TEACHERS DISCUSSION FORUM
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#1 Parent Herman - 2017-08-04
Re: Corrupt School - Optimum English

It used to be a nice place, yeah it was good at the Honglou branch of Optimum English with Chris looking out for things and making sure everything was done propper and fair but things have changed. People will backstab you any chance they get just to butt kiss the boss and save money for the school which means you might be feeling like everything is going well but suddenly they stop paying you, then suddenly you have to leave on short notice. Do not believe anything in the contract, they will just make stuff up as they go along and when you think the law will protect you, that's when you find out you contract is not actually legally binding because they intentionally commit fraud and with no way of proving what they did wrong you are on your own. I have heard horror stories of schools like this but now I know they exist and I would definitely not advise anyone to take up an offer with them.

#2 Parent Former_OE_Teacher - 2017-07-18
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: very helpful!

The situation now is that you are lucky if you get paid the correct amount or even at all.
OE should not be called Optimum English, but Obscenely Evil since they care nothing about English education anymore, they only care about money now and if you work for them they will try hard to screw you out of money or maybe worse, they might try to destroy your life. Don't sign a contract with them, they have no respect for contracts and there is nothing you can do about it.

#3 Parent Jason - 2017-03-02
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: very helpful!

This thread has been entertaining. I cant give any honest reviews on where the school is at now, but I worked there for 6 years immediately before EF Jinan became OE, 2004 -2010. The treatment of staff was generally fair, if the teacher was fair in living up to the terms of their employment

#4 Parent Dr.TurdBurglar - 2016-02-07
Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

Hahah oh man they were using that 'showed up late for class' BS thing again eh?

Yes, they LOVE it. They all do this. They know teachers are jet-lagged or obviously have great difficulty getting to a school via Chinese transportation or don't know the route but LOVE when you are late so that can become the single biggest deadly sin on the planet.

They LOVE pretending this was terrible and parents were really upset and pulling the kids out of school and why the 10 minutes you were late for a 2-hour lesson was a big big issue. Its why you are now disqualified from a raise, its now justifies the missing money, the extra hours, the submission you must make and OH how they love the 'Late' thing.

In fact, this is people who routinely arrive late, start classes late, managers who are constantly late, people who constantly forget to tell you a class is canceled or there is no classes today (after you arrive). hahah

Wow, this is a typical shitty Chinese school with the typical staff who actually believe they are treating you well. In fact, in any other civilized country they would be considered assholes and abusive. But in China they don't know any better. they think they are doing you a favor by just being disrespectful and rude.

#5 Parent Chris - 2016-02-06
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

Stay well away from the name c[edited] m[edited] , will lie to you at every avenue possible

#6 Parent Pork - 2013-10-12
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: very helpful!

I did find this post after accepting my position at OE.

It's worse then anything anyone put here and they've hit up 2 different teachers for cleanup bills for removing teachers from over 5 years ago belongings from one apartment.

I've heard a story that a teacher moved out of one apartment into his own once he got married and they would not renew his contract

#7 Parent Dragonized - 2013-02-06
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

In China, you have the Chinese government officials taking bribes, you have the greedy Chinese businessmen taking advantage of the society's need for English as seen by the not so bright local Chinese parents, and then you have the Western Grovellers who will come to China and do a lot of @$$ kissing to get such decent titles such as "Director of Studies" or "Senior Teacher". You have probably seen a couple post on here in the last couple of months.

#8 Parent Dragonized - 2013-02-06
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

....

Well, knowing you I doubt this is sincere, but I suppose it's the best imitation of any real sincerity you could ever show towards me. It would have been more appropriate to have said this with regards to other issues, too late for that.

#9 Parent Mancunian S - 2013-02-07
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

Who gives a shit where the traning centers are located? I certainly don't.

Hello Dragonized
With respect, I'm not too sure about this one, they do say that location is all important; in fact it's almost of Biblical Importance to estate agents; they like to mutter all knowingly 'location, location, location, and location. Supposing for example the New York Ministry of Food and Soup were to be located half way up a 500 story skyscraper in a location distant in the extreme from their customers? Why, they might all get fed up with that-sod that for a game of soldiers they might say, and all desert to China, flooding the market with FT's. Half of China's Middle school students might be running about saying things like 'classes splasses-bagels splagles. ha ha ha

#10 Parent ASTF - 2013-02-06
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

I wholeheartedly apologize dragonized. If I had known it would get you so upset I wouldn't have posted what i considered to be those lighted hearted comments. I'm sorry.

