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How to deal with unfriendly teaching environment?

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How to deal with unfriendly teaching environment?

Postby zboy1 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:56 am

I know some of you guys on the forum have a lot of English teaching experience, so I want to ask you a question: How do I deal with an asshole principal that is constantly getting on my ass. By the looks of it, he already doesn't like me for some reason--even though I'm punctual and work as hard as possible with the students.

I'm getting criticized for my teaching abilities by all those around me, but I keep telling them this is my first year of teaching. What do they expect of me, LOL? I'm not some kind of "superteacher." They really only want foreign teachers anyway to be shown to parents for 'prestige' purposes anyway. Got any advice for me? Have you ever dealt with an unfriendly teaching environment?
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Postby Cornfed » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:12 am

Chinese managerial style is constant negative reinforcement, so for example my boss in China would criticize me for various things and then hold me up as an example for others to aspire to while criticizing them. So this may be fairly normal. You need to give things a chance. Otherwise keep your head down or leave I guess.
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Postby zboy1 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:24 am

Cornfed wrote:Chinese managerial style is constant negative reinforcement, so for example my boss in China would criticize me for various things and then hold me up as an example for others to aspire to while criticizing them. So this may be fairly normal. You need to give things a chance. Otherwise keep your head down or leave I guess.


Well I'm not a quitter, that's for sure. Only losers bail-out before their contract is up. My plan is to stay for a year to gain valuable experience. It's the experience that is the most important thing. Looks like it's not that unusual--from reading some of the threads about teaching in Asia on Dave's ESL Cafe--this is something that goes on in most Asian schools and their bosses...The lucky ones don't get the same treatment a la, the EPIK program, for example...

Looks like the same thing happened to you, Cornfed. How did you manage? I don't really care about the criticism, it's just that I keep trying to tell them I'm just a 1st year teacher, and they're not listening, LOL. Otherwise, I'm having a good time in China...
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Postby Cornfed » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:09 am

Some people's style of management is constant nagging criticism. It does't matter what you do; they will just keep criticizing and figure this will make you get better and better over time. This is common in China. In this case you need to realize the criticism lacks the emotional content it usually contains for us and just action the points that need to be actioned and otherwise ignore it. They may secretly be happy with your performance. If they in fact don't like you and you are determined not to quit, then keep doing what you are doing and complain when any of your privileges are withdrawn. They will either adapt to you or fire you I guess.

I was actually very lucky in China. The principal seemed like a humble, decent guy and the other staff mostly left me to my own devices. I was hired via a recruiting company and that company's boss (and my effective boss) was an asshole, but fortunately he only visited once in a while and he had a reputation as being an asshole to others, so I knew what to make of him. I learned later that he actually secretly liked me because I adapted to the situation and didn't complain about every contractual clause not met like most people tend to do.

I was fairly lucky in Korea, and in any case in today's market the asshole bosses I encountered would just fire me anyway, so I don't really have much to contribute on the topic. You need to acquire an ability to play these things by ear.
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Postby kai1275 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:01 pm

Cornfed is right. You might be doing okay but they will only tell you negative criticism.
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Postby Ghost » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:21 pm

I had this happen to me in my first month also. It's normal so far as I can tell. My boss kept having extra meetings and even made me do a demo. I defended what I did, how I did it,and why I did it. I just kept defending my teaching and didn't let my guard down. I criticized those who criticized me also, even correcting my boss's English during the demo I had to do. I realize what I should have done is lay down the law and put my foot down. Unless you're in a huge, well known city, you likely need them much more than they need you.

However, I think regardless, it is just a phase. After a while, someone new will come to be a teacher there and the boss will change focus. It's just a matter of endurance.
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Postby zboy1 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:38 am

Well, I thought I was a lot better today than yesterday in terms of my teaching abilities. I was having a lot fun in my most recent classes and most of the students seem to be enjoying themselves, albeit many Chinese are incredibly shy and it takes a lot of hard work for them to open their mouths.

The annoying thing is that Chinese are pretty good in terms of grammar and knowledge of most words, but trying to get to them to converse with me or others is incredibly time-consuming...due to their timidity and overall passiveness, personality wise...
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Postby E Irizarry R&B Singer » Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:28 am

zboy1 wrote:Well, I thought I was a lot better today than yesterday in terms of my teaching abilities. I was having a lot fun in my most recent classes and most of the students seem to be enjoying themselves, albeit many Chinese are incredibly shy and it takes a lot of hard work for them to open their mouths.

The annoying thing is that Chinese are pretty good in terms of grammar and knowledge of most words, but trying to get to them to converse with me or others is incredibly time-consuming...due to their timidity and overall passiveness, personality wise...


Stay strong, man. Kim Jong would be rolling over in his grave if you quit now, sir. #DOA_from_LOLing_So_Hard I JUST F.UCKING with you! :-)
It's time to expatriate to evade your fate; it's time to expatriate before the barn door permanently closes on "US" sheep.
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Postby Renata » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:42 am

Local teachers always have it out for the foreign teachers; mainly because of higher salaries & in some cases better treatment.

