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teaching-in-china - 2017-03-02

Let me start by stating that before working for the following private English training center, I had about 3 1/2 years of experience working successfully for both private and public schools in China. Also, I provided the necessary documentation to work legally for every school until it came time to work for Global as they didn't have their SAFEA certificate.

I was the first foreigner to work for the school near the beginning of 2014 when they only had about 5 students and largely due to my strong demonstration classes and being a native English speaker, they now have a little over 200 students. However, I no longer work for them and here are the main reasons why.

You need to watch out and learn from my mistakes:

Even though I should never have worked for them since they weren't able to hire a foreign teacher legally, I chose to do so since me and my wife really needed the income. They guaranteed that I'd be safe after I signed the contract between myself and them, along with a college in the same city which was the party who issued me the work license and letter of invitation.

Afterwards, I came back with the Z (work) visa to get the foreign expert certificate and residence permit with the college who I never worked for. Everything went fine until the boss at Global English told the police in Rizhao that I actually worked for him and not the college. He never talked to myself or the college before doing so and that got me in the know with the police for the first time. As a result, the college wouldn't renew the residence permit and I was forced to work on the spouse visa as they claimed I couldn't leave since I signed the 1 year contract - even though it wasn't legal - TROUBLE!

Not too long after that shady start, they forced me to sign an amendment to the contract. Even though we already had an agreement, they changed my weekly overtime calculation to once every month. Further, dropping my overtime rate of $200 RMB per/45 minutes to only $150 RMB. To pour more salt on my wounds, I'd have to do 25, 45 minute classes instead of the originally agreed upon 21 before overtime could be had. As a result, I lost so much extra money! Lastly, they demanded me to pay $500 RMB for every 45 minute class I miss, even though I only made about $100 RMB for each 45 minute class ($10,000 monthly salary divided by 100, 45 minute class monthly quota) and they wouldn't offer me the originally agreed upon ability to make-up a class within two weeks of missing it. Instead, they would always hold the class using the Chinese teachers and as a result they still got paid by the parents but made a $500 RMB profit from myself for every missed class, even if I was sick - SNEAKY!

During a month of work, if it appeared as though I was going to go over 100, 45 minute classes then they would give some of my "overtime" classes to another illegal foreign teacher, or tell me that the Chinese teacher would only be giving the class for this or that reason. Meaning, they wanted to do everything they could NOT to pay me overtime - CHEAP!

At this point in time, I just couldn't understand WHY they were being so unfair to me as I have always been an awesome teacher in class and all the children loved me. I'm guessing that the boss was losing patience and frustrated about his lack of profit then doing everything he could to cheat me out of as much money as possible. There were more and more students coming through the doors and I was selling at all the demonstration classes but it got worse for me. You may be asking yourself "why did you stay" but I didn't have much of a choice as my wife's son needed to remain at school in Rizhao for the next several years, she was staying at the family home and there wasn't a suitable local job that I could take at the time.

I had a meeting with the 2nd in command Chinese boss during the summer of 2015 as I was told the school finally had their SAFEA certificate and could hire foreigners legally. I told him that I needed to go home for Christmas with the work license and letter of invitation so I could return with the Z (work) visa then work legally for them. He refused by saying that it was a busy time of the year. Unfortunately for me, the police gave me a BIG problem the following year.

In the contract with Global Education it states that it is their responsibility to inform me of the rules in China and even though I was told time after time that they have talked to the police and I'm safe until they give me the go ahead to take the work license and letter of invitation to my home country to return with the Z (work) visa, I WASN'T SAFE! The police came to my home on a busy Saturday morning and took me to the station. After the interrogation, they told me that I didn't register TWICE when I was supposed to but my boss never told me anything about this. Also, they said I was working illegally but my boss told me I was safe. Well, I was lied to again! I was embarrassed as the police went to my bank to check the account balance and I had to pay them $9,000 RMB of my hard earned money as a fine. Needed funds that hurt my wife and step son as they were relying on a large portion of that money for things they must buy such as food. I had to sign paperwork at the station and put my red finger all over those papers.

Can you believe that the 2nd in command boss allowed my step son to come to a not-so-full English class with me as the teacher for free and then a few weeks later demanded that we pay money so he could continue to come?


And as you can imagine, there weren't many staff dinners to follow leading up to my last days at this horrible school :-(

Since I was very upset, I arranged a meeting with the BIG boss and told him that I needed to be repaid at least 1/2 of the $9,000 fine as it was the schools fault for not informing me about the household registration rule (nobody gives a rule book to the foreigners) and since he said that I was safe in relation to continuing work on the wrong visa then he's also partly guilty there as I was willing to get the work visa earlier on but they didn't let me do that.

He was angry and not fair but afraid that I may quit.

So once again the school was close to 1 week late with my salary (which in the fake contract actually gives me permission to quit but the contract is only there to serve the interest of the school and not me, the weak foreigner) and he forced me to sign another amendment to the contract which gave him the right to withhold 1/2 of my salary each month (at that time about $6,000 RMB) until the end of the contract and he could keep that half if I failed to come back after visiting my home country on the proper work visa then finish the contract.

If I didn't sign then I wouldn't have got my previous month's salary.

After I signed (call me stupid or scared) in mid August, I only got 1/2 my salary for July.

All of this caused so much friction between me and my wife - VERY SAD!

We had another foreigner there who got his salary over 1 month late and another never even got paid.

As you can imagine, I didn't go back to work for this school even though they threatened me so much if I didn't return.

And it actually got worse from there after I got back to China.

Basically, due to this GOD AWFUL school I had to suffer BIG time and the school was also partly responsible for destroying my marriage.


I could keep writing about how this school did me wrong even though I was an excellent teacher and a reliable money making tool for about 2 years and 10 months but I'm so tired now after ranting about this and I think the information has served its purpose.

I don't want any decent individual out there to risk their Chinese life for these hooligans like I did.

P.S. The school is located in Rizhao, Shandong, China on the corner of Yantai Lou and Dongying Lou.

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