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Can someone explain "McSchool?"
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lechatbleu



Joined: 23 May 2012
Posts: 13
Location: Krasnodar, Russia

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 8:48 pm    Post subject: Can someone explain "McSchool?" Reply with quote

I am very new to all this, I only recently finished a TEFL certification course, and am beginning to try to decide what my options are. I have a degree and the TEFL certificate, but no teaching experience. I was considering Russia because I have a basic knowledge of the language (I was once nearly fluent, have lost a lot, but figure I'd pick it up again) and some familiarity with the culture.

To find out more, I've been lurking here and reading old posts, and I'm wondering if someone can explain "McSchool." Obviously, I have a general idea from context and I get the McDee's reference and what that usually implies, but I guess I'm asking what exactly that describes in the case of English language schools.

And since most of the posts seem to be about how to avoid a McSchool, is that possible, or even advisable, given I have no experience? Is it the kind of situation where you have to "pay your dues" working there before you can move up the ladder to something else?

Thanks!
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smithrn1983



Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 320
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In general a McSchool is one with crappy conditions, low pay, shoddy recruitment policies and a revolving door for teachers. Unfortunately, without experience, you'll be unlikely to find any way around them. It is an instance of 'paying your dues'. You spend a year working for them, build up some private students and then seek greener pastures elsewhere after your first year here.

Also, if you're new to Russia, they generally do help you adjust to your new surroundings better than the other schools, who just assume that you already know your way around over here.

Hope this helps.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9696
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moscow MacSchool: BKC-IH; Language Link; English First.

Big chain schools, many branches, no standards, crappy pay, high workload, burnout certain.

Yet, for a newcomer to Russia, they do sort out all the paperwork and assorted hassles. Essential for most people fresh on the ground. Do a contract with them, then go it alone and make some proper money. Grin and bear it. And drink, heavily. Blend in!

Hic!
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie's advice hits the nail on the hand. Freudian slip - head. For those with no experience of either English teaching or Russia, then McSchools have their place, for a year I would say.
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lechatbleu



Joined: 23 May 2012
Posts: 13
Location: Krasnodar, Russia

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, that is helpful! I am worried about the paperwork and logistics of settling in, so if it makes things easier in that respect, I suppose I can put up with the rest for a year. Rolling Eyes
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, I think these places vary somewhat in their degrees of depravity. I'm also not sure how far the assumption that other schools are much better is founded on green grass conjecture.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9696
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably founded on the principle that small is beautiful. A Maccer is so large, it lumbers around like a slow-witted beast, trying to figure out basic things like time-tables. One hundred teachers in 30 branches is genuinely hard to manage,but still, the amount of chaos that incompetent administrators manage to create is truly breath-taking to behold...
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stacyrey



Joined: 10 May 2011
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...and if anyone wants info on Language Link, I'm with them right now, not returning, and would LOVE to let you know about my experience with them!
Wink
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9696
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh go on then! The Shangri-la of TEFL in Russland?
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Caporetto



Joined: 09 Apr 2012
Posts: 33
Location: Belarus

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me guess, a chain of schools - every branch exactly the same across the country (you've worked at them all I imagine), with no redeeming features whatsoever. Gruel breakfast at 5am and ritual flogging by the DoS after a 48 hour week. Begs the question: why are you there? They've invented planes, get on one.
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stacyrey



Joined: 10 May 2011
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew what I was getting into Caporetto, I'm just letting folks know I am an available reference.

To all, though, I did find out that a teacher was threatened with a broken bottle (by a student) in one of our classrooms, and all of the people in charge said, "well, he paid." No consequences, etc.

Sexual harassment by a few of the older guys seems to be the accepted norm, as well. After I was harassed and then called names by a fellow teacher, I was asked if I couldn't just not use the teacher room.

LL is good for getting your foot in the door, but you really do have to choose which place has the kind of problems you can put up with the longest. If any of you come to LL, request to be in a branch school, they are much better.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caporetto wrote:
Let me guess, a chain of schools - every branch exactly the same across the country (you've worked at them all I imagine), with no redeeming features whatsoever. Gruel breakfast at 5am and ritual flogging by the DoS after a 48 hour week. Begs the question: why are you there? They've invented planes, get on one.

Actually, this is the one area where the term Mcschool is misleading. From what I can gather, these franchises are run rather loosely and the standards of behaviour vary rather widely across the country.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9696
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Standards vary? Didn't know there were any standards at all...
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12370
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DEPRAVITY !? I am shocked and feel that I must come and investigate.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9696
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prepare yourself for total iniquity!




Hic!
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