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New School Worries - What are my Options?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by RoadNotTaken, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. RoadNotTaken

    RoadNotTaken New commenter

    Is there someone out there who can give me advice on my situation in a Malaysian school:

    My interviews went well with the head and then another with one of the board members. I discussed exactly how I wanted my career to go and this is exactly what they wanted. The school was sold as a professional environment with a good mix of expat and local students/staff. The website was is also very professional and gives the impression that the school, and the group it is part of, look after their employees and part of a successful, established group. I even had a long conversation with the director of the recruitment agency, who had visited the school and met the headteacher and staff. I thought I did everything right.

    I've arrived at a new school and it is a completely different story: the head is just not a leader and is not in control, the staff are treated badly, most of the staff are unprofessional at best (the students have told me some really worrying stories of inappropriate behaviour). The staff who are trying to be professional and have some integrity are treated with contempt, etc., etc.

    I am teaching a subject that I specifically said at the interview I did not want to teach, I have no idea what my responsibilities are yet (this is my first position as a deputy head and have been here four weeks now) and am expected to carry out my duties and teach 22 hours per week! The teachers are nearly all local and so are the students. There are procedures, etc. on paper but they just seem to be a box-ticking activity for the board and are not practised.

    I am finding the situation totally overwhelming; I feel sick just going in in the morning and am finding it impossible to function. I can't think straight; I feel that my self-confidence is just ebbing away and feel incompetent.

    Helpful comments (or PMs) would be appreciated.

    (btw: For those eagle-eyed members amongst you, I've had to register with a different name due to my user name being too close to my real name, hence only having a member since date as today)
  2. Syria1

    Syria1 New commenter

    Did you receive a job description and details? Which aspects of the school are you responsible for and how far are they developed? You should not be teaching 22 hours a week; although some teaching could be expected. I would take it one day at a time and to try and step back from the situation somewhat - is this your first DH?
  3. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    Dear OP, I would quit ASAP. You were lied to and there is no excuse.

    If you stay you face an awful year a poor reference from a poor school, and it could take you many years to recover. Get out now and this can disappear from your CV. Contact the agencies and see what is around to salvage the year; I've had some good last minute postings in my time..

    Been around for over 20 years and did it myself back in the UK, leaving at the end of the first week. Yes, I had another job offer in the pipeline - I'd been offered two at once at short notice - but the school morale was scraping the floor, the head teacher was at war with the deputy and trying to get me onside and that student teacher who was taking 2/3 of my lessons had been unsupported and quit. I just thought, this ain't going to go well and quite seriously I didn't want to work under this leader.

    By the way, they'll easily recognise you from the post description, but doubt anyone will be aware of this place if few are expats. Good luck with it and remember, bottom line, it is a JOB and we choose our life.
  4. nemo.

    nemo. Occasional commenter

    Hi I would first say you have given too much info out - I suggest you delete this post as identifying you and school easy with the info you gave. Malaysia is a small place and people network/gossip. Then the persecution begins.

    22 hours a week is above what a regular teacher with no responsibilities should teach. Let me guess Chinese Malaysia greedy profit orientated management. Your pay will be too low and so will the rest of the school hence I suspect they are understaffed and make you do a full time teaching job in a subject you are not suited for. But on the principle that any "white" face will do. Does this school employ unqualified Europeans on the same principle? Don't answer that will narrow it down.....

    Although I usually say stick it out - if what you say is true. Running is a serious option.
    dljames2013 likes this.
  5. RoadNotTaken

    RoadNotTaken New commenter

    Thank you all for your advice - it has been a great help.

    Ref. Nero's response, any advice on how to dele the post??
  6. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    I have flagged up your original post, so some admin will have a look at it and hopefully delete it. TES does not accept any post that identifies individuals or schools, so it should be gone soon enough.
  7. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Hmm. This sort of story is all too common in the ME, but I had thought hat the situation was rather better in Malaysia. Well, it looks as though I was wrong.

    Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and get on the next plane.
  8. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    I know the schools in Malaysia well. PM me if you like.
  9. T_H


    PMed you.
  10. DG123

    DG123 New commenter


    I am looking at applying for work in an International School in Malaysia could you recommend any good schools?
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    It used to cost thirty USD to sign up for The International Schools' Review.

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