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how does your garden grow in malaysia?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by malayman, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. Currently gardening in Malaysia. Primary. It sucks so all you teachers dreaming of escape -do, but don't come here! It needs the local monkeys to come in and organise it cos they would do better.
  2. Currently gardening in Malaysia. Primary. It sucks so all you teachers dreaming of escape -do, but don't come here! It needs the local monkeys to come in and organise it cos they would do better.
  3. Any reason why both the Principal and Head of Secondary are both off at the gardening school???? What's it like to work there??? Pay and conditions any good??? Will there be many jobs this year and should I apply if there are?
  4. MyOrchid

    MyOrchid Occasional commenter

    According to the advert, Mr Davis is joining COIS and Mr Lloyd is retiring. This makes sense. I worked there for a couple of years and was relatively happy. There are some issues surrounding the size of the campus (too small), and the pay is less than other KL schools. It's run as a business so that the priorities involve keeping shareholders happy. However, I'm not sure why the OP is so unhappy. My impression of primary was that it wasn't perfect, short of space, but that they got the job done. We were generally happy with our youngest's work there. The acid test is would I go back, and the answer is "probably, yes". We left for various reasons, only some of which were to do with the school.
    There is often a large turnover of staff at the school - something like 25-30 left last year. Commonly 15-20 go, I think. However, the staff is well over 100...
  5. yashin

    yashin New commenter

    Just for the balanced argument here. It is important to look at all sides when applying overseas. Each individual expects something different.

    In my opinion the school is a very good one.

    What do you want from a school?

    Well run and organised -yes
    Good HT and Principle both well respected by staff -yes
    Good facilities and well resourced - yes
    Happy staff -yes
    Good professional development-yes
    lots of computers and more smartboard-yes
    Excellent students who want to learn -yes

    The pay will be much better in Sept as there has been notification of a pay rise. If you are careful the current salary is fine. The new scales will make it easier.

    It is run for profit- but in many respects it is very well resourced and there have been no shortage of things as far as i know.

    Staff turnover is because of many reasons-

    some staff are here with wives/husbands who cannot work here- so financially it is tight
    Some have done a few yrs and want to go elsewhere or back to the UK
    Some have done 10yrs or almost and can't by Malaysian laws stay longer in the school
    Some are fed-up and want a change (seems to be a minority)
    Some want more money to save so go elsewhere.

    Anyone considering KL should look at the balanced argument.
    I would not hesitate to apply.
  6. Yashin, as someone who has recently worked there I have to take issue with some of what you have said:

    Well run and organised - no (unless you consider treating the local staff like sh*t 'well run')

    HT - well respected in secondary, not in primary
    Principal - well respected - hmmm - not sure that's entirely correct. Bullsh*t merchant.

    Good facilities and well resourced - NO! NO! NO! You have been in some crapholes if you think it is. It is better than it was but still a long way to go to match many schools in Asia.

    Happy staff - many but not all. Happy with life in KL. Not so happy with the school.

    Good professional development - what professional development?

    Lots of computers and more smartboard - a new addition - moving in the right direction at last

    Excellent students who want to learn - yes, generally - but no better than the rest of Asia. The huge amount of tuition they all have is a BIG factor in the results the school gets.

    It is run for profit and there have been shortages - a couple of years ago they even RAN OUT OF PAPER in the Primary school!!

    For an international school staff turnover is relatively high (admittedly the local staff stay a long time but they have little option). The vast majority of expats only stay 2 or 3 years - mainly because the pay is poor and it is virtually impossible to save any money if you wish to travel while you are there. The pay has definitely improved the last couple of years but it is still quite poor relative to everywhere else (and other schools in KL).

    There is no doubt that it is a decent school but there are issues that people must take into consideration before applying there. It is run as a business which is very frustrating at times and as a teacher you will not feel respected by the hierarchy because they do not expect you to stay long and so are treated much like any other replaceable commodity.

    The best thing about the school is KL. People stay more because they like KL and would rather live there being paid relatively poorly but enjoying the lifestyle than going back to the UK and being treated like SH*T.

