Best Learning "foreign teachers" Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Best Learning Employee Reviews about "foreign teachers"

Updated 5 Nov 2019

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3.4
60%
Recommend to a Friend
68%
Approve of CEO
Best Learning CEO and Board Director Vivian Feng (no image)
Vivian Feng
6 Ratings
Pros
  • "Salary: the money at Best Learning is quite good(in 14 reviews)

  • "China can be wonderful place to live(in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • "Foreign teachers have limited room for growth - only teachers, or head teacher(in 16 reviews)

  • "I found him to be a great friend and Middle Man while living in China(in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "foreign teachers"

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  1. "Apathetic"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Best Learning full-time

    Pros

    -the pay is spectacular and really competitive in the world of ESL teaching -they give many bonuses and incentive to finish your yearly contracts -it is an easy job, if you don’t care about quality of education (unfortunately this is not me) -the hours are nice if you don’t like waking up early many days a week

    Cons

    -they don’t care much about individual success of teachers -they don’t put a lot of work into developing or fixing curriculum and if you email them with issues or mistakes in the lessons, nothing is done about it -students are consistently thrown into classes way beyond their level simply because it’s the only time that could fit their schedule and the teachers just have to accept it. -Majority of Chinese Teachers in my center cannot speak English well, and it is impossibly frustrating to work with them in an ESL environment -our regional manager and principal cannot speak any English and therefor do not interact with foreign teachers, which is an odd dynamic -our principal is also head of the course consultants which means she focuses on money and not quality of academics or quality of teachers -we have a very unprofessional work environment with teachers constantly using profane language in don’t of children and Management does nothing about it -my days off are not together (Monday and Thursday)

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    Best Learning2019-11-06
  2. "Well Paid and Simple Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Head Foreign Teacher in Beijing, Beijing
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Best Learning full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The pay is pretty competitive with other ESL schools. In reality, the job is extremely simple. You sign in to work, you check the pre-made lesson plan, you grab the appropriate flashcards, and when the time comes, you go and teach the class for an hour and a half. Provided your Chinese teacher isn't too obsessive over the exact details you won't have any problems. The barrier for entry isn't exactly over the moon or anything. Show up and time and teach your classes and you should be just fine.

    Cons

    Management can vary from center to center. My center was well run and the admins were understanding of any issues the foreign teachers had. HR can sometimes seem a bit obtuse on occasion, but during my time there they made clear attempts to improve.

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    Best Learning2019-10-05
  3. "Always paid"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Head Foreign Teacher in Beijing, Beijing
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Best Learning full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Honestly, the job is not difficult. Kids are adorable, especially the very young ones. The curriculum may not be great, but it's there for teachers to start with. The company has always paid on time. There are some legitimate complaints, but valid ones are _usually_ more just annoyances rather than genuine mistreatment.

    Cons

    Depending on which center you work at, the immediate management can be unethical and deceitful. Foreign teachers have limited room for growth - only teachers, or head teacher. Work hours aren't great - basically everyone works 8:30-6pm or later weekends, and weekdays often afternoon until 8:30pm. Two days off aren't necessarily consecutive.

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    Best Learning2019-09-25
  4. "Don't waste your time - you don't need the added stress"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ningbo
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Best Learning part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The teacher assistants are nice and the kids are cute.

    Cons

    First and foremost, the center I am referring to is one in Ningbo, China - not Beijing. I had an extremely stressful experience there. To begin with, management is absolute trash. The owner doesn't even speak English, and any talk with him needs to be through WeChat translate. The manager has emotional issues and lacks professionalism when dealing with foreign teachers. They are rude, incoherent and racist. When asked questions, they get aggressive, point a finger in your face and raise their voice unnecessarily. I don't know where they have qualifications from but it surely shouldn't be valid for a renowned English training school, as all its marketing says it is. The management from the Ningbo school also hires unqualified teachers, me included! I have teaching experience but I am not certified with a degree or with TEFL. The Chinese teachers they have there also speak poor English and DO NOT know how to handle or educate kids. It's an absolute disaster and such a pity because the place itself is super nice and welcoming. Working full-time is also a waste of time because they do nothing the whole day. During the week there is one class per day, and during the weekends there is one class and maybe a demo. Throughout the rest of the hours, people are just on their phones doing who knows what. Management included. They sit around looking out the window all the time.

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    Best Learning2019-10-25
  5. "Not for everyone"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Foreign Teacher 
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Best Learning full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    ***this is not a ONLY a review of the company*** This is a review of training received at one of the franchise locations. I am very grateful for the training provided and I have implemented much of the training in my lesson planning already. I believe it was well researched and developed and based on already tested best practices.

