I have found teachers who go into college level classes and teach lame brain songs like "I had a dog and Bingo was his nameo... B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, and Bingo was his nameo!" (true story) are favored over teachers do do dreadful things like correct pronunciation, ask students to stand and actually speak English by reading or finishing a sentence on the board. Who has ever walked into a class ready to "teach" only to hear "sing us a song!", "let's watch a movie!", "speak to us in Chinese!"
I had problems at a private college for getting testy because I did not like a student making paper airplanes of my handouts, and told another continuously disruptive girl to shut up. Another teacher friend who complained students were sleeping in his class was told "maybe they are just tired, so let them rest." So there you go.
I did teach young kids and games or activities of some kind are a must at that level. But Seems they are at the college level too in China. And then I see the material their Chinese teachers are teaching and I am blown away. Super high level. Of course the students are not really learning it but they are just trying to prepare to pass some test for a certificate or something. I dumb down notes to students as much as I can to explain what I need in a class situation and they look at the note perplexed and start banging away on those damned pocket translators or dictionaries. How can they understand that other stuff from their Chinese teachers if they cannot understand my simple notes I give them.
Not that that is an real issue and that is why we are there in the classroom, or so I thought for way too long. At two different colleges over the last three or four years I have had low level non-English major students. Recently the class sizes have gone up to over 50 at times with no media for pictures, PPT or those sanity saving movies once a month or so. It is me and a black board, and sometimes no chalk or eraser.
And yet somehow I feel I am expected by the school to be serious when all is said and done to prepare, prepare, prepare and suit up and show up and teach those kids English. I walked by a class room the other day and heard the foreigner teacher in there playing some game and clapping his hands, and later there was hysterical laughter coming form the students. Not that he is doing anything wrong and he has it figured out how to keep his job secure I think, but I thought to myself "what a friggin' joke" that this is what we are reduced to in a college level teaching situation. The "best" class I ever taught it seems was the one a couple years ago where I brought my guitar to class and played while a friend sang. Oh, now they loved that and wanted more and other classes heard of it and wanted their turn. I taught not one word of English of course but we partied down and had a good ol' time.
But schools at the college level also love those dry acedemic types with an MA or Phd who make elaborate PPTs (Power Points but I call them PPTs now) who can jabber for a whole class about this or that. The students may never get a chance to speak and do writing exercises at the most but damn that looks so serious and makes for those wonderful photo ops. I was once told I had to do a lecture before 200 or so high school students, through the college I was at, and was given the topic and told it must be high level and serious. The topic was some crazy ass linguistic mumbo jumbo that I had no clue what to do with, especially since the teachers and leaders of the college or high school could barely talk about food themselves. I refused to do it. And I did not.
Well in the end when the school decided to trim a couple teachers guess who got the axe without not much as a "thanks for your work here at the school for these past several years".
My experience has been that at the kid level the work is more stressful and you are subject to more observation and critiques than at the college level. I have heard of parents making some complaint like they do not like the book the foreign teacher uses or the foreign (or Chinese) teacher spoke Chinese in class once or twice. A buddy bought a a bunch of Dr. Suess type books for kids who only knew how say hello or f**k you and a parent complained that he should be teaching them politics or science. And guess what, the school, even the foreign bosses, agreed with her since she threatened to take her little Einstein to another school. He was fired later for not constantly changing his game plan at the whims of the school and parents.
I have found if you can get into a college you are off the radar less. Teach some English in some way and try to have a sense of humor. I do not do games in college and hate them -unless I am teaching kids and then you must- but you can try to do activities of some kind, but good luck. Once the class gets over 25 students and low level it is really hard. But t the lower levels where they are preparing for tests the school is all in your business.
You might want to try some colleges but there are not that many in Kunming and the pay can suck. They tend you fire you in the middle of contracts less unless you really screw up or the students just don't like you at all and boycott your class or complain. One complaint can be it here man. I bet you are a decent teacher with a good heart and good attitude. There is probably a place you you here somewhere Gompo, but so far you have had bad luck. That kindergartan shold have told you what they wanted and even given you some sort of syllabus or outline (excuse me for a sec... hahahahahaha... I just said foreigrn teachers ought to get a syllabus or outline, cracked me up...) or said "play more games or your fired" first. Sounds like a good place to no longer be though losing a job and income is not a good thing.