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Anderson House Bergamo
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Glenlivet



Joined: 21 Mar 2009
Posts: 179
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:53 pm    Post subject: Anderson House Bergamo Reply with quote

Has anyone had any experience of Anderson House? I've just been looking at the TEFL Blacklist and there are some fairly critical comments there.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1207

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They advertise fairly frequently on tefl.com. Perhaps that's a bad sign flagging up teacher "churn" but it could also be that they've been unlucky in their hiring. In my opinion, you should take the blacklists with a large pinch of salt, and approach Anderson House yourself. You could even ask to speak to an existing staff teacher - honest employers shouldn't have a problem with that.
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SueH



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

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know somebody who worked there (the daughter of a friend) and what she had the most problems with was the amount of travel involved to company lessons. That may be an area you might want to focus on in any negotiation.
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Glenlivet



Joined: 21 Mar 2009
Posts: 179
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys. Travel could be a concern although the main criticisms seem to be about management style - I'm not the most tolerant of people in this regard Sad I'll see if I hear anything further and will prepare a long list of questions!
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Glenlivet



Joined: 21 Mar 2009
Posts: 179
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should be having an interview on Saturday after completing a VERY extensive questionnaire. I'll keep all informed as to the outcome.
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Glenlivet



Joined: 21 Mar 2009
Posts: 179
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having driven down to Bergamo (11 hour trip) we met with Mr Anderson and his charming wife on Saturday at their school. Mr Anderson was refreshingly honest about past problems and how they had been dealt with, and came across as a genuine sort of person. The interview was quite lengthy including a guided tour of the school and facilities (impressive). All my questions were answered in full, even when the answers were not necessarily what I wanted to hear so I didn't get the impression that anything was being hidden or we were being "sold" the job. We were invited out to lunch at the conclusion of the interview and had a very nice meal and a couple of drinks - all in all a positive experience. We were also very taken with the area, an added bonus. We are now waiting to see if our endeavours have been successful and we are offered positions.

A word of warning to those with "it's only a forum, I'm not like this in real life" attitudes. Mr Anderson, and I suspect a goodly number of other school owners, "lurks" here and knew what I had written and the questions I had asked. This is a public place where people can be pre-judged, so beware slang, bad punctuation and trolls Smile
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9312
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenlivet, a very useful post.

I think most of us 'old-time' posters are aware that school directors sometimes visit the boards - and I think it's a useful tactic on the part of reputable schools.

Further, as I'm sure you're well aware, there is that 'complaint' factor to consider in any blacklist situation - someone who's had a negative experience is (statistically speaking) something like ten times more likely to write some kind of evaluation than someone whose experience has been positive.

This skews the postings about any school or training program by definition - not that real negatives may not exist! But it is always the best idea to investigate yourself whenever possible.

It sounds like this school's approach is quite professional and above board overall. Good!
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SueH



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

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile Pity my measured comment above was marred by bad grammar!
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1207

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad it went well for you and thanks for the update. My experience in Italy has shown me that the situation can change at the last moment, and what you see one day might not be what you get! I'm not trying to scare you off - far from it - but just to remind you to take everything with a large pinch of salt and a hefty dose of flexibility.

If you do end up teaching here, I hope you'll enjoy the warmth and humanity of Italian students and bosses alike, and the overall joie de vivre of living in a country where the sun shines more often than not. I think you'll enjoy roaring around the Italian roads on your bike and discovering all the fabulous things that there are here. In bocca' al' lupo! (Mr Anderson will hopefully forgive my dodgy Italian punctuation...)
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SueH



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

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teacher in Rome wrote:
Glad it went well for you and thanks for the update.


Good point. Those of us who offer advice do so 'cos we're interested in people and it's always nice to hear how people got on, but that doesn't always happen.

It's not bad here: just got home as I went for an aperitivo and on the way home by chance popped into a city centre cinema to see the new Houdini film. Also spoke with a neighbour there who I know only by sight, but we had a really good chat. Fortunately I'm pretty well prepped for tomorrow. After my last lesson I'm popping in to a wine grower near to my classes to buy a case of the new season's wine.

I don't know Bergamo (apart from their strange accent and nice sausages) but hope you get it.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1207

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't know Bergamo (apart from their strange accent and nice sausages) but hope you get it.


Will second the point about the Bergamaschi's strange, strange accent. Mind you, anyone from the north has a really odd cadence.... Even people round here speak "funny" - "she" instead of "si" and "gee-mo" instead of "namo"... Then they have the nerve to criticise Romans for saying "shuh" and not "chuh". I struggle with Italian - the standard version - let alone the millions and millions of dialect words and odd accents!
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Glenlivet



Joined: 21 Mar 2009
Posts: 179
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your comments guys - I'll keep you posted about any developments. Flexibility is my middle name (well, one of them Smile ) so hopefully things will work out for the best.

As far as accents/dialect are concerned, if you learn Polish in Silesia expect to be treated as a strange lifeform in the rest of Poland. Many Poles don't regard Silesia as truly Polish, historically of course this is true as Silesia was given to the Poles after WW11 to compensate them for the loss of Eastern territory to the Soviets and also to deprive Germany of it's industrial heartland.
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Glenlivet



Joined: 21 Mar 2009
Posts: 179
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

Following our trip to Bergamo, interview and some negotiations, we have been formally offered positions for the next academic year. Mr Anderson emailed us a choice of draft contracts followed by a formal offer of employment which we have accepted. We were given the the email addresses of two current teachers who we have corresponded with to our satisfaction and, barring last minute hitches, we are travelling back to Bergamo mid June to sign contracts.

Looks like we'll be joining you guys in sunny Italy in the near future. Thanks again for your help Very Happy
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9312
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats! Sounds like a nice transition to come:)
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Glenlivet



Joined: 21 Mar 2009
Posts: 179
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Spiral, I hope so. The weather will certainly be an improvement - 12c and raining in "sunny" Wadowice Sad
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