    Cons

    Being asked to rate the training through this site is just one example of poor communication from management. That is not the purpose of Glassdoor. That being said, the most frustrating part of working here has been poor communication with the foreign teachers, a lack of interest in student educational outcomes in preference of getting a sale.

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    Best Learning2019-09-08
  6. Helpful (2)

    "A Life Changing Opportunity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - English Teacher in Beijing, Beijing
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Best Learning full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I want to preface my pros by saying in no uncertain terms that Best Learning English changed my life. Simply put leaving my home and joining this company has easily been the best decision I have made thus far in my life. While not everything is perfect (which I will get into in the cons), this is a good company and one I very much encourage you to consider joining. Pros -Always paid on time and for the most part properly, the one or two times an error was made, they were quickly rectified. This has matched any other experiences I have had with a corporation of this size. -The flexibility to adapt the classroom to your personal style of teaching. While Best Learning does provide a very good curriculum for their teachers, they also encourage free expression of your teaching style and have always been open to any suggestions upon improvement. You get out of it what you put into it I always say, and I appreciate that freedom in my classes. Other places I have worked at have been very rigid and that took a lot of my joy out of the teaching process. -Lots of hours available if you want them. Now this one can only come from my experience at a larger center, but for the most part I have had as many hours as I wanted to keep me happy and my pockets well filled. -The pay is excellent. I've been reading some of the different negative posts on here and I have no idea what people are talking about when it comes to pay. The starting salary is quite good, add that with the ability to make more on the hours you have and various bonuses, you can make a great salary. -Hard work is very much acknowledged and appreciated. I have once again been reading the negative reviews that have commented upon the "popular" teachers get more hours and less work. I can't speak to that as to why you may have considered yourself unpopular, but my experience has been that if you work hard to be a great teacher, you will be "popular" simple as that. I have worked with well over 100 teachers in my time here and those that work hard and treat this as a job and not simply Spring Break, tend to find significant success. Who knew right? -Additional opportunities. There are plenty of different opportunities available within this company if you are willing to work hard and have the gumption to do it. I have known many people to transition to different positions in the company as well as continue working online for Best Learning even after leaving China. I personally presented an idea and created my own job within the company. There are people here who know a good idea when they hear it and are very open to trying something new. -My new family. I can't overstate this enough, but coming here has given me an entirely new family of friends and loved ones. We work together, we party together, we share milestones and holidays together. How is this anything less than a family and frankly I love my family of other foreign teachers and Chinese coworkers. You are one of the many reasons I am happy to wake up in the morning and come to work. -Connections. As an addendum to the previous pro, with all my new friends from across the globe, many have since gone home to their respective countries. I now have places and people that I can come visit in dozens of countries. People who will break bread with me and show me the real "wherever". In addition to that, the bigger your personal network is, the more future opportunities you have. I have since begun working on an external business with one of my close friends through Best Learning since she left. This is simply an opportunity I wouldn't have had if I had stayed in Canada. -An incredible amount of holidays and time off. Sure from what I have read some schools are better and some are worse. But frankly in Canada I had two weeks off a year. At Best Learning I easily get five to six. Now I understand that other countries have a higher amount of weeks off than Canada, but screw it I count this as a blessing. Since coming out here I have had the opportunity to travel to Thailand (four times), Hong Kong (three times), Macau, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, various major cities in China, and once again be saving lots of money every month. I really don't understand the haters out there saying we don't get time off. I assume that they are misconstruing the facts or simply expect that this isn't a job and should be allowed to travel at their whim. -Now there are certainly more pros associated with coming to China and blah blah blah, but those aren't attributed specifically to Best Learning. That being said China is an incredible country and I highly suggest that you take the plunge.

