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Q: English First-Suzhou

I have been offered employment with English First-Suzhou,  have heard so many negatives from this organization, is there anyone out there that is currently working with this organization or former employee .  Would like to hear the negatiives and of course if there is any positives.  Thank you ahead of time for any true insights in this organization.  

8 years 11 weeks ago in  Teaching & Learning - Suzhou

 
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You will be paid on time - that is for sure.  There will be no mysterious deductions from your pay.  Re your visa and resident permit, it will all depend upon whom is handling it -- whether it be the Suzhou office or the Shanghai head office.  If it's Suzhou, then sometimes it has been hit-or-miss, I hate to say it.  You will work hard for the money that you earn, comparably harder than in other outfits.  If the one crazy has left the Suzhou branch by now, then you will have a good time and lots of camaraderie.  Otherwise, you will have to learn to deal with one sick psycho.  You will be dumped upon particularly during Spring Festival and the Summer Holiday.  You will not have many days off during this period, sometimes none at all, and you will be booked back-to-back.  If you don't loose your cool during those two periods, then you can survive anything in China.  EF Suzhou pays under the national EF average, so why are you even considering it?  There are so many international schools in Suzhou and so many much better LTC's where you can make a livable and downright decent salary and still have a life.  EF in general has probably the worst reputation in China of any language training center and sometimes very deservedly so.

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8 years 11 weeks ago
 
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EF Suzhou only employs people on valid work visas. Sometimes people arrive in China on a different visa, so we have to immediately begin the process of obtaining the FEC and fly them to Hong Kong at our expense to obtain the official documents.

EF is a professional school and as such requires continuous assessment, reporting, training and teacher involvement in their student's success. If this feels like hard work, please look for a cushier job. We do not enforce the 40-hour contract as teachers complete their office administration work in their own time. Rarely are teachers at their 20 hour maximum teaching hours in any one week.

"Crazy" "Sick psycho" is a pejorative term. There are odd characters in China for sure.

I don't think an extra 7 hours a week is "dumped upon". It's clearly in the contract and you *never* lose your days off. Booked back-to-back sounds ominous, but we are a private language school and are therefore naturally busy in the public holiday periods. We don't do split-shifts, so teachers who are doing the holiday courses will either work mornings and afternoons, or afternoons and early evenings.

By any margin, EF Suzhou pays above the national EF average, as confirmed by recruiters. We also now have a generous incentive package to add to this, including contract completion, renewal and performance/student retention.

As for reputation; EF is an easy target as it is the biggest. Of course some complaints are justified. However, there are thousands of existing and former EF teachers globally and in China that are very happy working for us, and for the experiences gained.

Real teaching requires multiple skills and commitment. You can’t hope to measure success without monitoring and assessment. If that sounds like real teaching, it’s because it is. Each class is made up of individual students whose parents pay a lot of money to have them learn English. The teacher must do his best to respect the children and their parents by actually caring about their performance; it’s what teachers do. Regardless of what one may think of Chinese businesses, teachers are paid to teach and given all the materials, time, and support to do so.

If you want to *just* play in China and see teaching as an easy way to support your lifestyle, perhaps EF isn’t for you. Universities pay less, but you have great holidays. Other schools require minimal input and just a foreign face in front of the paying students with no regard for quality. EF is for people who actually want to teach and take great satisfaction in doing that job well and making a difference to the students’ lives.

As always with TEFL teaching, contact the school and speak to the teachers before making your mind up. Any decent school will allow you to contact the teachers who are working there.

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8 years 7 weeks ago
 
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Answer of the DayMORE >>
A: Can a new employer help you? Possibly but it's really hard to say for
A:Can a new employer help you? Possibly but it's really hard to say for sure. I used to be involved in hiring new teachers and a couple of times we had people we wanted to hire who were having trouble with their old school - situations similar to yours. Our school was legally able to hire foreign teachers, did everything by the book and was well connected, usually schools that mess people around with visa stuff aren't operating legally so a call from our visa guy to theirs telling them they were breaking the law, we were in the middle of processing the visa stuff with the PSB and the next phone call they got regarding this teacher was likely to be from the PSB asking some hard questions was usually enough to get them to co-operate. No school doing illegal stuff wants the PSB getting too interested in what they're doing. There's a chance a new employer could figure something out if they really want to hire you but these are difficult times, their hands might be tied too.    -- Stiggs