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Regent School
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newyorker



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:24 pm    Post subject: Dear theos.sophos Reply with quote

*

Last edited by newyorker on Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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theos.sophos



Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My past experience does not lie in teaching children. Though I did in fact teach children, the majority of my experience lies in teaching examination courses and high level management executives. I really don't care who gets the tax write off...as long as I am moderately comfortable, I am fine. Who cares whose best interest it's in? I have a place to live.

You can add to that list at least one more. A teacher also left this past year. However, when I first arrived and saw him, it was obvious to me that he was going to leave. He just didn't feel right. He was too homesick. This was even before classes began. Perhaps it is, at least, partially due to recruitment practices. In the case above, it is certainly true.

Don't talk to me about qualifications Dr. Newyorker. You don't know the first thing about me. I know how to make students talk. I know how to turn around a one-sided conversation and distribute it evenly between the students. I understand how to shift the balance of conversation in a lesson, in a semester, and over different levels.

Please don't tell me about my job. I taught zero year students. And by the end of the year, they were discussing topics that 3rd year students were afraid to touch. They were even leading discussions on such topics. Unfortunately, not all of them will move forward. But those that do will likely excel in their classes to be the best in the school. Though that comment may be more motivated by a self-serving bias, I think there is certainly some truth in it.

So be amazed...latest editions of all titles, multiple copy machines, a computer lab with about 25 laptops, several projectors and laptops for teacher use, a state-of-the-art sound system in a classroom with a ceiling mounted projector and screen as well as a large television, televisions and dvd/vcr players in most classrooms, an interactive whiteboard (yet to be used), and yes..even paper!

It’s not uncommon for natives to be employed as independent contractors.

Semester meetings are still conducted similarly. Everything is discussed openly and with peers. It is not a monologue.

I understand words have power. But let’s not discourse on the creative mystery and power of words. It’s sufficient to say that actions always trump words. Sometimes actions follow from words. But being called PhD whoever at a meeting isn't likely to produce any major changes in your life. I'll stand firm on my previous post which suggests that respect gained from a title is insincere and I am personally better off without it. I was on a first name basis with my academic mentor at university.

I only posted the bit on scheduling as you seemed to suggest that your schedule was inflexible.

Yes management and interpersonal style is different conceptually, but not always in practice. We did not all attend the Tony Robbins seminar on how to be the best CEO or whatever. Generally speaking, you can not separate the two. Sorry about all those secrets you encountered, but I just don't have that problem.

I didn't read any posts before working here. But I had extensive email dialogue with the Director of Studies, who was quite nice, and I came to Elblag for an interview to see the living arrangements, school, and meet the owner and Director. I am usually a good judge of character. It was apparent to me that the owner was a business woman, and quite a savvy one at that, but I was not put off by this. I'm a teacher (and I won't go into my understanding of exactly what that means) and saw a good opportunity to do what I love most.

I never claimed mine was the definitive version of things. Nor did I call you a liar, a plant, a secret agent, or otherwise (as others have clearly done to me). However, I am certain that I can claim with absolute authority, that my experience is more recent. I respect your opinion. I respect your experience. But respect that mine is different. Don't question my qualifications, my background, or my methods because of this.


Last edited by theos.sophos on Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:17 pm; edited 3 times in total
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biffinbridge



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 701
Location: Frank's Wild Years

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:00 pm    Post subject: Theos Reply with quote

Hey Theos, you're sounding a bit defensive there, chill out you aren't infallible.

'Be amazed' as you read the following things you have written.

'I understands words have power.....' (lordy, lordy)

'.......management an interpersonal style is different..........'

'.......a teacher did also left.'

'.e-mail dialouge.'

What kind of high level people do you teach?

I'd hate to see their notes.

They obviously don't have any quality control at that place.
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theos.sophos



Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Embarassed
thx briff...I know I'm not infallible. I usually try to correct my posts before posting them...though I do not edit them in office. Spell check is a luxury, isn't it? However, this time I did not as I had more pressing matters at hand and simply wanted to drop a quick retort...will you please check my other posts for errors too?...lol

And why didn't you list them all?

Savvy, contractor, conversation (twice) were all mispelled, numerous apostrophe omissions and at least one article omission. I've corrected all my posts more than once and thought to call someone out on a grammar mistake, but decided against it (and also because I misread the post)...it's too petty (no offense). Also, I normally write online without capital letters, and by hand, with all capital letters...However, in posting on this forum, I thought it would be better to be more formal...

