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An entire school may loose its reputation because of one teacher's opinion or lack of acceptance of a foreign country. Worse yet, a school chain may loose its reputation, do to the neglect or lack of responsibility towards a foreign teacher. On the other hand a qualified and dedicated teacher may loose his future career because of situations outside of his control. A teacher may have a pressing situation to leave early due to a family emergency or may encounter a medical problem, thus angering the school to the point of placing the name of the individual on a blacklist website or worse yet, making a call to immigration.

The fact of the matter, these blacklists are unregulated and ungoverned. A school may post a teacher out of anger or distrust; a teacher may post a school out of vengeance and hatred. Both parties do not realize that the situation bubbles to the point where professionalism is lost and ultimately prejudice takes over. Ultimately this situation hurts the entire ESL community.

The regulation of teachers or schools is just like anything else, there must be a third party that examines both sides without prejudice. Schools need a chance to redeem them selves or open under new management; teachers need a chance to explain the entire situation in English to a party unrelated to the situation.

Unfortunately, our ESL field is located outside of our native country and lack of funding is the bitter truth. Blacklists are currently an unavoidable reality.

Teachers: When searching for a job, use the blacklists as guidance, but do not brush off the school without hearing the other side first, give them a call. Just because the school you are applying to is not on the list does not makes it good either. When encountering a bad situation do not make it worse by blacklisting out of pure vengeance, wait until you depart the country and write a precise account. Be careful with the school name, you may inadvertently be bad mouthing a larger chain of schools, further, in some countries, it may be against the law to blacklist the name of the school.

Schools: Try to understand the situation of the instructor, you do not own his/her life just because they signed a contract. Is the problem you are having with the teacher a personal problem or a lack of professionalism in the classroom? Remember, it is also illegal to publish the teacher's passport number or to withhold degrees or other documents from the teacher.


0 # private English teacher in Montreal looking for joGuest 2012-07-21 17:26
Thank you for this information regarding the lack of "transparent" business practices observed via the aforementioned site. Please note, "lose" versus "loose" and correct accordingly. Best wishes. Elizabeth Gibson
+1 # RE: Consider This When Reviewing BlacklistsAnother ESL teacher 2012-07-21 17:53
Which teacher does not make a spelling mistake when typing on a computer and not proof reading what has been written. Even proof reading does not always mean that mistakes are picked up. Just as long as the message is clear.

Anyway, the writer of this article is correct. If many of the people I had met in Korea actually got this kind of advise then they would not be in the current position they are in now and continuously do so with private academies and even some universities.

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4 ratings
4 helpful voted.
The problem with teachers seeking work.
4 months ago.
Institute Review
The problem with teachers working abroad is the teachers themselves; not doing research or reading bad reviews but taking the carrot like a rabid drooling rabbit. I understand that the lock downs have made it worse to support yourselves and there's no end in sight. But being lazy or jumping like Jack at a job offer without due diligence may damage your career and future job opportunities.

Of the schools offering jobs to teachers most are centered in China: the ROC has been and still is a nightmare for educators. Recently, during the pandemic, I had a friend around 33 yrs of age consider a job in Shenzhen. The contract was shady with many loopholes for the school and no release from Z visa and residency permit at the end of the contract. This has never stopped going back 25 years in China. Mainland schools require their teachers to be indentured servants; you're their property exclusively forever. Often a school principal, manager, or owner will change the conditions or interpretations of a contract to serve his or her intentions of the minute. Also if there's a "hot girl" or exciting stud available a teacher can find themselves on the street the day the new teacher is hired.

Training centers are worse: located in shopping malls they're "daycare edutainment" so children can be "exposed" to English. Teachers in this environment are reduced to "dancing monkeys" to keep the kids laughing and engaged with games. I worked for one such school who hired me as a stop gap while they looked for younger teachers through recruiters or resume posting sites. When I was replaced my salary was reduced supposedly to cover the costs of the apartment but the truth of the matter was the owner and his wife just wanted to conserve cash. When new "hot young teachers" arrived they immediately began complaining about requests to "be funny" during the classes. The two left exactly two months after I was pushed out of the school. Showing up to a school and finding out there's no job; this has happened frequently to educators over the years.

Parents will often attend the classes sitting in the back and applaud you but later will complain that you were: boring, too old or too something else, or you didn't bounce around the room enough. You'll hear the term "high energy classes" referring to the "dancing monkey" role a teacher is often required to play.

Beware "brand" schools like Giraffe English, EF (English First), or any school that sells themselves as a brand. The "trainers" are usually the ones who are high paid "simian coaches" who has no teaching degree or experience other than the brand they're working for. Bait and switch issues like: Salary in the email or offer isn't the actual compensation, free apartment that isn't free, bonuses that will never be paid due to some created issues, return ticket funds that will be reduced or "to be paid later" and never happens.

Online schools.

Of the online schools "looking for teachers" many issues come up during research:

Out right discrimination of age, race, or gender.

"Creative accounting" to reduce salaries or refusal to pay.

Over hiring that creates a glut of teachers and not enough demand.

No direct way to contact management other than intranet which may or may not be ignored.

Students and parents who'll complain about the teacher to avoid paying for classes.

Packing review websites by employees of the platform to push negative reviews out of view. (Native Camp is horrific in this regard).

Rules for getting employment:

No contract, no info: Never, ever, send your passport page photo unless you have a contract.

Read the contract: What it says is literally what happens; often a school will say "not really enforced" or "it's just in the document" but the truth is everything in the contract is real and enforceable.

Schools, owners, principals, DO NOT HONOR THE CONTRACTS. The contract is only to hold over the teachers' head should the teacher complain about conditions or payment practices. Chinese citizens do not make contracts with each other because no one observes the document as an obligation.

Never, ever, take a job in a training center: I've seen c*c*roach infested apartments, bait and switch on what the teacher needs to pay for, on and on. And absolutely no job security.

Research, research, research: Sometimes there's no reviews but if there is ONLY read the negative or balanced reviews. Five star reviews are almost always written by employees, managers, or owners of the platform. If you're going there research the city or town; sometimes there's no high speed train service or foreigners have been attacked. Use search terms like: teacher attacked, foreigner killed, etc. Chinese teacher staff has actually killed some foreign teachers if they complain about anything. I was attacked by two men hired by my ex-boss because "I shouldn't have quit".

Try to get information on turnover: gently and cleverly ask how long have they been open and how long have their teachers been on staff. Most will lie anyway but if they avoid the question avoid the business. Yes business.

Ask to talk to one of the teachers currently on staff; if they balk or refuse walk away. Once I was offered a science teaching position and in the phone conservation when I asked if "there had been an issue between the previous teacher and the head Chinese teacher" the person on the phone began laughing and asking me why I was asking this. Needless to say there was no more conversation afterwards.

When you arrive locate the local PSB, Public Security Bureau, and office of SAFEA. These are your havens if horrific issues arise.

Chinese schools are very dishonest, Korean schools are worse, and Japanese schools will work you like a field Ox.

Always keep your eyes and your feet moving when outside in public. Good luck.

The pros
Can be good for a short while but if it goes bad will get u*l* fast.
The cons
Read the article.
Advice to Management
You haven't changed in twenty years but still expect to be able to fool new or young teachers; information is readily available now in great quant*t*es so get used to the idea of a non-existent labor pool.
Institution Location
Was teaching all over China for 6 years.
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