    Would I go back to work there again? - NO. Definitely not! 3 years was enough for me! Was it good for me to go there - YES - no question. I enjoyed KL and it got me out of the UK when I really needed to.

    Would I recommend someone else to go there - maybe - it depends what they are looking for.

    If they want a fun place to live without having to work too hard and they were currently in a job they really needed to get out of - YES.

    If they want a job with challenge that would enhance their teaching and help them improve and develop professionally - probably NOT.

    KL is a great place. Garden fits a certain profile. Some people it suits, some it does not. Some stay a long time, some run away after a few weeks. Anyone applying there should do so with their eyes open. With a new HT in secondary and new Principal it is very much a lottery as to what direction the school will now go in next year.
  7. MyOrchid

    MyOrchid Occasional commenter

    Hello writer,
    Where are you nowadays?
  8. Hello All,
    I am writing this from what I think is a very happy and successful garden school. It bothers me to see the negative press the school is getting as I consider it to be fantastic in many respects. Of course, the school is not perfect, but I don't think there is a perfect school. What matters is that the school is continually making efforts to improve and advance, which it certainly is. Staff are listened to and respected and despite the school essentially being a business, I do believe that the kids do still come first.
    The idea that you don't have to work very hard here seems a bit odd... I think that as teachers we work as hard as we want to and you put in what you can. I for one work with a team that are tireless with many of us doing extra hours and staying late etc to sort things out. I wonder if people who insist on trying to drag us all in to a slough of negativity are ever happy? It is easy to find negative aspects if you look hard enough but there is so much positive at garden it does not seem necessary.
    KL is great but by no means the only reason to be here. The school is well run, the kids are driven and intelligent and fun and the staff, by and large, are a great team. Both heads are going to be missed for their own reasons and their leaving is not due to anything sinister. I would recommend teaching here to anyone who is positive and energetic and professional.

  9. MyOrchid

    MyOrchid Occasional commenter

    Thank you, Mr Davis.... ;-)
  10. I could not be more unlike Mr Davis if I tried. Why is positivity greeted with cynisism? Sad really...:)
  11. My section of the garden is flourishing!
    I agree with Applebadger and I too would recommend teaching here.
  12. MyOrchid

    MyOrchid Occasional commenter

    read post #3 for my (recent) view of the school. And then hope you develop a sense of humour rather than dengue.....
  13. What I want to know is what happened to the absolutely, lovely and charming Millie Boey. She would be an asset to any institution.
    I agree with another post on here - no sinister circumstances involved in departure of two senior managers - the reasons are given in the job ads, and I believe that.
  14. Mmmm, I have been wondering the same, Squibbler - the lovely Millie seemed to disappear rather suddenly...does anyone know?
  15. MyOrchid

    MyOrchid Occasional commenter

    The story I got was that she left to become PA to a lecturer at the University. Fewer hours, more pay, and not having to deal with a long line of stressed out Mat Sallah wanting their EPF calculations, I suppose. Sadly missed, indeed, but the lady who replaced her has been very helpful...
  16. Thanks for that, Orchid...we all loved her so much, especially the calm, unflustered way that she dealt with everything that came her way!
  17. MyOrchid

    MyOrchid Occasional commenter

    You're welcome, 'flower. It's a shame that she "slipped away" without much of a party. She'd been there for 8 years, I think. Joyce also left at the same time, of course, but I gather Carol's still there...?
  18. Millie had been there longer than that, Orchid...she was well established there by the time I arrived. The same happened with Magne too though - did you know her? Secondary Head's secretary...very sweet.
  19. I had no idea Magne was gone!
    I still remember that first E-mail from Millie "Welcome to Garden International School"
    Shame she did not get a party, but do you remember Sunflower when she won that award the last year that we were there...that was nice for her.
    Good to hear that she has moved onto better things.
  20. Hey Squibbler!

    Mags went the year after I left...apparently she was just transferred over to Sekolah Sri Garden...I was so upset when I went back to visit & she wasn't there!

    I do remember Millie getting that award - so deserving. I remember getting that letter too - and speaking to her on the phone! And she was at the airport with DW to meet us with that HUGE sign!!

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