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Disastrous Job Applications

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by the hippo, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. Bang on, Arbitrator.

    I don't expect to be told the exact salary but I do expect to know a 'range' before putting pen to paper. Just saying 'competitive' is a waste of time. If you aren't willing to discuss the money side then we are just wasting each other's time aren't we? And no - it doesn't make me a mercenary who isn't interested in teaching (that's usually the owners).

    Some say that this is a commercial confidentiality thing, but in my experience the first thing that teachers do is discuss their salaries with each other and with people from other schools. Not being up front, therefore just creates bitterness and a sense of staff feeling ripped off when they find out they are only getting 70%- 90% of the going rate.
     
  2. No worries, my post was for Foneypharaoh [​IMG]
     
  3. Arepa

    Arepa New commenter

    OSmarsupial. From your account, you probably got through the first reading. After that, it is up to, as qatarsoon wrote, the specific criteria of the school. Many factors outside your control go into a school?s criteria. You could lose an opportunity, for example, to a teaching couple who have reduced housing costs. Once though, we hired such a couple only to find out that the male arrived with a new wife, having divorced the one we interviewed. He was furious that we did not have a job for the new wife and left before the end of his contract even though she was qualified in a different field from the first one.

    You also do not sound picky. I had one teacher pack up after two months when he discovered that our private school was fee paying. He said that working for us went against his philosophy that education should be free for all. I do wish he had either asked or used his brain (e.g. understanding the meaning of private school) prior to accepting the position.
    Last year I wasted my time corresponding with an applicant in order to arrange a Skype interview. He did not have Skype software, then he did not have a camera for his computer, and finally, he could not find a microphone. That is when I ended the correspondence and learned a lesson. I would not want a teacher whose hand I would have to continuously hold, rather one that could show independence and initiative.

    Anastasiabeaver. Do not take it too much to heart if you have made an error. Most of us have done the same. At this time though, competition is very intense and you need to keep them to a minimum.
     
  4. It's 'maths'. And 'yes'.
    Ability to string words together also seems an uphill battle...
     
  5. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Established commenter

    I thought that was servile engineers.
    As a young teacher in the days of leather patches and Banda Spirit Duplicators (a primitive reprographics system rather than a multiple haunting phenomenon) I used to 'help' a maths colleague with the Times Crossword. With my expert assistance she could finish it in half an hour. Left to herself she got it done before the end of morning break. She also spoke English fluently (not always the case with people from Lancaster) and played the piano.
     
  6. Call me Thomas.....
     
  7. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Established commenter

    I didn't know you were a twin.
     
  8. Ah, the "Banda Machine" as it was known in my first teaching post. How I miss the hours spent trying to make a worksheet using more that one colour.
    Other items I remember fondly:
    The spool to spool film.
    The spool to spool tape machine. (Which, when trying to watch and listen at the same time, had to be synchronised to the film.)
    The slide carousel. (Never worked out which way to put slides in.)
    The giant bottle of Quink.
    The giant board ruler.
    Chalk.
    The Board Duster.

     
  9. No, it's Maths! GRRRRRRRRRR!
     
  10. Arepa

    Arepa New commenter

    Arbitrator and Oldgit61 raise a very interesting issue regarding asking for salary details prior to sending in an application. It certainly would save time on both the part of the school and applicant. However, Oldgit does raise the point that it might give the impression that the applicant is mercenary. I still remember a recommendation from years ago, not from Mr. Bongowongo, that referred to an applicant as one ?who can talk glibly, wave a glass of sherry with aplomb, and who has as much interest in international education as my cat? (more advice to job applicants, make sure your references are supportive). A mercenary teacher could not be relied on as they might leave your school quickly for a neighbouring school that offered more money. This has happened to me. Obviously, a review of the applicants CV might tell whether or not they had a history of jumping schools, but that defeats the whole purpose of asking for details prior to sending a CV.
    As a Head, I certainly find the idea of clarifying details an ideal policy. However, the process seems difficult to implement and also likely to create some serious problems. Regarding implementation, it is often difficult to give a simple dollar or sterling salary range without having to go into detail about additional perks in terms of housing, leave, transportation, automobile, maid , health care, food vouchers, etc. For example, when I worked in a South American nation, I took a 40% cut in salary but ended up saving more, travelling more and eating out 3x a week. It was a very pleasant lifestyle, the best I have ever enjoyed. How does a school communicate this to an initial letter asking for vague details from an unknown applicant. It is much easier to do in an interview when the Head is trying to entice the applicant to accept a position. I cannot really see an applicant writing a letter asking for specific financial details for these categories without giving the impression of being mercenary. Yet, the applicant would have ask for these details in order to get an accurate picture of the total package.
    A school could publish a salary scale including perks for foreign teachers on the web. However, this could stir up the always latent and sometimes not so latent hostility between host country teachers and expats. It is difficult enough to build collegiality in some schools when the host country teachers have a vague idea of the salary differentials, but it would be very much more difficult if it were exactly known. This is my opinion, however, I would be delighted to hear to the contrary. Also, while not illegal, many perks are not known to the host country?s tax service and a web page might bring unwelcome attention (e.g. fund deposited directly into foreign bank accounts).
    Also, while some of the schools I have worked at did not have salary scales (all were negotiated individually, rather like bargaining for bananas in the market), some schools did have scales. These were, however, not legally binding and could be increased if a teacher was really wanted.
    So, as Lenin asked ?What is to be done?? It is easier for the school. They can put some generalities about conditions of service on their website and then review the applications carefully to see if their experience correlates to the financial condition of the school. I would not have considered a candidate from a leading international school in some schools I worked at simply because I realized that we could not offer an appropriate salary (unless, that is, the applicant had stated adventure was the motive for the move, but that never happened). A quick email back explaining that we were out of their league sufficed.
    The real effort, should, I believe, be on the part of the applicant who needs to research comparable living standards and then check out web sites that discuss and rate schools (TES and ISR can be helpful in this regard as long as one reads between the lines). Then the applicant can decide whether or not to make the effort to write a tailored application. Should the applicant reach an interview that is likely to be the time when the Head raises the issue of conditions of service. The applicant should be prepared to ask probing questions at this stage.
    I do apologize for going on at such length, but I am trying to make my present school efficient and professional. Therefore, I would welcome suggestions that would permit me to provide those important details that would attract experienced teachers.
     
