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Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Woollyhoolly, Mar 28, 2011.
Just curious to know about the ratio... any heads care to share?
How many applicants per post? This reminds me of the old chestnut, "How long is a piece of string?"
On a slightly more serious note, I would say that using the Internet to apply for teaching jobs has encouraged more and more teachers to make more and more applications. I call this "the shotgun method". Frequently applicants send off CVs and letters application to schools that they really do not want to be teaching at, as everyone wants a safety net. When schools report receiving a hundred or more applications for a single vacancy, it just encourages teachers to make more and more applications - a self-fulfilling prophecy!
It would be very interesting to hear from a principal or at least a member of an SMT. Are more applicants making more applications? What is your impression?
What I find mysterious is that despite these huge number of applicants, one still meets some absolutely shocking teachers, In the last year alone in my small international school I've encountered a guy who sat at his desk all lesson composing songs or messing on his laptop, whilst turning away his Year 2 requests for help, and another whose best behaviour management technique is to scream in a child's face!
Both of these guys secured work for the following year, which suggests many 'teachers' have a fantastic sales pitch, and also that head teachers, school managers and owners still have fundamentally flawed criteria for choosing staff.
I recently asked a high school science teacher friend, who was well liked by everyone in our school and had an almost perfect CV and references, how he secures new positions, only to be told he in fact also uses the 'shotgun method'. I was rather saddened by the revelation.
Exacty what I was thinking - hats off to the dude if he did!
Boo, hiss, what a poof, if he didn't....
Still, not surprising as he has to pay £14.37 for three pints of Guinness at his local - it would be expensive to build up the tolerance.
But of course. Just to while away the afternoon before an evening of drinking.
As happygreenfrog says, there are some shockers out there...
My main issue with primary is that once upon a time they taught students the 3R s and how to socially interact and behave. Now primaries in uk do endless testing and produce level 5 kids that can't write a sentence and whose communication skills consist of swearing and punching! So us secondary teachers have become more social workers and remedial primary teachers. I'm a science teacher but end up teaching basic english as well as all our assessments are written. Many cannot write subject+verb+object basic sentences. Forget the perfect tenses or passive. Or even how to use ruler!
It's the governments fault partially. The nc is a disgrace.
As for quality of teachers some of the pgce students I get you just feel why teaching for you? About half have it. They all pass even the no hopers. Enforce stricter standards for pgces and increase the failure rate. But then unis won't earn fees .......
I can only speak as I find it and I find it, can't even think of a word to describe how I find it. The closest I can get is depressing. I know this sounds simplistic, but teaching is just no fun these days. Stress, parents going for the jugular, colleagues betraying each other, politics and more stress.
The best staff I ever worked with, in a very tough school, were inspirational. Boy we had fun together, we played as hard as we worked. Our boss used to organise wine tastings after school, pancake breakfasts on Shrove Tuesday, Melbourne Cup breakfasts, karaoke nights, silly awards ceremonies, footy tipping competitions and drinks every Friday arvo. We still laugh about getting locked into the school one Friday when the cleaners left and having to wait until 8pm when the karate class started in the hall to get out.
We loved going to work and I used to get excited about going back to school after the long summer break. I know I rave on about this a lot but it just makes me incredibly sad.
All someone has to do at an interview these days is mention integrating technology into the curriculum, starting a school band or expertise in sport and they are a shoe in. Doesn't matter if they are a psychopathic child hater as long as they can 'raise the profile of the school' and get bums on seats which doesn't even matter as it is the public bloody system.
The majority of principals I see today are just pathetic. No educational leadership, no thought for staff welfare, just let the parents drive the school and schedule endless useless meetings.
At the end of last year, I was applying for access for one of my Deaf students who was starting high school. I rang the primary principal and asked her to fill in the request forms (as the high school doesn't know the child and could not fill in the necessary info), get the father to sign but not sign them herself as it needed to be coming from the high school. I would then pick them up, take them to the high school and get the boss there to sign and date them. She asked me to fax the instructions through which I did. She then told me she didn't receive the fax although I had the confirmation slip so I printed out the instructions again, took them to the school and gave them to the guy in reception and asked him to give them to her as she was in a meeting.
I then went the following week to the school to pick them up. I asked her if she had completed them (I had done most of them for her) and she said she had filled them in and signed and dated them retrospectively as I had asked her to. She was cross that she had to do the work to fill the forms in and when I told her I had specifically told her (three times) not to sign them she went completely apeshit.
She ranted and raved at me for half an hour and then ripped all the paperwork up that the father had already signed. Then she rang my boss and went off her head at her and would not let me leave the school. It was insane. She had my bag in her office and wouldn't let me in to get it so I could leave. I rang my boss and she rang her and said if she didn't allow me to leave the school she would ring the department.
She begged me to ring her and let her know I was OK and you can imagine what my mental response was to that. She ended up ringing me on my mobile at 6pm whilst I was at my daughter's birthday party at Luna Park. I could have been nice and let her off the hook but I decided to let her sweat for a while about whether I was going to lodge a complaint about her to the department.
OK, this is an extreme example of the nutters proliferating today but I have had several very aggressive encounters like that one. I just find it sad.
