NEW FEATURES ON THE HORIZON!
We're excited to announce that we've been working hard on a bunch of handy new functions set to be rolled out in early December. We're doing the finishing touches to the system, being in the middle of testing the new system. I think you will love the new features, which include full-screen previews where you can flip through all the pages of a document, either in small or full size. Above is a sneak peak showing the new preview "box" (it's not the final design, we're still polishing the icons and so on).
All the functions will be available for those who subscribe for a Premium account. The good thing is, it will come at a very very low price. Apropos, this winter we will not do a tiresome fundraiser, but instead we're gonna rely exclusively on the revenues from this Premium subscription to cover the operating costs of the site and the company behind it.
Check back for more news, I will post some more about the new features in the coming days.
NEW PREMIUM FEATURE:
ADD RESOURCE TO YOUR FAVORITES
This new feature will allow you to "favorite" any resource by clicking the empty heart icon. When you click it, it turns red indicating that it's been saved to your Favorites, which can be found in your personal account (MyPage). If you use this tool, you will no longer need to download anything from iSLCollective, since you can always find your favorite stuff in your personal account, and you can even search your Favorites with the same search tools as you find on the main page.
You may now ask: But why would anyone not want to download (save) resources to their own computer? As far as I can see it, we are increasingly storing or backing up our materials on the internet, or in the cloud
, as a relatively new term goes. Cloud here is a metaphor for a bundle of computers located in places far from you. Storing your stuff in the cloud has a number of advantages:
- even though your data is stored in a remote data center, it's typically safer than your computer, since your hard drive may be damaged due to old age or your computer may be stolen. You will be safeguarded against these kinds of problems if you store your stuff online, on iSLCollective, in this case, since these data centers enjoy advanced securities, such as fire and dust protection, multiple backups for files, 24/7 available technicians.
- You can reach your resources anywhere you go, especially handy if you've forgotten your printouts at home, and need to reproduce them quickly before the class.
- You save time because clicking on the heart icon is much faster than saving worksheets on your computer.
reply to beachbeach's post #4
Log in, and click on the Edit your ws
Christmas is coming and I'm thinking about making ppt presentations with my students about Polish Christmas traditions. I'm looking for someone who'd like to do the same about their Christmas traditions. Then we could exchange and give our students opportunity to learn about Xmas customs in other countries. If you are interested, please leave a message on my wall.
How can I correct a spelling mistake I made in the title of a sheet ?
NEW PREMIUM FEATURE:
ADD TO DOWNLOAD CART
Don't get mixed up by the term "Cart". We will not transform into a webshop or something. With the introduction of the Premium subscription, everything that is free now will continue to be free in the future. A Cart simply means a download queue, it's just a symbol for a place to stash things for later use.
If you are always in a rush, you will find this feature handy because if you put your favorite worksheets in your download queue (cart), you don't need to save everything one by one. When you are finished with your treasure hunt, you just need to go to your cart in your account, and you can download all the files saved there with the click of a button as a zip file.
I am making this post to education people on why they should be wary and selective when choosing a job in China as an ESL/TEFL Teacher. As an ESL Teacher in China. I feel I can give ESL teachers some proper insight on what to expect when coming to China.
All over the ESL boards and websites; you'll often times see posts of cities, towns, and villages that are in serious need of an English teacher. However, this post is more so a cautionary message to be wary of scams and what to expect and compensation that you should expect as a teacher in China.
I'd like to state; to those who have never been or worked in China before you may feel that this post may judge a lot. I thought that as well when before and when I first arrived in China. But it is not without justification or reasons. This is from personal experiences from myself and other teachers I know.
China is a very complicated and confusing country. So opposite of english speaking countries in the ways of how things are done. Manners, generally are non-existant outside of places like Shanghai and Suzhou (for this reason you will not get the true cultural experience in Shanghai or Suzhou). But I will tell you. Do not be naive when you arrive to China. They will take advantage of you as a new comer to China if you do not throw your weight around a bit.
50% of ESL jobs that are promised to people that are living abroad looking to teach in China are usually offered through "recruiting agencies". These recruiting agencies offer you less money than what would would make if you just saved up your own money and came here and applied at schools yourself. The general compensation offered by recruiting firms is '5000RMB'. Which, at the time seems like a lot of money. But, as a foreigner in China. You should be making anywhere from 8,000 - 20,000 RMB easy. I know they butter it up by saying they offer "room and board" but don't be fooled by this either. The living accomedations are less than adequette and if you are in Northern China. Expect to freeze your butt off for 7 months out of the year.
Usually when being recruited by these recruiting firms. You have to jump through an endless about of hoops just to get the results you are seeking and they are just the middle men. After you get to where you are going. Your treatment may improve or decline. Often times it's the lesser. I know many teachers who have come to China who have had a terrible first experience.
Luckily for me, when my recruiting firm in beijing started dicking me around. I bailed and found work on my own. But, even bailing will be a huge fight with them. Because, they will try to force you into a position you are less than comfortable with.