  11. Dear 'original ***'
    I find it seriously alarming that a teacher would use the offensive term '******' to refer to a fellow human being. I don't know if you are aware but 03/03/10 was a day of awareness in the US and around the world to highlight the need to banish the derogatory use of this word. As a teacher myself I would never use this word. As a sister of someone with mental handicap I would certainly never use this word. It IS offensive to me, my family and millions of people around the world. You meant to use this word to belittle someone else, albeit in a joking manner.
    Please in future be aware that the words you use affect those around you.
    I spoke about this to my year 10 group after one called another a '******'. They understood why it is hurtful to use that word. If they can understand, then i am sure that you can too.
     
  12. '********' means slow in mental or physical progress. *** thinks 'maths' is written with a capital 'M' (disagreeing with me and the Oxford Dictionary) so I regard his mental development as having slowed; as you say, albeit in a jokey and perhaps inappropriate way.
    But I will live with that. If I was to say your sense of humour is ********, would that be wrong? Of course I would not call someone ******** a '******'. But, I have sisters and I am not going to tell you if they are ******** in some way or all in perfect health because it is none of your business. This might sound churlish but I don't care about you or your sister. They are nothing to do with me, as indeed, are seven billion or so other people on the planet.
    There has been no intention to offend, but if it has, it has...
    Oh, and if you think your Year Tens don't use the word '******' insultingly anymore because of your wonderful tutelage, you're a spanner.
     
  13. Are you serious? What is wrong with you??
     
  14. Well done Paroah. I'm sick to death of sanctimonious t*ssers taking a word, appropriating its meaning and then telling me I can't use it in the way I intend it. A word is only as offensive as the intention behind it. I call my mate a stupid b*stard from time to time and he has never been known to get upset by it - his Dad says it to him too. And if you are offended by it...well, you shouldn't be so easily offended, should you?
     
  15. I think there are some thin skins about. Strange isn't it m0r0n that I have to disguise your handle as it is deemed offensive and yet '******' is allowed? What is the difference between a *** and a ****** by the way? Very little my bunch of soppy fruits.
    As for the American poster...well they can be like that sometimes can't they; all Billy Graham and that utter tosh.
    As for you Oldgit, I am a ***, but unsurprisingly not offended by the word or my disposition.
    Hands up who is offended if I call you all a bunch of useless c*nts?
    ....thought not.
     
  16. How these TES pr1cks can censor m0r0n and B4stard and allow Billy f*cking Graham I will for nevuuuuur know.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Some very sensible and helpful advice from Arepa and some rather tedious (and irrelevant) comments from other posters. I have always been of the opinion that is best to stay on the side of modesty and common sense when responding to comments on a forum such as this one. The TES moderators are often looking for excuses to delete threads, so please let us keep all discussions within the bounds of good manners.
     
  18. Exactly the point I was going to make.
    FP, I was not offended by your comment, I took it as a joke and my "angry" smileys were supposed to be funny as well. However, we are not all mates and this forum is for everybody so... Not to mention that, as the hippo points out, there are enough threads pulled as it is.
    As for Maths.... well, do you call all prospective employers r*tards when you apply for a job advertised here (as most use capital letters for academic subjects)? I thought not...
     
  19. AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!
    No, no, no!!!
    Wrong. I do. [​IMG]
    Here is a list of popular subjects taught in school.
    Chemistry (Capital because it is at the beginning of a sentence!), biology, physics, P.E, mathematics, English, German, French, geography, history and bloody Latin.
    I was lying about Latin; it's not popular at all.
    Are you getting the picture, *** (n.)? [​IMG]
    Lots of people find dictionaries helpful. Believe me, you can trust them.
     
  20. I will always spell Mathematics with a capital M, always have done, always will. Always been expected to when writing reports to parents. [​IMG]
     

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