Tenwest Mandarin School

User profile: fixitwithahammer

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  • RegisteredAugust 25, 2012
  • RegionChina
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  • RegisteredAugust 25, 2012

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Forums > Food & Drink > Price and salary development

2 of my brother in law, are working construction in Sichuan, both have a new car and bought a house.

My wife asked about their pay and both of them depending on work and contracts they make about 8k+.

But they work project to project and may also be without work for a bit.

Work safety has changed a lot and they do like their work.

One of them is going to Kunming for a year for a construction contract around Xishan soon.

They aren't foreman, technicians or engineers.

This idea that every and all construction workers are slaves living in poverty and poor conditions is a myth.

Sure there are some but things have gotten better.

Forums > Living in Kunming > modern city life & 'civilization'

Of course every place people are left behind but China is the world champion of doing so.

I once read a quote reading something like socialism is the cruelest form of capitalism.
There is some truth in that.

China being

torn apart by greed for millennia and

having a cruel form of social mannerisms, thus

always bring in trouble and I think that is also why so much greatness came out of it.

But there hasn't been greatness for a long time.

@Alien, more income and more greed just brought more wealth, if you consider that progress? Ethically I think China is stepping back with giant steps.

Forums > Living in Kunming > modern city life & 'civilization'

Most of those cases where the good samaritans were sued are a myth.

There was an article about that issue and it did some digging and all the cases that went to court, were dismissed. Except one case.

I agree that the Chinese judicial and social systems are messed up but not every judge is crazy or stupid.

I blame it on a certain amount of social laziness. Why bother helping if I can just ignore someone dying in the streets.

I would also argue that the socialist maoist idea is what ruined the society already messed up by greed and violence.

Interesting thing is, China has all the resources and philosophies, religions, thinkers to become the most amazing place but it refuses to make any progress for the above reasons.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Am I really in a place that bad?

Of course it is possible to rent an apartment for 700RMB which is the very cheapest I have heard so far, for a room, with outside toilet, shared kitchen.

But do you really think it is reasonable for a family of 3 or 4 to move into a hole like that?

Plus you have to calculate the transportation into your location as well. Is it more expensive to rent for a higher lease or could you safe money having a more expensive lease but have a better public transportation situation?

That puts you in the vicinity of the subway lines and that means the price goes up.

The standard salary for Chinese in basically any untrained job is around 3500RMB in Kunming.

Your friend probably got a bad deal 10 years ago the university pay was already better than that.

Teachers make barely enough money to survive and take their annual vacation.

I mean how many teachers do you know that own property or have cars, or have the funds to properly settle down?

7 years ago I was offered a similar pay I was paid 12 years ago and the offers are still very similar today, especially hourly rates.

Most of the people I know get the same pay, they would have gotten 10 years ago.

So, no Alien, your friends' case, does not explain what most people experience.

I know you love and defend everything China, but please be realistic.

And of course you can also just live in a card box under an overpass, but it isn't exactly an option or the reality for most people.

If you want to check the prices for renting an apartment see the rise in sqm prices, then you would see that my numbers are accurate.


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Your football example translates into one class with only grade A students, receiving full scholarship and sponsorship.

My example is in the regional league, where there are only a few or none exceptional players.

The artist kid didn't have bad grades. I listened to him and looked at his skills and what he wanted to do. And we both agreed on arts. We convinced his mom to let him, if he keeps his grades up.

But he could have easily gone to one of the better universities.

What I did with artist kid was, giving him special tasks with his regular homework. Write a 1 page screenplay, write a sad scene or gave him a few pages of screenplay to correct or change. After that task was done, I let him make a mood-board, later on I gave him an camera to play with and film a few scenes.

Showing him how easy it is to make a film. I do that with pretty much all of my students, most don't need to because they already found an interest or hobby.

None of my extra tasks or homework take more than a minute to think of or to plan.

That's what I am saying all along. It is not that hard to teach every kid, what they need to learn.

