Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

anyone got a decent contract?
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Italy
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
SueH



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Posts: 1022
Location: Northern Italy

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carolina,
non preoccupatevi - if you'd been positive you'd have been accused of being unrealstic, a dreamer etc...

You also forgot that you also have to declare hair length and colour, sexuality etc...perish the thought that you might assume that I'm a long haired blonde who wants to go to Italy for the men...
Mind you, I'd probably do OK in Italy as I can flirt with _anyone!_

Smile Sue
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
caroline italy



Joined: 09 Apr 2003
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Sue,

I appreciate you trying to cheer me up but I've decided that I thoroughly deserved that telling off/personality-analysis and..well... I've decided to start afresh, turn the page, bury the hatchet, etc. No more negativity - only positive thoughts...

Contracts in Italy are terrible BUT the weather is great.

Lots of the big schools seem to be in agreement over a fixed low wage BUT the wine's great.

You often don't get sick pay or holiday pay BUT the food's great.

You're unemployed every June BUT the monuments are great.

You can totally forget about a pension BUT the people are great.

Uhm...just one last thing...the colour of my hair - it's not completely natural...can I still particpate in the forum????

yours in silliness

Caroline
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
avahanian



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 1:39 am    Post subject: teaching in italy Reply with quote

caroline italy wrote:
Dear Arin

First of all I want to thank you so much for having dedicated so much time to such a long reply. I would however like to point out a couple of things.

First of all, I am not a back-packer but am a 42 year-old woman who has been permanently resident in Italy for twenty years. I do not live in a big city but a rural area in the centre. I have no desire or even the means of moving to Milan since I have a son who would refuse point blank to be dragged away from the rest of his family, friends and environment.

I read your analysis of my problems with interest, but - please excuse me if I have to contradict you - since I'm probably a bit more aware of my life/career/personality than you are - I feel obliged to defend myself. I don't think I do a bad job of marketing myself, in that, of all the people I know in this very non-industrial area, I've probably got the most work (by the way, I actually worked in marketing for 7 years).

I apologise for have "whinged" in my previous posts but I was unaware that postings of a negative nature were not allowed. My inital posting was simply to enquire which schools/institutes were giving decent contracts.

One last thing, Arin, I am curious to know how your rather over-bearing manner works in the classroom. Quite frankly, you would alienate most of the students I teach.


Dear Caroline,

I would first like to mention that although I had originally replied to your message, I was not in any way directing my comments specifically to you.

I did not even insinuate or think for a moment that you were a backpacker - it is obvious that you are not, simply by reading any one of your messages on this forum

Nor did I accuse you specifically of not having good marketing skills - rather, I was pointing out that some people who post messages in these forums (and almost all people who post their experiences in the Job Information Journal) expect to arrive in a country, without proper qualifications or experience, and walk into a school and gain a lucrative teaching job just because they are a native speaker of a language.

Of course you are welcome to post negative messages, or anything else you fancy (let the moderators handle this), but why not also post positive experiences, or at the very least, some solutions to some of the many problems which exist for an English teacher in Italy?

About my overbearing manner, it works quite well with businesspeople (as I am a consultant, any english teaching or language teaching that I do is in this context)

One thing that I had hoped that people would get out of my message was "Let's not turn this into another Job Information Journal".

cheers

Arin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
avahanian



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 1:58 am    Post subject: the reality of working in Italy Reply with quote

caroline italy wrote:
Dear Scot47

Just a couple of lines of solidarity. I saw you got told off for not having come clean about your age and family status.

Although, now that I come to think of it, maybe Arin is right...

Confess all at the beginning of every posting - age, number of kids, mortage, star sign, shoe size. Come out of the closet - get it off your chest!

Maybe Dave could invent some sort of alarm which goes off when people over 30 participate in a forum...

Funnily enough, most of the people I know who do this job are definitely NOT in their twenties...

Yours in old age,

Caroline Italy


Quite funny indeed....I must admit, I was laughing after reading your message Smile

Is it really too much to ask for people to contribute something more than just a generalised statement that offers nothing helpful but instead discourages many teachers from going to Italy?

I have nothing against telling people how it is....and yes, there are many negative things about working in Italy....but positive things also. how about if we tell them the entire story, rather than just one aspect?

You can be as negative as you want, but how about sharing some of your positive experiences. I'm sure teachers would really appreciate that as well

Scot47 knows he wasn't told off....rather, he was asked to not generate incredibly negative impressions of Italy which anyway, only apply to him. He did mention that he had a wife and kids....does this apply to most English teachers who are considering going to Italy?

This is one thing that everyone (including myself) needs to understand - our own experiences can offer valuable information, but most of the time they are very subjective experiences and some things won't apply to others. Some things which we find terrible are not very inconvenient to others.

