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Enjoy teaching, but don't like the nonsense around it?
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theoriginalprankster



Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 895

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:40 am    Post subject: Enjoy teaching, but don't like the nonsense around it? Reply with quote

I've come to the conclusion that I rather enjoy teaching. I have after all been at it for 15 years when I only planned to do it for 1-2 years.

Over the years things that have begun to increasingly irk me are:
1. Over-demanding parents
2. Over-demanding and/or terrible and/or micro-management.
3. Contracts that almost always work in the employer's favour.
4. Spoilt kids (only one school out of half a dozen I've worked for)
5. Students' addiction to their phones
6. Badly designed campuses and classrooms (I think ALL schools should have AC and heating in the classrooms)
7. Unpaid holidays OR too few holidays (last job - 5 days/year)
8. Malicious colleagues
9. Late or withheld wages
10. Lack of resources and/or inadequate learning materials

I've experienced all of these, to some degree, over the years. Now at my new job I'm dealing with 2 and the fact that I'm in the boondocks - great for saving, not great if you bore easily.

Will mull over this job during my three week vacation in the PI. Honestly I'd rather have my own set-up. Cuts out a lot of the nonsense.

Your thought?
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The bear



Joined: 16 Aug 2015
Posts: 477

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:26 am    Post subject: Re: Enjoy teaching, but don't like the nonsense around it? Reply with quote

theoriginalprankster wrote:
I've come to the conclusion that I rather enjoy teaching. I have after all been at it for 15 years when I only planned to do it for 1-2 years.

Over the years things that have begun to increasingly irk me are:
1. Over-demanding parents
2. Over-demanding and/or terrible and/or micro-management.
3. Contracts that almost always work in the employer's favour.
4. Spoilt kids (only one school out of half a dozen I've worked for)
5. Students' addiction to their phones
6. Badly designed campuses and classrooms (I think ALL schools should have AC and heating in the classrooms)
7. Unpaid holidays OR too few holidays (last job - 5 days/year)
8. Malicious colleagues
9. Late or withheld wages
10. Lack of resources and/or inadequate learning materials

I've experienced all of these, to some degree, over the years. Now at my new job I'm dealing with 2 and the fact that I'm in the boondocks - great for saving, not great if you bore easily.

Will mull over this job during my three week vacation in the PI. Honestly I'd rather have my own set-up. Cuts out a lot of the nonsense.

Your thought?


Having your own set up can be very appealing, and I'm not saying 'don't do it' but it comes with its own set of problems. There's a lot more paperwork, you think paperwork as a FT is bad, try opening a business. You either have to go into partnership with a local (a whole other can of worms) or start a WFOE, which requires capital and a ton more paperwork.

That's if you want to do it right. If you want to do it illegally then, understandably, there are another set of problems.
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theoriginalprankster



Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 895

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
That's if you want to do it right. If you want to do it illegally then, understandably, there are another set of problems.


A friend ran a school out of his (spacious) apartment. He was married to a local, didn't have a work permit. They were never bothered by the authorities.

They did however leave, as they were fed up with the pollution, and wanted the kid to get a solid British education.

Myself, if I could do my teaching online, and live a hippy-esque life, I would be super duper happy.

* Side note: it starts to become wearisome having people come and go. I'd like to settle in a community where the people more or less stay put.
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travelbug66



Joined: 27 May 2015
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the OP, I started out originally thinking it might be 2-3 years and now find myself thinking about doing it until I retire. All the above has happened to me as well.
Some things can be avoided, I'm going to start a uni job in September, no parents, short working hours and long holidays, a lot of problems instantly solved. I heard cell phones are a problem even in the uni classes, my take is don't get riled up, you are lecturing/teaching 30-40 students, if 3-4 are blatantly checking their phones let them. For all you know, they might be getting a English -Chinese translation for a word you have just used.
Micro-management is awful, this includes being told how to teach regardless of whether you have a CELTA, MA TESOL and 13 years experience. Personally at my age, I'd tell the manager to eff off and I'm the teachers he/she isn't. Again I picked a public university as this will never happen to me. I feel sorry for newbies being forced to work in language schools teaching 25-30 hours a week, expecting to make great lessons and on top of that have anxious parents asking you about their precious princess or prince.
The money I earn is a lot less 8000 RMB a month, but I am fortunate I did 2 years of sheer hell in Saudi Arabia and paid off my mortgage and have a pension plan from that rental income.
Regarding Saudi Arabia, yes you can earn $3000 a month, just realize the mental stress and depression you are letting yourself into. It's not worth it.
For newbies again, I'd advise enjoying your year in China, go back to the USA or wherever and seriously try and start a normal career. EFL/ESL has been going backwards for years, there is no clear career path, schools are out there to increase their own profits. I still remember working 30 hours a week in South Korea for 2 million won a month in 2002, what's happened ? Inflation has risen by 30%, apartments have increased by 200% and school are offering you 2.2 million now!
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Foo_Fighters_Dave