#11 Parent Dragonized - 2013-02-06
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

Who gives a shit where the traning centers are located? I certainly don't.

#12 Parent ASTF - 2013-02-02
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

A recent visit to Fuzhou Road in Shanghai basically netted a Who's Who of crap pretend "schools" taking up prime real estate. I do have to say though I didn't see many expats there like I used to, what goes around does come around sometimes

That could also be a result of certain big names like EF moving their administrative operations to a different part of town. Did you though notice that the EF there (which used to be the HO for China) is located at number 666? Coincidence?

#13 Parent oe - 2013-02-02
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

what would condone such treatment of their teachers ?

#14 Parent Dragonized - 2013-02-01
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

If they want to change the situation, then they should change the way they treat their foreign teachers

Never a more true statement. These training centers are useless things in society and have no place. A recent visit to Fuzhou Road in Shanghai basically netted a Who's Who of crap pretend "schools" taking up prime real estate. I do have to say though I didn't see many expats there like I used to, what goes around does come around sometimes. They should think about changing the view for this street.

#15 Parent oe - 2013-02-01
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

recognizing a pattern of spiteful behaviour I felt I had no choice but to let other TEFL instructors know what to expect.

no one to blame but itself for the negative comments left by former teachers. If they want to change the situation, then they should change the way they treat their foreign teachers

#16 Parent San Migs - 2013-01-21
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: very helpful!

That's why I never studied TEFL before coming to China. You don't need formal qualifications in teaching English to teach English in China.

Since when was a tefl that can be obtained in Thailand a "qualification"?! A degree is more than enough for China, if you don't have a tefl, a doctored one will suffice.

#17 Parent San Migs - 2013-01-21
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: very helpful!

And if the school FAO gives you some problems, treat him and his immediate family to a free restaurant meal each month.

So now you are justifying a mild form of corruption to ensure your employment references and continued future in China. In China they call this "guanxi" in the west we call it oiling the wheels, or perhaps the better term for what it really is, corruption or cronyism. I don't buy favours but each to their own.

Good luck.
SMGs/AL

#18 Parent foxy - 2013-01-16
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: very helpful!

They sound very realistic people to me, they realise that FT's, or not many of us, degrees or no degrees, cannot teach English grammar, and this is why we are called Oral English Teachers. The only qualification you should need to teach English in China, is that you are a native-born English speaker. Just open your mouth and turn up and chat to the students is more than adequate.

Exactly, my friend. That's why I never studied TEFL before coming to China. You don't need formal qualifications in teaching English to teach English in China.

And if the school FAO gives you some problems, treat him and his immediate family to a free restaurant meal each month. The problems will stop, and you'll get a great teaching reference after the school refuses to renew your contract! Then you can move on and repeat this cunning ploy elsewhere in China!

#19 Parent Mancunian - 2013-01-16
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

By:Interview....
Date: 16 January 2013

In Response To: Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE! (???)

they forge university diplomas for you if you need a way into the industry.

Hello there

I don't understand ,please; why would one want to BEWARE of a school providing a good accommodation for FT's who do not have degrees?

They sound very realistic people to me, they realise that FT's, or not many of us, degrees or no degrees, cannot teach English grammar, and this is why we are called Oral English Teachers. The only qualification you should need to teach English in China, is that you are a native-born English speaker. Just open your mouth and turn up and chat to the students is more than adequate.

There you are chaps, if you do not have a degree and are fed up with being on the dole, get in touch with Optimum English in Jinan- Kongzi country ,he used to go humping up and down Tai Shan(a mountain) making profound remarks like "Kongzi, he say, man who put too many noodles in wok get big belly" Also, you can buy nice bread, cheese, butter and stuff in a Chinese Supermarket there. Now am I right or am I right?

#20 Parent Interview.... - 2013-01-16
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

they forge university diplomas for you if you need a way into the industry.

#21 Parent Terry B - 2012-07-26
If you have a chance to work for OE, Do it!