Not really, fortunately-unfortunately there are tons of books, studies and experimental educators in the last 500 - 1000 years, from amazing people in how to look at a student and how to teach?

I have not achieved anything, I am just doing what I was trained to do. Nothing special, just a few of the most basic teaching tools; classroom management, time management and parent-student feedback.

You are incorrect. All of the top players excel at least at one more playing position. As a good coach or teacher you NEVER tell someone, how bad they are but you show them how great they are at their skills, position and so on.

A coach should constantly encourage and let players play different positions to get an overall better team. And that is practiced at all top teams in the world, in case of injuries or sudden replacement, a player changing teams etc.

As coach I never had to and as a teacher even less.

Factually great players aren't born, most of them are chosen by scouts not by coaches. Coaches don't like to see good players go.

They aren't perfect when chosen, they have the luxury to devote their time fully towards their and sport. While others have to work or earn a living before and while becoming professional players.

I know a pro player and he says it has nothing to do with skill, becoming a pro player is luck, nothing more. And as some of you post here it is similar in the classroom, you have a good teacher, he sees you as an academic, if not you are supposed to clean toilets as janitor, right?

And there are more top players still undiscovered, because they just haven't been scouted or promoted, just yet.

no offense but you are still sounding like you need justification to not give ALL your students what they need.

I have classes with up to 70 students, I make my own assessments and pretty darn tough ones, too. And still all my students make it, well. Also I don't just assess grades but also progress, to make sure what is needed individually. Currently I have 9 different classes from preschool to Chinese grade 7. I am 41 years old, I have a wife and a daughter and setting up a business, which counts as a second child, lol. I send homework online and test progress of all 4 pillars of language acquisition quarterly.

I really can't see how a good or even average teacher cannot manage the time and attention in a way that he can give enough attention to each individual group or student.

There are plenty of teacher websites with amazing ideas online, in case you are sometimes out of ideas. I am sometimes. So while sitting on the bus listening to awesome tunes I go there and get new ideas. In case you haven't learned them in your pedagogy courses.

You could give the good ones attention through group work, self study, essays, speeches, demonstration, debates, and thus even give them more attention than you are giving them now splitting your time here and there.

That is the beauty of the result based systems in China. It's all about test prep right? For good students, it's a snap to get ready for that, and with the spare time you win, by more efficient classroom management, you can also raise the level of the non-test-based stuff. Trust me if a dimwit like me can, then everyone can

In the meantime you have loads of time to deal with your challenged group.

Or, if you want to go real time, you can send any issue or question in the lesser great group to the overachievers and letting them answer it, and deal with it. You are conducting some sort of classroom concert.
It's amazing, especially when those kids discover teamwork and class dynamics.

If you look at the time problem, in a standard classroom in China at roughly 30-70 kids per classroom you would have not more than a few seconds available for each student.

So, how does a god student reward attention more than a bad student? What could you do in 20 seconds with a good student, that you couldn't with a bad one?

How do you measure that? How is that logical?
In my experience all students reward attention given to them.

And thanks again for the soccer example. If the coach would have given most of his attention to Ronaldo, he would have a profitable player but no team left to put him in. In education, military and team sports, you always focus on the weakest link, because they can speed up the whole team, good players can arrange their training themselves and you then also produce plenty of team captains. When I coach I also let the best player coach the training sessions, it gives me time to analyze, adjust training intensity and find problems and achievements.

As I said weak link focus is the more effective but more difficult method, in the beginning. Later it takes care of itself and gives you tons of easy-peasy work. Leaning back, watch and enjoy.

About your egalitarian idea, it is proven that is does work and to add to it, works greatly.

And that excelling students need very little attention, even thrive in the task based environment.

But you have to establish a system like that first, which takes some techniques, but very little extra time and effort. You have to prepare well, and that takes techniques and also, very little extra time and effort.

