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Are you thinking about teaching in Greece?

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Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Posts: 371

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 7:13 am    Post subject: Are you thinking about teaching in Greece? Reply with quote

I worked in Greece for nearly 4 years in the same school because I was well treated and very happy. I didn't go through Anglo Hellenic but many of my friends did and they didn't seem to have any problems. It tends to be the schools themselves that some teachers have big problems with so we shouldn't blame the recruitment agencies totally but I must add that other friends who did have issues with their schools and wanted support from their recruitment agencies didn't get the support, even were ignored by them and simply had to suffer. But on the other hand there were some teachers who I would never want to teach me and they were not all angels. Since many teachers get their first jobs in Greece, there are naturally problems with settling in, culture, missing home, finding it very demanding, etc... After two weeks I phoned my mum crying that I was so unhappy. I have now been teaching for 8 years because I stuck it out. Yes, sometimes it was hard.

In terms of prof. development, that is why I left Greece because most schools don't have any interest in this since they are money making frontisteria - that's it. As long as you can keep control of your class - as much as is possible !!!, and go through as much exam practice as possible, then that's all they care about. If you want to take any prof. dev. then you have to do it in your own time and with your own money and through your own arrangements. So I opted for somewhere in a new country where I was guaranteed doing the DELTA and many other areas of development in TEFL!

Greece is a good place to start out in teaching and it is a nice place to live and it doesn't mean you have to stay. You will meet other foreigners who are in the same situation as you and you can rely on each other. Some of my closest friends now are ex Greece teachers. Even most small towns have a few others. Once you have a few years under your belt then you can apply for much bigger and better jobs in other parts of the world. Also, Greece is a great country to explore. If Greece is somewhere you fancy - give it a shot!
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Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd echo a lot of what you said vre.

Some of the schools are a bit of a nightmare, and it's important not to let yourself get taken advantage of. Greek people appear to be pushy and intimidating at times, although that often just an outsider's impression of how they are, and sometimes you need to put your foot down with the school owners! It seems a strange thing to say, but if you don't set borders and limits about what you're prepared to do, there is a chance that you'll get exploited. This happens to the Greek teachers too, though. In my experience it's best to keep your head down, do your job well, and know when to say no. If anything untowards occurs with payment (e.g. late or underpayment), complain straight away. Know what you're entitled to in terms of bonuses etc. and make sure you get them. Don't take no for an answer - this is the way to get things done in Greece.

Regarding professional development, it is true that many schools aren't particularly interested. However, in bigger towns/cities there are conferences, seminars etc. As for the DELTA, I'd personally say that there is a lot more to learn about teaching than this qualification can give you. I studied English Language and Linguistics at university level and know that a lot of what is covered in Diploma courses is often quite low level (nowhere near degree standard) and dubious from an academic point of view.

As for frontistiria just wanting to make money, I've yet to come across any private institution that doesn't. In their defence, frontistiria deal with local people in a local area (rather than hordes of foreign students over for a few months) so they have to keep up standards or they'll go out of business very quickly.
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