As the subject line says; If you have a chance to work for OE in Jinan, do it. OE, irregardless of the wealth of trash written by those not familiar with working overseas have regurgitated, OE Jinan is an outstanding school, with outstanding people. You are only as good as what you put into a job in any place of the world that you work.
I worked for OE for a year and it was a positive, unforgettable year. The people here are warm, friendly and always run to your aid. No matter what job you have, there will always be troubles but it is up to you in how you deal with them. Given the chance to return to Jinan, I would jump on it. Not only are the students unforgettable, but so is the staff. Managers like Chris, teachers like Blake, assistants like Dora and Amy will give you whatever it is you need in an effort to keep you happy. You cannot travel to another country and maintain your home country expectations. Wake up and smell the coffee people.

Strive to work at OE. Set OE as a goal and a standard. Once you work here you will strive for breath in an effort to find another place that can live up to these people, curriculum and students.

#22 Parent starboyNottingham - 2012-05-22
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

Problems continue at OE.

#23 Parent ??? - 2012-03-12
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

Easy, their contracts are spelled out in great detail.
Follow the rule of it and you'll be fine.

#24 Parent ESL Teachers United - 2011-08-21
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

ESL Teachers United has a listing for Optimum English in our School Review section but are missing some information on this school. Feel free to visit the link below and edit the information as a guest or a user. It would greatly help other ESL teachers if you could do this as well as rating, reviewing, adding any pics of the school and adding your comments.

1) https://www.eslteachersunited.org/SchoolReview/listings/view/Optimum-English-School

Thank You for supporting ESL teachers and Students,

ESL Teachers United

#25 Parent ??? - 2011-08-10
Re: Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

People talk about quitting and are surprised how some people still go to work there. Well, out of curiosity, how easy is it to get out of a contract that is long term when the contract has been signed and all important matters such as visa procedures have been finalized? What protection plan do these poor souls have (the teachers). Especially since the school is out for money? What did you guys do? Did you quit? Did they make a big fuss and make you pay back all the money spent to get your visa and such?

#26 Parent Laowai - 2011-07-05
Re China: Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

Everything you complain about is in the contract you were warned before hand.

[edited]

If you disliked it so much you should have quit. (like others have)

Things have changed.

Name me one school that does not have an issue in this country.

The office environment has improved greatly since you have left.

You had three opportunities to move out of that apartment.

[edited]

[Edited by Administrator (admin) Wed, 06 Jul 2011, 07:26 AM]

#27 Parent Betty - 2011-06-12
Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

No one would criticize a dead dog ..

#28 Parent Todd - 2011-06-10
Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

I readily admit that I wasn't prepared to be teaching 4 and 5 year olds. My 2+ years of experience with with adults. But, OE knew that before they offered me the job.

But, besides that, in my own defense, I find it incredible that my showing up late once (it was still within a few weeks of my arrival from a time zone 12 hours different--EST--and I still had not fully recovered from jet lag) was sufficient grounds for the off-site primary school to end the seven year contract they had with EF/OE.

More likely, they were displeased with the school's shift from a "brand name" school to their own brand. And, they were openly upset with the "fishing" for students from the public school (EF/OE used 'gameboards' that elicited contact information from the public school children so that they could cold-call their parents to sell them on OE's rather expensive--comparativley speaking--courses).

On Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 11:05 PM, <[email protected]omain> wrote:

I also worked at OE for a year, and I saw the transition from EF to OE. I
worked with Todd for a couple months, and while it may be true that he was not
the best teacher for OE, it doesn't justify OE's horrible treatment of their
teachers. The chinese staff always looked for excuses why they were losing
money, usually it came down to the foreign teachers, even though the school
was falling apart.

#29 Parent Confu - 2011-06-09
Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

I also worked at OE for a year, and I saw the transition from EF to OE. I worked with Todd for a couple months, and while it may be true that he was not the best teacher for OE, it doesn't justify OE's horrible treatment of their teachers. The chinese staff always looked for excuses why they were losing money, usually it came down to the foreign teachers, even though the school was falling apart. I recount a number of stories like a teacher was throwing up, tried calling Lisa who was second in charge to find her phone off. The Lisa was angry that she didn't have enough notice to cancel classes. Another one, we had a 40 hour max on hours, which is a very complicated and horrible system which always favors the school, and my weekly hours were at 39.75 with the staff meeting removed only for me, and one class shortened, plus unofficially I was supposed to do placement testing, and were annoyed when I didn't show up.While I was there, I saw 7 teacher leave, including the DOS because no one was happy with the management. The school would always promise and then break those promises. From what I hear is the school is even worse now. There is no reason for anyone to teach at OE.

