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Warning: IN ENGLISH - Rome

 
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lisaktate



Joined: 27 Apr 2013
Posts: 15
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:29 pm    Post subject: Warning: IN ENGLISH - Rome Reply with quote

I just wanted to post a message to you all in case any of you were thinking of accepting a job offer from this school in Rome. I posted last year asking for information before I accepted the position, but no one seemed to know anything about it. However, I decided to take the plunge and move to Rome, and what followed was the worst few months on my teaching life.

Firstly, in the interview the didactic co-ordinator Patrick will basically promise you the world and make it sound like you will be making almost 2,000 a month. Looking back on it now, I know I was naive to believe him, but I am posting this message now as a cautionary tale.

He will tell you of the benefits and security of working for his school, how the organisation is run by a teacher, so the happiness of teachers is important to them. He will tell you that although the job involves working in several schools and students' homes, everything is very close and you will be given blocks of work in the same area to reduce travel time as much as possible. He will also tell you that if a student cancels a lesson on the same day, you will get paid for that lesson as normal without question.

THIS IS ALL LIES.

I know a lot of you have similar experiences of teaching in Italy and I am almost embarrassed to admit how much they took advantage of me, but as I said - I want to warn anyone who may be tempted.

Almost as soon as I began working with them, I was treated like a child by the owner of the school, Jane. She is incredibly patronising and manipulative towards teachers, particularly the younger members of staff (bearing in mind that I am 29 years old!) When I was given the contract, I explained that because my Italian was really not very strong, I would like to take it home for a night to read it and then give it back to her the next day. She responded abruptly by saying that the contract is the best teachers can get and thrust a pen into my hand, "Just sign it now" - and like an idiot, I did. She also tried to make me feel like a bad teacher when I refused to take on the task of teaching a 3 year old boy on an individual basis for 3 hours a week - I told her that I thought it was totally inappropriate for a child his age, he understandably dreaded every lesson and I wasn't prepared to continue putting him through it. Of course she eventually got another teacher on the case, because naturally it's all about the money and I was naive to believe otherwise.

Then in terms of travel time, it was absolutely ridiculous. I had to allow an hour between almost every lesson, because the promise of "blocks of work" in one area of course never materialised. I lived in the north of Rome, in the Cassia-Grottarossa area and on Wednesday evenings I was sent to a student who lived near the Vatican and it often took me 2 hours to get back home. When I tried to explain this to my boss and suggest that this student should be given to one of the several teachers who had cars, or one in particular who lived in the area, I was told that the mother was a personal friend of Jane and too many teachers had given up on that weekly journey before, so to refuse it would be incredibly embarrassing to Jane. I'm ashamed to say once again I folded to her emotional blackmail.

I also had a few issues with students who cancelled on the days of their lessons - several times I received calls from the office, asking if I could forego my payment because the student was such a loyal customer, or because it was the son of someone in the office. I felt that saying "No! Pay up!" again somehow made me seem like a bad teacher and only in it for the money. HA! I have learned a lot since then.

It got to the stage that I was only just making my rent payments each month and could hardly afford to eat. I survived there until Christmas, and then had to break my contract by not returning to Rome after the holidays. Thankfully I got a great job in Catania and I am still there now, going back next week to start another school year. Unfortunately I had to pay a couple of hundred Euros for the expense caused to In English by fleeing unexpectedly. Not ideal, but it was a small price to pay for what I went through living there.

I can honestly say that the experience opened my eyes a lot and toughened me up. There is no way I would be backed into corners now in the way I allowed them to do to me.

I also hope this reaches even just one person who contemplated working in the school so they can get out while they can!
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1286

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds pretty grim. You did the right thing by leaving, by the sounds of it. But why did you pay them a couple of hundred Euro to break your contract? I'm pretty sure they wouldn't bother to try and pursue you for such a low sum of money...

Glad you're having a better experience in Catania!
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lisaktate



Joined: 27 Apr 2013
Posts: 15
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much! Yeah although I still love Rome, Sicily is definitely my home. In terms of the payment to break my contract, it was more a matter of me waiting and waiting for In English to actually pay me for my hours worked in December, which they held back on for as long as possible, then when I had to tell them I wasn't coming back that's when I got the response that I had been paid for December with the "expenses" deducted. They are absolute crooks.
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Day Dreamer



Joined: 09 Dec 2015
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 11:38 am    Post subject: InEnglish Reply with quote

To the OP, lisaktate. Is Jane the short chubby Chinese lady?

