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Regent School
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EddieO



Joined: 31 May 2007
Posts: 5
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 9:44 pm    Post subject: Regent School Reply with quote

Any thoughts or reviews on Regent School? Any help would be great...
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elblagskich



Joined: 23 Jul 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked for Regent about 5 years ago. Since then I understand they haven't changed much.

My contract was changed at least 3 times. In fact i never did get a copy of mt contract with D's signature on it. She always gave feeble excuses like it's at home, i'll give it to you tomorrow.

I started work a week earlier. I didn't complain. I wasn't told who I was teaching until the day I taught them. I didn't complain. I didn't get a timetable at all. I didn't complain. I started to complain when D told me I had to go and teach in Braniewo at the REG school there.

When I negotiated my contract in June it was a specific question of mine and I was given the assurance that I would not be teaching there.
I was given an ultimatum. Use my car, use D's car or get the bus. Or get out. I decided to get out. She promised to pay me but didn't.

Do you have experience of driving in Polish winters?
I have. Have you seen the road to Braniewo?

Incidentally, I had the nice treatment when I was interviewed. We went to the Vivaldi hotel I was shown around and everthing.

Just one other thing. This is the truth. I would be quite happy for D to see this and any other posting I have about REGENT. I have nothing to hide. Oh, and they didn't pay me 1 zloty for the work I did although this was promised several times.

As far as I know now they are about the only private school in Elblag. If you can find another one it would be best working for them.

It would also be wise to read this quick before it gets deleted at Regent's request like many other posts about them.
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john_n_carolina



Joined: 26 Feb 2006
Posts: 700
Location: n. carolina

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile that's a funny post....


roads a little icy at 7AM?
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elblagskich



Joined: 23 Jul 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have nothing to gain eaither way from this post.

I put it on because someone asked for an honest opinion about this school.

I'm sure there are more teachers out there with experiences they can shre similar to mine.
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theos.sophos



Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I have to say my experience with Regent was quite different. Though things were a bit hectic at the beginning of the year (with books, schedules, students, etc), this is quite normal. I have taught in many schools and it is always this way. However, after the first week or so, things pretty much fell into routine. The students are a pleasure to work with, especially those at the college. The pay is nice. The accomodation is also very comfortable. And the staff is generally very helpful and friendly. Comparing Regent to other schools, I'd say they are far more organized. I also find the administrative staff to be quite flexible with regard to rescheduling lessons for whatever reasons.

Elblag is also a very quaint little town; large enough to remain anonomys, but small enough to feel personal. Its also quite close the the Baltic sea.
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newyorker



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

**

Last edited by newyorker on Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:23 am; edited 2 times in total
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biffinbridge



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 701
Location: Frank's Wild Years

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:17 am    Post subject: Welcome........ Reply with quote

Welcome to Poland.

You described the pay and accommodation as good. That's all you need to worry about.

Schools are always hectic at the beginning of the year and as a teacher it's not your job to worry about the organization, however bad you think it is.

Polish kieruwniks are notoriously bad people managers and duh, money is always the bottom line.
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oracle



Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:22 pm    Post subject: Management Reply with quote

Any prospective teacher and Regent employee posing as one are welcome to contact me at [b]polskioracle@gmail.com[/b].

Any worker in any industry who is concerned solely with benefits and accommodation and evaluate institutions on just those criteria are setting themselves up for frustration and disappointment. I enjoyed teaching at the NKJO six years ago in Bydgoszcz despite making 1200PLN for 18 hours work and living in an awful apartment (which was ridiculed incessantly by my students). Although there were times when things were poorly planned or chaotic, most of the Bydgoszcz NKJO administration had years of experience in education. It was not continually chaotic. Granted it is a public institution and the incentives are different, but the experience and interpersonal skills of the administration matters. Some administrators have soft skills and are able to create more effective HR tools for recruiting and retaining workers and some don’t. Please note that the pay at the previously mentioned institution has not kept up with inflation, perhaps influenced by a greater number of EU teachers applying for positions (driving down labor costs).

