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Is this normal for a school?

 
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FlyingJames



Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 23
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:13 pm    Post subject: Is this normal for a school? Reply with quote

Hello Everyone,

I have been offered a position with a school in China after a successful telephone interview. This school (who I will not mention) has schools all over China, and there is a regional manager who is responsible for recruitment (He was friendly and sounded intelligent)

This is where it gets strange - The principal contacted me, with one email welcoming me to the school, and another asking for documentation. Now, I have sent all the documents already to the regional manager - is this normal for the principal to ask for them again?

What I find really strange is that the principal is requesting my resume and an original reference letter to be sent my post to the address in China. Why would I have to send a resume and original reference letter if I have been offered the job?

I refuse to send original copies through post. My supervising teachers who assessed me in my Education degree live too far away, which makes It difficult to request another written original letter of reference.

This principal who wrote the email had poor written English, with numerous spelling mistakes with basic words. A possible Red Flag?

For the record, I'm a graduate teacher who is certified in Australia. I'm wishing to seek some international experience. I have sent an email back to this principal looking for major clarification.

To the people experience in dealing with Chinese schools, is this normal? Is this the Chinese way of doing business? Thanks in advanced.
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3209

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Normal"? Yes, bureaucratic nonsense is normal, and not just in China. Why not ask the regional manager to send your stuff to the other guy? Since the other guy doesn't seem to know English, it may be a translation error. Is this Meten?
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2317
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watch out you don't cause the Principal to lose face.
Do as he asks but send COPIES.
He will show his expertise to the upstarts who work for him and you won't risk losing valuable documentation.
As a certified teacher, you should be looking at the International School market. Pays way better and future employers will see it as part of your teaching career.
The school you're looking at would not (I'm picking) be seen as anything like a legit career step.
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vikeologist



Joined: 07 Sep 2009
Posts: 517

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Needs the CV to get the invitation letter drawn up, so you can get your visa.

Not sure about the reference letter, or why they want originals, but probably fo the same reason.

Possibly an element of incompetence as well.

Doubt there's anything sinister.
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FlyingJames



Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 23
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies everyone.

I do have the ambition for an international school, but they often require two years teaching experience, which is something I'm missing. I need teaching experience. The employment market for teachers in Australia isn't flash, with numerous state governments cutting funding for Education, which does help graduates. I thought teaching abroad overseas for a year certainly wouldn't hurt.

Non Sequitur mentioned completing a year teaching abroad in a typical English school may be seen as a backward move for a registered teacher. Do people generally think this is the case? Is the experience and standard generally a lot lower than Western Education systems that future employers will dismiss the work experience?

I have never traveled overseas and I find Asian culture fascinating, so I'm keen for the opportunity.
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3209

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Fascinating" ain't the word for it........

Just kidding, sorta, but it's an education in itself.
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vikeologist



Joined: 07 Sep 2009
Posts: 517

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just my opinion here, but generally I would concur that the standard of education in English schools here is lower than in the West.

I think a year teaching at a language mill in China would do little for your chances of getting a job as an English teacher in Australia.

However, I have worked in other countries where you have to be a good English teacher to get a job. Many of the teachers I worked with had worked in China; typically their first teaching gig.

If you get a job in a good school, China is a good place to start off. However, there are lots of schools that are just dire academically.

If you're looking at teaching as a career, make sure that you ask telling questions to the people interviewing you. Nothing involving ESL jargon. Something open, such as 'what kind of teaching methods do you favour?'. Perhaps more importantly, consider what questions they're asking you.

I once asked a school what they were looking for in a teacher, and their response was utterly pathetic, (something like a passport from a native speaking country), but honest I guess.

There are schools here where the DOSs or equivalent staff know their stuff, but you also want to be somewhere where they'll give you enough encouragement and autonomy.

I would also suggest that the imprtant thing is the ability of the teaching management, not the administrative side of things.

China can be a dead end, but like much in life, it's what you make it.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2317
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well firstly I would get into conversation with an International and ask them what they would see as 'good' China experience in preparation for joining as a junior teacher in 2 years. You don't know how long the downturn at home is going to last - could be 5+ years, but when it ends you should be poised to enter the profession as an experienced teacher not an FT layabout like me.
Congrats on not bemoaning your lot of graduating in tough times, but looking outside the circle to kick start your career.
PM me if you want more info on an International which should be willing to answer your questions.
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