A Letter from out of China
When I arrived at Wonderland,I found the headmaster's office. He was in his office with a young North American I found out was my recruiter. Mr Chua shook my hand in a grumpy way. Then we went to the cafeteria to have lunch. The recruiter was friendly and I began to think this was a social invitation. When we returned to the headmaster's office,I was left outside with the recruiter. The recruiter went through a few issues that were contradictory and I was easily able to explain. One was too much drilling, the other marking answers correct that were different from the textbook! The school's educational resources are very meagre. I am expected to teach to forty students for forty minutes from one textbook and no supplementary materials. Then I got the bomb shell. Mr Chua wanted me to come to Wonderland to teach high school classes science and math. I had to honestly say I could not teach those subjects. Then said the recruiter I would have to finish teaching immediately but Mr Chua would supply me an air ticket back to New Zealand. The recruiter tip toed back into the office to see if I could get a reprieve. No avail. I said to the recruiter,the contract was not worth the paper it was written on. He demurred. China he said was run by big men. If their plans are upset, they will cut through any contractual document. I asked to be refunded for my taxi trip. Mr Chua's report was relayed back, take it up with the other school. I never got the taxi trip refund. I returned to my apartment by bus.
The next morning I went to my school. My HOD knew nothing about my dismissal. I removed all teaching materials that I had imported from New Zealand. I said to my HOD, "Now stew in your own juice".
The HOD said to me quietly after I collected my due wages and the air ticket, that the deputy principal of her school said to her, "He is a good man but too old for these students". She said she was sorry. One more male teacher has been pushed out of elementary school teaching. Male teachers are given the tough classes in a feminist run teaching environment, forbidden their evolutionary advantage, and then let go.
I took the flight to Auckland on Wednesday morning. I am now in Auckland and am looking for ESL positions in New Zealand and overseas. New Zealand has many ESL schools. But they hardly ever advertise for teaching vacancies. I will try to find out how ESL teachers and ESL schools in New Zealand come together.
I think a lesson for ESL teachers interested in China is: Chinese Han culture divides into three classes. The aristocrats, the peasants and the merchants. Chinese merchants have been traditionally the least esteemed class because of their materialistic non Confucian values. Don't take on faith the promises or contracts of Chinese businessmen in China. Mr Chua for one is a fraud. That is not to say there are not very ethical Chinese businessmen and business women in China. But until you are in China, you won't know what will be expected of you.
TO BE CONTINUED