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Tecnologico de Monterrey
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Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:11 am    Post subject: Tecnologico de Monterrey Reply with quote

The Tecnologico de Monterrey is one of the country's biggest private university systems, with 31 campuses, many of which house prepas as well as university divisions. Working for Tec has its advantages; for example, it pays dependably on time, which is not something one can take for granted in the international teaching world.

It is a highly bureaucratic institution, and that could drive a sensitive soul crazy. In many cases, the bureaucratic element has floated free of ANY connection to educational mission (or even reality) and simply exists as a persistent, unavoidable, and completely annoying element in its own right.

"Innovations" often come down from somewhere on high, but are very much like unfunded mandates in politics. Whole new course sequences are instituted without any particular guidance as to how they are to be effectuated (no textbooks, no curricular materials, no suggested syllabi). I hear that the 2014-2015 school year will commence a wholesale overhaul of Tec Prepa curricula, no doubt causing mass confusion. I won't be around for it.

However, that is far from the worst tendency in Tec right now. The worst is a massive reduction in the pay scale for international instructors, and it is of this I would warn you. If you see current ads at Dave's or elsewhere for Tec Prepa jobs, you will notice that they offer no specific information about salaries. They used to. Three years ago, the ad that I responded to explicitly laid out a pay scale for new international hires of 20,000 to 26,000 pesos per month, depending on credentials and experience.

At my campus, the new maximum offer for international hires no matter what their credentials and experience is, the last I was told, 15,500 pesos per month. (Existing teachers were grandfathered in at their existing salaries for the time being.) This began with the 2013-2014 school year.

Apparently, there are new bean-counters at HQ in Monterrey. Cost-cutting is visible in many areas.

At the old rates of pay, my Tec Prepa was a passable place to work - not the greatest, often frustrating, but hey, that's the reality in Mexico. I am willing to believe that it was in the upper tier of Mexican educational employers.

But money changes everything. At the new rates of pay, and considering how much one is asked to do, the jobs are not worth having. I put in 60-hour weeks, onsite every day from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM (and often later), and grading at home on weekends. (Technically, we get a break from 2:00 to 4:00 PM, but without a car, there is no place one can go; I just work through.)

I'd be curious to know if teachers at other Mexican institutions have noticed any similar trends towards pay-scale cutting. It would be bad news if so.
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ZeeshanMukhtar



Joined: 16 Nov 2013
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beginning teachers in NSW public schools enjoy one of the highest commencing salaries of any profession. In 2013, four-year trained teachers start on a salary of $59,706. Salary increases are by annual increments subject to satisfactory performance, with our most experienced classroom teachers earning $89,050 in 2013.
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 288

PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZeeshanMukhtar wrote:
Beginning teachers in NSW public schools enjoy one of the highest commencing salaries of any profession. In 2013, four-year trained teachers start on a salary of $59,706. Salary increases are by annual increments subject to satisfactory performance, with our most experienced classroom teachers earning $89,050 in 2013.


.??????????

.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9381
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Tecnologico de Monterrey Reply with quote

Fitzgerald wrote:
The Tecnologico de Monterrey is one of the country's biggest private university systems, with 31 campuses, many of which house prepas as well as university divisions. Working for Tec has its advantages; for example, it pays dependably on time, which is not something one can take for granted in the international teaching world.

It is a highly bureaucratic institution, and that could drive a sensitive soul crazy. In many cases, the bureaucratic element has floated free of ANY connection to educational mission (or even reality) and simply exists as a persistent, unavoidable, and completely annoying element in its own right.

"Innovations" often come down from somewhere on high, but are very much like unfunded mandates in politics. Whole new course sequences are instituted without any particular guidance as to how they are to be effectuated (no textbooks, no curricular materials, no suggested syllabi). I hear that the 2014-2015 school year will commence a wholesale overhaul of Tec Prepa curricula, no doubt causing mass confusion. I won't be around for it.

However, that is far from the worst tendency in Tec right now. The worst is a massive reduction in the pay scale for international instructors, and it is of this I would warn you. If you see current ads at Dave's or elsewhere for Tec Prepa jobs, you will notice that they offer no specific information about salaries. They used to. Three years ago, the ad that I responded to explicitly laid out a pay scale for new international hires of 20,000 to 26,000 pesos per month, depending on credentials and experience.