#30 Parent Todd - 2011-06-03
Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

- From your post Todd, you didn't mention the fact that the school lost a lot
of costumers because of your inexperienced in teaching.

I didn't realize that the school had "costumers". Nonetheless, the school was fully aware of my experience (or inexperience) before they hired me. If they only want teachers who have experience using EF materials (which, btw, I understand they still use, even though they no longer have a franchise arrangement with EF since becoming OE), then they should only hire former EF teachers. Given how they treat their employees, however, I can imagine how difficult a prospect that might be.

- You didn't also mention the fact that the school lost a contract with a
primary school because you went to school drunk and you were stinky with
alcohol.

Facts, and second-hand facts at that, are not always what they appear. If circumstances were actually as you suggest, the school should have terminated me on the spot. They didn't, however, do that. On the contrary, they courted me to renew my contract for another one year term . On top of that, they provided a very positive recommendation letter (though, truth be told, it was probably pro forma). A very curious way for a school to deal with someone who you say "went to school drunk".

let me ask you this question:Had it been you weren't happy with the
school,why didn't you terminate your contract?on the contrary you extended
your contract for another two weeks.

Because, I honor my agreements. If the school had done the same, I would have nothing to complain about. Had OE not mishandled my departure so badly (as you say, I stayed on for two weeks beyond my contract to see four different class levels to the end of their courses, a fact for which they should have been grateful), I would likely not have bothered to post my misgivings about how EF/OE treats its teachers. But, seeing how they treated one teacher after another as they did, and recognizing a pattern of spiteful behaviour towards those who choose not to renew their contract (and even the ones who DO renew their contracts, whether for just two weeks or for eight months!), I felt I had no choice but to let other TEFL instructors know what to expect.

EF/OE has no one to blame but itself for the negative comments left by former teachers. If they want to change the situation, then they should change the way they treat their foreign teachers

So far, I have nothing but positive regard for my current posting (save for the fact that I had to go to Hong Kong twice because of missing paperwork). The difference is like night and day. I understand that it can be the luck of the draw when it comes to finding suitable employment with a franchise training center. Each is only as good as its management and staff. I hope OE works on changing its business practices as hard as it has worked on changing its name.

#31 Parent Ferdi - 2011-06-02
Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

It's very easy and the human nature to point accusing fingers at others especially to our former employers.Sometimes we refuse to take responsibilities over our own predicaments.
- From your post Todd, you didn't mention the fact that the school lost a lot of costumers because of your inexperienced in teaching.
- You didn't also mention the fact that the school lost a contract with a primary school because you went to school drunk and you were stinky with alcohol.
It's good to always think twice before writing or posting stuffs online for we all do have skeletons in our closet.Discouraging others is not a wise decision or is it?let me ask you this question:Had it been you weren't happy with the school,why didn't you terminate your contract?on the contrary you extended your contract for another two weeks.
Wish you the best in your new job.

#32 Parent Todd - 2011-06-03
Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

However,you didn't mention your inexperienced in your former school.how they lost some contracts and students.you made mentioned of native speakers vis a vis non-native speakers.who told you that being a native speaker is any guarantee that you can be an excellent English teacher? those you call non-native speakers are well read and not coming from any barracks to become English teachers.

If I had had experience with EF, I would most likely not have applied for, or accepted a work offer from them. The years I worked as an Eglish instructor at the two universities I attended and the several other years I managed foreign workers in the United States did little to prepare me for the sorts of business practices in place at EF/OE-Jinan.

They lost quite a few contracts and students when they shut down for over a month for their "remodeling" (a nearly three -week overrun). They also "lost" students who completed the course of their programs and the school had no materials remaining to offer. Yet, they attributed that azttrition to the teachers, nonetheless.

And I made no claim that native speakers are guaranteed to be excellent teachers, nor that non-native English speakers are any less well read than native English speakers. But, if the product you are selling is native English speakers teaching English, then you can imagine why someone who bought that product would decide to look elsewhere if they are then presented with a non-native English instructor.