    Cons

    Onto the cons, now just like with the last set I want to preface this section a bit. I have been reading a lot of the reviews both positive and negative on here and I will be commenting on some of those specific cons. I know that based upon my score and pros section you might think I am just a company boy towing the line. I'm genuinely not. There are cons to be found, that being said I feel based upon my previous life experiences both back home and here in China that these cons are not Best Learning specific, but more from a corporate culture that frankly many people are not used to and try to place the blame in the wrong place. -Lack of representation at head quarters. I think this is probably the biggest con and simplest one to fix. Basically we as foreigners don't have anyone at HQ with whom we can talk to who understands our perspectives and ways of thinking. Someone who can bridge the gap between East and West. I feel after reading all of these reviews that in many of the cases, had someone been there to smooth out any confusions or let's face it fears that we as foreigners have and at the same time been able to stand up for the person having the issues. These problems would not have escalated and simply been sorted out. I have seen first hand a few problems that were tiny, spiral out of control because the teacher didn't have someone they felt understood their perspective and ultimately ended in a good teacher leaving with a sour taste in their mouths. -Not having weekends off. Now this is a fair con, that I have seen here often. That being said it is simply the nature of the beast. We are not a 9-5 school, we are an after hours private school. If you want to have your weekends, you'll need to find a different sort of school. However if you simply want to days off in a row to act as a "weekend", that is very achievable. Otherwise we all still have ample time to enjoy the city and our adventures here in China. Additionally there are like six three day weekends over the course of the year in which you can still participate in weekend fun. -A disconnect between management and teachers. Now this one is entirely on a school to school basis, but yes I do understand some of the feelings of other posters. One important thing to remember is that these principals or people in management are not from our home country, in many cases they have never left China or Asia. English is not their first language. This can be very challenging for someone who has teachers upset with them as they might not entirely understand what you are saying or if they do, they don't understand the reasoning of the issue. Again this circles back to having a mediator that people can speak with at HQ. Remember above all else that the management here are people just like us, if you can make an effort to understand, they too will make an effort. -The legality of things. Now I want to talk about the elephant in the room when it comes to being a legal worker in China. I won't lie, sometimes you are, sometimes you aren't. It is simply the nature of the country. This is simply no different here compared to any other company, unless of course you get into those extremely few places that happen to be 100%. Those places however you need to be of the utmost perfection yourself. Years of experience, bachelors degree, teaching licence, the works. Beyond those things, those places rarely if ever are hiring as the teachers who do get in stay for many many many years. To the reports of people being raided and taken away with no help from management. I have been here for a long time, in that time we have actually been raided a total of zero times, there have been two times where we were warned appropriately and no one came. In all the time I have been here I have only ever heard of two people actually being taken. One was very much due to that teachers error in speaking with the police that came, the other wasn't. Regardless Best Learning absolutely supported them and made sure that they were released properly. I can't state this enough, this is China. The rules here are naturally different, but this is not a Best Learning exclusive issue. Anywhere it can happen, and from talking to friends at other place, yes those places can let you down. But here in my many years of experience, it simply hasn't been relevant. -Lack of supplies. Okay this is a fair one, at times when you look at our lesson plans or curriculum it can ask for teaching supplies that we simply don't have easy access to. But, and I can't say but loudly enough, speak to any teacher in North America, it's a school problem, not a Best Learning exclusive problem. What schools don't have supplies??? This is a tale as old as schools. This comes down to your own personal resourcefulness as a teacher to adjust and pivot as necessary. This is why we are teachers, not just to follow a plan, but to find the most effective way to communicate and educate our point. -The nay sayers. To qualify here, when I say nay sayer. It's those individuals with whom left Best Learning, before their contracts completion and didn't like the results of that. Like having issues with a new job or having to reimburse money to the company that was loaned to them. Absolutely and unequivocally ridiculous as far as I am concerned. This con really isn't directed to the company, but to those who choose to misrepresent their time here by attacking and over embellishing what happen on this site or similar ones like it. Nineteen out of twenty times there is an issue with someone leaving, it came down to their personal failures as a teacher and them expecting the world to be handed to them and throwing a fit when it wasn't. My final note on this topic is that I do recognize I haven't worked at every single school here, that is simply impossible. I'm confident that there are periodic issues at schools here and there. The main point is to be respectful and to work towards solving these problems, not just complaining and allowing these annoyances to fester and grow. We are personally responsible for seeing the change we want to see in the world around us, and yes sometimes that does mean rolling up our respective sleeves and working hard.

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    Best Learning2018-10-11
  7. Helpful (5)

    "Good place for new teachers not so great for ANY ONE else."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign Language Teacher in Beijing, Beijing
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Best Learning full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    For the most part a stable income with high “taxes” to pay You can meet students and parents who really value their education Build or join a helpful expat community with coworkers Gain teaching experience Figure out what you really want to do in your career Meet hardworking good Chinese employees.

