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Author Topic: Thank God I'm Nearly There. Questions to Ask Potential Employers  (Read 3107 times)

asobowale

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Thank God I'm Nearly There. Questions to Ask Potential Employers
« on: November 25, 2013, 07:05:46 AM »
After a dreadful start at current school (Castle 4 Kids) from February 2013, I'm coming to the last 3 months of my contract. Looks like I will see it through  agagagagag. I plan to stay in Xi'an, it's a cool city. I messed up my first attempt at getting a decent job in China and I don't fancy making that mistake again.

IMPORTANT Questions to Ask Potential Employers

•   Ask for e-mail/telephone number of a current FT at that school.
•   Free accommodation provided? Can you send me pictures? Is it shared accommodation?
•   Ask for any negotiations to be signed by the school
•   Do I have to do over-time? Do the employers at the company do OT frequently?
•   How far is the house from the where I will be teaching?
•   Does the school provide teaching materials for class?
•   What are the teaching hours? What days will I be working?
•   Does the school give training to new FTs?
•   Will my salary be paid into a bank account?
•   Does the school hire only native speakers?
•   What type of school is it? (Training centre, international School, University etc)
•   What ages of Students will I teach?

This is all that I've been able to come up with, I'm looking forward to hearing some of your additions. bjbjbjbjbj

Just Like Mr Benn

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Re: Thank God I'm Nearly There. Questions to Ask Potential Employers
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2013, 07:26:09 AM »
So is this the same as Kidcastle Xian? it must be, surely.

Anyway, although I'm sure every teacher would have a bad experience there based on their reviews, I think that many schools are good, but only for certain types of teachers.

I suggest something along the lines of the following;

-What do you look for in a foreign teacher? (Once a school said 'a passport' which was refreshingly honest and informative.).

-If there are two days off, are they consecutive?

-(Question for the current FT) Are the other teachers friendly?

Will I have to do office hours or marketing activities, and of so, what exactly do you mean by these terms?

-How many foreign teachers are there?

-How close is the school / accommodation to the city centre? (especially with universities)

-What qualifications do the other foreign teachers have? (Might reveal their knowledge of teaching qualifications).

-What's more important; being a good teacher or keeping the students / parents happy? (A bit of an unfair question of course. If they say being a good teacher, they're probably lying).

-Describe the students. (I think that the best thing about my university is that the students are lovely, largely because they often come from the countryside and aren't spoilt brats, but I think that any answer here could be illuminating).

Generally I think that it's sometimes good to ask incredibly open questions, and see what people say. When I worked in the UK, I would sometimes ask potential customers, 'How are things?' and see what they said. If you asked a potential employer (or even current FT) that question, you'd probably be surprised what they'd tell you, because they can hardly point out that it's a stupid question. The important thing isn't your questions, it's their answers, and the more you can get a school to say, the more they're going to reveal about themselves.

One more thing, if you know something bad about the school, based on reviews or other people's experience, don't lead off with it. Perhaps beggers can't be choosers, or you think that things might have changed. It's ok to consider schools that have bad stuff about them on the internet, but give the employer the opportunity to address these kinds of issues without any prompting from you. You can gauge their honesty from the extent they acknowledge potential or historical issues.

You can also gauge their irrational paranoias for things like proselytising Christians or bad experiences they've had with FTs in the past. Again, let them shape the agenda for your discussion as much as possible, and just listen carefully to what they say. Hope this makes sense.

I'm chuckling away to myself remembering gaffes that various employers and contractors have said to me in the past, although I'm also aware of the times when I just didn't listen properly and paid the price.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 07:39:12 AM by Just Like Mr Benn »

cruisemonkey

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Re: Thank God I'm Nearly There. Questions to Ask Potential Employers
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2013, 08:19:18 AM »
•   What type of school is it? (Training centre, international School, University etc)

You should be asking yourself -
What kind of school do I want to work for? (and making appropriate applications)
The Koreans once gave me five minutes notice - I didn't know what to do with the extra time.

asobowale

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Re: Thank God I'm Nearly There. Questions to Ask Potential Employers
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2013, 08:31:39 AM »
So is this the same as Kidcastle Xian? it must be, surely.