Most Human Resource professionals who work at institutions with low turnover relative to the industry average may have implemented a few things like:
• Brief weekly meetings to update staff on certain problems, issues which may come up in the near term
• Monthly breakfast or lunch meetings to welcome new employees or to highlight an individual’s effort to finish a difficult or complicated project by a certain time.
• Periodic staff training to increase worker productivity and to make staff reflect on their work techniques
• Educational assistance (paperwork or financial)

Granted certain people could have made better connections with their colleagues to prevent getting broadsided, but clearer, more direct communication could have mitigated negative feelings. It is important to remember that any business looks to increase their margins by raising prices or expanding their market. If they couldn’t do either, the company may eventually go out of business as an agile competitor would enter that market and offer that service. And we know what societies look like when they ban private endeavor.

Bad Management exists everywhere and is certainly not limited to public and private education in former communist countries. Some questions….

• Is it acceptable that a company would send one contract in one language to a prospective worker to be signed and then force that employee to sign a different one in the native language without the help of a translator?

• Is it acceptable for a senior administrator at any educational institution to barge in 30 minutes into a 90-minunte college exam and order everyone out (with no semblance of an apology) without informing the professor so that the institution could set up a reception?

• Is it acceptable for a school’s administration to ask a new teacher on Friday at 3pm to teach six consecutive 90-minute classes the next day starting at 8am without offering any preparation materials?

• Is it acceptable for a school’s administration to severely restrict the instructor use of resources given the school is well funded by its owner and its clients?

• Is it acceptable for a senior administrator to refuse to give hard-working employees who received good reviews a reference when these employees have decided to move on?

• Is it acceptable for a senior administrator to go around a room at a reception and note the native staff’s education and then deliberately not recognize a native English speaker with a PhD? [For those who don’t know, titles and formalities matter in Poland.]

Very curious to read your responses…
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theos.sophos



Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, I have not been planted by Regent. Second of all, I am not only interested in money and accomodation. Thirdly, I have been teaching English for 5 years, 4 of which were in Poland. My past experiences with regard to pay and accomodation in Poland were not optimal, so I am happy to be in a situation where this is not an issue.

I am posting only to provide a balanced, persepective to what seems to be a disgruntled former employee or two...or perhaps not. Things have likely changed if your experience was not pleasant. Change is good. People make mistakes, interpersonal styles do not always mesh, and communication can be misunderstood. If one finds that s/he doesn't know all the infomation in a given system, it is easier for that person to invent conspiracy theories rather than to evaluate his/her own interpersonal stye. The function of a good teacher is to be able to adapt to these situations and learn from mistakes. It is similarly the responsiblity of an educational institution. Arguably, it is the goal of every human being. The only mistake is to make the same mistake twice.

My experience at Regent has been, overall, very positive. My primary motivation in coming to this school was the opportunity to teach college students. It is also one of my reasons for staying. The school has been extremely flexible with regard to scheduling conflicts. Both the teachers and the faculty from Gdansk treat me with respect. I also find conversation with them pleasurable, intellectually stimulating, and effective in producing results. I am a person who calls it as he sees it...and I have never had any problems with regard to logistics, curriculum, or quality that wasn't resolved with a firm honest appraisal of the situation. I have been to numerous teacher trainings and seminars and have also received educational assistance to improve upon my qualifications as a techer. I am a valued employee and I am viewed as an asset and investment. Students are givent anonomys evaluation forms to rate their teachers. There are regular meetings to ensure that student interests are kept at maximum levels by making necessary adjustments with regard to the teachers, materials, and/or students. Overall, my experience at regent has been very rewarding.

With regard to long and detailed posts that have been removed, it is generally (not always) those who have had bad experiences that run to places like this to seek some sort of refuge for their negative experiences. People are generally (not always) motivated to action through the occurance of negeative events. So, I'll bet that one can find more negative opinions about a given school rather than positive ones. People seek to change the bad more often than they seek to praise the good. And people take pleasure in righteous indignation.

To respond to each or your semi-rhetorical scorned sounding quetions:

-Any institution which provides you with a copy of the contract in your native language has most likely rendered it via a certified translation of the original. In this case, a translator is redundant. If any questions regarding the validity of the contract received and signed in your language occur, it can certainly stand as a sufficient document to prove your case in a court of law.

-No it isn't, and a similar situation happened to me. But it was nothing major. Perhaps you weren't informed in advance. I was, and only forgot that it was inevitably approaching. Don't take interpersonal styles personal (? that sounds funny).