At my campus, the new maximum offer for international hires no matter what their credentials and experience is, the last I was told, 15,500 pesos per month. (Existing teachers were grandfathered in at their existing salaries for the time being.) This began with the 2013-2014 school year.

Apparently, there are new bean-counters at HQ in Monterrey. Cost-cutting is visible in many areas.

At the old rates of pay, my Tec Prepa was a passable place to work - not the greatest, often frustrating, but hey, that's the reality in Mexico. I am willing to believe that it was in the upper tier of Mexican educational employers.

But money changes everything. At the new rates of pay, and considering how much one is asked to do, the jobs are not worth having. I put in 60-hour weeks, onsite every day from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM (and often later), and grading at home on weekends. (Technically, we get a break from 2:00 to 4:00 PM, but without a car, there is no place one can go; I just work through.)

I'd be curious to know if teachers at other Mexican institutions have noticed any similar trends towards pay-scale cutting. It would be bad news if so.


What a terrible time for this, what with fewer and fewer foreign teachers coming into the country on their own.
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Enchilada Potosina



Joined: 03 Aug 2010
Posts: 344
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christ, if the backpackers are staying away...
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philipjmorgan42



Joined: 08 Feb 2013
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi I started working for the Tec last September. They're paying me about 110 pesos an hour, I work 14 hours a week and after taxes etc it works out at about 5 000 pesos a month. There is the benefit of social security and as someone else said they do pay reliably. The money still isn't great though, and there's a lot of stress and extra work involved, I have to allow for at least double 14 hours for lesson planning, marking, preparing exams etc

Apart from the money side of things, my experience has not been great to be honest. There seems a fundamental conflict between the 'commitment' to academia and the wish to please parents and students. At the end of last semester I was going to fail about 10 students (out of about 40, I had 2 groups). I wasn't choosing to fail them, they flunked the exams, didn't work etc. My boss saw my 'bitacora' (grade table) and basically told me I couldn't fail that many students, that I had to raise the grades of anyone within 5 % of the pass mark, and the only reason she could give me for doing this was that she didn't want the hassle of having to deal with complaints from students and their parents. Needless to say, I was not impressed.

The irony of this is that they are so in your face with how great an institute the Tec is, in the top 100 in the world, values of honesty and all that crap

Then for this current semester, she assigned me a course/level for which there is no text book. Because there's no text book to use, its taught by focusing on a novel the students read, they do projects, grammar, activities etc based on that. Anyway, I planned everything for the first partial using the novel, then yesterday we had a meeting and she told me the copies of the book ordered for the students won't arrive for another 4-5 weeks (over half way through the first partial).

So they can arrange for students to take trips to New York, San Francisco, all over Mexico, but they can't even manage to order really essential materials in time for the start of term!
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philipjmorgan42



Joined: 08 Feb 2013
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to say that I'm pretty well qualified, I have a degree and a masters, and a TEFL Scotland qualification, and over a year's experience teaching English
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Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

philipjmorgan42 wrote:
Hi I started working for the Tec last September. They're paying me about 110 pesos an hour, I work 14 hours a week and after taxes etc it works out at about 5 000 pesos a month. There is the benefit of social security and as someone else said they do pay reliably. The money still isn't great though, and there's a lot of stress and extra work involved, I have to allow for at least double 14 hours for lesson planning, marking, preparing exams etc

Apart from the money side of things, my experience has not been great to be honest. There seems a fundamental conflict between the 'commitment' to academia and the wish to please parents and students. At the end of last semester I was going to fail about 10 students (out of about 40, I had 2 groups). I wasn't choosing to fail them, they flunked the exams, didn't work etc. My boss saw my 'bitacora' (grade table) and basically told me I couldn't fail that many students, that I had to raise the grades of anyone within 5 % of the pass mark, and the only reason she could give me for doing this was that she didn't want the hassle of having to deal with complaints from students and their parents. Needless to say, I was not impressed.

The irony of this is that they are so in your face with how great an institute the Tec is, in the top 100 in the world, values of honesty and all that crap

Then for this current semester, she assigned me a course/level for which there is no text book. Because there's no text book to use, its taught by focusing on a novel the students read, they do projects, grammar, activities etc based on that. Anyway, I planned everything for the first partial using the novel, then yesterday we had a meeting and she told me the copies of the book ordered for the students won't arrive for another 4-5 weeks (over half way through the first partial).