That's the person I spoke to and I got a completely different feeling about her. The Chinese lady called Jane was forthright and open about many things. She explained strengths (many hours, schools, trying to accommodate schedule, trying to suit your strengths) and weaknesses (low pay, many hours, mostly younger kids).

She said their company does criminal background checks, require the tax form, and a few other things they do that other schools don't. She claimed her company acts more legally than most. I didn't get the feeling that she was trying to snow me. I'm in my 50s, so I can tell a bull$hitter when I see one
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 731

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmmmm. . . Interesting first post.

.
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Day Dreamer



Joined: 09 Dec 2015
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xie Lin wrote:
Hmmmmm. . . Interesting first post.

.


How so? Because I said something nice about her. The OP for whatever reason allowed this company to push her around. It wasn't until after the fact that she noticed.

This "Jane" lady was smooth talking and tried to shmooze me (sp?) I didn't work. I don't have to take anything, I have options. I haven't signed with these guys yet but they have asked me more in-depth questions and they had me to observe classes

Or do you mean that you think I'm not really me and I'm part of this school's staff? Had this been my 100th post, would my comments then be valid? If that's what you meant, then I don't appreciate the implication
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Day Dreamer



Joined: 09 Dec 2015
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just noticed this was double posted

Last edited by Day Dreamer on Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11481
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting the post count up swiftly Wink Rolling Eyes
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Day Dreamer



Joined: 09 Dec 2015
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last night I spoke to an outgoing teacher. Without getting the person in any trouble, I'll paraphrase his/her thoughts about this place;

- bad communication skills
- unorganized
- pay sucks
- happy to leave

The person has a few years experience so I'll give them a little credence
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AGoodStory



Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 738

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum, Day Dreamer! It appears that you are not, after all, the owner of the In English school! I'm afraid that when someone shows up with a brand new identity to defend a school in his very first post, it has often turned out to be planted by the school itself. However, it now seems clear that you just accidentally fit into this pattern. I hope this explains the initial suspicion.

Again, welcome to the cafe! We don't have very many members in Italy, so it is great to have another voice from that country. Very Happy
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Day Dreamer



Joined: 09 Dec 2015
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AGoodStory wrote:
Welcome to the forum, Day Dreamer! It appears that you are not, after all, the owner of the In English school! I'm afraid that when someone shows up with a brand new identity to defend a school in his very first post, it has often turned out to be planted by the school itself. However, it now seems clear that you just accidentally fit into this pattern. I hope this explains the initial suspicion.

Again, welcome to the cafe! We don't have very many members in Italy, so it is great to have another voice from that country. Very Happy


Danke

I actually wash't trying to defend them, just present what I experienced. I'm an older man, whereas the OP was I youngish lady (29 is young for me!)

The DOS obviously tried to subdue her and realized it wouldn't work on me. Gender, age, attitude, etc. all come together. Please don't flame me as a chauvinist, it's part of the games people play. I truly feel for her and I know she'd do it differently if given a mulligan.

I'll try to keep everyone abreast of my working exploits in the Eternal City. So far, this school seems to be no different from many others. No real outlandish promises, nor is it a well oiled machine. But they desperately want me (since I'm so cute and cuddly Rolling Eyes )
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Day Dreamer



Joined: 09 Dec 2015
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AGoodStory wrote:
Welcome to the forum, Day Dreamer! It appears that you are not, after all, the owner of the In English school!


First of all, if I was, I'd say so right away, but that's me

Second, in all honesty, I wouldn't care too much what people/ex-teachers/etc. say about my school. I was a manager at another school in a place long, long, ago far, far, away. We had people/ex-teachers/etc. say all kinds of shit about me, the owner, the school, and on and on. Some was true, some missed the mark, and lots were outright lies. If you worry about what everybody thinks and says about you, you'll lose sleep.

I sleep well
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AGoodStory



Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 738

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

I'll try to keep everyone abreast of my working exploits in the Eternal City.


I'll look forward to it! Not too much compares with a first-hand description of life in Rome. Cool Enjoy the holidays in one of my favorite cities!
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Jdculver



Joined: 30 Apr 2017
Posts: 10
Location: San Diego, ca

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 3:28 pm    Post subject: Day Dreamer Reply with quote

Did you end up going with this school? I'm curious as I have an interview with the didactic coordinator.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1581
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:26 am    Post subject: wtf Reply with quote

You paid the school? That's a first in my 22 years of teaching. Never let a school threaten you. The contracts mostly contradict labour law and many schools dodge tax. The last place they want to be is in court. Always tell them to go....
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