    Cons

    I worked there for 3 years and other than the wonderful connections I made with students and (some) colleagues, best learning is definitely NOT the place to work for if you are an experienced professional who wants to grow in a company and be treated with equality. I don’t regret choosing this school, because the hiring process was quick and they kept word to majority of their contracts but after I really thought about the promises they made in general, the ones they couldn’t keep are actually important for example, (I was never picked up at the airport as they stated they would) because they accidentally forgot and went to lunch (my recruiters) and I was promised If i wanted to relocate out of the city they can immediately transfer you with no problems but after three years of experience with this school, and one year trying to relocate to a different center I found out it’s a completely false statement they promise at the beginning of your hiring process . Centers are managed by districts and if you want to ever relocate it’s nearly impossible to since headquarters takes pay out of the managers. So to put it simply once you are placed in a center you are held there captive unless you quit and get rehired and have a good connection with a higher up. Also just like many training schools in China in the end it’s just a business and they don’t care about an individual class or students education progress no matter how loyal they are to the school. if they can’t keep up with the high tuition fees they are kicked to the side to sign up more new students. I saw early on that the younger the students are,the more chance of them to sign up and pay for 2-4 years extra before they even can get a feel of the school. Yes it’s true now they are hiring foreigners who can pretend to be American or Canadian but I feel that is a smaller issue compared to how they pay and treat their chinese employees. Teachers with the same tasks and extra work of communicating with parents and doing paper work get paid not even a quarter of what a foreign teacher will make, and if you have any compassion inside of you, you will feel guilty when you see the other teachers treating them like assistants when these Chinese teachers in fact have their English degrees and some foreign teachers don’t even have a proper visa.. Though many new Chinese employees cannot speak English even at basic level, that is the hiring staffs issue to fix. To summarize my three years I’ll tell you this : my first year was exciting and thrilling and everything felt new and I felt I could create so much with my lesson plans . My second year I felt more like I wanted to be a better teacher so I tried my best and reached all the bonuses and thought if I worked hard enough I could even become a head foreign teacher or someone who can do more than just show up to class. But on my Third year I realized I was treated the exact same way no matter if I showed up late and did the bare minimum or I worked my butt off to be the best teacher, I received nothing, as in no position to grow, and that was my biggest struggle with this job. I know teachers who are on their fifth year and are still doing the same (being treated the same as the newer teachers considering their schedules and vice versa .) In the past you had to work hard and earn the older leveled classes, nowadays best learning is lacking so many teachers whatever classes your given, your just meant to fill the space. I know when I left my center about 5 teachers we’re leaving in the coming months and one teacher who left a month before me still had three classes open and no one available to help out. Not even the centers nearby were willing to help. So if you choose this job i just wish you the best of luck and hope you have your own way of dealing with these matters. I am naturally a patient person and it took me three years to really open my eyes and see there are many other schools or job opportunities that pay similar but with less stress involved.

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    Best Learning2018-09-20
  8. Helpful (3)

    "Disorganized and Disrespectful"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign Language Teacher in Beijing, Beijing
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Best Learning full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    My Western head manager was great, all things considered.

    Cons

    AVOID these criminals. The school has a rough appearance of having its act together (ie, smart boards in every room, “training”, exc), but appearances are where the professionalism ends. You may or may not have your documents processed legally or professionally. I learned after processing that my Z visa was illegal. Additionally, several staff were stranded outside of China during the processing of their documents and had to pay for the whole ordeal (if you think two weeks in HK is inexpensive, I have sad news for you). One center was raided by the police. Standards for students are not exactly high, either. Because the place is just a white monkey market, foreign teachers are pretty much guaranteed to get away with anything—up to and including teaching while drunk or high. Imagine the implications of that in a room with scared second-language toddlers and some dopey CT who has no idea what is happening either. One teacher dropped a kid on her head while drunk teaching! All in all, it was a thoroughly irresponsible and disrespectful place that obviously only cares about taking money from wealthy people stupid enough to believe that white teachers+ smartboard=school.

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    Best Learning2018-08-14
  9. Helpful (1)

    "Superb facilities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Elementary ESL Teacher in Beijing, Beijing
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Best Learning for more than a year

    Pros

    Fantastic environment to work in, with interactive Smart boards and other fantastic teaching aids. Class sizes are also kept to a minimal level to ensure that each student gets a chance to learn. Overall, I cannot fault Best Learning they has exceeded my expectations.

    Cons

    Maybe to employ a greater number of Chinese teaching assistants to provide back-up for the foreign teachers. Other than that, no complaints at all

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    Best Learning2018-06-05
  10. Helpful (9)

    "TOTAL SCAM!!! BEWARE!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - English Teacher in Beijing, Beijing
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Best Learning full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    None whatsoever!!!! Avoid this employer!!!!

    Cons

    Best Learning is a total scam. At first they claimed they were going to pay me 18k RMB but they only paid me 9k RMB for the first few months. The center didn't have enough cash to pay us during the Chinese new year holiday, so they kept our money for two months. They told me that they had gotten me a work visa but when the police raided the center, it turns out they had gotten me a fake visa. I was imprisoned for 10 days. They told us that they would pay our bail but they didn't. The center manager kept my passport and threatened to throw it away when I first tried to resign. Many female foreign teachers and Chinese teachers claimed to have been sexually assaulted by one of the Chinese managers at HQ. I don't know whether this is true but I heard many rumors that seemed to confirm this.

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    Best Learning2018-04-23

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