Dude, do you actually use the'L' word? Can I come work for you then. That is what is missing, people not using any emotional language but just busting their staff's butts constantly. I respect anyone who can say they love teaching. I love teaching but it is not my whole existence. I will not stay at school until 7pm or go in on weekends (except if there is a special event on) but I love my kids, I used to love the people I worked with but I have people at home that I love more and I should be able to lead a balanced life. Young teachers should be able to relax and have fun on the weekends and not be told bluntly they are expected to go and flog sausages at Bunnings Hardware on a Saturday because the P & C (Parents and Citizens) has decreed it.Let the government take care of funding and the staff take care of their core business, and what was that again? Oh yes, teaching!!
What a gruesome story, yaz.
I've had a few people go apeshit like that with me over the years and luckily I just go cold and dead inside - like an accident - the need to swear and gibber and shake and headbutt someone doesn't kick in till later.
We are a fortunate school and I can unashamedly feel affection for 95% of the students, a very large number of staff and of course for the act of teaching and learning the global kultcher-packidge which is what got me started in the first place.
But talk about 'parents going for the jugular'.. in a private school there is intense and daily pressure from an increasing and vocal minority of philistine, opinionated, results-and-money oriented parent-consumers to jump to their bidding on every possible issue. If they could, they would take the place over, and destroy it for the civilised majority within a year.
The difficulties of dealing with parents really do take their toll at times.
One morning I was faced by a very highly strung parent who was livid that her child had been asked to remove their denim jacket inside the premises. It wasn't even me that had asked the child to do so (although I would have had I been there). All of my attempts to remove the parent from the earshot of pupils failed and we ended up in the corridor outside the library. The parent was literally screaming in my face. Spat in my face and said that I was obviously possessed by the devil. The abuse continued for twenty minutes until I did eventually manage to escape and go to the class. I was shaking by this point but plastered a smile across my face and began the day with pupils. Shaking inside, I hoped that it didn't show to the children.
During the whole event I remained calm. Kept saying "Are you finished now?" "I am sure that when you have calmed down we can talk about this in a level manner." Not once did I raise my voice or retaliate verbally.
The parent left the building and sat in her car and cried (why I have no idea I am hoping that it was embarrassment. Unfortunately at this point the owner of the school found said parent crying.
At break I was raked across the coals by the owner for making the parent cry. It was demanded that I call the parent and apologise. Which I had to do with the owner breathing down my neck.
This incident was brought up on several occasions by the owner as an example of how badly I handled parents.
Luckily for me the whole ordeal was witnessed by two teaching assistants who reassured me that I had done nothing wrong and had,as I thought, remained calm.
The said parent was very socially influential in the parent community so was constantly pandered to by the owners. For several weeks following the incident the child wore several wild and whacky items that were not in the dress code and I was instructed, by the owner, to allow the child to do this. What a mockery!
The story ended a few months later when the parent saw me one day by chance in a shopping mall and apologised to me.
The things we put up with...
That is outrageous! I also had an experience like that first thing in the morning and when she finally took a breat I had to ask her who her daughter was as I hadn't seen hide nor hair of her before. She promptly burst into tears and we went into the staffroom for a nice cuppa.
The fact that the owner made you apologise without hearing the true story if, of course, the worst part of this incident and is becoming a common occurrence. Thank goodness I am sort of a free agent so although I may encounter aggression, I never have to apologise to the wrongdoer which would really stick in my craw.
In my last job as head of the primary section of a school, I had one mother who was a praticularly nasty and looney person. She took a dislike to one of my teachers and would harrass her often but she was tough and wouldn't crack and I backed her up to the hilt. So she then started picking on another teacher of one of her other kids. She was a soft and sensitive woman and she came to me in tears, shaking and very distressed.
I had to send an email to this mother (she wouldn't come in and talk to me as I had requested) and tell her that the OH&S of my staff was being compromised by her attacks and that she wasn't to enter the school premises without reporting to me in the office beforehand,
Of course she took her children out of the school and her husband got in the ear of one of the board of trustee members on the way to a rugby match (as you do). He rang and asked if there wasn't something we could do to appease her as student retention was a priority. I explained to him what had happened and that if I were forced to apologise or make my teachers apologise, I would resign. Thankfully, he backed me and we got rid of a very nasty piece of work but it was so stressful for me and the staff and I resent having to deal with that when I could be doing something so much more productive.
We are becoming victims of daily violence and it is about time someone stood up and made a case.
We know how you get jobs, but I am amazed that you and your wife manage to stay in post for more than 1 term.
She must be a fantastic teacher.
What is this thing with Bbibbler and Mrs Pharaoh?
And is there a Mrs Bbibbler? (If there is, what an admirable woman she must be).
I think we should be told.
No, that was four and six years ago....
Pants on fire.
That was in reference to four and six years ago, not professions...
Yesterday's meeting went very well. Friendly, intelligent parents, diplomatic finesse on my part, a win-win outcome.
Sometimes I think to myself, keep going this way Dude, and there's a chance, an outside chance but a man must aim for the best, that you might end up as brilliant and as admired... ...as.. as... the happygreenfrog itself.
brilliant, admired, but . . . jobless come this summer! i guess one just can't please parents and management at the same time
I am glad that you had a satisfactory outcome dude. It's always great to see such situations resolved and I am sure your staff are most grateful for your support.
Pharaoh. I felt like being violent, believe me but I smiled and graciously told the mother that it was okay. Walked away the better person (with thoughts of violence still in my head.
Oh to be the happygreenfrog and universally loved.
Although I don't actually believe that is possible.
Sorry to hear though Frog that you are jobless come the summer. I am sure that something will come up for you.
To all a happy Easter holiday (if you are in a country where you get one) and if not at least a lovely weekend.