The good news is, once done usually in a period of about 3 weeks the system maintains itself and you are just being an MC. You will have plenty of extra time to run other chores. And most importantly you have the position to overlook individual progress and students. You see the Big Picture.

If I could, I would show you.
There was a time when I was saying the same things you were saying.

And when I was at the point, where I had to find a better way to teach or become a lazy sh*te, talking about myself here, I promised myself not to become one of those teachers who made my life miserable.
After a short time, I saw how the weakest links became the strongest.

I am not saying you don't prepare or don't care about your students. I am guessing that it's just simple tricks, techniques and teacher magic to make your student level even again.

Well, for what it takes, it saves you more time to get all kids on the same level, before you carry on with your material.

In my humble experience it never took more than 3 month to raise the below-level to on-level and then you have 6 academic month left, to keep it that way or rise to above level. And 6 month to REALLY teach is a lot of time to make huge progress.

An example, if you want to cook a 5 course dinner for your friends, but still have one week of unwashed dishes in the sink, you don't just wash a few knives and pots, you start from scratch and clean everything that needs cleaning, before you start cooking, right? Otherwise a 2 hour job would take you the whole afternoon.

I just did a whole washing task from September last year up until December to get a class, CLEAN. When they were ready to go on, we made huge progress, because all students, just could.

But the rewards and watery eyes after you tell the parents that their kids climbed from barely going through their grades, to become a above average learner, and the kids seeing a new range of possibilities is rewarding and puts you in a great position to get a raise, next year.

I have advised students to head towards non academic jobs or courses but never because they couldn't, or of low grades.

I Advised one kid to become an artist, the worst you could do to a parent in China and the world. And he did. He is becoming a commissioned film-director, as we write.
His mom called me during Chinese New Year telling me how happy she is and that she is sorry for causing me all the troubles, arguments that is. And for the very little effort from me, which is almost nothing, because he did it all on his own, I didn't help him do his chores and homework, he did.

I just said the things he needed to hear, and teach the stuff he needed and put him at the right place in the classroom, with the right classmates.

Sometimes rewards for teachers come incredibly late, but it hit hard and deep.

You are saying it. Everybody is genius.
About coaching a football team, players usually rotate playing positions and have various chances to show they are good offensive players. There are plenty of ways to build a potential player although the playing skills are still low and raw.

Most worldclass players didn't start perfect or have changed their positions during their career.

Also the best way is to give the player chances or in a bad case, let him realize himself he isn't the perfect match being a striker.

I don't know your school or classes but the main issue seems to be seating order and handing over chores and lesson content to your apt students.

It don't understand why the good students need so much attention.
In each class I ask the assisstant to arrange a seating order by level/group. Usually

I give the good students a very hard task in the beginning of the class, a chellenge

Yes! A teacher shouldn't be the judge and executioner of a student' s future career.

If a student wants, the motivation is there. There are various ways to do so.

But it takes time, and the right way should be chosen. These are parent teacher conference subjects.

I had teachers constantly telling me what I couldn't and shouldn't do. IT took me so many extra years to prove them wrong and find out what the issue was.

The time I used to make things right, I could have taken another course from start to finish.

And I know plenty of teachers who do the same today.

I had students expelled from a famous school here in Kunming because they didn't do their homework, failed their exams or being told they are too lazy, just to see them thrive in my classes, or the classes I referred them to.

All of the, are doing extremely well. And I don't credit myself for it. I really just sat down and listened very careful to the student's fears worries and weaknesses.
Then I helped them to fix it themselves.

It takes a bit effort and a little bit of planning but the results are worth it.

I am not kidding, none of my students ever failed an exam, and it's their achievement, and by knowing that these students can manage any difficult situation in the future.

Not everyone can go to university, and not everyone will. Plenty of students will drop out for various reasons.

But nobody should be held back just because they are chose not to or because the teacher things they don't have what it takes.

