police. In short, I'd say come if you're hard up and need a job, but otherwise stay out of Renshou.

Per Scott, 1/21/04, perlscott@yahoo.com, Renshou, China