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Author Topic: Eden English (past employee review)  (Read 5160 times)

mkate

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Eden English (past employee review)
« on: August 22, 2011, 11:17:37 AM »
The facts (as I see them!)

Accommodation is provided, there is a 600 or 700 rmb allowance for finding your own place. If you want a kitchen/bathroom etc (not just a room) then you will probably need to fork out some of your own money to cover this, most decent places (by Western standards and MY standards) are about 900. Currently I live at a place half an hour away from school (work) by bus, 30 ish minutes by push bike, and about 15-20 mins by E-bike. I share with another girl who works at the school. Differing hygiene standards, and personalities in general mean that though it hasn't been bad it hasn't exactly been great either. Share accommodation does come with it's pro's and con's as I'm sure you know. You may end up taking my place at Jin Wan Hua Cheng.

It's on the corner of a busy intersection, is super noisy, and super dusty. However there are shops downstairs where you can get pretty much everything you need (food, toiletries etc). The people that work/live here are pretty friendly. However being so far from school/work and from most things in town is a bit annoying. If you can find yourself 2500 rmb get yourself an E-bike - it makes a world of difference.

As for working hours... I was told that practically no one ever worked their full 30 Ach's. I've pretty regularly gotten close. Factor in being there 30 minutes before every class/VIP and 10 minutes after for writing notes and you very quickly start spending more than 30 Ach's at school (Ach = academic hour which is 40 mins). The working days are Wednesday through to Sunday. You will work Wed, Thurs, and Friday night from roughly 5-9. Then on weekends you work 9.15 thorough to 9.15, with a 3 hour break from 12-3. Saturday and Sundays look something like this...

09.45 - 12.00 Class
12.00 - 15.00 Break (maybe a VIP)
15.00 - 17.15 Class
18.00 - 19.00 VIP
20.00 - 21.00 VIP

VIP is a one on one class, like tutoring. Can be quite fun, and they don't generally require as much work planning. However you can be teaching a 4 year old for one Ach, a teenager in the next and then an adult so levels and work will be quite different. As you can see though, weekends are long and quite exhausting. You do get used to them though, and coffee is your friend.

You do need to plan and create your own lessons. However there are books and plenty of materials. To begin with I spent heaps of time (hours) planning and preparing but now I can do it in 30 minutes, sometimes less, so it really is a skill gained with time. There were 2 teachers there who were massive amounts of help, however 1 has gone part time and the other teacher has left (to work where I now work).

The timetable can be quite frustrating as until you have regular VIP's it is subject to change at a moments notice. You may be scheduled to have a class at 4.30 but then not have another class until 6. However living so far away from your accommodation you end up spending so much extra time there. It is possible to have a good schedule however so far the only person I've seen with one is the head teacher, where the breaks were reasonable lengths of time, the starting and finishing time was regular, and there seemed to be a lot of students that cancelled (always nice to have an early night!).

Most of the foreigners here are the older 'I came to China to find a wife' types. There is apparently about 500 of us here. I've seen about 40 max. I am friends with some people from the university, and from the other school here - English First, so there are definitely people to hang out with - you just have to find them, or be introduced to them. We're special enough that we do get a bit of special treatment every now and then, and you'll only occasionally have sneaky photos of you taken.

The wage is definitely enough to survive. I wasn't really prepared for the bills here - like 85 rmb a month for internet, 165 for gas every 1-2 months, phone credit, electricity, water, and maintenance fees. They're not huge deductions but all up they'd cost 300-400 rmb a month, on an expensive month.

The wage is generally 5500 for someone with no experience, with one month of probation where it is less - maybe 4500? The school pays for costs related to visas, and work permits etc however there are some times where having to catch a taxi to be at police station at a certain time (which happened a couple of times) costs upwards of 50rmb plus providing extra photos and things like that. Not horribly expensive but not exactly great in your first month before you've been paid.

There's definitely a big emphasis on not doing any work outside of the contract e.g. private students, additional contracts, promo work. However I have my fair share of suspicions that the majority of teachers incl. the head teacher are doing it.

There are 6-7 Cc's or Course Consultants who can help with most things. Their level of English speaking ability varies from superb to dismal, however there are a couple there who are just amazing and will try their best to help you with anything and everything.

The guy who hires everyone is a great speaker, literally the man can talk, he is great at sales (which is pretty evident in the ad's etc used to hire teachers), however there doesn't always seem to be much backing up all the chatter. He can be helpful at times, and sometimes he does even seem to be on your side and not the side of the school. To be fair he does have a financial investment in the school so this only goes so far.