I'm only defensive to the extent I feel I am being accused...every thing I say is beyond my first post is reactive...so I think it's a better word to use...and sometimes I get so excited when I'm writing that my letters and ideas get ahead of themselves...

Clever you said "lordy, lordy" in response to my bit about the creative power of words Very Happy
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theos.sophos



Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

funny briff... Laughing

i smile more and more everytime i reread your post...*snicker*
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oracle



Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:01 pm    Post subject: Oh the lessons I have learned... Reply with quote

After all the accusations, heated debate, and bruised egos, I would like to share some things I have learned…some take-aways if you will. OK class, here we go…

Defensiveness
It is much easier to get defensive and use words/phrases like:
Don't talk to me about…
You don’t know the first thing about me…
Please don't tell me about my job.
than to actually refute the logic/argument of another participant.

On the other hand, Theos Sophos is adept at turning the conversation around and not answering the question posed…an important characteristic of any effective politician. Have you ever considered running for Congress or Parliament?

Sandbox Etiquette
It is poor sandbox etiquette to impugn someone’s integrity or to accuse someone is an informant or a spy. Theos Sophos, please accept our most sincere apologies for suggesting that you were either. Please understand that certain individuals with something to gain could deliberately misrepresent themselves on this forum.

References
As someone who has “buggered off (in reference to a previous posting by biffinbridge;)” long ago from Poland (someone has to be self-deprecating in this forum), I received a key reference from a former employer in Poland to land my current job which has nothing to do with teaching English. So, that reference from TEFL actually meant something. I also know other people who got key references for non-TEFL jobs when they returned home. So, my experience was not an exception to the rule. I was never under the impression that the Regent administration would give me a reference for there is no financial benefit to them. If anything, it consumes something really important-their valuable time. That said, EFL is indeed a transitory business (particularly in an emerging, rapidly-changing country) and many schools don’t exist. I never considered management’s feelings when I informed them that I wouldn’t sign up for that 2nd year. Though, I probably did say some cynical and sarcastic things which would offend them. Interesting to note that certain people on this forum are promoting fraud (“Just make them up and use your friends. 90% of the time no-one even checks them in this business.”) I guess better to deceive people in TEFL than in mortgage lending/investment banking.

Imperfect Knowledge
Theos Sophos knows the circumstances regarding the departure of previous Regent employees after discussing this with one person.

Is it acceptable for a senior administrator to refuse to give hard-working employees who received good reviews a reference when these employees have decided to move on?
-Yes, it is, if the circumstances surrounding one's departure was in some way related to the quality of his/her work, and not just the quantity.

It would be so cool if Theos Sophos could predict the future as well.

Human Resources
Indeed it is “not the teacher’s job to worry about the organization”--however disorganized and poorly-run they think it may be. However, organizations which have poor human relations skills will be at a comparative disadvantage, even eventually big fish in a small pond. Gone forever are the days of twenty percent employment (in Poland; in FR and IT it is probably an attainable goal.)! And please remember that bad management is not country-specific! Though there may be more of it per capita in Elblag.

Unexpected Improvements
“So be amazed...latest editions of all titles, multiple copy machines, a computer lab with about 25 laptops, several projectors and laptops for teacher use, a state-of-the-art sound system in a classroom with a ceiling mounted projector and screen as well as a large television, televisions and dvd/vcr players in most classrooms, an interactive whiteboard (yet to be used), and yes..even paper!”
The person who provided the capital for this operation is very knowledgeable on economics and most likely an astute investor (as if their margins weren’t enough). Between 2005 and 2007, the WIG (stock market) has outperformed the FTSE, DAX, and CAC-40 by some margin. What is surprising is that a certain manager would actually

Clouded Perceptions
And yes, one’s salary and housing situation cloud the evaluation of a school. When I taught at Regent, the housing and salary were good. So how dare I be so critical! Blasphemer!

Vocabulary Check
I am not clear how “conspiracy theory” came about? I shall refer to the most proletarian dictionary on the web to inform certain people of the meaning---Wikipedia:

A conspiracy theory attributes the ultimate cause of an event or chain of events (usually political, social or historical events), or the concealment of such causes from public knowledge, to a secret, and often deceptive plot by a group of powerful or influential people or organizations. Many conspiracy theories imply that major events in history have been dominated by conspirators who manipulate political happenings from behind the scenes.

