Dear ESL Teachers or Educators,
I am a foreign English teacher working for the company of Eton House International Pre-School located in Xingsha Town, Changsha City, Hunan Province, China. I have been working at this kindergarten since September 16, 2015. I have tried to discuss the troublesome issues with the principal of the kindergarten named Jade as well as with the person named Jasmine Qing who is related to the main boss named Lisa from Dongguan and nothing seemed to work.
I started working for Eton House International Pre-School located in Xingsha, Changsha City on September 16, 2015.
When my wife and I arrived, we discovered some problems related to the curriculum. It was not written in English and difficult to follow. I was not provided with any description of my position as an English teacher. Neither principal Jade nor manager Vincent speaks English. All this time I have been put in the office alone as a foreign English teacher surrounded by Chinese-speaking personnel. Luckily, there is one person who can speak Intermediate English introducing herself as an Academic Director of the kindergarten. Several times she also refused to help when we were in dire need trying to push me to follow all of her personal instructions not explaining the reason for it in advance. Most situations happened suddenly and unexpectedly.
We have also experienced that within the two month period running water was turned off three times without any warning or letting us know about it in advance. I asked manager Vincent about the problem every time it occurred. The only way to communicate with the administration is texting phone messages in English, which they translate into Chinese. Unfortunately he never replied to my inquiry.
The food served at the kindergarten is not fresh and disgusting (smelly, sorry for such a word). We have never been offered any fruit. Since we arrived, we have never been introduced to any of the staff members in the preschool. My salary has not been paid on time and all of a sudden I was asked to do some work which is not specified in the contract. Since my work permit was issued, I have been denied to obtain my Foreign Expert Certificate by principal Jade. And now they refuse to provide me with a release letter since they decided to terminate my contract. And they have already cancelled my Foreign Expert Certificate without letting me know about it in advance.
Up to now my Chinese friend Amos Chen and I have spoken with principal Jade and her husband Vincent several times. As they don’t speak English at all, Mr. Chen translated for them and me at our meetings. I have also contacted the headquarters of the Company of Eton House International Pre-School located in Singapore and Dongguan to let them know about the violations taking place at this particular kindergarten. Unfortunately nothing has changed.
Now I have no choice than to share my situation with you as a future potential teacher looking for employment with Eton House International School/Kindergarten and its affiliated companies such as Straits Newman School, Straits Newman Kindergarten, Easton - Education Group. Also be aware of the recruitment agency of Golden Staffing. As when the problems started to arise, they never listened to my side of the story, never wanted to improve the situation and told me that I am some sort of a s*a*e working for their partner Eton House Pre-School and that I must keep my mouth shut. When I objected to do so and told them that I wanted to look for the way to improve the situation, they deleted my skype ID from their list and never got back to me. It was Gabriel Adkins who did that. The boss of Golden Staffing, I suppose.
So my suggestion is to stay away from this dishonest employer. As they may hurt you.
Even though I like to teach primary and middle school children more than kindergarten ones, it was a good opportunity for me to learn from Journey the academic director of the kindergarten how to teach younger kids aged 3-5. I am thankful for gaining this experience and making friends with other teachers such as Lala, the teacher of Eagle Class and Christina and Cathy, two internship students who are getting trained at the kindergarten now.
I want to do my best to warn any potential teacher or educator of the harm that may be caused by employment at Eton House International Pre-School, Easton International School, Straits Newman School and Golden Staffing Foreign Teacher Recruitment Agency.
•I would like to share with other foreign teachers my experience at Eton House International Pre-School about the way the employer treated the employee such as: running water was shut three times without any warning during two months, the Internet was turned off without warning, disgusting food was given without offering any compensation for refusing to eat it, no English teaching curriculum was provided to get ready for the lessons (all the Instructions are in Chinese). And this school is called International? The principal, manager (wife and husband named Jade and Vincent) do not speak English at all. So miscommunication and misunderstanding are awaiting you here. The administration may announce something to you all of a sudden without letting you know about this in advance. Like they may come up to you telling you are supposed to be going somewhere tomorrow morning in unclear poor English when you are about to leave and the time is 5:30 pm. Or they may change their mind several times during the day saying yes and then no. And that’s the way they work and expect you to be happy with the children in order to attract more customers to their kindergarten as they explain it.
It was also a difficult thing for me to persuade them to switch on heating when it got cold. So because of the cold environment inside of the kindergarten, I caught a cold and had to spend several sick days away from work.
No assistance was offered to my wife and me when we needed to turn on heaters in our accommodation (the remote control panel is in Chinese) until my Chinese friends came and intervened.
No replying back to the messages when I was inquiring about something from the manager.
No letting you know about some of their plans related to you in advance. They just do not mind you or respect you. You are used here as a robot or machine to do the job silently and keeping your mouth shut. During my stay here I have seen many new teachers. So teachers quit here all the time.
Advice to Management
If the owner of this kindergarten really wants to attract more customers to her school, my suggestion is to change the company environment asap. Treat other people the way they want to be treated and consider them as human beings with their needs first. Unfortunately all this time I have seen that the administration is more interested in money than in people. First happy people, happy personnel and as a result they will make more money. If they don't want to be punished by their greed. It's already happening. They are losing clients.
Here is the address of the kindergarten:
Eton House International Pre-School
Gao Lin Shi Jia Community, Xingsha Town, Changsha City,
Hunan Province, China
Principal Jade’s telephone #: 13508490030
Manager Vincent’s telephone #: 18670775266
Jasmine Qing's telephone #: 13798936279
Foreign English Teacher from September 16, 2015 to December 31, 2015.