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A warning sign?

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by David Getling, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    I've seen a couple of jobs recently asking for a mixture of maths, chemistry and physics, but only teaching up to IGCSE or MYP. The schools in question seem to be reputable, but previous experience has shown me that when this happens it's often a case of HODs and established teachers shafting the new boy with all the classes they don't want to take. Even worse, part of the reason is these people have such poor social skills that only the older students (who are more focused on their exams) will put up with them. And I mean it when I say put up, because the people I'm thinking of were disliked by both students and their colleagues.

    Maybe my experiences are atypical, but as I've seen this situation a few times I'm wondering is this usually the case?
  2. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    You know David, you don't half come across as being a tad judgemental and with the slightest bit of a chip on your shoulder.
    From getting kids to complain to their headmaster as to why he didn't employ you to denigrating schools on the way they place their advertisements and do their recruiting, you seem to employ the full panoply of " how not to win friends and impress people ".
    Now I am sure you are not this...er...negative in reality, but have you ever thought that potential employers might be put off by the full force of your online personality?
  3. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    I really think this hypothesis is jumping to conclusions.
    In larger schools, and not even that large, it is really common to have a position open that is geared to one segment of the school. What are you expecting to see: an ad that reads, Open, Sciences position, you pick the grade levels and we'll move all our existing teachers around to suit you?
    Just because there's an open position in one sector, there's no reason to conclude that the HOD is a jerk.
  4. I'm not going to comment on the rest of your post, but saying that
    is surely a recipe for disaster when making your arguments. Kids are notorious for making (untrue) statements like this. They were ususally either away that day, weren't listening, have forgotten it, etc., etc. I have my own cases of where they denied all knowledge of something that I had covered in my classes with them but I was later able to find it written in their own handwriting.
  5. Er, I doubt you do. I realize that you're not a History teacher, But being unable to find a job because of deeply ingrained racial prejudice, and being unable to find a job because of one's big gob... Not the same thing.
  6. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    (Battles valiantly to avoid laughing. Fails. Miserably.)
  7. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    They are HL students. They should not be told the result in a normal class - they should be able to figure out something so simple themselves. If they cannot they shouldn't be on a HL course. However it is something that would be pointed out in a revision course, as a revision course is not for getting them to think but just a spoon-feeding exercise. There is a difference.
    As for the "old biddy" as you so dismissively refer to her, that is your interpretation of events. How would you know she made mistakes? Did you observe her lessons? Or, as is becoming more apparent, you asked her students, did the odd bit of muck-raking, questioned her authority and then wondered why things are not working well for you.
    So what? There are literally tens of thousands of teachers who fulfil those criteria.
    Words fail me. This has got to be the most self-pitying quote ever on TES.

  8. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    gulfgolf, read what I wrote, not what you want to read! I asked whether my experience was atypical. I make no hypotheses as to whether it is generally true.

    sidnz, these are final year Higher Level students. They are unlikely to being lying, and it's also unlikely they are going to be away on the same day. And Karvol is being disingenuous when he say because it's obvious they should have found it out for themselves - and as I said this was one of many things.

    Alexander, what you call having a big gob, others might call expressing their opinion. Part of living in a free country is that we do not discriminate against others for expressing opinions that are different from are own! Need I quote Voltaire to you?

    Karvol, I covered the old biddy's lessons on many occasions, so I SAW what her teaching was like. I remember one particular occasion when she had to go back and re-teach her class something she had taught them wrongly. No mud-raking was required.

    And, Karvol, if there are tens of thousands of teachers, why do I regularly get so many kids who tell not only me, but their form teachers, and others, that they would rather be taught by me. I've even had kids defect to my classes.

    Unfortunately, no matter what I say, or what evidence I present, most people are heavily invested in their own world view (no doubt I am too - it's one of the less pleasant aspects that's part of human nature) and only believe what they are comfortable believing in, so I don't expect to change any opinions. This is the basis of prejudice, and hence my historical allusion. Racial prejudice is the most obvious example of hostility to those who are different. But this hostility extends to anyone who doesn't conform to the norms of a group - i.e. keep their mouth shut, and pretend everything is fine. To quote from this week's New Scientist: There's a societal push for conformity in all ways. There's less tolerance of difference. And nowhere is this more true than in our schools, whatever the empty rhetoric on their websites might say.
  9. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Not being disingenuous in the least. It is a pretty easy thing to spot which I would expect any of my HL students to be able to do.
    If you covered her lessons you didn't see her teaching, you saw what your teaching was like. It was you the students were responding to, not her. Which again leads to the issue of being unprofessional. I trust you didn't incite the students against their teacher did you, rather than bring it to the HoD's attention?
    It is strange, considering how brilliant a teacher you are, how much the kids love you, how they all wish to be taught by you, that you cannot hold a job down for very long or that the school does not extend your contract beyond the temporary supply teaching position they give you.
    Surely it cannot be that your view of how things lie and reality are poles apart can it? Any teacher who has been in the profession long enough learns to read between the lines when kids either sing the praises of a teacher or denigrate one. The former usually means that they are allowed to get away with murder and the latter that they are actually expected to do some work for themselves. Now, which category do you fall into?
  10. My point is not about whether you have a big gob or not. It's about your extremely poor analogy between yourself and victims of racism. It cheapens the memory of millions of people who were killed, beaten or raped for standing up to racism and segregation during the pre MLK era. You risk none of those things. Only being laughed out of jobs.
  11. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    A good teacher knows that what is blindingly obvious to them, isn't always so obvious to their students.

