Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Looking for Adventure?

Why not try teaching in China? You'll meet interesting people, learn a new language, and experience new and exciting working conditions.

"A number of substandard English language teaching mills have sprung up, seeking to maximize profits while minimizing services," the US House of Representatives International Relations Committee said in a recent report on Russell's case. These institutes have become virtual "`sweatshops' where young, often naive Americans are held as virtual indentured servants."

Tempted? Well then, read on:

In one case, an American ended up dead. Darren Russell, 35, from Calabasas, California, died under mysterious circumstances days after a dispute caused him to quit his teaching job in the southern city of Guangzhou.

"I'm so scared. I need to get out of here," Russell said in a message left on his father's cellphone hours before his death in what Chinese authorities said was a traffic accident.

I don't know about you, but I'd have a lawyer look over any contract I signed before going to a foreign country to work. I'd also make sure it was in a language I understood, and that it could be enforced. American teachers, while most come back alive, were subject to many sleazy surprises:

One school "piled on classes without compensation, dragged their feet on repairing leaks in her apartment and would deduct sums from her US$625 monthly salary for random taxes and phone calls that were never made. These ranged from US$30 to US$85..."

Perhaps kids, who look to video games for adventure, are often smarter than we are. Better to lose twenty bucks on a mediocre Playstation game than a year of your life, or worse.

Thanks to Schoolgal
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