One more thing, if you know something bad about the school, based on reviews or other people's experience, don't lead off with it. Perhaps beggers can't be choosers, or you think that things might have changed. It's ok to consider schools that have bad stuff about them on the internet, but give the employer the opportunity to address these kinds of issues without any prompting from you. You can gauge their honesty from the extent they acknowledge potential or historical issues.


Yes this is the same KC school in Xi'an.

I never really considered challenging some schools are their awful online reputation, seems a really good idea tbh. Thanks dude

asobowale

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Re: Thank God I'm Nearly There. Questions to Ask Potential Employers
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2013, 08:36:11 AM »
•   What type of school is it? (Training centre, international School, University etc)

You should be asking yourself -
What kind of school do I want to work for? (and making appropriate applications)

"What type of school is it? (Training centre, International School, University etc)"

This question is directed more towards recruiters that say they have a position for me.

I'm actually not sure what type of school I prefer as I've only worked in a Training School.

Bacon

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Re: Thank God I'm Nearly There. Questions to Ask Potential Employers
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2013, 09:09:01 AM »

This question is directed more towards recruiters that say they have a position for me.

Why use a recuiter?  You're already in China and have experience teaching there.

Just Like Mr Benn

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Re: Thank God I'm Nearly There. Questions to Ask Potential Employers
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2013, 09:25:34 AM »
To recap, many of us advised you not to work for Kidcastle, but you did, and you've toughed out the 12 months.
It's not nice when people get all high and mighty and cleverer than thee, but I hope you'll excuse a bit of bluntness.

You're in Xian. You want to stay in Xian. Why the hell can't you find your own job? You don't even know what kind of place you want to work in! You're using recruiters! Many people have written excellent advice on this topic, but none more so than Raoul.

Read this

http://raoulschinasaloon.com/index.php?topic=71.0

Anyone looking for a job in China should pay attention to that stuff. Lots of us have been really helped by him. Read it, study it, live by it. If you continue to ignore it, and the feedback of just about everyone in the saloon, you'll only have yourself to blame. I doubt anyone here agreed with Raoul 100%, but then again, I think you'll find we start in the high 90s.

AMonk

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Re: Thank God I'm Nearly There. Questions to Ask Potential Employers
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2013, 10:06:25 AM »
I forget bgbgbgbgbg Did you say that you DO have a Degree (Bachelor or Master)?  
In any case, you can now update your Resume, then start knocking on the doors of various Schools that look likely.  
No need for a recruiter aaaaaaaaaa







p.s.  agagagagag on sticking it out
Moderation....in most things...

dragonsaver

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Re: Thank God I'm Nearly There. Questions to Ask Potential Employers
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2013, 01:08:46 PM »
You don't need a recruiter.  bjbjbjbjbj

If you check the saloon you will find we highly recommend the firing of all recruiters to the sun for instant dissolution.  ahahahahah Recruiters are only interested in themselves, they are not interested in your welfare  bibibibibi asasasasas
Be kind to dragons for thou are crunchy when roasted and taste good with brie.

Bacon

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Re: Thank God I'm Nearly There. Questions to Ask Potential Employers
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2013, 04:31:52 PM »
Even worse, your welfare directly conflicts with the best interests of recruiters.  If they're getting paid once a new teacher is hired, more turnover creates more income for them.

asobowale

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Re: Thank God I'm Nearly There. Questions to Ask Potential Employers
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2013, 08:07:07 AM »
To recap, many of us advised you not to work for Kidcastle, but you did, and you've toughed out the 12 months.
It's not nice when people get all high and mighty and cleverer than thee, but I hope you'll excuse a bit of bluntness.

You're in Xian. You want to stay in Xian. Why the hell can't you find your own job? You don't even know what kind of place you want to work in! You're using recruiters! Many people have written excellent advice on this topic, but none more so than Raoul.

Read this

http://raoulschinasaloon.com/index.php?topic=71.0

Anyone looking for a job in China should pay attention to that stuff. Lots of us have been really helped by him. Read it, study it, live by it. If you continue to ignore it, and the feedback of just about everyone in the saloon, you'll only have yourself to blame. I doubt anyone here agreed with Raoul 100%, but then again, I think you'll find we start in the high 90s.

[/quote]Why use a recuiter?  You're already in China and have experience teaching there.
[/quote]

Think I needed this kick up the arse tbh. It's due to laziness on my part for not going directly to the schools. I refuse to make another bad choice for next year, so that's exactly what I'm going to do.

