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Indo Poop-Shoot

 
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Chester



Joined: 15 May 2004
Posts: 383
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 3:20 pm    Post subject: Indo Poop-Shoot Reply with quote

I will commence an Indonesian Poop-Shoot for dodgy ESL Companies. Let The poop begin here. Give us your poop on one thread.
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phis



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 250

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I posted the following comments on another board, but I think it is quite relevant to what you are trying to do here. It isn't too difficult to comment on bad schools, but there are no provisions on Dave's for commenting about good schools, without it being taken off the board as 'advertising'.

Quote:
I have a really serious question though. How do you convince people you are a reputable school and not out to con them? I am, of course, referring to those school in Asia which have to depend on telephone and internet recruiting. We can't do it here on Dave's, because if you want to bad-mouth a school, that is okay, but if you want to give positive comments about a school, that will be taken as advertising and will be deleted from the board. This is true even if it is a teacher who wants to comment, because people will just believe that they have been made to do it by the management of the school.

I am really at my wits end. If you tell them that what is contained in the contract is what you get, they turn it down because they want to believe the 'exaggerated and sometimes fraudulent' offers of other less reputable schools. You can't then tell them that the other 'school/s' are famous for dumping their teachers before the end of contract so that they don't have to pay out end year bonuses and will find other ways of withholding salary, airfares, etc., because a) that would be unprofessional b) they will think you are making it up c) because you have 'safety clauses' in your own contract, they will think you are going to do the same.

Also, how can you convince people that the salary, although it no-way compares to a Western salary is a really good deal. Most people forget to look at the whole package. When this includes free housing and utilities bills, food allowance and free maid service, the actually salary goes way up. Combined with the really low cost of living in most Asian countries, there are very few people who could enjoy such a high standard of living in any Western country. And yes, you are not going to go home rich, but you will have had a year or more of living well, and travelling cheaply to places you would have to pay a king's ransom to book through a Western travel agent.

And, why oh why, can't people understand that salaries between each Asian country and even different regions in the same country, are based on the cost of living in each place. You will be offered three or four times more money in cities such as Jakarta and Surabaya (I'm only talking about Indonesia now), but you will have to pay out three or four times more to live decently. And very often, (but not always), in these places, you have to find and pay for your own accommodation.

And my final rant is about handing out email addresses of teachers already working for the school. If we say no (because this is an invasion of privacy and also because it would involve a great deal of time for the teachers to respond to every request for information), we are accused of having something to hide. If we say yes, we are accused of only giving the email addresses of teachers who will say good things about us (management puppets!). Or even worse, inventing teachers and writing the emails ourselves.

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comenius



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Posts: 124
Location: San Francisco, California, USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting question. In a microeconomics class I'm taking right now, there is a strategy scenario we covered called the "Lemon's Curse," in which when all products are considered to be of poor quality, truly high quality products won't be successful (in recruiting qualified teachers, charging higher fees for their classes, etc.) without some means of "signalling" that they are indeed high quality. For established, well known products (or schools), the brand name alone can serve this purpose.

In the case of new or unknown products--such as your language school--warranties of some fashion are often used to signal quality. The question of course is what type of "warranty" can be used to signal to the quality teachers that you represent a high quality school. The trick is that if a low quality school can copy your signal, you end up back at square one and all schools become lumped into the same category again--the lemon's curse (lemon as in a bad car--think of what car manufacturers and used car dealers do to gain the confidence of their potential customers that the car they're buying isn't a hunk of junk).

As a result, your signal must be something that a "low quality" school can't profitably "afford" to offer. And of course, if you are indeed a low quality school (not saying you are!), the last thing you want to do is credibly signal you're a high quality school, as the "cost" would outweigh its "profit" for you.

So... What's your warranty, so to speak? The thing you can do that other, lower quality schools can't? Or is it best just to compete in the low quality arena, and take the low quality benefits--which still should be greater than zero--after all, there are lots and lots of less than stellar quality language schools in the world. In fact, in many industries and markets, high quality has proven to be unprofitable, and low quality rules the roost. Smile


Last edited by comenius on Sun Aug 08, 2004 6:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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phis



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 250

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh my dear

We have just come full circle. My original post was how to convince people to understand we are a reputable school. Your post seems to indicate that we have to use different stategies, whether we are a good school or not, and the outcome is the same.

I am still going to take 3 or 4 months to find a teacher who is, not only a good teacher, but who will also fit into our present team (both native and local teachers).