My personal experience with these recruiting firms and schools that they recruit for was a less than positive experience as well. Before I came to China. I was set up with a nice public school in Rugou. Which is 2 hours north of Shanghai. A week before I get there. They tell me, they no longer want me working for them because of my wife nationality. This clearly blew my mind. Because I had no idea Xenophobia and Racism were this bad in China. My wife is Japanese, and I told them I would not go to their city without my wife. So they basically told me "FU you Japanese Sympathizing Scum". This made me a angry and obviously less trusting of any other prospects that the recruiter wanted to send me to. 2 days before I was supposed to start the school year. They tell me they found a school for me in Xinjiang province. If you are not familiar with Xinjiang. It is not a safe region of China for anyone is not of Urugur ethnicity. Radical Islam has taken hold of that region. After doing my research, the night before I said I couldn't do it because I wouldn't put my wife in that kind of danger just for a job. Needless to say, this resulted in a huge argument where the recruiter started attacking my wife. Since then, I have not heard anything from them.
Also, do not trust this "You can work on a business visa" stuff that they are always telling you. That is not true. Business Visa are the shortest lasting visa's and if you get caught working on a Business Visa you will get deported. There are way's to obtain employment on of Tourist Visa's but the business or school is definitely dodging the law by doing so. However, most legitimate schools will provide you with a work visa if you fit the requirements for one. But obtaining employment legally or otherwise is possible. In bigger cities like Shanghai or Beijing, they require you to have a degree. But in other cities and towns, that law is a lot fuzzier.
Next thing you need to look out for is agreements constantly being recanted or renegged on. Very and Contractual agreements often times do not mean anything to places in China and you'll find that often times, they do not fulfill their end of the contract. So leaving is a lot easier than you would think. The breach of contract will more often than not come from their end of the agreement, not yours. However, expect them to try to "save face" by lying about the breach of contract. Chinese people have a huge problem with "face" and always lying to save face.
You need to be on the look out for legitimate schools and illlegitimate schools. China is notorious for what they call "Liar Companies" where they will set you up with an interview and everything will seem all fine and dandy. Then you'll have to find out that, they've never even had a legitimate license to operate. I can't tell you how many interviews I went on before I actually found a legitimate company.
Trust me, legitimate private schools will always have at least one visible foreigner on staff at the time of your interview to show you that they are legitimate.
If you work for a school, I suggest going private. For two main reasons. You will get paid what you're worth and usually they offer bonus incentives. You'll be treated as an employee and not a slave.
The down fall of private schools however, is you have to do some digging to find out if their a real school or not.
The problem with public schools in China is usually they pay a lot less with crap accomedations (because the Chinese government rather spend it's exuberate amount of funds on making their buildings look nice rather than the schools). You'll get treated a lot more unfairly because the people that work at public schools in China work for the Government and the government here is terrible in the way they treat people.
Now that I'm done listing the negative aspects of being an ESL teacher in China.
Here are some positive aspects.
If you are living in China and making the pay you're supposed to be making as a foreigner. You'll find that life here (other than the lack of manners and people everywhere) is actually quite easy. Things are way cheaper and worrying about where your next meal is coming from will never be an issue.
If you're working at a good school. Expect to have a lot of opportunities for travel and time off.
No matter where you are. You will find other foreigners and many people with similiar stories like yourself of their trials and tribulations in China.
Taxi's are everywhere in the cities and the transportation to and from work is very good.
Food everywhere, just be wary of some of the street food. You might end up with a bad case of the runs.
In conclusion, If you are willing to put up with all the BS to work here and have a little bit of good. Welcome to China.
P.S. Don't give anyone money who is begging for it. They will swarm you and often times are not as poor or homeless as they let off to believe.
This has been your less in "Not Being Naive in China" haha.
I hate printing. I mean I hate the tedious process of printing that starts with finding what I need on iSLCollective and ends with finally holding the stack of printouts in my hands. Let's just think about it. Currently, if you want to print a worksheet from iSLCollective
- First you have to go to the download page of the worksheet
- Click on "Download" ... [wait for the download box to pop up ... one, two, three, four ...]
- Then click "Open" ... [wait for the doc file to open ... one, two, three, four ... eleven ...]
- Click "Print" in MS Word ... [wait for the Print dialog box to open ... one, two, three, four ...]
- Select your Print settings in the box
- Click "OK".
That's 6 steps with some long pauses inbetween while you're waiting for the site or your computer to respond. That's why we decided it was time to re-think the process of printing. I'm delighted to report that we managed to simplify it to just 3 steps:
- Click "Print" on the site
- Select your Print settings in the print dialog box
- Click "OK".
To make things even faster, if you know what you want to print, as soon as you've found it on a search results page, you can print the worksheet directly from there without having to go to its download page. How? Just move the cursor over the worksheet preview, and the Print icon will be displayed. Click it and 3 seconds later your printer will start rolling out your prints.
If you upgrade to a Premium account, you will find that printing has indeed become lightning fast. Buckle up, because the Premium launch is near. :)
40 students aged 13 are looking for penpals or keypals. If you think your students are interested in writing my students, please contact me here on islcollectives.
reply to hayrun's post #7
Thanks for your answer.
Can you tell me about your students?