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...so they're ending my contract.

 
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sohniye



Joined: 15 Mar 2011
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:19 am    Post subject: ...so they're ending my contract. Reply with quote

Hello everyone!

Long time and no chat! I have been very busy for the last year or so being the only English speaking teacher at a very exclusive, private kindergarten for some of Russia's uber-wealth.

It's been an a trying but interesting experience. I have had almost zero staff support (no one speaks my language after all) and very little in the way of parent appreciation (they're too rich to care about their kids.)

That being said I have bonded well with my students and gave everything I could to the job. Including providing almost all my resources despite the fact that the parents/admin had more than enough money to do this if they wanted. I have learned a lot about living in Russia and during the summer did some extensive travel around Europe.

I don't regret coming here but resent the way I am being treated now, and I caution anyone to think twice about coming to a country that worships those with money without second thought.

I found out this Monday that my contract (which is through July) is being ended at the end of the year because a parent complained that her brand new, barely there two year monolingual two year old is 'scared' of me.

I am not surprised because money = undeserved/unquestioned power in Russia. One barely there, absurd Mom can ruin a someone's job...why not.

My school has been good about abding by everything in the contract (except the end date) and I have always been paid the right amount and on time. My school also deducted the appropriate amount for taxes.

My question now is what can I expect/ask for in way of severance? I am particularly intrested to know if I get anything back in way of the retirement pension I paid into.

I have my visa/passport in my posession (luckily, they tried to confiscate those earlier in the year) and feel I should have some barganing power.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9047
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Claim for your holiday pay too. And severance. If no joy, contact a lawyer.

But if this school is well-connected, take care.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1831

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure that I would damn the whole country like that. You are, as you say, working with the uber-rich and in some cases, some rather silly uber-rich. Also, many language schools can be rather cowardly when it comes to parental complaints, any parental complaints however daft.

However, as up to now you've been reasonably treated, I think you might do better to try to leave on good terms. No need to lie, you can tell them that you do not think your dismissal is particularly reasonable. But think positively: you have now got experience which makes you quite a useful property amongst TEFLers, practice working with young children. This is highly marketable, so I think you should be looking forward and asking your employers to assist you with excellent references so that you can find yourself a really good job.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9047
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah... references? Who cares. Go for the cash. Most schools fold in a few years anyway, so longer term the ref is worthless. The cash can be spent immediately.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1831

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
Nah... references? Who cares. Go for the cash. Most schools fold in a few years anyway, so longer term the ref is worthless. The cash can be spent immediately.

You want a reference in the short-term to get your next job (the cash, as Sasha so delicately puts it).
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9047
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, the next dead-end job won't even ask for a reference. Recruitment in Russia follows its own rules, none of which remotely resemble how things would be done back home. Why do you think so many strange people get all sorts of work which they are clearly unsuited to? Customer service staff with no people skills, for example.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1831

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you say is true, but I am not sure how well it fits in with the narrative of this particular teacher. With prior experience of working in a shortage area, young learners of English, the teacher should be applying for at least one up from the dead-end job. The more professional set-ups are more likely to want to contact the previous employer; not in all cases, I grant you, but it is more likely.

Put it another way, if the employer decides, as people do, that they are in the right and that they don't see why they should pay for work that hasn't been performed (never mind the fact that they have engineered that situation), then they won't want to pay and probably can't be made to pay. And as you suggest, if they have connections, you could be doing more damage than merely failing to gain compensation.

My feeling is that if the school is cowardly then it is better to know now rather than to wait until a more serious allegation comes up. Count it as a lucky escape and think of the positive experiences acquired on the way.
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sohniye



Joined: 15 Mar 2011
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you everyone for your insight I wanted to be certain not to shortchange myself.

I have a formal MA in Education so I was not working for a language school nor will there be the next 'dead end job.' I need references as part of my ongoing professional portfolio.

I won't be staying in Russia, though the mega salaries of the governesses are tempting Wink I didn't mind life here but having worked with/for the uber-rich I see feel that this place offers very little in way of true career advancement.

It seems that most expats involved in education either end up working for low paying English language 'schools' or for the mega rich who won't think twice to dismiss you immediately because they didn't like your hair colour one day... Very Happy I also have found that men are treated with far more respect here than women...and this is by women often. No doubt Russia is best experienced by foreign, Russian speaking males.

Nothing against the kids though...poorly behaved sure....but really fun most of the time.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9047
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good on you. But by dead-end I mean a job with no prospects for advancement, no permanence or security, leading nowhere. This is, sadly, true for most English-teaching jobs in Russia, and elsewhere, and is true no matter how well-paid one is for the duration.

You are right about the unfair treatment of women, even by other women, though. It's a man's world here. Which is probably why most long-termers in EFL are not female. However, you are not quite on the mark about the options open to those who do stay here: most long-term teachers work for themselves in some way or another, and they work with middle-class learners, who are much more pleasant to deal with, naturally. I'd even remark that they are just as profitable as the filthy rich, as they tend to stick to their lessons more seriously and for longer, thereby paying out more in the long run.

Anyway, good luck with whatever you decide to do!
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1831

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I have to say, the filthy rich would not be my market of choice.
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kazachka



Joined: 19 Nov 2004
Posts: 217
Location: Moscow and Alaska

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sohniye wrote:
Thank you everyone for your insight I wanted to be certain not to shortchange myself.

I have a formal MA in Education so I was not working for a language school nor will there be the next 'dead end job.' I need references as part of my ongoing professional portfolio.

I won't be staying in Russia, though the mega salaries of the governesses are tempting Wink I didn't mind life here but having worked with/for the uber-rich I see feel that this place offers very little in way of true career advancement.

It seems that most expats involved in education either end up working for low paying English language 'schools' or for the mega rich who won't think twice to dismiss you immediately because they didn't like your hair colour one day... Very Happy I also have found that men are treated with far more respect here than women...and this is by women often. No doubt Russia is best experienced by foreign, Russian speaking males.

Nothing against the kids though...poorly behaved sure....but really fun most of the time.



I was going to suggest checking out the governess opportunities given the experience you now have from the kindergarten. The governess jobs depend so much on placement. I was really lucky in that I worked with a family where we had mutual respect for each other and the parents actually paid attention to their kids. Placement with the right client can be such a crapshoot. I'm finally getting back into the governess stuff now(just part time live out ) that I am on my own visa and bound to no one but myself and whomever I care to work for. I also find that women, esp. over 30, tend to have an advantage in this market if they are qualified. Many parents don't want to trust their kids with a 21 yr old newbie.

The only time I was asked about my physical appearance by an agency on a detailed app. had to do with piercings. They wanted to know if I had anything other than ear piercings.Yes, how odd I thought. Well FWIW I have a belly button ring which didn't keep me from getting job offers. Would I let someone make the removal of said belly ring or force me to make any other physical changes to my appearance for the sake of a client- HELL NO. Dress code is fine but anything beyond is a bit much.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12165
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sasha, what will you do when the Bolsheviks come back ?
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9047
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come back? Never left...
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