Where and when did NewYorker and I suggest a conspiracy theory? May I suggest you have watched too many Oliver Stone films.

The Fairer Sex
“You're in Poland cos of the chicks I bet.” I could have never known how beautiful and voluptuous Polish women (younger than 35) were back in the day as I never ordered my mail-order-bride catalogue prior to departure. I never even got a memo. Interesting how one never hears, “I bet you’re in Poland for the guys.” So, could that quote be construed as a sexist comment?

Forum Discussions
“Forums such as these are often for those who have had bad experiences that run to places like this to seek some sort of refuge for their negative experiences. People are generally (not always) motivated to action through the occurrence of negative events. So, I'll bet that one can find more negative opinions about a given school rather than positive ones.” Nooooo you don’t say….These forums are self-selective….really?

Year Zero
“I taught zero year students. And by the end of the year, they were discussing topics that 3rd year students were afraid to touch.”
All Hail Theos Sophos and proclaim his greater glory! Have you ever thought that students’ willingness to discuss certain topics depends as much on their personality and morals as on their vocabulary and linguistic aptitude(not to mention their instructor)? Shall we infer that you are single-handedly the reason for their improvement? If so, I am sure management rewarded you with a big raise. Good job!

Stating the Obvious?
“The function of a good teacher is to be able to adapt (to these situations) and learn from mistakes.” Couldn’t one say this about most positions or successful person?

Ulterior Motives
“I have been to numerous teacher trainings and seminars and have also received educational assistance to improve upon my qualifications as a teacher.”
So, the trainings and seminars were conducted by representatives from Oxford (Press) and Cambridge (Press). I am sure they were there for truly altruistic reasons. I thought coming from the world’s most commercialized society, you would have created a BS filter for marketing campaigns. I hope they gave Regent a reduced rate for you to attend after buying so many new books and multimedia teaching materials.

Assessing the Power Structure
“But I had extensive email dialogue with the Director of Studies, who was quite nice, and I came to Elblag for an interview to see the living arrangements, school, and meet the owner and Director. I am usually a good judge of character.”
But evidently not one of organizational power as the DoS is a figurehead. [Does anyone hear the rubber stamp?] Oh right, all language schools in Poland are like that, silly me.

Reach for the Tissues!
“But let’s not discourse on the creative mystery and power of words.” Damn, that’s beautiful! I haven’t heard a line like that since I was dragged to a chick flick by my wife. though isn’t the difference between a good word and the right word everything?

Culture Knowledge Check
If you think that titles are not important in Poland then you don't know Poland very well
and you certainly don't know the role of certain people at the college (even though a car was purchased for them; talk about a perk! Wonder if the cost of petrol was covered?). In response to those who have referred to people from Elblag as "the proletariat," I have been to both Glasgow and Boston and I can most assuredly say that the proletariat has either emigrated or drowned in the River Clyde or Boston Harbor! There is no proletariat in these cities! (sorry inside joke)

Reactions
“I'm only defensive to the extent I feel I am being accused...”
In summer 2008, you feel accused. In summer 2009, you will feel blindsided. May want to improve your work radar.

Biases
Isn’t it disingenuine to proclaim the Regent Paradise when there are certain exogenous circumstances in your life which may have altered your perception of reality? I mean everyone is biased, but…

Mr. Speaker, I yield my time.
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theos.sophos



Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate that you find me adept at manipulating a conversation. However, do not mistake my words for sophistry. Please, if I was ambiguous in my response to any of the questions posed, please clarify which questions those are and I will be more direct. I did not quote the actual questions in my text, but I responded to each of them in the same order they were raised in previous posts. Perhaps I accidentally switched the order on one or two of them. I did not fail to answer any questions...and I despise politics...

I also appreciate your comments and, as I said, I respect that your experiences are different. Also, thank you for your apology. I employed the term 'conspiracy theory' in reference to the notion that I was not actually a regent employee and that the actual causes of my posting on this forum were concealed from public knowledge. Also, at one point Newyorker mentioned that many details were concealed from him and that the faculty and staff at Regent exhanged important information behind his back.

Are motives really that important? Who cares if publishing houses sponsor training events to promote titles and make money. Unfortunately, the world is more and more capitalistic. With regard to education, I feel a utilitarian model is more effective in appraising the situation. Look at the result, not the reason. In the end, publishers make money, teachers learn skills, and students become educated. In some way, your point seems to smell of Red Herring. In what way and why should free training be ignored just because it also serves to generate public awareness with regard to a marketable good or service? (You did the same thing before with all the blah blah blah market stuff. Who cares if someone invested, there are materials which can be used and exist in contradiction to Newyorker's belief..he himself said that he would be amazed.)