There's no need to share personal information with us....but how about indicating that it might be different for someone supporting a family, than it is for a 23-year-old with fewer responsibilities who is excited about getting started in a new career possibly?

It's very easy to say things such as, "Don't come here, it's impossible to earn a living teaching English, etc." and offer no solutions

Most Italians too, will complain of the excessive taxes and how difficult it is to find a good job....meanwhile working for cash and having a jolly old time Smile

It's more difficult in fact, to say something positive when amongst a group of disgruntled backpackers who found that they had to actually work for a living when they arrived in Italy (with this comment I am referring ONLY to the JOB INFORMATION JOURNAL, not this forum)

here are my comments to those people in the JIJ: "adesso sapete cosa vuol dire guadagnarsi il pane...."

fortunately, the people who know what they are talking about (I'm not really a part of this group, ha ha) post messages here rather than on the JIJ - I thank you for that Smile

cheers

Arin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
avahanian



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 2:02 am    Post subject: positives and negatives Reply with quote

caroline italy wrote:
Dear Sue,

I appreciate you trying to cheer me up but I've decided that I thoroughly deserved that telling off/personality-analysis and..well... I've decided to start afresh, turn the page, bury the hatchet, etc. No more negativity - only positive thoughts...

Contracts in Italy are terrible BUT the weather is great.

Lots of the big schools seem to be in agreement over a fixed low wage BUT the wine's great.

You often don't get sick pay or holiday pay BUT the food's great.

You're unemployed every June BUT the monuments are great.

You can totally forget about a pension BUT the people are great.

Uhm...just one last thing...the colour of my hair - it's not completely natural...can I still particpate in the forum????

yours in silliness

Caroline


Yes I can see you are trying to be sarcastic here, but surprisingly, this message of yours is amongst the most useful in this forum!!!

Why?

Because it tells both sides of the story !!

You think you are being silly but in fact, you have just offered us many useful pieces of information (such as being unemployed in June, and preparing oneself for that)

These are the sort of things that I'm sure teachers would want to know

Nobody said this was an easy business.....but it beats a 9-7 routine in new york or London Smile

Keep up the good work Smile

cheers

Arin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
caroline italy



Joined: 09 Apr 2003
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Erin

You replies were so nice that I've decided to bury the hatchet (and since it's Friday and I'm in a good mood - I'll do somewhere other than your skull! Haaaaaaaaa!!! Just jesting!!!) and smoke the pipe of peace - virtually at least.

I haven't time for the long reply your posting deserves but I just wanted to write you a couple of lines.

First of all - all silliness aside now - I think there are definite problems connected with working in Italy in general - and in particular in English teaching. You only have to look at lists of international job offers to see the difference in wages being offered. If Italy was a cheap country to live in ...well, fine...but it isn't - and what most schools offer is shockingly undignified (got a job offer from a school in Rome a few days ago offering 5 euro per hour. I mean, if I go grape-picking/ironing/stairwashing, etc., I'd earn more). My bitterness - or negativity - comes from this basically. I do a damn good job of teaching - I'm well qualified and have loads of experience. It seems so unfair that - at least in my part of central Italy the conditions of any contract you get offered are shamefully unfavourable. Many schools behave in an extremely unfair way.

Now - maybe I wasn't clear at the beginning - I have no problems getting work (thank God) - it's quality not quantity that's the problem. I'd just like fair treatment for a professional who does her job well - that's all. No factory workman or agricultural worker gets contracts like ours. That's what makes me mad.

Basically I suppose I would sum it up like this - maybe for the young backpacker type, ESL teaching in Italy can be considered a positive experience, but I would be very wary about encouraging dreams about doing it long term and turning it into a career. I think fundamentally that it all depends on how in love you are with this place and if you have aspirations of earning well and having real stability - you might have to harden your heart and head elsewhere.

Last note then I must dash - I still think that a strong network of ESL teachers with trade-union-type attitude wouldn't be a bad idea.

have a nice weekend

Caroline
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12505
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 6:10 am    Post subject: negativism and realism Reply with quote

To the gentleman with the Armenian name

It is not negative to point out that the ideas encouraged by economic interests in the TEFL world are misleading. The idea that there are good jobs everywhere and that some short course will guarantee you a job where you want it is false. This is reflected in the unrealistic attitudes of many newcomers to TEFL. It is reflected in the attitude that there must be well-paid jobs in Italy, Malta, Norway or Bangladesh.

I am a career teacher in this field and I am keen that those new to the "profession" should know the harsh reality of life in this field. The reality is that there are not many places where a teacher can earn a reasonable salary. Italy is one place where only a subsistence level is possible.

