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What do you all think?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by JungleJane, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. We are starting up a school ( we hope ) in Belize, and in our organic farm we have "hosted" WWOOFERS - Willing Workers On Organic Farms - who basically work 5 - 6 hours a day ( weeding!!!) in return for food and lodging. So my question to all you teachers is this...do you think that sounds like a likely / good idea for a primary school? Bearing in mind it's the depths of the jungle here...!
    We are thinking that we could get some fabulous, enthusiastic teachers who are just getting started and hopefully it will grow so we can then our school will be valuable work experience..
    Enough for now...I'll just plant this seed and we'll see where it goes and carry on from your ideas!
  2. Do you mean working for just food & lodging? This might work for a short term summer school, but I can't see qualified teachers working for a whole school year with no salary, particularly if it's a fee paying school. Most teachers who volunteer for minimal pay do VSO. But I could be wrong & every new business must start somewhere. If there's a real market for a school like this there then maybe you could give new staff a small share in the business so that they are being rewarded something for helping the business grow & it will encourage them to stay too.
  3. When you say 'weeds'......
    [​IMG] Stoned Smiley....
  4. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Sounds potty to me.
  5. You mean, you're gone then...
  6. So basically, you're saying 'fabulous, enthusiastic teachers' are as skilled as weeders? Not even skilled gardeners, but basic 'pull out everything that looks like one of these three plants.' garden monkeys?
    Sorry, WWOOFing is great, really fab, and all parties get great things out of it - but teaching is nothing like WWOOFing, and basically you are insulting teachers to even think it.
    You could of course advertise for a GP, lawyer, web developer, engineer.........on the same basis. Don't reckon your chances though.

  7. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    I've got to agree that this is madness. Yes, teachers have to start somewhere, but 'somewhere' generally involves an actual living wage. A wage that would pay enough for a private flat, transportation, personal choice about food and the ability to patronize restaurants on occasion, medical insurance, the odd vacation, professional and recreational wardrobes, saving for retirement, and enough leftover resources to attend a hiring fair when it's time to get a new job. Under your scheme, how would teachers even get to the wild wild west where you're located? Fly themselves out at own cost? And home again at the end? For the right to put on their CV that they worked at an unrecognized, unaccreditated school, which will not actually help them get another job? How can university educated, fully qualified teachers be expected to do this? I'm not saying you wouldn't get anyone, but would you trust the ones you got to teach your children?
    And if it doesn't work from the point of view of a teacher, nor does it work from the point of view of a school. Any school that wants to be worth its salt needs a good range of teachers, including a hefty dose of experienced teachers. The younger ones learn from the older ones (and often the other way round too, but the point is that a mix is needed). A school with nothing but newbies won't have the depth of knowledge needed to succeed. And with no wage or benefits beyond room/board, you'd get no loyalty. Anyone could just walk out at any moment, and they would. What would you do as a school when the Year 2 teacher leaves on October 3rd? And how would you cover all the expenses that any school must have (rooms, books, computers, toilets, playgrounds, etc) and all the expenses that you should have (PD program for teachers, etc)? What would you do if a teacher needed urgent and expensive medical care?
    Not to mention that teaching is not a part-time job, not really in most cases. Your little ones in particular need consistency; they can't handle a rotation of teachers. And for every hour of actual teaching, teachers need prep time. Rather unlike weeding, you can't just turn up and pick up where you left off.
    And who'll write your policies, your curriculum? Deal with difficult parents? Manage the computer system? Keep legally required educational records? Attend to the scrapes, flus and broken arms that kids get? Counsel the kid who's getting beaten at home?
    If you want to start a school, get some experts. It's ridiculously expensive to start a new school, and ridiculously difficult.
  8. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    I agree. Mrs M and I have run two start-up schools and even the billionnaire promoters were appalled at what was involved. You can of course start/ remain a small operation but you still need a) educational expertise that isn't going to wander off into the bush every time the fancy takes it and b) financial expertise. Proper schools need backers, not backpackers.
  9. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Looking for a new job, M?[​IMG]
  10. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    You are possibly one of the stupidest people I have come across in a while.
    Clearly you are not an educator.
    If you some how start this stupid scheme, expect a fair share of nonces!

  11. My thoughts exactly, MM.
    Bring on the Clowns.
  12. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    No, I think I'll stick with the olives. Quite a lot of them are just as green but they all make more sense than the OP.
  13. 'The Beach' or 'Lord of The Flies' comes to mind.
    Or 'The Good Life'.
    Felicity Kendall.
    [​IMG] Pervert smiley.
  14. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    She has the same effect on my lad and she's old enough to be his Mum.
  15. just to let you know - it was two qualified teachers who sugested it. and actually we have had two fully qualified vets and a - oh yes - fully qualified doctor WWOOFING! Some people want to get out and explore the world!
    I didn't realise that my post suggested teachers should be in the garden, no we want them to teach!!!
  16. you are all in schools in the UK, with your pensions etc and worried about your holidays and mortgages etc, We are in the JUNGLE, in case you all can't read, with little mayans, who pay $4 US a year in school fees, have no computer labs, can't read and have 39 kids in a small class. It does not have to be "It's ridiculously expensive to start a new school, and ridiculously
    difficult." becuase, luckily we don0t have British burocracy, resourses or ANYTHING!!! So 1 half decent teacher, who can teach kids ANYTHING is better than what we have at the moment! Got it!!

    Anyway, a jungle school, helping to educate poor kids who otherwise would never have a music or art lesson is obviously not for you, it is for the daring and intrepid...and that is exactly who it hopefully will attract!

    Naming no names 1 teacher has already been very positive, and bless her, and any like her!
  17. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    A tad emotional.
    Is this true?

  18. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    I haven't been in a school in the UK for over 20 years, Jane, and my mortgage was paid off in 1990. Has it escaped your attention that this section of the forum is called 'Teaching Overseas'? But of course it hasn't because that's why you posted here in the first place.
    I haven't re-read the threads but I don't seem to remember your previously explaining to us that your project was aimed at poor local children for whom anything was better than nothing. If you had done so you might have received a more helpful response, but only 'might' because most teachers posting here have commitments including families to support. Like you I have known doctors and vets who were able to to help out short-term in the 'third world' but I still think you underestimate the investment, not least in long-term commitment, involved in starting and running a school.
    Have you investigated possible help from organisations such as VSO or Christians Abroad? Both of them send volunteer teachers into the kind of situation you seem to have but with the great advantage of proper support and infrastructure.
  19. First of all we are not all in schools in the UK, this is the International forum you have posted on.
    Next, in the title of your thread you asked what we thought - people told you you what they thought. If you don't like the answers then don't ask the questions.
    Also it is merely your opinion that it is for the daring and intrepid - it is our opinion it is for the unrealistic.
    I genuinely wish you luck - you're going to need it.
  20. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    I did re-read it and no, JJ didn't mention any6thoing of the sort. There was a focus on organic farming, but no mention of $5 kiddies.
    She (or possibly he dressed in a cyber skirt) sounds like a 60's imperialist leftover now; trying to educate the world following their own flavour - or rather indoctrinating innocents in the 3 world with leftist propaganda.
    I don't wish her good luck, as the above has. Sounds dreadful with or without Mayan children (who would be better off being educated within their own cultural norms than in facist JJ's school with western slave labour teachers).

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