If that would be the way it works, then we wouldn't even need a teacher. Put a video on the board, or an online lecture and let the students record every word.

Teachers are conductors of the classroom concert, constantly diagnosing the people and teaching material.

It does work, it isn't easy but rewarding.

@Dazzer thank you.
Your ABC example is wrong, I just walked a group of kids in Dali through Grade K/1.

Some spoke fluent English, advanced reading level, and others have literally never seen the alphabet, thanks to perverted and fake local alternative private education.

It took 3 month to teach phonological awareness and reading skills, then everything worked fine. They all passed their exam and are now in an International Grade 1 class.

As I said it's not about giving up, but about using the right tools.

You just pointed out the exact opposite of the science and art of teaching.
And even from Darwinian point of view, you are wrong.

Learning is not just about excelling at a specific subject but about many other factors, cooperation, challenge and teamwork.

I don't know if you are a teacher, or working in the education industry, but I recommend from all my heart to review your approach on teaching and learning, as it is very contraire to the actual scientific method and experiences in the classrooms, worldwide.

How much you pay should never be the measure of how much help a student gets. What if a student is good but he paid a lot of money, so you help him even more?

Good students need the 'bad' students, and vice versa. It's called classroom dynamics.

In a Harvard science class there are struggling students, too and lazy ones, I met one. He built an enormous business network in Asia.

They don't just get expelled or quit, no teacher is kicking them out.

The problem with education is not the distribution of care and help, but poverty and disadvantage.

I had an Asperger kid, in my class, because the parents din't want the child to be excluded, according to your picture, everyone would be losing and dropping grades by the hour. But the opposite happened. The boy with Asperger kicked every student's math through the roof, and when he needed social skills and p.e. class help, everyone was glad to help out.

Overall the class became one of the best in the history of the school, and all grades increased, of all students.

This is not an individual case, you can find the same results, worldwide, in all sets of school.

And as you can see from the article above, and you can deny as much as you want, still the slowing down students don't exist, unless you want them to and let them appear.

All teachers should know the techniques and ways to motivate, most pro teachers I met, do and we share the same results.

Give it a try, it really works.

May I ask, have you actually, ever talked to those students in private?

Get them out of the classroom for a pepsi in the cafeteria and listen to them. It's one hour of time, which can change a whole year of teaching.

But let me guess, it's not part of your job description. Right?




The probably most family friendly place. They have a spacious area with toys, crayons and other children entertaining materials around. The owner and the staff always have a little play time for the kids, at least when we were there.

If they would get a little play area for kids, it would get all my votes for favorite 'everything', at the gokunming awards. There is a playground (entrance fee, quite steep). So If you have kids it's the best place to hang out. The owner has a lot of kid treats for kids, organic unsweetened yogurt, etc.

The pizza is great, and could compete with other pizza joints in China. For my taste it's a bit heavy on garlic but, if you let the staff know they will moderate the garlic use.

I can only agree with the other posters. Prices seem steep but when you see the pizza, it makes sense. Portions are huge. I ordered a family pizza for a treat to 15 kids, we still had left overs, and we were all stuffed.

The dough is a bit thicker but the tomato sauce tastes fresh made, and the amount balances the dough thickness. It's always plenty of ingredients on the pizza.

So in total it's a great spot, with good prices and good and healthy varieties. If you are with kids, it is a really good spot. If the staff is busy or the toys are taken, just send your kid to the indoor playground, opposite. Watch them have fun, from the huge glass windows and enjoy a nice draft, or craft beer while munching on your tomato Frisbee.

That's why I am giving it 5 stars.


...best coach I ever had and i practiced Wushu at Beijing University of Physical Education and with a few members of the Beijing Wushu Team.

He is sharp, he gets your daily mood and doesn't mind when you scream to heavens when things don't work out in practice.

He has very modern teaching methods and really wants you to progress. He won't just let you repeat every move until you get it yourself.

He offers free trial classes. You won't be dissappointed.