I work at a private college in KM and I did work for a time at one of the language schools here, working with kids. I know Ocean and he is certainly qualified to teach English here or in an English speaking country as well. I did a lot of volunteer ESL work in the US and worked in a hotel there to pay my rent. I have to be honest I have had mostly good experiences in China teaching. I have an art degree which with only a BA is all but useless in getting decent jobs in the US.
The only times I have had issues is when I go through that burn out phase and when it happens I just have to ride it out. I think the article about foreign teachers being lazy may not be fair even if the foreign teacher lack classroom experience.
I can speak a basic level of Chinese. Enough to say open books, read this or that, good job, there is a test next week, etc. But many teachers fresh to China cannot speak a word of Chinese and maybe like I was are thrown into an extreme situation that they are not expecting. I was told I would be working in a private college in Beijing when I came to China. The class sizes were to be about 15 and the students had good working English skills. At the last moment the company that hired he sent me to Jilin City and I was teaching primary and high school. The students for the most part were restless and hard to control. The class sizes were about 40 or more students. Students were throwing my handouts into the air and smoking in class. I was constantly micro-managing (or trying to) sections of the class while the rest went to hell until I got there. if I did board work there was zero interest.
I had been used to working with adults in Seattle and now I was in the belly of the beast. Needless to say one of the Chinese teachers at the HS took a dislike to me and went on tirades in his classes to the students about me (my student monitors told me this later) and called my boss (a Canadian man luckily, not a hard-boiled Chinese) complaining I was the worst teacher he had ever seen because after about 5 weeks of class, meeting with the student once for 90 minutes per class, their English had not improved. They were not speaking like Peter O'Toole or something. My boss told me to relax and he was happy with me and the company was delighted that I had not quit yet like the two teachers before me had.
It was a tense and unsettling situation. I was optimistic and full of ideas. But it all fell apart fast. I had no text book. No media. The school had a broken printer/copier and they decided to use something rice paper that clogged it up when it was working. It was in the winter in Jilin and the classrooms had no heating and sometimes broken windows. I deserved combat pay.
I in fact thought I was a total failure at the job. Later I got some part time work at a public school and at some businesses like Coke-a-Coal in Beijing as well as getting classes at the private college. While not without problems I found myself doing fine and preparing better lessons and structuring classes. I still notice I can be affected by the personality of a class. I am far from professional in this sense, but if the students want to do something I can get it going. If they want to monkey around and sleep and cut out then I get that dismal feeling again in my gut.
Some of these teachers may just be in hard situations. Classes are not universally the same. Some people are not great at controlling what is basically an unruly mob. I have some good students right now and and very happy with them. We do basically what would amount to English Corners as their gaokao days are behind them, but I do feel I impart usable information. One class has hardly any workable English and I will confess I rely on my Chinese a lot, keep them busy with handouts and watch movies than I should. But they just do much with English. I teach them nouns basically and short phrases but few seem to take any notes so I do not thin it is sticking. But they are decent kids. Well, they are 20 I think, but sort of still kids in ways.
If I were back in a HS like the one in Jilin I think I would be a zombie, "punching the clock" as it were. With some improvement in my Chinese has come some confidence with working with kids and low level speakers. I feel bad for many teachers thrown into a middle school and they cannot even say anything in Chinese. I do not think I could do MS or HS all the time. Maybe PT only.
I do not think most of them are lazy, I think they are overwhelmed.
The under-qualified deal is really rude too, a slap. There is a Phd. here at this school. Has worked teaching teachers in the US, and he is making basically $500 a month. He fought for the school to come through on a special raise for him of just 100 RMB and after a year they still have not done it. They want MAs and Phd.s to simply give their schools status but want to pay them less money than an actual cleaner in the US makes.
Yea, another bit of foreigner backlash. Ride it out.