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  • Sino-Canada School, Wujiang, China = ESL Hell

    By: Jullian McRoberts < Show E-mail >

    Date: Mon, 21 May 2018

    Location: China (Asia)

    Sino-Canada School Wujiang, Jiangsu China - a warning to ESL teachers thinking of taking up work there. There was a pretty in depth thread posted about this school within the last 12 months from people who had worked there.

    The original thread was located at  the eslteachersboard.com website (google Sino Canada = ESL HELL). Four new teachers who took up a contract in 2017-18 were treated appallingly so they quit and wrote about their experiences. Now though due to pressure from one of the school's board members the thread has been removed and a disclaimer has been since posted by that said board member assuring readers of the forum that despite revelations and opinions of at least 60 different people contributing to the thread  they were merely disgruntled. Some info went as far back as 2008. 

    Well that is the backdrop to this post and here is the information you should know if you are thinking of accepting work at Sino-Canada High School, Wujiang, China. Current working conditions as of 2018.

    1) contract - 3 months probation for any ESL teacher including new ones.

    2) 40 (FORTY) working days required in order to legally quit the contract.

    3) end of contract bonus is paid based on whether they like you - not whether you did what was stipulated in the contract.

    4) flight reimbursement for teachers leaving (flight back home) is non-existent and you will not get the money back.

    5) ESL department is poorly managed with no staff support in dealing with disruptive classes, no disciplinary procedure exists. Curriculum is non existent - you will be forced to create your own, which some teachers do and some do not. Staff meetings are called at last minute notice and if you do not attend them, a days wages are docked. All information is sent using wechat not company email, despite the school having an email system. If you do not like wechat you must use it for reasons explained.

    Long serving teachers are given the easiest classes to teach usually low risk classes. New teachers are thrown in at the deep end with no-hope grade 10 classes and expected to prove themselves as good teachers with extremely poorly behaved students who know the system inside out. No one knows who the boss is as there are at least 3 Principals who each have a different title.

    The department admin for teachers is extremely poor and rightly so caused teachers to quit halfway through a semester and start the SINO CANADA ESL HELL thread in the first place. Salary is either paid cash or in the bank depending on who you are. Often it is paid late especially the first month of the contract in September. There is also a really nasty clique vibe between a few teachers in the department notably encouraged by one of them called Peter Nguyen, who is a lazy, scheming, charlatan with enough guanxi to keep him in a contract.

    Relations between Chinese teachers and Foreign ones are non existent as they are either jealous of the pay difference or seemingly just xenophobic. What cannot be denied however is a clear 'them and us' mentality which is in existence. Also, the Chinese teachers also use a buddy system with the students and encourage tell tales on the foreign teachers which are reported or at least made known to the Chinese bosses.

    Visas can be problematic with as recent as 2017 a few teachers arrived on L visas and were kept hanging around until the Z was processed. If the school asks you to authenticate your documents in your own country at your own expense, it will take you months to get the money back.

    Teaching schedules are bizarre and often subject to changes which the students know before the foreign teacher does due to the buddy system already mentioned.

    6) Living conditions are poor. Check tripadvisor.com and search 'ZPlashes' resort which is where the accommodation is.

    7) Location is about 60 km from Shanghai and 6km from the campus to the local town. Note, motorbikes are banned at this school and you can be fired for buying one. The local town is very dirty and sub standard - it is called Luxu.

    8) Salary - is it quite competitive starting at about 15,000 rmb a month? taking into consideration the location and working conditions. In the past some teachers have quit within the first week because of the location of this school.

    I hope this information serves as good research for those considering teaching ESL at Sino-Canada School, Wujiang, Jiangsu, China in 2018-2019. 


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