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Unsigning a contract!

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by dash201, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. dash201

    dash201 New commenter

    I have been offered a position and put pen to paper last week but I have now been offered a much better contract in a different country. I am in dire straits as what to do. Am I legally bound now or can I politely decline the original offer and take the new offer!

  2. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    That could cause some thinking.
    Look at it this way. What would you do if your school said "Thank you for accepting the post a couple of weeks ago, but someone else is willing to work for a cheaper price and teach more lessons, so we will not be going ahead with the contract with you. Hope it doesn't cause too many problems. Toodles."

  3. Unlikely they'd get an extradition warrant over it though.
    Yes you can, but it might rest uneasily on your conscience.
  4. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    I do find it strange that the forums are full of posters outraged at the behaviour of schools, yet somewhat more relaxed at the (potential) behaviour of teachers.
    At the end of the day it is your decision. Just let the school know early enough if you are the type of person who does not believe that when they promise something, they mean it.
  5. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    If we were the second school and the first school informed us that you had done this, then we would "unsign" you pretty damn quick
  6. dash201

    dash201 New commenter

    I guess the real one point of torture is the following question.

    Am I doing this for the money or am I doing this for the experience and lifestyle?

    My own answer is yes I am doing it for the money AND the lifestyle. I am trying to justify it all in my own mind. Basically, I could go for a few years to the first position and move on. But how many teachers successfully manage to successfully jump around the middle east? The offers are from 2 different countries.

    Still, I am none the wiser!
  7. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    Ethics is one issue but using money as your priority criterion is a bit simpistic, unless of course you have monetary needs which necessitate that i.e child uni fees or debts back home. Working overseas is of course much more about the experience and a good salary in HK would be relatively poor package compared to a low salary in Malaysia. As such, probably better to mention the approximate locations if you seriously want some feedback, though don't give too much away as of course many senior staff use the site and may recognise you.
  8. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    Note to self; cancel Tuesday's interview with H G Frog [​IMG]
  9. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    Legally you are probably fine, especially given that the schools are in different countries (although not knowing the countries, it is difficult to say with more certainty).
    Your only realistic possible consequence would be if the lucky school gets wind of your flip flop and decides that a teacher that cannot keep their word, is not the right fit for them.
    How could they find out? Maybe not likely, but if both schools are checking your references, then there is the possibility of the cat getting out of the bag.
  10. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    I always find it discordant when people say that teaching overseas is all about the experience and money shouldn't be your motivation. ********. It reminds me of the admin I see now who have successfully brainwashed young teachers into thinking that entering the teaching profession is akin to entering a religious order where you must subjugate your worldly desires etc, etc.
    I love teaching and I am quite proficient at it and I will do my best for my students whom I care very deeply about BUT it is a job and my family's needs come first. Unfortunately, in this day and age, money is VERY necessary to live a comfotable lif and pay for my child's education and so yes, I am looking for the best deal and I'm not ashamed to admit that.

    isotonic, sazad99 and suem75 like this.
  11. Hear, hear.
    suem75 likes this.
  12. Sorry I disagree with most of the people in this thread. If I even gave my word, let along signed a contract I would 100% honour it. It costs a lot to recruit and its very likely that the person who came second in the interview would have found something else by now. Like someone else mentioned, how would you feel if your employer chose somoene else who was a better teacher on paper and applied after your interview?
    If you weren't interested or not sure you should have said- I am waiting on a better offer- can I let you know in a month?
    International schools are in a very close circle- your card will be marked....

  13. dash201

    dash201 New commenter

    I think that is my point Yasimum...

    I am doing it for the money as well. I knew money was not great in teaching when I first started. But charity starts at home (or overseas teaching) and if I can go away for 10 years and come back with enough savings to put down on a house that will leave my children with something when I am gone, then so be it. You have to be selfish to a point these days. People can criticise me for questioning or start an ethics debate about whether I should honor a contract I have signed and then flip to another but I am seeing things from a money point of view. And let's not forget that the majority of schools are run as a business out there. Why shouldn't I try and conduct my own business?

