|Huaian Jiangsu Modern English/Taiyuan Shanxi Modern English|
|I was first introduced to this Institution through an Internet job posting on one of the esl job boards. I had sent out my resume and information as any of us do and was contacted by email by someone named John He. This individual and I spoke many times through email over a time period of many months. We negotiated a lot and agreed on a settlement to my contract. I made arrangements with John to fly to Nanjing from Canada where he would pick me up and drive to Huaian. All was in order and He did meet me as promised on June 1st 2004. I was shown my apartment that I ended up sharing with John on a University Campus near the school. I was introduced to the Lady who owned the school and gave her my passport (yes I know that was a mistake). I was treated very well and given the usual pep talk and Friendship sessions and speeches normally done by most schools here. I was shocked to learn I was the only Foreigner working there seeing as I was informed there were 5 others working at the time I left Canada. I started working the next day, teaching very few hours, as there were very few students. Everything seemed to be going very well. Four nights after I started John came home after doing something, he sat down and spoke with me on some other school that was interested in him and asked what I thought. He then started telling me that the school I was at was going to screw me. He informed me that the school owner was going to keep my passport and not give it back, that they were going to change my contract and or not give me one. I was informed that they would not issue me a visa and wanted money for rent and many other things. John then informed me he could get my Passport back and that we could leave whenever I wanted to this other School that would hire us both. I agreed to this and to paying his way to this other city as the school we were going to, agreed to pay me the money to go there ( I payed as john was leaving before payday and was supposedly broke). John then produced my Passport the next day and we left the following day for Nanjing then to Taiyuan Shanxi PRC.After arriving in Taiyuan, John and I were greeted by the owner of the school (Snow). We were taken to her Mothers Hotel where we were put up for the night. Again for some time nothing was bad and I had thought finally I had made it to a good school. My passport was handed over to the Owner who promised to have it changed for me. I reluctantly gave it up, as I needed it changed. I was surprised to have it returned a couple weeks later with a visa in it.
This is the first warning I will give the visa I was issued was an extended three month 6 day extension tourist Visa (Class L).
I was placed in an apartment with John again who was at the time only teaching though had the chance and opportunity to move to Management. Things were still going ok. I had the pleasure to make many friends in the school both Foreigners and Chinese. I did not exactly see much of anything bad in the works, even after one teacher returned home. It was not until I believe the second meeting I attended at the school that I saw what I would call slander and assault upon another fellow worker and mentor.
This is the second warning, A colleague, friend and mentor was unjustifiably, slanderously, cruelly and without merit degraded, ridiculed and verbally attacked during a meeting where not only did they do the above but also disclosed personal contractual information and terminated his employment. This individual did not say a word nor did he at any time that I knew him (yes it was a short time) show any reason to have let him go.
After this event moral in the school was at a low for many, some were sickened by the events they saw and I personally believe this event led to my eventual decision to leave this school. Classes continued and John took over the job of the individual they fired. One teacher had a contract that was coming to an end, one of the best teachers in that school in my opinion. Still the school never offered this individual a new contract nor did they look for a teacher to take his place when his time was up. During the period of time we held meetings weekly as is usual. The mood only got worse as certain things were blamed on an individual not at the school any longer. Certain members of management lost there cool at meetings yelling at teachers and calling the teaching staff idiots.
This is the third warning; nothing that happens at this school is the fault of management, and the fault all lies on the foreign teachers. The biggest problem is that the foreign teachers do not think or act Chinese and are more concerned with money then trust or friendship.
The days and weeks slipped by, eventually One teachers contract was up, everyone I know felt bad to see him go, but I am sure he will do better out of this school. The school did pay him his final pay, his bonus and his airline money as promised. Then we were down to three foreign teachers. No add for another teacher had been posted. No effort was made to hire someone to replace him. This was fine; we were able to cover his classes though I think the moral deepened even more. At this time I had also noticed small things like money vanishing from my home. Things not getting done like the phone not working. But yet I stayed. During the meetings we saw the truth of the school emerge, things said one meeting and changed the next. Contracts being threatened if we did not go along with the decision of management. I was constantly told how the owner wanted to shut down the school and fire everyone. I was informed the management was upset with me for having a voice and the best thing I could do was to keep quiet and follow orders. In one meeting we were told to either trust what the school said or quit. That if any person should ever write anything bad about the school that they would regret it.
This is the fourth warning, If you are one who voices concern, believes that meetings are a place to bring up problems or just someone who cares about what they are doing, avoid this school it is a school for people who have no voice or for people who are sheep and are willing to do whatever management orders without question.
After sitting back for some time biting my tongue meeting after meeting I finally decided I had no choice but to leave this Institution. This was not an easy thing to do and was not without concern and regret. The Friends I made both with Students and Colleagues is memorable and will never be forgotten. Did I leave on good terms no, But I think that I left with a clear mind.
My fifth and final warning is not so much a warning but a sum of all that has happened. The Management never was late on paying, the Management issued a visa (L), the Management is very one minded, The Management believes threats will keep people there, The Management believes degrading and slander is fine, The Management believes they have the right to change contractual rights and if the Teacher does not like it they can quit.
My general summarization is not all negative nor do I hope all think that. The City while it is dirty is not a bad city, there are a number of schools in this City I am sure there are some good ones. It is cheap to live in this City. Though I will advise and will suggest that if you are considering going to Taiyuan Modern English that you reconsider your idea. At current I am not sure how things are going within this Institution but I have heard that it is not doing well. I would suggest also that if you decide to work at this school that you read everything on the internet and contact anyone who has ever worked there before.
Well I think that wraps it up, if you should wish to contact me please feel free to do so.
My email is email@example.com
My msn is William_w_wise@hotmail.com
My yahoo is williamwwise
William Warren Wise
Canadian Living in China