Unfireability

This article is pretty ridiculous, and true.

 

http://diaspora.chinasmack.com/2011/features/monica-tan-the-great-pretenders-chinas-unfireable-english-teachers.html

 

The English learning situation in this part of the world is pretty dire. Many schools in China simply require teachers to have a white (or at least foreign) face; they pay less attention to actual teaching credentials. Parents just want to see that their kids are being taught by a Westerner. This leads to a huge range of quality. The bad teachers are essentially “unfireable” because the demand for teachers is much higher than the supply.

 

I wouldn’t say I’m one of these teachers exactly, but I can appreciate the sad fact that to a large extent, no one cares how the foreign teachers do their jobs. The schools certainly don’t care, as long as the parents are still paying. And the parents often don’t care or at least don’t have their priorities straight. I know I’ve been judged based on superfluous things, like how well my classroom is decorated, or how much I schmooze with the parents. I recently had a parent ask to switch to the other teacher’s class (fyi, this other teacher just gives the kids worksheets everyday and then plays on her phone for the whole lesson). The reason for the switch was that I didn’t stop and chat with her in the hallways often enough, so she thought I wasn’t friendly enough. So, sometimes, I can’t say that I blame those teachers who just don’t give a flying f***.

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