Regarding my year zero classes, I did mention that I was perhaps tooting my own horn a bit...

Again, you are trying to relate two unrelated points and cloud the issue. In what way does the utility of the post DOS relate my comment in the context in which it occured. I was responding to the fact that I didn't read any posts before accepting the job, I actually came to the school to meet the people and see the place. So, perhaps the DOS is a figure-head, or not...How does that speak anything to my situation or comment?

I feel that I have responded to each of the points in each of the posts which merit or ask for a response. In the end, it seems you are more more adept at avoiding the points or questions at hand...or rather, at introducing irrelevant points...at any rate, I did not post on this forum to end up in a flame war...I find that Newyorker's posts are much more to the issue than your beat-around-the-bush whatever it is...he actually raises issues that present problems for prospective teachers...and I have answered these from my experience.
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Kymro



Joined: 19 Oct 2003
Posts: 244

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jesus.

Is this some kind of congress for philosophers?
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oracle



Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually no...it is a forum about Regent Language School and College in Elblag and work experiences of former employees with some tangents interspersed between.

Should New Yorker, Theos Sophos, and Oracle use shorter sentences or refrain from using words with more than two syllables long to facilitate understanding (with excessive amounts of GenYspeak like dude, you know, like, etc.)?
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Kymro



Joined: 19 Oct 2003
Posts: 244

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oracle wrote:
Actually no...it is a forum about Regent Language School and College in Elblag and work experiences of former employees with some tangents interspersed between.

Should New Yorker, Theos Sophos, and Oracle use shorter sentences or refrain from using words with more than two syllables long to facilitate understanding (with excessive amounts of GenYspeak like dude, you know, like, etc.)?


Yeah, it would facilitate understanding.

I couldn't be bothered to read what had been written in the thread.

Good English should be simple, clear, understandable and a pleasure to read.
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Harry from NWE



Joined: 13 Sep 2007
Posts: 283

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oracle wrote:
Should New Yorker, Theos Sophos, and Oracle use shorter sentences or refrain from using words with more than two syllables long to facilitate understanding (with excessive amounts of GenYspeak like dude, you know, like, etc.)?


Dude! Totally!
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katers



Joined: 19 Jun 2008
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reading this has tired me out Sad

I think I'll go and do some work now.
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theos.sophos



Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

still here yall...and still satisfied...
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john123



Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy New Year.

I could sum up Theos' motivation in one word - insecurity. I mean, praising a blatant language factory does reek of insecurity.

Most 'exam' teachers I have met are both dull and bad teachers. I do not assume that Theos is either of these. Try teaching connected speech to a partially deaf businesswoman Theos. Then we will see what you are made of.

As for boasting about 'I know how to make students talk', and distributing student talking time. Sure, I can do that. I wonder what you do about language input, or are you simply chatting to these people?

Regards

John.
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AUTHORKEV



Joined: 04 Jan 2013
Posts: 2
Location: EUROPE

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:59 pm    Post subject: REGENT SCHOOL Reply with quote

It's probably too late to influence anyone moved to answer the recent ads by this establishment but my tuppenceworth might serve a purpose in the future.
It is in my book a place to be devoutly avoided. Promises, contracts, count for nil. I had my hours slashed when the director found a Yank to take my classes for substantially less than I was being paid. Said Yank, of course, knew nowt about my rates. I did not enlighten him. I got a better offer elsewhere and simply left.
A colleague was summarily fired and ordered out of his "school" flat because he declined to travel by bus to another town every Friday evening in utter contravention of the terms of his employment. I can say for a fact that a couple of cops turned up at his flat late at night to make sure he got out. In the event he was given until 8a.m. next morn before removing himself and his stuff to the roadside...This colleague's posts on this site, telling what had happened, were removed.
Draw your obvious conclusions...school operators who can call on cops to turn out a tenant...who manage to have posts removed...
Poland can be a tough place to work. Like many teachers I've gone through the rite of passage of being underpaid (not by Regent, in fairness)
but I've not come across such Regent-like treatment being doled out elsewhere.
It's a fair few years since I worked in Elblag. I've been back to visit a couple of pals. These pals do not include Regent management.
As I said, a set-up best avoided.
AUTHORKEV
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