Yes, I am frustrated. But I am going to stick with it until I find the right person.
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comenius



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Posts: 124
Location: San Francisco, California, USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The situation is definitely a puzzle. The good news is that everyone ends up at the bottom of the barrel only if there is no way to signal a difference between your school and all the other schools. I guess the best way to figure out a solution is to try to crawl in the heads of good teachers and find out what it is they like, and try to present an employment environment/package that caters to them. That's probably a pain, too, as different teachers have different objectives. You could ask the good teachers you currently employ, though, or any other good teachers you know from your career. Oh, and only interview the really good teachers... you don't really need to care about what attracts poor performers!

So... at the end of the day, what makes your school unique, what makes it shine and really stand out from the others? Or what could make your school unique?

Some possibilities:

1. Pay. 101 angles to this, of course. Base pay, bonus pay, vacation pay, end of contract pay, bonus for students that enroll again, flight reimbursement, insurance reimbursement, housing reimbursement. How do you stack up to the competition? What's your budget? Can you shave down something in one area and add to another area that perhaps good teachers find more attractive?

2. Professional Development. Materials, facilities, professional journals, a formal process to review and provide constructive feedback on lesson plans as well as actual lessons, recognition amongst peers for strong performance, monthly teacher training workshops lead by the DOS or Senior Teachers.

3. Personal Development. Language classes, cultural classes, school sponsored events or trips, yoga classes, batik painting classes, a group of folks that likes to ride their bikes or surf or run or something else, something that you're doing in the community besides offering language classes that would be engaging to good teachers, free haircuts, whatever. Smile

Of course, at the end of the day, employment is always a bit of a crap shoot. People can do great in interviews and fall apart in the classroom, and managers can over sell a position too.

Good luck, though. And let me know if there's anything I can do to be of help. Smile
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ls650



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 3484
Location: British Columbia

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 11:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Indo Poop-Shoot Reply with quote

Chester wrote:
I will commence an Indonesian Poop-Shoot for dodgy ESL Companies. Let The poop begin here. Give us your poop on one thread.


Why do we need a thread for dodgy companies? If you look in the Job Journals there are plenty of complaints.

People seem to whine a lot more loudly than they praise.... How about a thread for schools that people are _happy_ with?
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KCA420



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

edit

Last edited by KCA420 on Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bedevilled



Joined: 02 Aug 2004
Posts: 28
Location: Medan, North Sumatera

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

phis... hmmmm. Oddly enough I just figured out who you are. She's actually my boss. hee hee. Fancy meeting you here.

I was just perusing the forum and came across this thread. I'm not going to name our school, but I teach here and I am extremely well taken care of. For those of you who've got a raw deal from your respective former employers, I can empathize because I wouldn't want to be in your position. I don't hang out with any of the English teachers from the other schools because all they do is bitch and complain about how much they hate their jobs. I, for one, am quite happy here and have just re-signed my contract for another year. I really don't think it's fair to say all the schools are the same. They're not.

For those of you reading this while contemplating coming to Indonesia, don't let the negative threads completely turn you off. I would, however do some research before coming and try to talk to the teachers who do work at the schools that you're applying to.

Speaking of which, I appreciate my boss NOT advertising my e-mail on the net. When we have a prospective employee, she gives their email to all of the Native English teachers and asks us to email them. It's left up to us what we tell them.
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willy



Joined: 29 Mar 2003
Posts: 215
Location: Samarinda,Kalimantan,Indonesia(left TW)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I like to do a lot of name dropping gram in TW was a school bent on $$ and just entertaining the students, but at least they honored there contract witch is more then I can say for ILP it WAS a good school that seem to have hired a few mangers who cant!
As my other posts have said it was a good experance but it has turned sour for many teachers they have gone from 8 very good and experienced ones to 2 one is has never tough before and corp has lost most of there contracts and only have 2 teachers out of 12 to years ago.

As for EF well nothing to say just read the forum.

Itís a funny thing most happy teachers donít post and some just donít care. I agree with Comenius

Quote:
Some possibilities:

1. Pay. 101 angles to this, of course. Base pay, bonus pay, vacation pay, end of contract pay, bonus for students that enroll again, flight reimbursement, insurance reimbursement, housing reimbursement. How do you stack up to the competition? What's your budget? Can you shave down something in one area and add to another area that perhaps good teachers find more attractive?

2. Professional Development. Materials, facilities, professional journals, a formal process to review and provide constructive feedback on lesson plans as well as actual lessons, recognition amongst peers for strong performance, monthly teacher training workshops lead by the DOS or Senior Teachers.

3. Personal Development. Language classes, cultural classes, school sponsored events or trips, yoga classes, batik painting classes, a group of folks that likes to ride their bikes or surf or run or something else, something that you're doing in the community besides offering language classes that would be engaging to good teachers, free haircuts, whatever.


I can only think of a few schools that offer things like that. Some that wonít even think of giving you a Visa!


Then if you are a good school in a small town not many teachers want to come no matter what you can offer
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