Joined: 09 Dec 2016
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Micro-management is awful, this includes being told how to teach regardless of whether you have a CELTA, MA TESOL and 13 years experience. Personally at my age, I'd tell the manager to eff off and I'm the teachers he/she isn't

Great. You would be fired on the spot.

To the OP, have you ever taught at a university or public school?

From reading your post, it sounds like you have only taught at language schools.
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theoriginalprankster



Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 895

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
To the OP, have you ever taught at a university or public school?

From reading your post, it sounds like you have only taught at language schools.


From 2003 until present:

1. Apostle Anqinban, 3 years, no issues, Taiwan (best teaching job of the lot, loved the kids)
2. Meten, 6 months, crud management, China
3. WECL Vocational College, 6 months, crud management and pay, malicious coworkers, lazy entitled students, China
4. Xiamen University, 9 years, first 3 years in the boondocks, thereafter all was good, China
5. A new education JV in Shanghai, 2 years, micromanagement and last wage payment deliberately delayed, farmed out to a public middle school, China

Now I'm at an international school in Guangdong doing a summer camp, meant to stay on for a year contract, but I can see issues already - namely lackadaisical management, low level students, being in a podunk corner of China.

So, yes I have taught at a prestigious university, and a good Shanghai middle school, in addition to teaching at Xiamen Airlines, and being an IELTS examiner for 4 years (the BC were a nightmare to work for, and examining was worse than having teeth pulled, money was good though).
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getbehindthemule



Joined: 15 Oct 2015
Posts: 666
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice post TOP. I will be going into my 4th year after only planning to do it for a year. I do enjoy it for the most part but the holidays are key to me.
I did get very lucky and have not encountered those problems to any significant degree. Actually apart from no 6. none really.
I think I got a lucky break being based at a public primary school. I'm left to my own devices, the kids are great, don't deal with the parents and I get fully paid hols (3.5mths). From being on the China forums quite a bit over the past couple of years I realise how lucky I landed with this gig!
I'm not really into private tutoring but like the idea of working for myself a lot. I need to figure it out but I'm content for the time being. Best of luck for the new gig!
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OhBudPowellWhereArtThou



Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 1168
Location: Since 2003

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prankster,

Are your malicious colleagues western or Chinese? If they're western, get used to it. Hopefully, though, with the tightened regulations, there will be fewer insecure and desperate poseurs to deal with.
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getbehindthemule



Joined: 15 Oct 2015
Posts: 666
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OhBudPowellWhereArtThou wrote:
Prankster,

Are your malicious colleagues western or Chinese? If they're western, get used to it. Hopefully, though, with the tightened regulations, there will be fewer insecure and desperate poseurs to deal with.



Good point Bud.
I actually have no western colleagues at my school. I have encountered several at the other schools and the constant bitching and backbiting from some of them was borderline psychotic!
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theoriginalprankster



Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 895

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OhBudPowellWhereArtThou wrote:
Prankster,

Are your malicious colleagues western or Chinese? If they're western, get used to it. Hopefully, though, with the tightened regulations, there will be fewer insecure and desperate poseurs to deal with.


Westerners. At the vocational college we were given accommodation near the college at a "hotel". We all had our own room, but shared kitchen and washing machine.

My girlfriend would come over and visit, and this American couple in their 50s took offence to that and reported me to school management, telling them "I was having different girls over every night". I put them right very quickly.

Had some issues with a young ABC at Xiamen University, but I think he was externalizing his own lost soul angst onto me, for reasons unknown.

In all likelihood disgruntled Chinese colleagues might have said things about me/the foreign teachers, but that may be related to their displeasure at us earning more than them. Never paid close attention to them in that respect.

Gotta say the best gig, besides teaching the kids in Taiwan, was prepping the pilot cadets at Xiamen Airlines. Excellent pay, in USD, with highly motivated, intelligent students.

Now that I'm in the boondocks I will put my head down and start squirreling away money for the move to a more pleasant life in SEA (provided I can keep my Taobao habit in check).
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jimpellow



Joined: 12 Oct 2007
Posts: 892

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a lot of these beefs stem from the fact that you are teaching in a brick-and-mortar school in China. Not that these problems don't occur in other countries, but China has to be the worst of the bunch.

I think I have offered my opinion to you before on the board and via private messaging that online is the way to go. It takes some patience and some drive to get to a position where you have the income you desire, but it will happen.

I experience none of the issues that you experience. My non-ESL income I have to deal with s***, but the price you pay for running your own business. The three online schools I work for leave me completely alone. They pay as expected save the Saudi school that pays me late on the IELTS portion of work I do for them - but they always pay in full. As expected, be careful of online Chinese and certain other Asian schools.

Anyways, I have seen your resume for the ill-fated Saudi school attempt. You are a very gifted teacher and former IELTS examiner. In your new life in the boondocks, you have lots of free time to establish online income. Besides the growing number of ads on sites like here and seriousteachers, sites like monster and indeed list a lot of opportunities. I find the best way is to research for good schools and contact them directly. However you manage to accomplish it, once you have money coming in from an online source or two, then I think you will feel comfortable enough to make the jump to the life you desire from the one you do not deserve.
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twowheel



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 640

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jimpellow wrote:
Not that these problems don't occur in other countries,


"Enjoy teaching, but don't like the nonsense around it?"

That's exactly why I didn't renew my teaching contract with the New York City Department of Education back in 2007. After that, I went to Japan for five years and now am back in China five years.

After the nonsense of NYC, Japan and China have both been a breeze and have been only (mostly) enjoyable.

I plan to stay in China indefinitely; in other words, here shall I stay as long as it remains good to me, and shall bail when it stops being good to me. Time will tell.

Like all things, it's good...until it ain't.

twowheel
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OhBudPowellWhereArtThou



Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 1168
Location: Since 2003

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My girlfriend would come over and visit, and this American couple in their 50s took offence to that and reported me to school management, telling them "I was having different girls over every night"

Oh yeah. The morally superior ones. I've seen that sort of behavior among younger single western coworkers who were certain that I was secretly married. The FAO , oddly enough, either didn't hear about that rumor or didn't care. She tried to marry me off to one of her staff members. (I loved that FAO). That was quite odd. Try dating a woman while her fifteen year-old daughter translates.

Re: micromanagement. That's to be expected at private schools where every fen counts. Management is quick to criticize, but praise is rather short in supply. You won't usually be micromanaged at a public university, but there are the monitors who report what goes on in class. That's okay with me, but occasionally you'll get one who either hates westerners or is playing management for something

Chinese co-workers. Don't believe for a second that they're unfairly paid less than you are. They may believe it, but don't you believe it. If they are paid less it is because they have less experience and/or less education. At a semi-privatized college, one Chinese teacher set me straight after I was the target of pretty nasty comments from young Chinese teachers who made complaints about pay.
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Hermosillo



Joined: 17 Jun 2014
Posts: 176
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trouble with paperwork makes it a job not worth taking. The revolving door of expat teachers here in Thailand, seem to be mostly insecure, unaccomplished pricks, hardly team players. I was offered a job in China and the third item on the multi page contract stated they could change the terms at any time. A lot of cracks seem to be surfacing with the Chinese online schools. I was making 131.05 USD per day as substitute with Tucson Unified...usually home by 14:30. Any guesses as to what the pay is 17 years later? I loved a recent job in Math test prep, but it was always on again, off again. If I hadn't bought and sold real estate over the years; it would have been more like systematic starvation, which it is for many. People make fun of real estate agents, but I found people in education to have many more issues. A former high school guidance counselor sold my condo in Vegas. She said the teachers were bigger drama queens than the students. Good luck to everyone!
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tin man



Joined: 18 Jun 2010
Posts: 137

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:30 pm    Post subject: jobs Reply with quote

In the US, the go go years are gone. Employers are ridiculously idiotic. From the interview to the job. Not all are bad but pay and other things have gone downhill. In fact, I got an offer not long ago that the salary was not much more than my pay in 1982!

I got a decent offer to teach and planning to return. I read some horror stories on this forum but would love to read some good stuff if more teachers wish to share herein where things have gone well.
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