Foreigners usually have many hesitations before they accept a job offer from China, actually from any country. Quite a few of them are worried about the schools’ reputation. Most of them get an idea of a school and its reputation through the information provided by other teachers that have worked there or the reviews on some websites. All these could only be regarded as a judge, but can not decide whether a school is good or not.
It’s not wise to tell a school just from what others said. Because few of them can give an objective assessment. All of them only wrote what their employer did to them, but never mentioned what they did and why the school did so. No schools can get good reviews from all. Everyone has its right to write a comment on a school, no matter whether they worked in that school or not. Some competitors with narrow ideas could possibly ask their staff or someone to write something bad about other schools. This will mislead what foreigners think about the school if they see these comments. Even though it’s from a real teacher that have worked there, there must be something you don’t know. Sometimes, the foreign teachers don’t get well along with their coworkers or employers because of some small things or personalities, this makes them very unhappy and they couldn’t drop it. So they might exaggerate such things after leaving and make you think the school did too bad things to them. Especially for those national chain training centers like World English, Web International English, Shane English, New Oriental English, American Baby International English. All of them have centers in different ares of China. Also, they use one website. Many foreigners told me Shane is a bad school or web international English school treats foreign english teachers badly. I disagree with this. Because one couldn’t deny a whole national chain training center just because of one center in one or several cities. This is unfair to other centers. I believe all the national chain centers got bad reviews from the teachers for different reasons. If you don’t accept that, then all big training centers won’t be available for you. So you will lose a lot of good opportunities.
As far as I know, foreigners have a list of schools with bad reputation on foreign websites. I hope you could try to find out whether it’s true, give the school the chance to explain to you and connect you with other foreign teacher currently working there. Sometimes they can find one or two teachers to prove if it’s all their responsibility and their fault. There is not a absolute good school. That whether it’s good or doesn’t depend on how big it is, how many foreign teachers they have or how much they charge from the students and how much they pay you. It depends on how you get on with them. A foreigner who gets 25000rmb monthly may say bad things about his or her school. I think a good school is that you have a very good relationship with them, you feel easy and happy working there, even though they pay 12000rmb, as long as you can afford your life there. Everyone has its reason to stay at a school for one years two years or longer. One likes a school a lot, and the other might hate it a lot. Actually it’s the same school. It’s difficult to say it’s a good school or a bad school. However, if someone was cheated by a school, you should be alert. For example, a school promised to get you a legal work visa after you arrive in China, but they delay always without any proper reason. This could be described as cheating. You could expose this school to some websites or the Foreign Expert Bureau, though this might not bring any benefits to you. In China, everything is negotiable. If a school agreed to provide you a single apartment, and when you arrive, you find it’s shared with another teacher, you will say they are cheater. Actually this is not the thing. If you talk with them about this, they usually will change a new apartment for you. Maybe they didn’t find a suitable apartment or they were worried you may not come, so they were not so focused on finding one. Once you arrive, schools will try to get everything they have promised. This is what culture difference. When you are not satisfied with something, and when you think you are doing well, you could talk to your employer. They will do their best to satisfy you.