So they can arrange for students to take trips to New York, San Francisco, all over Mexico, but they can't even manage to order really essential materials in time for the start of term!

Everything you say is completely in line with my experiences, although I have been fortunate to be full-time.

I smiled when I read, "they are so in your face with how great an institution the Tec is." It is SO true. I have never encountered a more narcissistic (or inbred) institution. What I have noticed among Mexican staff is that people who swallow the Kool-Aid and are all rah rah, go Tec, do very well even if they completely lack talent; people who are so much as occasionally and moderately skeptical do poorly even if they noticeably possess talent.

The director of my Prepa is essentially a PR person; she is not in the least academic, and she certainly doesn't "run" the school in any meaningful sense (nor is there any second-in-command, official or unofficial, to back her up). She's a salesman and promoter. That's it.

On my campus this school year, full-time teachers (both international and native) were not given any contracts to sign, as we had been given in prior years. So we are all currently without protection - the school could terminate us or lower our pay at any time, and we would have no recourse. How convenient for them.

I'm out of here at the end of the year, and have already told them so. The situation right now is quite ridiculous.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this!!
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1082
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

5,000 pesos a month!!!!
You gotta be kidding. When I started in Mexico in 1998, I made more than that--and around that time an ISTEM teacher asked me how I could possibly accept such a low salary.
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Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MotherF wrote:
5,000 pesos a month!!!!
You gotta be kidding. When I started in Mexico in 1998, I made more than that--and around that time an ISTEM teacher asked me how I could possibly accept such a low salary.

Truly. As a full-timer, I average between 15 and 20 contact hours per week. So if the 14 hours is 14 contact hours, then that is practically a full-time load, and 110 pesos per hour, especially considering the additional prep time that the poster rightly refers to, is a simply ghastly pay rate. I would think that 110 pesos was a more likely rate for, say, a conversational Business English class with absolutely NO prep, NO grading, nothing whatsoever to do outside class-time.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 783
Location: Juan Aldama, Zacatecas, Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MotherF wrote:
5,000 pesos a month!!!!
You gotta be kidding. When I started in Mexico in 1998, I made more than that--and around that time an ISTEM teacher asked me how I could possibly accept such a low salary.


I made more than that 20 years ago working for a chain school! Sad!
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philipjmorgan42



Joined: 08 Feb 2013
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's interesting what you say about the director at your campus. My boss, head of idiomas, doesn't even teach languages! she's a maths teacher who has a reasonable level of English but not enough to teach it

I haven't been given any contract to sign yet either, and classes start on Monday... I'm gonna leave at the end of this semester as well, it's been an eye opener working for the tec I can say that much for it!

And that's definitely what I'm earning Mother F, last semester I was only doing 12 hours and they were paying me about 4,600 so I guess with 2 extra hours it'll be around 5.
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philipjmorgan42



Joined: 08 Feb 2013
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

12 hours of classes I mean, guessing that's what you mean by contact hours
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Fitzgerald



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

philipjmorgan42 wrote:
12 hours of classes I mean, guessing that's what you mean by contact hours

That is still terrible pay. 48 hours of classes in a four-week month for 4600 pesos? MANY full-time teachers at my campus teach four classes per semester, and many classes have three contact hours per week. So 12 contact hours could be a full load.

You are being badly exploited, but I expect you know this. Do not put up with it for too long!

This is worse than even I thought of Tec.
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22Yossarian



Joined: 20 Jan 2013
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am curious... I have been having ongoing discussions with a campus principal at Preppa for an August 2014 start date since July. I had a good interview, sent a video of a sample lesson they liked, and was even given a prileminary financial package and put in touch with a current foreign teacher, and out of the blue received an email telling me "big changes" are occuring and they cannot proceed with hiring me.

I am not too disapointed as over the last month I have really gotten my feet on the ground at my current job and the thought of readjusting to another school in another country did not seem as appealing as it did two months ago. I like the kids I work with here in Beijing but I would rather live in Mexico and this saved me the tough decision between a job i usually like to go to and a place i would like to live. I am curious if Preppa is making big changes or if they just found a candidate that they prefer.
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