DADA, formerly known as DADA ABC currently implemented a hiring freeze back in October for new prospective teachers that does not seem to be changing any time soon. The company seems to be in a bit of trouble financially or is suffering from mismanagement or both.
DADA Time Off Policy
The first red flag for this company was they way in which they changed their structure for time off. Unlike other platforms where you can open hours week to week and adjust your schedule as needed based on circumstances in your life (I went to Niagra Falls for example and decided to not open hours Monday – Thursday with VIPKID for example).
With DADA you’re required to give your availability for the month in advanced and then the company books you as needed.
Their old time off policy used be a fairly standard in that it was a 10% salary deduction for the month if you missed 3 or more contracted days (requested time off or teacher no show, does not matter).
So if you earned $1,000 for the month, you would be fined $100 for missing class.
The new policy is that you’re now allowed to miss 8 classes, BUT if you miss more than that, you’re fined for every single class (the fine amount depends on the class type).
This is a non-issue for teachers who teach a few hours a week, but it severely penalizes those teachers who actually want to teach 20+ hours.
What if you needed to take three days off and you normally teach 8 classes per day? You’re allowed 8 classes, that leaves 16 classes you will be fined for. 16 x 60 RMB = 960 RMB. 960 RMB is $140 fine.
$140 fine for missing 2 days of work. Really unfair and it punishes teachers who make up the bulk of the work force.
DADA Rookies Closed
DADA Rookies was a Facebook group aimed at allowing new DADA teachers to connect with one another an ask questions of the community. This group slowly devolved into a place of complaining about the company, vocalizing frustrations with things like the mediocre teaching material, grammar mistakes and things like the change in time off among other things.
Teachers began to look for alternative to DADA and began posting referral links to other companies within the DADA Rookies group. It became a complete disaster and was shut down.
Online teaching companies promote from within and use more experienced teachers to be part of the interview and recruitment process for new hires. As DADA is not bringing on new hires, this group was disbanded.
Bad news for obvious reasons. If you were going to begin hiring again at some point in the future you would not remove the mentor group as they are already trained to complete a specific task. But as of December 2018, the DADA Mentors were no more.
TEFL Certification and a Background Check or You’re Fired!
As teaching English online continues to grow in popularity, the Chinese government has begun to implement standards to make sure that online teachers are held to the same level as foreign English teachers in China.
That is, relevant teaching experience and a bachelors degree. A TEFL or TESOL certificate or a bachelors in education is required to teach in China. So if your degree is in accounting for example, you’ll need to get some sort of TEFL or TESOL to teach. Background checks are also standard in the ESL industry.
If your interested in teaching English abroad in China we have a resource page on that.
Alternatives to DADA
If you’re looking for an alternative to DADA, please check out our online teaching companies page where we list out the best companies to work with. If you’re an American the obvious choice is to apply to VIPKID. If your from the UK or you’re South African, Say ABC should be your top choice.
Teachers who work for these two companies are quite happy. As they are owned and operate under the same umbrella company you can expect a similar hiring process and pay. The main difference is that only North Americans can work with VIPKID while Say ABC is open to other native English speaking nationalities.
If you’re a current teacher at DADA it’s a smart idea to begin looking for a new place to teach. I would checkout the online teaching companies page here at Teach&GO.
Here are our personal favorite alternatives:
Say ABC – A good alternative that for native English speakers.
VIPKID – But only if you’re North American.
Magic Ears – But only if you’re United States based.
Crambly – An app that connects language learners with Native English speakers.
Box Fish – An app that allows learners to speak with native English speakers in a predetermined lesson.
Pal Fish – An app that allows language learners to engage in conversation with Native English speakers.
So there you have it. DADA seems to be having trouble. If you’re a current teacher don’t be blindsided. These are warning flags, start looking for alternatives. Also, with new regulations being imposed in China, it’s not a bad idea to take a look at getting a TEFL certificate.