#33 Parent Optimum English - 2011-06-03
Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

School and Recruiter Reviews
View Thread Previous Next Return to Index / Re: NDI (New Dynamic Institute)
iroberts <Show E-Mail> Date 2011-01-24
In response to Re: NDI (New Dynamic Institute) (Turnoi)

I currently teach at N.D.I and can say that I regret joining the company. N.D.I charges extortionate fees for Very poor material. Once they have the students money, they couldn't care less about their education.Lessons plans with spelling errors, bad English, missing words. Lessons set for beginners repeated and given to upper intermediates as new lessons. Material directly cut and pasted from websites.One lesson is meant to be about travel in New York and the idiot who designed the lesson clearly just copied an advertisement for a website, paying no attention to the material. The list goes on.I feel badly for the students that get sucked in by their slick image and promises.I will not be resigning a contract. N.D.I is a slickly presented sham.

Read more of those comments about your new school Todd.However,you didn't mention your inexperienced in your former school.how they lost some contracts and students.you made mentioned of native speakers vis a vis non-native speakers.who told you that being a native speaker is any guarantee that you can be an excellent English teacher? those you call non-native speakers are well read and not coming from any barracks to become English teachers.

#34 Parent Kevin - 2011-05-27
Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

It always amazed me how little they cared about their foreign teachers even though without us they would have no school or students. It took them almost three years to increase the rental budget 300 RMB even though rent here has gone crazy.
They hooked me up with a back doctor that i saw everyday almost for 5 months. Including the medecine and vists i paid thousands while my back didnt get better. i have started seeing a new doctor now who sees me once or twice a week, the guy is great. He suggested that the doc and someone else had a scam running on me because there was no reason for me to go everyday. I am not saying the school had any involvement but they really made little effort to look after me.
What amazes me is that there are still people that go there to work.

#35 Parent Apollyon - 2011-05-27
Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

Paying for stuff is amazing here and the school Future English does not help either. One of the teachers moved into an apartment and a month later the washing machine broke down. the school negotiated that the teacher would pay for half of the repairs even though they had been there less than a month. It is truly crazy and obvious that the school does not give a darn about their foreign teachers. currently they only have one person at the school who can speak English and she often turns off her cell phone. A teacher got into a bike accident and when he tried calling her she was nowhere to be found. One of the teachers who spoke Chinese had to come help. Just crazy

Pretty standard stuff that. I've witnesses FT's being mugged for a washing machine two days after occupying the flat. The problem is when you start a contract for a rubbish outfit like Future English is they'll send Chinese girls around to the flat with you [when you view it] to negotiate rental conditions on your behalf with the Landlord- they don't do a very good job and you are left being responsible for all the ancient fixtures and fittings. I said they don't do a very good job but a company like Future English could very well have an understanding with property owners they deal with to rob the FT blind. Pretty stupid thing to do because it just leads to unhappy FT's and trouble- the Chinese seem too thick to cotton -on though, and persist in bad practice.

#36 Parent Kevin - 2011-05-26
Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

Paying for stuff is amazing here and the school Future English does not help either. One of the teachers moved into an apartment and a month later the washing machine broke down. the school negotiated that the teacher would pay for half of the repairs even though they had been there less than a month. It is truly crazy and obvious that the school does not give a darn about their foreign teachers. currently they only have one person at the school who can speak English and she often turns off her cell phone. A teacher got into a bike accident and when he tried calling her she was nowhere to be found. One of the teachers who spoke Chinese had to come help. Just crazy

#37 Parent San Mig Beer - 2011-05-24
Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

Others have had to pay for such things as plumbing repairs and freon replacement for the air-conditioner.

sounds outrageous. Post this scandalous place to all the blacklists, inform whoever you can...

#38 Parent Beijing Blacklist - 2011-05-23
Re Optimum English/Jinan: BEWARE!

T, can you post a current address of that school please? Also, can you please tell us who signed your contract as the school owner and do you happen to have their mobile and/or home telephone numbers please? If so, please post them here. Can you please tell us if you ever saw the owner driving a car and if so, do you know the make, model, year, and color? We would like to look at this school for some future internship programs we offer for incoming associates.

Please contact us on Skype and leave a message. Beijing.Blacklist

Thank you.

Todd - 2011-05-23
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