I have tried to keep this impersonal but to give some background information I am leaving after 6 months and moving on to another contract. Working at Eden was neither a bad nor a good experience, it was purely just experience. The school made it pretty hard to leave, screwing me around with visa's etc (3rd parties from the visa offices in both Thailand AND Hong Kong have made this clear), and charging me for broken things that were broken when I moved into the apartment etc which I thought was pretty crummy.

I did make it clear within the first month that I wasn't happy with the accommodation (I got really bad asthma due to the pollution, dust, mold etc) and that I would be leaving. An offer to find new accommodation was made a few months later but I didn't feel it was fair to have to spend my pay on it when other contracts offered nice, non-shared, convenient accommodation at no cost to the teacher. Given that I was told I would have to deal with everything myself and that a minimum rental contract was 1 year it seemed like I was given a non-viable alternative.

The only other gripe I have relates to lack of help from the head teacher. There was a bit of a personality clash there so maybe this was a contributing factor to his inability/unwillingness to help. There's no staff meetings, progress reports, class observations or updates of any type which doesn't help you know whether you are going well with your teaching other than your own personal thoughts, feelings, or experiences.

I have been told that a lot will change in the next 6 months, here's hoping it does and that it is a positive experience for all new teachers that sign on.

It's a bit of a novel, but I hope someone finds something useful in there. Goodluck!

milkweed

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Re: Eden English (past employee review)
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2011, 05:23:35 AM »
That was a very interesting review. I get undertones of serious resentment in there due to the general misleading and deception Chinese seem to specialise in. Sounds like a lot of B.S for poor salary which rather quickly wears down those initial rose tinted glasses.

psd4fan

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Re: Eden English (past employee review)
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2011, 11:39:21 PM »
What city was this in?

mkate

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Re: Eden English (past employee review)
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2011, 05:37:52 AM »
Nanning, Guangxi province.

I guess it might be a good indicator to others about this business that only half the staff stayed on, and 1 other teacher went part time.

After dealings with them since working for them (regarding a reference, running into some of them outside of work, and visa's ESPECIALLY visa's), I don't recommend this school at all.

Yes, I'm typing this while slightly annoyed but if you want to go work somewhere where you can pretty much rock up hungover and do little to no work outside showing up and being a white face, then this is your place.

They certainly don't give a damn if you have worked your butt off for them! They have finally made me understand what all you lot were talking about with the whole "TESOL isn't teaching, it's a business".

Dammit!

Sam Smith

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Re: Eden English (past employee review)
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2011, 10:38:10 PM »
Thanks MKate --- very helpful posts --- especially for those of us who have yet to take the plunge into China.  I am glad to read on another post that your new job is much better than the weasels @ Eden English.

All the best!   bfbfbfbfbf

Sam
"Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same."  (Oscar Wilde)

CWL

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Re: Eden English (past employee review)
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2011, 02:22:11 PM »
Thanks MKate --- very helpful posts --- especially for those of us who have yet to take the plunge into China.  I am glad to read on another post that your new job is much better than the weasels @ Eden English.

All the best!   bfbfbfbfbf

Sam

I second that.

Brendan111

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Re: Eden English (past employee review)
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2011, 06:21:55 PM »
Thanks MKate --- very helpful posts --- especially for those of us who have yet to take the plunge into China.  I am glad to read on another post that your new job is much better than the weasels @ Eden English.

All the best!   bfbfbfbfbf

Sam

Glad to see that you got into something better.  Your story, and some of the others on here make me feel rather thankfull I had the experience I did when I was there.  I hope the future holds better things for you.

mkate

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Re: Eden English (past employee review)
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2011, 12:11:45 PM »
Hey guys,

Thanks so much for your positive feedback and nice words  bjbjbjbjbj

I am at a much better place now, teachers meetings, supportive network etc. It's surpassed all my expectations so far, even if I do have a noisy downstairs neighbour (can't win them all haha).

Cheers and luck to you all  bhbhbhbhbh

psd4fan

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Re: Eden English (past employee review)
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2011, 01:20:22 PM »
Nanning, Guangxi province.

I guess it might be a good indicator to others about this business that only half the staff stayed on, and 1 other teacher went part time.

After dealings with them since working for them (regarding a reference, running into some of them outside of work, and visa's ESPECIALLY visa's), I don't recommend this school at all.

Yes, I'm typing this while slightly annoyed but if you want to go work somewhere where you can pretty much rock up hungover and do little to no work outside showing up and being a white face, then this is your place.

They certainly don't give a damn if you have worked your butt off for them! They have finally made me understand what all you lot were talking about with the whole "TESOL isn't teaching, it's a business".

Dammit!
Thanks. My first job was going to be with them. Stewart was the DOS at the time. I bailed when I saw the temperature there any time but the summer temps scared me.  aoaoaoaoao aoaoaoaoao aoaoaoaoao