I forget bgbgbgbgbg Did you say that you DO have a Degree (Bachelor or Master)?  
In any case, you can now update your Resume, then start knocking on the doors of various Schools that look likely.  
No need for a recruiter aaaaaaaaaa
p.s.  agagagagag on sticking it out

I have a BSc Degree in Drug Design. I've decided that I want to work in a University. My plan is to just take a CV to the English Department of various Unis. and hope for the best.



asobowale

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Re: Thank God I'm Nearly There. Questions to Ask Potential Employers
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2013, 08:31:59 AM »
http://raoulschinasaloon.com/index.php?topic=71.0

This is so helpful. From talking to friends and colleagues I sort of gathered that Universities are really the place to be. Now I'm really going to make it my prime target to work at a good University.

There was a part in the post that mentioned that working at Training Schools involves dealing with rich, spoilt and unmotivated kids. That's what I have learn this year working for Kidcastle. Most of the teachers in Kidcastle buy shed loads of stickers and candy to give to the children to motivate them during the class. I spend maybe 400 RMB a month on sweets and stickers to help them to focus in class. If I don't they end up just talking, jumping round and generally going crazy. I don't mind spending the money but in most other countries those kids would be taken out of class or get a clip round the ear...because it's a private training school the kids must be happy at all times, so the parents don't take their kids and £££ away.


kitano

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Re: Thank God I'm Nearly There. Questions to Ask Potential Employers
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2013, 10:23:10 AM »
http://raoulschinasaloon.com/index.php?topic=71.0

This is so helpful. From talking to friends and colleagues I sort of gathered that Universities are really the place to be. Now I'm really going to make it my prime target to work at a good University.

There was a part in the post that mentioned that working at Training Schools involves dealing with rich, spoilt and unmotivated kids. That's what I have learn this year working for Kidcastle. Most of the teachers in Kidcastle buy shed loads of stickers and candy to give to the children to motivate them during the class. I spend maybe 400 RMB a month on sweets and stickers to help them to focus in class. If I don't they end up just talking, jumping round and generally going crazy. I don't mind spending the money but in most other countries those kids would be taken out of class or get a clip round the ear...because it's a private training school the kids must be happy at all times, so the parents don't take their kids and £££ away.



Arggh, you should never give them the upper hand, even in that situation where the kids have to be happy, they still have to respect you. This is important for uni as well, since you have limited experience chances are that you'll be at a low tier university full of spoiled rich kids who did badly in the Gaokao now have cars and phones better than yours.
You need to make the students think that they are doing something fun or that they are learning something important. If they are just doing something for candy or whatever they'll still hate it and fuck it up when they get the chance

roadwalker

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Re: Thank God I'm Nearly There. Questions to Ask Potential Employers
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2013, 11:39:36 AM »
If you work at a public university, and not a top-tier one, you're not likely to get too many over-indulged kids. 

There are exceptions everywhere though.  Public universities find ways to get some of the students the private universities/overseas universities would get, with the understanding of high tuition fees for guaranteed passing.  But overall, truly entitled kids are the exception in my experience.  (Four different universities, only one of which would NOT be considered a consolation to most kids/parents.)

cruisemonkey

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Re: Thank God I'm Nearly There. Questions to Ask Potential Employers
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2013, 09:04:34 PM »
If you work at a public university, and not a top-tier one, you're not likely to get too many over-indulged kids.  

Yeah... I work at a 3rd tier provincial 'uni' (more a community college that offers batchelor degrees), in a 4th tier 'city' (there is no city - it's in the sticks), in a hillbilly province (Henan) and there are very few over-indulged students.

They pay well and treat me well because it's difficult to attract teachers - supply & demand at work. They even took my suggestions and got the text books I wanted.

I teach a stress-free 16 hrs./week (Monday-Thursday) for 32 weeks a year with 5 months of paid holidays. The airport is 30 min. from my apartment and there are cheap, direct flights to Bangkok and Singapore from where I vacation in Thailand and Indonesia at 4-star beach resorts for next to nothing during the 'off seasons'.

I'm a 'happy camper' and just signed on for a third year starting next February.  
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 09:14:10 PM by cruisemonkey »
The Koreans once gave me five minutes notice - I didn't know what to do with the extra time.