    No, I saw what she had written down in her lesson plan, which was plainly wrong. The class that got me, got it taught correctly. The other class she had taught it to weren't so lucky, and had to unlearn something.

    We're [wrongly] making a lot of assumptions [that we want to make] aren't we.

    Yes, that's what the bad teachers usually say.

    It would be interesting to hear what your kids had to say about you. Of course, it would be difficult to find out as you haven't got the guts to use your real name. Could this be because you are ashamed of the drivel you often write?
  12. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    A better teacher knows what to expect of their students, and how they can fulfill that expectation without spoon-feeding them.
    Nope, just looking at your C.V. You haven't - in over two decades of teaching - managed to stay at a school for two years ( therefore seeing out an exam cohort from start to finish which is the real test of being a teacher ). In fact you have only managed to obtain a non-supply position twice. These are your facts, not my creations.

    I know being professional is an anathema to you, and being circumspect is probably an alien landscape where you have never trodden so if you wish to continue down that route by publishing every single detail regarding yourself - including mentioning that you have considered setting up fake school websites in the far flung reaches of the planet to furnish you with fake references - then that is your perogative. To expect others to be so asinine is a delusion you can keep to yourself.
    Now what I write may be complete drivel. After all, it is only written for the purpose of amusement while temporarily avoiding work. What I do not do though, is blame others for any inadequacy in being able to hold down a job or for for them taking one look at your C.V. and throwing your application into the bin.
    That is completely your territory.
  13. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Besides, we don't know what your kids say of you. We only know what you say your kids say of you.
    Not quite the same thing.
    But, hang on, you don't have any kids. You do supply teaching. You teach other peoples lessons when they are not around.
    Why am I even having this conversation? I mistakenly thought I was conversing with a teacher, not the teaching world's equivalent of polyfilla.
    My apologies. Of course the kids think you are great. All you do is help them get their homework correct and listen to their stories of how abysmal their real teachers are and agreeing with them. Why on earth would they think otherwise? It is not as if you are going to be responsible for any of their exam results.
    That resonsibility falls to their real teacher.
  14. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Established commenter

    David, I think you probably are a talented teacher. You may even be almost as talented as you think you are. You teach a shortage subject which ought to give you an enormous career advantage but Karvol has hit the nail on the head when he says that your main problem is your evident inability to hold down a job. You cannot convincingly attribute twenty years of temping to the machinations of evil employers. YOU are doing something wrong. My advice (take it or leave it) is to accept the next available job, grit your teeth and see it through to the end of contract.
    As for pseudonyms, I have known some very nasty people in cyber space who have set out quite deliberately to damage lives and careers. I adopted 'Mainwaring' 13 years ago when not only I but my wife and children could still have been damaged by some of my franker comments. As an outspoken member of the profession shouldn't you yourself be adopting an appropriate alter ego? Then when some young Turk demands that you reveal your true identity we can all chorus 'Don't tell him Pike!'
  15. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Getting a bit hot under the collar, aren't we Karvol.

    While I might have qualified two decades ago, I spent most of the earlier time in an extremely successful I.T. career, earning the kind of money you can only ever dream of.

    Way off! Read my CV properly, rather than reading what you want to into it.

    Did I say I was considering doing this - no! I said it could be done, which isn't the same thing. With my online presence I couldn't do it unless I also changed my name (to something like Karvol, perhaps).
    In that you have been successful. I do find your sense of propriety very amusing.
  16. I did a handstand the other day, inadvertantly placing my palms on a couple of upturned drawing pins.
    Jesus must have had it tough, I can tell you...
  17. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Not particularly. I am not the one desperately seeking employment with a C.V. that makes depressing reading.

    Judging by your C.V. I think we have different ideas regarding great careers. As for money, I do notice that you are still looking for teaching jobs and are more than willing to take on supply positions. What were you being paid in, roubles?

    Can you actually read David? If I look at all the "jobs" you have had, only one has ever lasted more than two years. Are you really that difficult a person to work with that no-one wants to take you beyond the probationary period? Oh and the I.T. industry? Who are you trying to kid? You never got any higher than the hired help. Anybody even half decent at that time set up their own company.

    Go for it. By all means use the name. It is hardly original. If you ask me nicely, I'll even write you a reference.
    Success at last!
  18. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    Karvol, your venomous characteristics are boring me. I can't understand why you feel the need to bully in the way do; it isn't as if you're a particularly knowledgeable chap; your ignorance of teaching has been on display several times since I joined these boards.
    What is it that compels you to research your victims so meticulously? Why do you feel the need to try to embarrass or offend? We all have our faults, especially you, yet you seem to enjoy washing other folks laundry in public.
    You show several signs of psychotic tendencies; I think DG finally got something right in suggesting you're getting hot under the collar. Try to pretend you are calm and collected if you must, but you show signs of frustration in your petty conversation with DG.
    I'm so glad I haven't the misfortune of having you in my school; no staffroom deserves your nastiness nor your conceit.
  19. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Ah, welcome back MisterMaker.
    Pot. Kettle. Black?
  20. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    And how is your alter-ego Principal Skinner doing?
    As for your school, I know a bit more about its maths department than you would wish and I sincerely wish it the best of success in the coming year.

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