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Headmasters deciding pay - is this usual?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by MisterMaker, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    Nothing wrong with that at all. He is even giving you fair warning that during this period you will be observed. Informal observations should be normal, in my opinion, and part of the overall appraisal process. The head gets to see what you are truly like, rather than just a one-off prepared for lesson.
    Not sure which highly unionised country you refer to, but they are rare on the international front. Those that "scream unions" don't make good expat teachers.
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Trade unions of any description are illegal in most countries in the Middle East.
  3. ...at all?
    There's absolutely nothing wrong with unnanounced observations, I totally agree with those for the purposes of maintaining the standard of teaching and and learning.
    But to use these observations to set salaries for the following year is wrong. You could in effect be financially 'punished' for a non teacher not enjoying just one of you lessons - we all have the occasional lessons which don't quite go according to plan.
    To be fair though, the OP hasn't indicated whether this process is to penalise those that don't live up to expectations or to reward those that exceed those expectations.
    I agree that those who "scream unions" don't make good expat teachers.
    BTW any observations that lead to such decisions cannot be classed as
  4. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Yes me too. I've often said that I'm happy for someone to walk into my class, unannounced, at any time, because good lessons should be the norm, not something you occasionally pull out of a hat for the Head or HOD.

    However, there will always be a few lessons that don't go smoothly, so it would be much more objective, and fairer to observe several lessons: with some time between them, and with different classes.

    I'd say that, this is true in general, not just for expats. But there are definitely a few schools where a union might be needed to make sure that dear little Adolf and Ebenezer behave themselves.
  5. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    Perhaps it's my way of describing the two: informal being unannounced, walk in, non ofsted lesson observation. Formal: lesson obervation with set form & announced before hand. Any head should do the former regularly as you get to see the real school and it will impact on your thoughts about a teacher. Ideally it should be backed up with formal observations, but I've come across many crp teachers who can always pull rabbits out of hats when necessary for inspections, but day to day shouldn't be in a classroom.
  6. I see your point MM
  7. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    On taking up the headship of an old-established school some years ago I was eagerly accosted by the members of a working party on teacher appraisal. What did I think of their draft scheme? 'Not a lot, I replied, because it appears to contain no element of classroom observation.'
    They were utterly horrified at the idea that their classes might be observed (which of course they were once we had a proper scheme in place) but were adamant that they should be allowed to appraise me.
    'I shall definitely be appraised', I assured them. 'The Head of English will appraise my teaching and the Board will appraise me as Headmaster'.
    'But WE want to appraise you. After all, fair's fair, you will be appraising US.'
    How far, dear colleagues, does democracy reach in your own schools?
  8. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    I know of one school in Rome where the Head is elected by fellow teachers, and the students have a say in recruitment. From what I've seen it's a good school.

    However, I think such schools are extremely rare.
  9. ***?
  10. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Yes, I kid you not! Also, all the teachers, including the Head were called by their first name.

    If I hadn't been shackled by having a flat in Berlin (requiring 3 months notice) I'd have been able to take a short term contract there which might well have led to a permanent position.
  11. WOW! Without any exaggeration at all, I can think of at least two in my past who would not have got the job.

  12. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Standard practice in state schools here in Spain. Standard practice between staff in my local Spanish hospital including consultants and cleaners, both of whom do a great job. I like it in the hospital and it seems to work OK in the schools. I worked for a time in a British (overseas) school where everybody was on first-name terms and it didn't feel quite right. Possibly a matter of kulcha.
  13. purpleapple

    purpleapple New commenter

    I don't think that there is anything wrong with observations, but using one unannounced observation to base the future salary of a teacher is wrong. Especially in a for-profit school. If performance is part of the salary then surely a number of observations would be fairer. Also other considerations, such as extra-curricular activites, organisation, duties, etc., should be taken into account. But I guess that in international schools, it is fairly common - that's what I was asking.
    Why would I not be a good expat teacher because I believe in unions? When I say believe in unions, I mean that I believe that a worker should have organised protection in their job. My husband works in a very un-unionised industry and the amount of abuse is insane. But it is a like it or lump situation because there is no enforceable legal protection. One of the reasons I chose teaching is for the security. Is there anything wrong with that? Also the world is a big place, what will be true of one country will be different in another. So saying that I won't be a good expat teacher is a fairly sweeping statement.
    How are expat teachers different from 'normal' teachers? This sounds like very macho posturing to me.
  14. again ... ***?
    Nobody mentioned gender at all. Nobody was being insulting in anyway at all. The people who responded to this thread were giving their valid, based upon experience, opinions.
  15. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    I'd say they are very diferent, would take a book to explain why.
  16. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    If this were to happen in Spain, then the unions would <u>CERTAINLY</u> become involved. To start with, it's illegal to lower someone's salary here unless the employers can prove they are in economic crisis. In any case, the sort of "evaluation" described here could hardly be classed as fair and just. I have been an elected labour representative at my school for over 20 years, and, unlike some of the contributors here, I feel that we play a vital role in protecting workers from the whims of administrators who are often unchecked by any "higher authority"and can be prone to very arbitrary decisions. In many parts of the world, trade unionists went to jail or even died to win us the labout rights we now enjoy, and I have no hestitation whatsoever in using those rights today to defend my colleagues.
  17. It would be very nice to have the protection of legislation and unions but those of us outside of the EU don't have that. We are at the whims of our employers and we are prone to arbitrary decisions. The best we can hope for is to have reasonable employers.
    So when we say that those who 'scream unions' don't last as international teachers it is because of the ultimate power the employers have over our jobs and not because we're decrying the concept of unions.
    I'm happy that you have the protection you enjoy.
    And I'm happy I have a reasonable employer. [​IMG]

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