Am I abnormal because I have a family ? Is it strange that I should be looking for a position that pays me enough to feed, clothe, and house my dependents ? That is why I work in the Middle East. Together with the Far East, it is the only place where it is reasonable to expect an EFL job that pays more than subsistence level income.

If you are happy working for a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine that is okay by me. But do not assume that the whole world is like you.


Last edited by scot47 on Sat May 24, 2003 11:14 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
avahanian



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 7:30 am    Post subject: Re: negativism and realism Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
To the gentleman with the Armenian name

It is not negative to point out that the ideas encouraged by economic interests in the TEFL world are misleading. The idea that there are good jobs everywhere and that some short course will guarantee you a job where you want it is false. This is reflected in the unrealistic attitudes of many newcomers to TEFL. It is reflected in the attitude that there must be well-paid jobs in Italy, Malta, Norway or Bangladesh.

I am career teacher in this field and I am keen that those new to the "profession" should know the harsh reality of life in this field. The reality is that there are not many places whetre a teacher can earn a reasonable salary. Italy is one place where only a subsistence level is possible.

Am I abnormal because I have a family ? Is it strange that I should be looking for a position that pays me enough to feed clothe and house my dependents ? That is whay I work in the Middle East. Together with the Far East, it is the only place where it is reasonable to expect an EFL job that pays more than susitence level income.

If you are happy working for a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine that is okay by me.


Hi scot47,

I agree with you that there is a lot of misleading going on, especially propagated by certain language schools (the ones offering special certification courses) which guarantee placement upon completing their course, and I am definitely in favour of educating the TEFL newcomers about these unscrupulous practices

Yes, the TEFL business is not a glamorous one, nor is it an easy one. However, when you say that only a subsistence level is possible, I think that paints a picture that might apply to you, but might not apply to someone else.

People on the Job Information Journal say the same thing about Spain, "you'll never earn enough to get by", "the pay is horribly low", etc.

and then there are teachers charging 20 Euro per hour teaching private classes, in addition to the classes they teach at a language school, and leading a charmed life (I speak from experience in this matter)

IMPORTANT POINT: whether it's a subsistence level or not, does not depend on the schools or what they pay you, but rather, depends on how willing you are to succeed and market your services, and (I don't like this term very much) "network"

before you say, "That's rubbish!!!" take a moment to think about what I have just said....

whether or not you get by, depends mostly on your own actions....there's no reason why, in a city of 1.5 million (such as Milan, for example) that a TEFL teacher couldn't get enough classes to teach, if he/she was aggressive in marketing and gave his/her best effort.

in short, it depends on how hard you want to work to find students (in addition to the ones at the academy)

this means teaching private classes for cash.....yes, it's illegal, but it might be the difference between eating just a bowl of pasta and glass of wine and staying at home for the night, or a full dinner at a nice restaurant followed by a visit to the pub and then the disco.....

But I commend you for working in the Middle East, and of course you are not abnormal. Who would NOT want to have as good a life as possible? It's well-known that salaries in the Middle East are much higher than in Europe. And from my experience, most people would rather work in the ME - why on earth wouldn't they? They get three times the salary, paid accomodations, benefits, etc.

And you've just proven my point - since you do have a family (which is a great thing indeed), you have taken the steps necessary to providing as good a life possible for them.

But here was my main point....many TEFL newcomers are not in your same situation....they have usually just graduated from the university, do not have a family to support, nor many responsibilities. And as the job market continues to stagnate, you will see many more TEFL newcomers from Canada and the States

So it will be different for them, than it would be for you, right?

Many of them don't care if they have to share a flat, or cook at home, or not live a luxurious life. Many of them don't care if they can only earn 800 Euro per month. For them it's different, for them it's exciting, it's a change of pace and it's something new (sadly enough, language schools take advantage of young teachers because of this)

Many of them are quite satisfied with a bowl of pasta....and just as you said, it's OK if they want to do that....they are entitled to that.

As long as we continue to let them know both sides of the story, they are educated enough to make a decision whether or not to work in Italy (or any other country)

cheers

Arin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12505
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 11:14 am    Post subject: Surviving efl in italy Reply with quote

Your rhetoric makes me think you have taken the "American Dream" and transferred it to tecahing inItaly. "If you seriously want to be rich, you can be !"

In my experience most newbies do fall for all the nonsense they hear and read about Teaching English in Exotic Locations. And the waters of EFl are full of sharks who are ready to profit from the gullibility of the newbie. That is why it is good to give a touch or realism or cynicism on this forum.

The Universe is hostile and that applies to the world of EFL too. Teachers struggle to survive in a hostile environment. For every one getting 20 Euros an hour for private lesons in Milan, there are ten struggling to subsist.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Italy All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3
Page 3 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC