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No go Summer schools.
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Will.



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 783
Location: London Uk

PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 10:34 am    Post subject: No go Summer schools. Reply with quote

Now then,
Summer school is approaching and we will be fielding more and more questions about it.

I haven't checked the gre(a)ylist or blacklist for this info.

Who would like to add the name and the reason they would not recommend a particular Summer School to a supplicant summer teacher?

I have been lucky and have had little relevant negative experience in summer schools.
You know, The kind of thing that really gets up your nose and you feel powerless to do anything about and realise that this is the way it is every year and they, the organisation, really don't give a toss for you or any of the staff as long as you keep the students happy, their parents, or agents don't complain and the money keeps rolling in.
You know things like M
Money late,
Long hours,
Cover lessons at short notice,
"ACTIVITY" afternoons and evenings.
FOOD.
Resources or lack of them.
Senior staff with no knowledge of the programme or links within the organisation who seem to have been given a sinecure with no training whatsoever and little interest in the educative process at all.
Maybe I do have a whinge or two after all.
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Sekhmet



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 329
Location: Alexandria, Egypt

PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So...... summer schools.....
I'm new at all this, and I'm looking for a decent summer school to go work for before I head on out into the world...

I've had an offer from a school called "student-club" which looks kinda like the previous post - lots of "activity sessions" and "pastoral care" included - I gave up babysitting when I was 15...

But if it's my only offer... Has anybody got any ideas of others?? I've got an interview with Cambridge Language Projects, and that looks quite good, but it's always better to get more offers right??!!!

Thanks guys!!!
Lindsey
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Will.



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 783
Location: London Uk

PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't jump at the first offer. There are plenty of horror stories anfd plenty of better schools.
Student Club?????
CLP sounds familiar but not that familiar. Sorry I can't help you out more,
what's the story? money, hours...
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SueH



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

PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a lot comes down to luck...

I started teaching at a summer school in 2001 after doing a 20 hr (!) evening class, which I only did to keep busy following redundancy.

Apart from a lecherous assistant chef who even chased butch me it was OK and a good learning experience - French teenagers on a colonie de vacance who would rather have been canoeing in the Dordogne or something.

Fortunately the group was well provided with their own activity assistants so the workload was pretty light, and if I did play football (soccer) and tennis it was from choice and enjoyment. Certainly my robust English style football impressed some of the stroppier lads which might even have helped with respect in class !

I would say take your own resources though, as these were appalling. I think I won the prize the following year with the same company for finding the oldest published material in the box of tat provided. 1964/5 I seem to recall...

I also took an Ordnance Survey map and was thus able to find the nearest off-site pub and the appropriate shortest cross-country footpath!
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Boy Wonder



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 453
Location: Clacton on sea

PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 8:31 am    Post subject: no go summer schools Reply with quote

ALEXANDERS SCHOOL in Woodbridge,Suffolk.
Without doubt the worst summer school I have worked for or heard about!!!
I cannot even bring myself to decribe just how bad it really is....and I left nearly 3 years ago.!!
DO NOT I repeat do not ever work for these people...the owner is completely insane and the accomodation...food...location...arrogant,smug and entirley inefectual sports staff ...lack of shop/pub.(nearest one is 15 miles away)..lack of materials...overly long and tiring teaching schedule...and trips..if they can be called that to bowling alleys and cinemas in Ipswich will leave you exhausted,frustrated,angry,resentful and feeling completely washed up and washed out...
I worked there for 3 months...the money was ok...300 sterling per week but the next job i took in Manchester ,for almost half that amount , was a godsend and helped me recover whatever sanity i had left.
I CANNOT SPEAK LOWER OF A PLACE..AND I'VE BEEN IN SOME PRETTY AWFUL ONES!!!!
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Will.



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 783
Location: London Uk

PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

......I know it . At the end of a very long bus ride on an old RAF base in the middle of nowhere. Nice house. Closer to felixstowe but for some reason they do not advertise thyis fact. Good for UFO sightings I believe. Tell us more about this place.
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Will.



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 783
Location: London Uk

PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least I think, I do. but the place i visited was SKOLA.
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SueH



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

PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will,

It's probably one of those places that have to change their name every year!
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Boy Wonder



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 453
Location: Clacton on sea

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 4:54 am    Post subject: No-Go summer schools Reply with quote

more about this place...not sure if the medications can handle it.....!!
Very well then.......
It's a big old house formerly an industrailists Vicorian dream home and latterly an RAF listening base...an important Radar station during WWII.

I think it's been a school since the Alexanders took it over in the 80's or early 90's....as a scenic location it is admittedly stunning....at the end of a creek rising above treetops...completely isolated.
There is a ferry...daytimes only.. over the river to a spit of land where a nice pub/garden is located...Felixstowe is then a 4-5 km walk along the coast.
PLs bear in mind though that working for thes clowns..the only chance you'll ever get to visit Felixstowe is your day off...Sunday...when no buses are running and all the shops are closed...unless you count the local tescos a highlight not to be missed!!!
The problem is isolation....the nearest town Woodbridge is 15 miles away...Ipswich for kids shopping trips etc 25km.
Usually in summer schools..I've done 8 so far...you get a few afternoons off....oh no...not with these guys...no way....
finish teaching and lunch and boom...you'll be full on until darkness descends.... i felt sorry for the kids though....nothing for them to do...and most of them were resigned to watching and rewatching some of the pitifully few videos left lying around..or just sitting smoking in the fields around the school...
Usually in summer schools you met a fairly decent bunch of individs to get along with...here is very very diff....dredged up from the bottom of the EFL pool...
wacky i can deal with....but arrogant,self serving,self important and quite frighteningly weird I can't.
the only other decent bloke left after a couple of weeks...i should have had the sense to follow him....
highlights you can look forward to should you be unfortunate enough to work there include....being pulled out of a middle of one class and being stuck in the middle of another!Food that is inedible..stick to the biscuits if i were you...textbooks for the kids with answers from last years students scribbled in every exercise...a teaching schedule sometimes from 9-5...
a no booze policy anywhere for teachers...and management that has to be experienced to be believed..it is so bad....your weekly trip to london...laughably called a day trip includes roughly 5-6 hours of coach journey interrupted by 2-3 hours in Covent Garden....this will be the highlight of your week...a chance to see normal people and read a newspaper...oh i forgot no newspapers at Alexanders...too remote you see....i could add more but my medicatio n is wearing off and i must go back to the dark corner of the room and wait for Doctor.!
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Will.



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 783
Location: London Uk

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been absent for a week.
Yep! thats the place. It all sounded wonderful, then no newspapers! This is going too far.
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gugelhupf



Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 575
Location: Jabotabek

PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 10:06 am    Post subject: Re: no go summer schools Reply with quote

Boy Wonder wrote:
ALEXANDERS SCHOOL in Woodbridge,Suffolk.
Without doubt the worst summer school I have worked for or heard about!!!
I cannot even bring myself to decribe just how bad it really is....and I left nearly 3 years ago.!!
DO NOT I repeat do not ever work for these people...


Looks like they are advertising on tefl.com - even the advert smacks of the slave trade. A six day week plus evenings plus "pastoral care"... for the princely sum of 330. Going by the hours of duty in the advert this must equate to something like the national minimum wage. I wouldn't touch it with a very long stick.
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Boy Wonder



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 453
Location: Clacton on sea

PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 4:31 pm    Post subject: more of the same! Reply with quote

Add The Salisbury School Of English to the list too.........so bad I left after 2 days.
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SueH



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

PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh go on BW - 2 days only? Do tell us more.

I approached one school and was approached by another with both offering terms which I found easy to turn down. With one the pay would have been just a little bit above minimum wage, but that was without time for lesson planning.

I work as a relief worker at a hostel, so luckily shifts there to cover holidays have taken up the slack. Hourly pay is 50% more and no lesson prep!

Sue
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Boy Wonder



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 453
Location: Clacton on sea

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 2:01 pm    Post subject: Salisbury. Reply with quote

I don't do furniture removals.....nor do I make beds!!
I teach.....that's all I have to say on the subject ...I don't want to hurt anyones feelings since others seemed content with the situation....but then again they were on the whole a rather young and inexperienced lot.....middle class..female and enthusiastically enforcing the wacky rules that the school lays down......
all i kept thinking was 'poor kids'...until a sudden realisation dawned over me and I left before any more humiliation was heaped upon me....!!
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Will.



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 783
Location: London Uk

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Boy wonder,
I can handle a little moving around beds and arranging furniture inm classes and in bedrooms or dorms a little is to be expected, nothing is ever the way it 'should be' when we arrive on site.
I don't make beds either, there are ancilliary staff to do this. The first few days everyone mucks in together and the job descriptions get blurred.
I view the first few days as a group dynamics session. It normally settles down after a few days though, if not it gets horrendously worse and 'contractual obligations' are quoted at all and sundry who are having second thoughts. This is the moment to get out, if you haven't already .It means there are not enough people to fill all the posts so we need to guarantee nobody leaves or we are in the s***, meaning senior staff will have to take on teaching responsibilities as well.
Was this your first summer school experience or your first bad one? Hey Please! Oh pretty Please! do tell us some if not as many of the wacky rules as you can remember.
I wonder if there was one related to Photocopying?
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