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Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by grdwdgrrrl, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    Thank you for that. Living in Asia has been wonderful but the overt racism has not. My golden haired children being photographed and mobbed. My Canadian-Japanese colleague being complained about. I thought it was very strange. I had never thought about my race before I moved to China. Me
    Were you born yesterday?
    That never, or very rarely, f-ing happens. It never has. It’s mostly who you know. In my, over 5 decades of, experience this rarely, very rarely happens. That’s why there’s a requirement to include a picture.
    “Long blonde hair” check, “no children”-check, “recent experience teaching in the UK”-check, “under 40”-check. Unless you are a Maths or Physics teacher. Then, if they can’t get a white male, they might go for a black or Asian male, if not that then... a white female, unless you can’t find that then you’ll accept a black/Asian female.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
    MsOnline likes this.
  2. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    We have 7 female teachers (in primary) with long blond hair, under 40. No one of colour except the Chinese teacher and the local language teachers and TAs.
  3. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    There is already. Without getting into the usual prejudiced arguments about the merits of science v humanities, the fact is that there is a heck of a lot more humanities teachers out there than maths/science teachers. So I fully expect that in international schools I will be paid less than my colleagues in maths, and frankly that's just how it is.

    In state schools - and I know 4019775 has taught in Scotland - that doesn't apply. Certainly in Scotland, when I was involved in education but before my life in teaching, the shortage teachers weren't in Maths or Science - it was home economics, primary and PE. So maybe they should have been paid more than maths....
  4. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    @grdwdgrrl sounds a bit like your head might have a casting couch, so to speak.

    The thing is that there is inequality, but I don't think it's often driven by teachers. In my experience, it tends to be parents, especially those who feel that they are paying for their kid to be taught by a white face. I do actually wonder how much that might change after COVID-19 - some of the anti-foreigner rumours within China are quite frightening.
  5. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    Oh my!
    This is not a problem of my headmaster.
    This is an example of how it is and has been.
    My previous school.
    Previously, my headmistress was colour inclusive. We had mostly one classroom for each year except for Y5/6 which was combined. And we had two UK teachers of colour.
  6. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 Occasional commenter

    You are not only quite abrasive, but also quite insulting to anyone who is involved in recruitment.
    I have never, ever hired or fired someone based on skin colour or wanted to hire a candidate just because they had long hair. I have excluded based on nationality yes, because of VISA and working right issues. The people I hire, are hired because they are the right fit for the job, and yes, recent experience teaching in the UK is part of that.
    ACOYEAR8 likes this.
  7. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    That's not lacking inclusivity. That's a school which perhaps needs teachers who are used to teaching KS1 & 2 in particular. Likewise, some of the pedagogical practice in the UK is significantly different to the US or Australia (not saying it's better, just very different) and if the school is centred around that then it will want people who have experience in the UK (actually, England rather than Scotland, Wales or NI). Just as there are schools who look for teachers with US backgrounds and don't consider applications from UK teachers, or indeed different countries (there's one I know of in China where almost all the teachers have qualified from the same university in Canada!) or indeed where they look for recent experience teaching IB / IGCSE / AP or whatever.
  8. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 Occasional commenter

    Okaaaay, now do you want to address the question I wrote, and the followup or do you want to continue with the casual racism and sexism?
  9. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    [You are not only quite abrasive, but also quite insulting to anyone who is involved in recruitment.
    I have never, ever hired or fired someone based on skin colour or wanted to hire a candidate just because they had long hair. I have excluded based on nationality yes, because of VISA and working right issues. The people I hire, are hired because they are the right fit for the job, and yes, recent experience teaching in the UK is part of that.]

    Where is the question?
  10. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    I think even Malcom X and Adela Pankhurst were called abrasive and insulting. So, we’ll done. Don’t like the truth, be defensive.
    MsOnline likes this.
  11. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 Occasional commenter

    Read up. The question is at the top of the page, and you didn't answer it, just went on some crazy rant about only white guys are in a position of authority and only hire pretty blonde girls.
    And if you're seriously holding people who advocate violence as a way of dealing with their problems in high esteem...well that say more about you than anything else, as does your assuming, and judging based on gender and skin tone.
  12. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    Oh, this question?
    Got it.
    You claim no biases?
    You claim that?
    You have no biases?
    Wow. You are a better person than I.
  13. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 Occasional commenter

    Well considering I'm not openly racist or sexist like yourself, then yes, I am a better person than you.
    You still didn't answer the question.
  14. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Well this thread went a bit Pete Tong (I remember the phrase but don't recall who the individual was/is).

