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HELP! Director of English job: How fast would I sink?

 
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Swing59



Joined: 18 May 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:43 pm    Post subject: HELP! Director of English job: How fast would I sink? Reply with quote

Hey all,

I am being offered a job as the director of English at an institute in Ecuador geared toward gastronomy and hotel management. They want me to supervise the English teachers (not sure if they are native speakers or not), buy the appropriate materials, design the curriculum, etc... They also want me to design a curriculum tailored to the needs of their students (hospitality industry english).

I have spent the last year teaching preschool English and will be taking the CELTA in August. I feel completely unqualified for this position and am really only being offered it because I am a family friend of the owner of the institute. I am leaning HEAVILY towards turning it down because of my lack of ESL experience. I just want to have a few people who know a bit more about this than I do weigh in on the difficulty of the job. Would the CELTA help prepare me for this? Are there any good resources that would help me figure out what the hell I was doing when it came time to evaluate teachers, design a curriculum ect.? I imagine experience is very important with this kind of job.

Please weigh in.

Thanks.
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safron sue



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sorry i can't offer any constructive help, but sounds like a great job! good luck!
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1294
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go for it. The Director is a manager of people so you just have to get the people on your side and use their expertise to help you to do your job. They will know what materials and curriculum they want and you can help them get it. You will know good teachers from bad or the students will tell you.
Just listen, listen and listen and persuade your friend to put as much as he can into their salaries and they will be happy. Be positive and pretend confidence - don't talk, just listen.
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mike mooney



Joined: 29 Jan 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 10:26 am    Post subject: Go for it! Reply with quote

The lexicon of hospitality English isn't that broad and with a bit of work, you could at least spot flaws in any curriculum. It could even be fun! Imagine yourself as aguest in a hotel or client in a restaurant. What are the things you would need to say? What would be the most common daily phrases? Remember, that in terms of the practical use the English taught might be put to, for instance in a hotel, you would need to place greater emphasis on listening and speaking skills, rather than listening and writing. Go on and give it a go would be my advice.If you don't try it you may always wonder....
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Swing59



Joined: 18 May 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the encouragement. I guess one of the things that worries me is being the boss of teachers who have more experience than I do. Also, although I don't know as I haven't yet dove into it, it seems that designing a college level curriculum/syllabus without any teaching experience at the college level might be tuff. I know the school already has the textbooks they want to use for the lower levels, but I would be in charge of putting something together for the more advanced levels that has greater emphasis on gastronomy/hotel management specific English. Does anyone know of any resources that would be useful for designing a curriculum?
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Lorikeet



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1366
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might help if you look at the texts for the lower levels to see what they are supposed to master before they get to the higher levels.
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scooby doo



Joined: 22 Feb 2010
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Involve the teachers in your decisions to gain their support and respect.

Designing curriculum is complicated even for those with experience. Could you just buy a book or a series and use that? With the solicited input of the teachers, you could decide on supplementing from materials on the internet or other sources if needed.

Many publishers have catalogs online and shopping for efl books is becoming easier all the time. If you have a budget for this...
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wmcmanus



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:34 am    Post subject: be careful Reply with quote

I realize this reply is a little late to be of any use to the original poster, but my advice would be that you should be very careful if you choose to work with a school that would choose someone with no experience to be the director of a new school.

If you're going to go through all the trouble and work of creating a curriculum, managing a team of teachers, creating marketing and advertising, etc.-- you might as well do it as a partner or owner! It sounds like their idea was to find a teacher and say "please make us a profitable business!"

It sounds like a lot of work, but as others have said it is very "do-able". Good luck!
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raptorjesus



Joined: 14 Sep 2010
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:00 pm    Post subject: Re: HELP! Director of English job: How fast would I sink? Reply with quote

Swing59 wrote:
Hey all,

I am being offered a job as the director of English at an institute in Ecuador geared toward gastronomy and hotel management. They want me to supervise the English teachers (not sure if they are native speakers or not), buy the appropriate materials, design the curriculum, etc... They also want me to design a curriculum tailored to the needs of their students (hospitality industry english).


Designing curriculum for an industry your aren't familiar with could be troublesome. You'll need to do extensive research both online and in person to get a better grasp of what your student needs are.


Quote:
I have spent the last year teaching preschool English and will be taking the CELTA in August. I feel completely unqualified for this position and am really only being offered it because I am a family friend of the owner of the institute. I am leaning HEAVILY towards turning it down because of my lack of ESL experience. I just want to have a few people who know a bit more about this than I do weigh in on the difficulty of the job. Would the CELTA help prepare me for this? Are there any good resources that would help me figure out what the hell I was doing when it came time to evaluate teachers, design a curriculum ect.? I imagine experience is very important with this kind of job.

Please weigh in.

Thanks.


I'm currently working as a manager in China. The most difficult part of my job isn't the curriculum design part. The most difficult part is dealing with the teachers. I seriously have no idea what gives foreign teachers the idea they can walk on water, but for some reason more than a few seem to have it.

It is annoying, particularly when it comes to giving them feedback for class observations. I have one particular teacher who enjoys reminding everyone what a foul mouth he has during staff meetings. I've talked to him a few times about it and now he's looking at getting fined the next time he does it.

This next bit might sound cold and ruthless, but it is the most essential part of management that I've come to understand.

"Treat everyone like they are indispensable right up to the point where you tell them they are fired."

Not that you need to be looking to fire everyone, but every one of your teachers, staff, and whatnot should be viewed as replaceable. I tolerate giant egos in my FTs and such if they are worth it. If they can't fill their ego I tend to suggest we not re-sign their contracts and quietly ease them out the door. They might be a good teacher but their ego gets in the way of a quiet and productive staffroom.

Now if they have a huge ego and can't teach at all...

Well the answer to that is obvious.

So yeah, dealing with staff is my biggest challenge. The other big challenge I have is convincing the school owners to allow the teachers to have more freedom in the classroom. We do follow a curriculum, but I don't mind if the teachers who actually teach it play around with it a bit in order to get a more student centric classroom. I've seen some very good results and some not so good results. But I'd rather the teachers I support try something new than the same old same old of chapter 1 through 24 of mind numbing boredom.
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