-Again, the answer is no, it isn't. However, you didn't have to say yes. How hard is it to teach the first conversation class anyway? Students are sufficiently interested by your foreign nature to be stimulated to converse for at least one session, if not two. Given that you didn't teach the same group consecutively for 6 sessions this shouldn't have been much of a problem. However, if you did, I find that there is always something to talk about. The universe is full of interesting and debatable topics. It is also full of uninteresting topics that can be made interesting with a bit of personality and perspective.

-Yes it is acceptable if the institution deems that the material which one is using is not in the interests of his/her students However, I have never been censored with regard to my topics and/or material and have used numerous resources to implement my lessons. This includes film, music, poetry, philosphy, literature, myths, short stories, newspaper headlines, my own personal ideas, theories, anecdotes, and experience...to name only a few. And I have also taken advantage of the numerous resources which exist at the school

-Yes, it is, if the circumstances surrounding one's departure was in some way related to the quality of his/her work, and not just the quantity.

-And finally, WTF? Titles?? I think a more appropriate question is, does it matter to you? I guess titles are important. But really, its your person, not your title which proves your education. Do you want respect simply because your a PhD? That sort of respect is insincere and unimportant. Titles smitles...who cares what the poles think in that regard. Let your actions speak for you, not your title.


In the end, I will work at least one more year at Regent. And I am happy about it. I found it to be an invalaube resource in my personal and professional developement and look forward to the upcoming academic year.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at theos.sophos@gmail.com and i will speak to you frankly about my experience at Regent. Howeve, I do not have any regent horror stories. And as mentioned in my first post, and this one, the only problems encountered by me were minor in nature and easily resolved.


Last edited by theos.sophos on Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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theos.sophos



Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and a note to my first post...i ALSO said the students were a pleasure...and the staff and faculty were friendly and helpful...so please, do not represent me as sounding like a materialistic secret agent from Regent who is only interested in money and accomodation...
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newyorker



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

**

Last edited by newyorker on Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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biffinbridge



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 701
Location: Frank's Wild Years

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:19 am    Post subject: Poland Reply with quote

Now people have started using the word 'evaluation', that wasn't what I was on about. Evaluating a school and it's S.O.P.s is a complicated conundrum.

If you don't get the pay and housing part of your deal right, it's likely to cloud everything.

As a bottom rung teacher your job is to do what you're told...that isn't how it should be, but it's the way it is in Poland....and I've taught at just about every level there on and off since 95.

Stop moaning about 'lack of preparation time' and ' not getting a reference' and bugger off....that's the sensible thing to do.

References in TEFL mean jack.
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newyorker



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

**

Last edited by newyorker on Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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theos.sophos



Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First I was a plant, now I either dont work there, or I come from Gdansk University...lol...consipircy theories are abundant...

Just look at my tidbit of information on the regent homepage if you wish. I'm the scruffy unshaven one at the very bottom...the one without a title...hehe...I'm at the school everyday and I probably spend more time there than anyone else. I live in Elblag...is it really necessary for me to prove my case?

hehe...this is funny... Cool

It's easier to believe I am a liar than to believe that you are not universally correct...eh?
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biffinbridge



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 701
Location: Frank's Wild Years

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:45 am    Post subject: ha ha Reply with quote

I gave up a career in investment banking to teach EFL many moons ago precisely because of the 'slack' lifestyle TEFL allows. Gone are the 5am starts and all that falling asleep on the tube, praying for the weekend....yep, I'm a slacker. That said, I teach 36 contact hours a week and as a manager, do that side of things too. EFL practitioners are under achievers.........it's the choice WE made. So don't get on your high horse New Yorker.

EFL is a transitory business...many of the schools I taught at early on in my career don't exist now or are owned by different people so what good are the references? In Poland it's common for schools to take great offence when you don't sign up for that 2nd year and guess what? There goes your reference. Just make them up and use your friends. 90% of the time no-one even checks them in this business. Do you really believe that Empik say, are gonna contact Profi-lingua and ask if you were ok or not?

Most of the private gigs in Poland view you as a money spinner to get the bums on seats and couldn't really care less if you're brilliant or just mediocre.

I taught at the Uni level in Poznan for several years and walked after an acting kieruwnik made my life hell because I was too popular with students and pished on her fireworks. At the time I was making a lot of money in publishing....just professional jealousy..........so, there went my reference. Several great years of teaching clouded by one ass.

It's life, get over it. You're in Poland cos of the chicks I bet.
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