    The country I have signed for is in Qatar if that helps.
  14. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    I disagree. Legally you are up shhit creek. The only safety is the likelihood the school won't sue.
    Depending on the country you could be effectively blacklisted from ever workinjg in that coutnry again. It does happen. I treid to employ someone last year who had been blacklisted (we didn't know at the time) and his visa was refused.
    If they are a decent school to work for they won't sign you if they found out; but if it's a school that finds recruitment difficult they'll take you anyway. I wouldn't offer you a contract if I knew who you were.
  15. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    ***. Any school in Qatar that has recently signed someone will be reviewing their contracts now.
    Hopefully they terminate you for breach of contract and the school you were dreaming about finds out what an *** you are and withdraws their offer.
  16. dash201

    dash201 New commenter

    Mistermaker, are you not able to make a comment without insulting? Shall I deem you to be something because you have asked advice? No, I wouldn't do that. If you wish to insult me then do carry on. Gives me something to laugh at. Bless.

    Let's not forget that I am asking for advice. I more than likely will honor the contract I have signed. I was asking for advice and that is what I have been given. To those that have been more constructive then thank you very much. For those who have scraped their knuckles along the ground and then bashed on their keyboard to insult, your comment has also been welcolmed, acknowledged and filed as boring at best.
  17. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    This is a contentious issue that often gets discussed on here. I was in a similar dilemma last year, although I hadn’t signed the contract. I had accepted one job then my ‘dream’ job came up. I applied for the dream job and, after a lot of hard work, was offered it. I accepted. I contacted the first school and offered to re-imburse them for the recruitment expenses (and I did pay for the flight, but they didn’t ask for accommodation/advertising costs). I know it wasn’t the done thing, but the job I took in the end was for a company that do little recruiting anymore, and their days are numbered, so it was the only chance to work for them. I know it isn’t right, and this wasn’t about the money (though I appreciate the arguments on here about how doing a great job/working hard and earning a good wage are not mutually exclusive!), but in hindsight I feel I did the right thing. I am very happy here and my first school recruited a replacement easily. I remember talking to my HT at the time in the UK about doing this (I was seen as a reliable and honest teacher so it was a difficult decision for me to take) and he said he had been in a similar position but stuck with the original post. He never said if he regretted it (read into that what you will). I guess this sounds like trying to defend a slippery moral position, and maybe it is…. I have sympathies with schools who recruit and then it falls through (as a recruiter of teachers in the past I know this is a tiresome and time/money consuming process) and it would be wholly unacceptable for schools to shaft teachers in this way (which some do, as many threads on here testify to), but on the other hand, you only lead one life and you won’t get any rewards for doing the ‘right’ thing, apart from sitting at your desk thinking ‘what if’ or, worse, ‘if only…’. I know this sounds awful and I even wince as I type it but sometimes it is true! All this said, money isn’t everything and your second school could turn out to be awful, in which case this is karma coming to bite you on the proverbial…..
  18. dash201

    dash201 New commenter

    Ok...case closed. Perhaps I could have done better at the second offer. But I will honor the contract and then when the contract is up, I will take it from there.

    As stated earlier, I only wanted advice and think some members of this forum should consider how they conduct themselves and try to contain themselves.

    I have hidden some of the truth in this thread but it can all be applied now and I am happy with people's views.
    isotonic likes this.
  19. I can see both sides to this one. I'm currently job hunting myself & of course want the best deal. However if the job you signed for was good enough previously then it's good enough now. We expect schools to behave honourably & so should we. When I sign a contract I won't back out. I may kick myself if my dream job comes up, but that's the risk I'd have thought of before I signed.
    It's up to you at the end of the day, but I'd think about it seriously.
  20. Presumably, the first school was a good enough contract for you to sign in the first place.
    I would write/email the second school and tell them you would love to have been able to accept their offer but as you have signed elsewhere, you will be honouring the first school's offer. But also add that you would very much like to be considered in the future for any suitable posts.
    Even nastymistermaker, if Head of either of the two schools would see this as the correct way of going about it.
    Yas' the question wasn't about chasing the buck; it was about not honouring a contract. Everyone wants better money but reneging on a contract could end up with you finding it hard to find employers willing to allow you to earn it.


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