When I used to teach I did card boad cut out board games & the kids loved it, were attentive & learned from it ... I can email them to you if you like & I've got some presentations I did in ppt you can display on the projector on various topics.
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Postby Taco » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:00 am

zboy1 wrote:
Cornfed wrote: Only losers bail-out before their contract is up.


This is not true. I did a runner from the Chinese school I worked at and so did my roommate. The job was affecting my personal life to the point where I was getting depressed.

On day the owner of the school yelled at DOS for over an hour and told him his Chinese girlfriend(110 lbs.) was too fat. The previous DOS would tell the school owners to f**k off all the time and he was the only reason the school even survived the owners gross business mismanagement. Most Chinese ESL schools are not managed well and as long as the money keeps pouring in from the students no one cares what happens. However, the school I worked at did pay its teachers on time and they did give me a nice apartment.
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Postby zboy1 » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:38 am

Renata wrote:Local teachers always have it out for the foreign teachers; mainly because of higher salaries & in some cases better treatment.

When I used to teach I did card boad cut out board games & the kids loved it, were attentive & learned from it ... I can email them to you if you like & I've got some presentations I did in ppt you can display on the projector on various topics.


Wow, thanks Renata. I sent a PM to you giving you my email. Much appreciated.
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Postby magnum » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:04 am

you guys seem to have a lot of experience with English teaching, if any of you would be willing to help a guy out, it would help me greatly I've got a million questions, mostly pertaining to not having any college behind my belt, but how difficult teaching is and if you make up your own lessons or copy cat some or what, oh and how you talk them up on wage too.


I've read some really good offers, some offering ticket paid, apartment paid, and up to 10,000 RMB a month with only 4 hours a day 5 days a week, but it seems FAR too good to be true, with hours like that I could do college and teach at the same time.

In my other thread a member mentioned the laws changed in July basically preventing me from teaching English without a college, but when I was in shenyang passed the month of july, I was sitting at a table with 5 expats...let me just say this, drunks and weed heads who I'm almost sure didn't have any college experience...were living in Shenyang, but they might be the last of the few I guess.
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Postby Taco » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:30 am

magnum wrote:you guys seem to have a lot of experience with English teaching, if any of you would be willing to help a guy out, it would help me greatly I've got a million questions, mostly pertaining to not having any college behind my belt, but how difficult teaching is and if you make up your own lessons or copy cat some or what, oh and how you talk them up on wage too.


I've read some really good offers, some offering ticket paid, apartment paid, and up to 10,000 RMB a month with only 4 hours a day 5 days a week, but it seems FAR too good to be true, with hours like that I could do college and teach at the same time.

In my other thread a member mentioned the laws changed in July basically preventing me from teaching English without a college, but when I was in shenyang passed the month of july, I was sitting at a table with 5 expats...let me just say this, drunks and weed heads who I'm almost sure didn't have any college experience...were living in Shenyang, but they might be the last of the few I guess.


Tons of teachers teach with fake degrees and China is the one country that doesn't care, they won't check your credentials. Also, Angelina's Job Placement Agency has 6,800 jobs right now, most of these jobs won't be filled. You can ask them if you need a degree you may not need it. Type the name of the school into google before you accept a position to see if any teachers gave it a bad review. You can buy fake TEFL certificates also.

Fake Degree
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acohwkuIa5o

Angelina's Job Placement
http://www.anesl.com/schools/index.asp
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Postby Cornfed » Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:16 am

magnum wrote:I've got a million questions, mostly pertaining to not having any college behind my belt, but how difficult teaching is and if you make up your own lessons or copy cat some or what

If you only have a couple of different lessons to do a week then making your own original lessons is doable assuming you otherwise have a low workload. More than that is really too much work and there is only going to be so much creative power you have to offer. Therefore, you would want to adapt some of your lessons from text books, Internet lessons and such. You need to get the feel of how a class should go so you can know how to present textbook material though. I would think being educated would help, but of course I've never done it without being educated, and I've seen some really dumb lessons being a hit with the students.
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Postby Taco » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:09 am

Cornfed wrote:
magnum wrote:I've got a million questions, mostly pertaining to not having any college behind my belt, but how difficult teaching is and if you make up your own lessons or copy cat some or what

If you only have a couple of different lessons to do a week then making your own original lessons is doable assuming you otherwise have a low workload. More than that is really too much work and there is only going to be so much creative power you have to offer. Therefore, you would want to adapt some of your lessons from text books, Internet lessons and such. You need to get the feel of how a class should go so you can know how to present textbook material though. I would think being educated would help, but of course I've never done it without being educated, and I've seen some really dumb lessons being a hit with the students.


Joy School is chain of schools in China and Taiwan, they give their teachers 2 weeks paid training before they start teaching, the only school that does to my knowledge. Lots of teachers are not really good at teaching but their good at talking which keeps the class going along smoothly since conversation is the students weakest skill. If you can talk like a used car salesman, TV game show host or standup comedian you won't have any problem teaching English to adults. Kids are definitely easier to teach, at least for most people. There's lots of teaching videos on youtube for ideas.
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