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PNET and possibilities for the long haul

 
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ninjamon



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:42 pm    Post subject: PNET and possibilities for the long haul Reply with quote

Hello!

I have tried to scan these threads for information but if what I have said is a re-tread then I apologise. (perhaps a NET FAQs sticky would be a good idea?)

Essentially I am very interested in the scheme and in moving to Hong Kong for the long term. I'd like some advice on the following points

1. Would I get on the scheme?

I am British and have 4 years teaching experience (3 in Beijing, 1 in Taipei). I started in Beijing teaching in a primary school for a year, then after a short break moved to Taipei where I taught in a cram school(mainly primary schoolkids) for a year. I then had nearly a year's break from TEFL before going back to Beijing to teach at a reputable university, though the English department is small and not particularly well known. I have a BA(Hons) and an MA, but neither are in TEFL. I have a RSA/CELTA certificate, but no training since. I have not been working as a teacher for the last year as I was doing my MA and am currently working in a English language centre in a UK university. This would at least give me access to the latest methodology books which I could mug up on before any interview.

2. Is this a long term possibility?

What excites me about the scheme is it seems to be one of the few places where I could get a decent paying TEFL job with long term prospects of advancement. The main reason I left TEFL was that I felt it was hard to find a school where the teachers are committed and you genuinely feel a part of the team. The NET scheme seems to offer this in its training and the collaboration with the local teachers. Is this genuine, or just marketing? I would like to try to take an MEd or some such in my spare time with my eye on a possible return to the UK or working at an international school in the future. Is this feasible? I generally enjoyed teaching and if there was a possibility of finding a position where people cared about their students and collaborated routinely, I'd would jump at the chance.

Am I being naive? Any and all advice appreciated!
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anninhk



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 284

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it very much depends on what you mean by 'long term'. I've been here for 5 years and will probably do another one year after this contract finishes in August next year. I could probably work at this school for longer but I have other plans.
Also whether you get another contract after the first very much depends on you and how you fit in with the school. Some people find their contract isn't renewed but they usually find they can move to another school if they want to stay in HK.
As to working in a collaborative culture with caring staff - well that depends very much on the school. I'm lucky - the staff are caring in a HK way, and we do collaborate, but it isn't the same for everyone
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ninjamon



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for your response

caring in an hk way? what does that mean?
when i said long term i was thinking a decade plus. i want to know whether this job has possible career progression (i am in my late twenties) either within the system or might i be able to find something outside (eg get an MEd then look for a job in an international school)
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ironopolis



Joined: 01 Apr 2004
Posts: 379

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing When I saw "PNET" and "long haul" in the thread title, I assumed you must have been referring to the application process!
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anninhk



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 284

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a different culture from England and kids are pushed hard to achieve. Those who don't achieve are not given special attention but are given more of the same in the hopes they will get it eventually. Passing exams is the main focus of the teaching and it is the kids who have to conform and it is not up to the teacher to respond to the needs of the kids.
Praise is unusual unless in the form of a sticker.
As for career prospects - there aren't any, and I doubt if putting that you taught in the NET scheme on your CV would open any doors.
I've forgotten what real teaching is in my 5 years here!
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Horizontal Hero



Joined: 26 Mar 2004
Posts: 2492
Location: The civilised little bit of China.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anninhk is a bit cynical, but then so are most after a turn in the NET scheme. It is probably a bit of a dead end as far as your career goes - you won't learn too many skills here, unless you think of 'how to mark three metre high stacks of writing books' as a skill. However I shall point out that I am a SNET, and some primary jobs have a very small workload, but certainly not all.

You can certainly earn some cash, particularly when compared with a Beijing uni. It creeps up year on year. They just upped the starting salary, so it's a good time for you. You won't get any more cash for having an advanced degree though, as I can testify from personal experience.