    I guess this is the whole issue in a microcosm. Shouting abuse at each other isn't really going to help one party see the other's viewpoint.

    Best of luck moving forward.
  15. mrswallow

    mrswallow Occasional commenter

    Karvol likes this.
  16. tjh102

    tjh102 Occasional commenter

    Just want to add, I worked in the school that @grdwdgrrrl worked at previously. In fact, I taught her daughter for a day when she came to visit (I left the year that she started).

    I can tell you now that we had an Early Years teacher start in my second year there, and the parents complained both that he was male and that he wasn't white. Constant, constant complaints that he was ruining the reputation of the school because they sent their kids there to be taught by white people. So it happens.

    And I felt very out of place, because all of the Early Years and KS1 staff (other than him) were female, under 30, and with long blonde hair. In fact, a Year 2 teacher was fired with no notice because they "found a young blonde teacher who fits the school image better". My current head often jokes about it, because she was absolutely horrified by what she calls the "Barbie hiring model" or "Stepford approach".

    On the other hand, the school also went through several heads in three years. Four or five, I believe. There were 4 while I was there!

    So yes, there is racism in schools and school hiring. I have heard from another school principal that she makes decisions based on interviews but has had to justify decisions several times because she is under so much pressure from owners to only hire white British candidates.

    Does that mean racism is the reason for the original post? Not necessarily. But it would be rather ignorant to think it doesn't happen.
    MsOnline likes this.
  17. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    'It's all gone a bit Pete Tong' - It's just cockney rhyming slang, the guys name doesn't matter - 'me old China'
  18. somewheresoon

    somewheresoon New commenter

    I ran across an article about diversity that was posted in another online teaching community. The anonymous author of the article wrote extensively about her experiences working as a recruiter for an agency that places teachers in international schools. She claims that her organization would ask her to rate teachers using a two-tier system. The first tier was comprised of white or light-skinned teachers and the second was comprised of teachers of color. She was directed to spend less time placing tier two educators because they were less marketable.

    "Internally, we were made to refer to candidates as either Level 1 or Level 2. Level 1 candidates were white or light-skinned. Level 2 candidates were Black or Asian. In the recruitment system we used to track candidates and schools, each candidate had to be labeled as Level 1 or 2, and each school was labeled as either accepting Level 2 candidates or not accepting Level 2 candidates."

    She said that it was often very difficult to place educators of color, despite excellent qualifications, because HR departments preferred to hire white teachers. Sometimes schools stated their gender and race preferences, but sometimes they went as far as to state actual demands ("white, male only"). Her argument was that recruitment agencies are complicit gatekeepers that don't do enough to counteract racism in the field of international education.

    It was an interesting read.
    MsOnline likes this.
  19. cherpat87

    cherpat87 New commenter

    Parents send their children to these
    private schools, expecting the best education money can buy. People of colour are not typically associated with education, parents see us as 2nd rate to white teachers, this literally can result in harassment and constant unfounded complaints, this influences recruitment because parents are the customers so schools need to ensure they are happy. I think any denial that there is racisim in the workplace specifically recruitment, is just being total oblivious, and using the privilege of being a more desired race to ignore the reality. There is no reason why your place of work should not represent the world around you. Every place i have worked in, has had people of varying sexual orientation, this is normal and should be expected, so why is the same not applied to colour.
    MsOnline likes this.
  20. MsOnline

    MsOnline Occasional commenter

    Interesting re. the recruitment side and I acknowledge that there are less Black UK teachers as there are less Black people in the overall population.

    However, this doesn't dismiss the questions in the OP's original post and the experiences of cherpat87.

    Private schools want to appease fee-paying parents. When a Black person is looking to apply and sees a school website gallery of pupils and staff photos filled with only White faces it can be off-putting. When taking the decision to move abroad away from all you know the last thing you want to feel is unwelcomed.

    It can make one wonder of there really aren't any poc in the school or if this makes the school more marketable. Especially if the school is in a predominantly non-white country.

    Another example is staff list galleries with 'local' mature and experienced teachers, who are lead by what looks like a 23 year old blonde head of department usually from the UK, Canada or US. I often wonder what the local teachers think.
    cherpat87 likes this.

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