Beware Yucui!

I really like where I teach in Jinan, China. I work for Clark University at Shandong University of Science and Technology (SUST) and while it’s not perfect, e.g. sometimes we lose Internet service and there’s a dearth of “nightlife” I enjoy the students, the city and China in general.

Working with us have been teachers from Australia. They’ve got it a lot harder, though their students are on par with ours and they have the same apartments and environment. The big problem they face is that UTAS, the school that’s partnered with SUST uses an agent to manage the English program. They do this because it allows them to pay teachers less and avoid providing the usual benefits the Australian government requires. Right there I wouldn’t work for them as English teachers are absolutely second class citizens.

I’ve seen them do other unprofessional things including:

  • advertising for jobs that don’t exist
  • manipulating teachers to coerce them to work more hours for less (luckily that plan was foiled last year – not sure about this year)
  • offering a contract to a teacher waiting and waiting to finalize it and then rescinding the offer for bogus reasons
  • hiding the fact that they use illegally copied texts from UTAS in Hobart
  • not telling the Australian school that the students’ English hours had been drastically cut – keeping that under wraps for 2 years

All in all Yucui’s fond of secrets and dishonesty. They don’t appreciate teachers at all. Typically, Clark hosts the teacher to a lunch once or twice a semester. A small thank you. In two and a half years, Yucui hasn’t done this once. The total would be less than $20. Teachers are clearly just galley slaves. Each year the teachers have received worst treatment. I don’t think these people know how to operate honestly.

This year they lost three good teachers, who would have stayed if they’d just been treated professionally.

The Contradictory Cultural Identity of Rural Children in China

by Dream Guo Recently, a Chinese reality show called “X-Change” received widespread attention and initiated topics among Chinese people. In the show, two children from totally different backgrounds…


Fascinating story about a sort of Prince & the Pauper television show in China. Good analysis. I wish I could watch the show.

Presentation Zen: Story structure, simplicity, & hacking away at the unessential

For a lot of us, the reality is not that we have too few ideas, it’s that we have too many. This may not sound like a problem, but it becomes problematic when we get bogged down in analysis paralysis…


What a great idea. The students must present the story boards for their presentations and get peer feedback.