If HK lifestyle gels with you, it could be a worthwhile place. If the culture gets you down, it could be a nightmare. This is because the job is usually not very rewarding, and life outside of school can make up for it. But there are NETs here who love the job. So don't let me dissuade you.
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ninjamon



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ah. i was thinking of trying to use it as a bridge to get a part time MA either MEd or MA TESOL/TEFL and then get a job at an international school or university somewhere.

i take it you think i'd have a reasonable chance of getting in?
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Horizontal Hero



Joined: 26 Mar 2004
Posts: 2492
Location: The civilised little bit of China.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ninjamon wrote:
ah. i was thinking of trying to use it as a bridge to get a part time MA either MEd or MA TESOL/TEFL and then get a job at an international school or university somewhere.

i take it you think i'd have a reasonable chance of getting in?


Sounds like a good a plan as any. Did you say you have the Dip. ed or somehting similar? I know guys here who have the same plan as you, and are half way through their MAs. Come to think of it I did pretty much the same thing, though I was half way through my PhD when I came here, and finished about 18 months ago.
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11:59



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 632
Location: Hong Kong: The 'Pearl of the Orient'

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ninjamon wrote:
What excites me about the scheme is it seems to be one of the few places where I could get a decent paying TEFL job with long term prospects of advancement.

I think your excitement is laudable, but somewhat misplaced. It is not, for example, at all clear what you mean by 'long–term prospects'. As HH correctly states, your salary increases by $1,000 HK each year of course (the 'incremental increase', or just 'increment') but there is little if any prospect of career advancement per see, at least not in the western sense of increased responsibility and the like. You might perhaps be able to switch to the post of ATT (Advisory Teacher Trainer) with the EMB/EDB after a period of time (some brown nosed types have certainly made this move before now) but there is no career progression as such: a NET is a NET is a NET and as such is always a NET, at least in individual establishments (I hesitate to employ the term 'schools'). You cannot for example become an English Panel Head or Vice-Principal (or whatever), no matter what your qualifications or experience. And of course, if you did make the move to the post of ATT then you would have to ask yourself whether being able to look yourself in the mirror in the morning without feeling utter and downright shame is important or not.

anninhk wrote:
This is a different culture from England and kids are pushed hard to achieve. Those who don't achieve are not given special attention but are given more of the same in the hopes they will get it eventually. Passing exams is the main focus of the teaching and it is the kids who have to conform and it is not up to the teacher to respond to the needs of the kids. Praise is unusual unless in the form of a sticker.
As for career prospects - there aren't any, and I doubt if putting that you taught in the NET scheme on your CV would open any doors.
I've forgotten what real teaching is in my 5 years here!

Horizontal Hero wrote:
Anninhk is a bit cynical, but then so are most after a turn in the NET scheme.

This is quite interesting as, normally, I find myself automatically nodding in agreement with most if not all of what HH posts. However, I find his comment that Ann is cynical quite amazing, for, if anything, I think she is overly charitable in her comments regarding the local system and its 'teachers' (I employ the term in its broadest possible sense). Indeed, normally, she is something of an apologist for the HK 'schools' and 'teachers' (though I found her comment regarding praise and stickers to be highly witty.)

To the OP, I suggest you take a look at my post of:

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=50658&highlight=hardened

where you can gain a true and accurate insight into the institutions that go by the name of 'schools' here in the SAR of HK and the people who sit in classrooms (which happen to have students in them) and so, for some unknown reason, are referred to as 'teachers'.
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ninjamon



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@horizontal

no, i don't have a diped - just the certificate and some experience. i'd try to squeeze on through category 4.

@11:59

thanks for the link - an informative discussion! basically i see this as a way of doing an MEd or MA without having to spend a year and loads of money in the UK. Then try to find work at an international school or uni that pays decent wages. i really want to get out of the uk.

what you say sounds like the mainland where i spent 3 years, 1 of which was in a primary school. hopefully the school can't be as bad as where i was, where i had to construct my own materials (my ability to draw is now 1st rate). i don't think loneliness or culture shock should be a problem as i would be with my wife and we have both lived in the mainland before.
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