Don’t Bring Me Down

..Some teachers love to complain. We’ve all experienced them. It’s who they are! They thrive on conflict, turmoil, discontent and worst of all, endlessly talking about administrators/colleagues in a negative context. I term these people “Downers” and do my best to avoid them.

Based on the School Reviews that grace the pages of ISR, I’d say it’s safe to say we all have something to complain about. And complain we should, but in a constructive manner, with a proposed solution and to someone who can do something about our concern. But, please…not to me, at least not more than once.

Downers” are never satisfied with how things are going. They’ll continue to gripe even when admin agrees to remedy a situation. They moan about how the problem is being tackled and grumble about the speed at which progress towards a solution is being made. Without fail, they always manage to intone their prediction for failure.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that some schools are oppressive, top-down institutions which fail in every sense of the word to adhere to the principles of the International Educators’ Bill of Rights.  At these schools, going to admin with a concern or complaint, even in a constructive manner, would most likely put an educator on the list of trouble makers and probably result in retaliatory measures. On the other hand, constant complaining to colleagues only serves to put an educator into the”Downer” category, making him/her just another thorn in the side of a faculty already trying to cope with a bad situation. No one needs a constant reminder of unpleasant circumstances.

I do my best to contribute to making my school and the environment for my colleagues a more pleasant place. We all know what’s wrong here and we all know the admin here couldn’t care less what we think. Constant bitching and moaning solves nothing and I wish I could make some of my more negative colleagues realize they bring me and their colleagues down! Maybe this short article I’ve composed for ISR will have that effect on them. Here’s hoping!

ISR Asks: How do you deal with “downer” types at your school, besides just trying to avoid them? Please scroll down to participate in this conversation:

(This article was inspired by a recent post to the ISR Open Forum)

48 Responses to Don’t Bring Me Down

  1. BP Rawlins says:

    The key to any involvement in any school at whatever level is objectivity. Whether anyone finds accurate criticism and practical constructive solutions to real problems to be “whinging” or not is utterly irrelevant. Professionals should not concern themselves about being labelled “downers” or “uppers”. What matters is whether you are following western professional standards and meeting the requirements of overseas examination boards.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JenniferJ. says:

      Well said. I agree it is really stupid and negative to label teachers as “downers” or “uppers.” Some criticism is valid and has to be expressed and discussed with colleagues to make changes happen. No teacher is always “up” unless they are taking ‘happy pills” (I know some who do).

      Like

  2. B says:

    Ester- Where are you working?
    I am in my 3rd International School, all in the Middle East. My next and last stop will be China, starting in September. It will be a completely different ball of wax as the Chinese view education as top priority, but with any international school, how I am treated as a professional will all depend on the owner and management. We never have the same protections in other countries that we expect as westerners, but I am hoping my next 2 to 3 years will be easier than the past 4 1/2.

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    • Esther Joseph says:

      B, I am not working at the moment – still in my home country. I did apply to schools in the Middle East but nothing worked out – I really wanted to get some experience in the Middle East – I spent almost a whole decade working in China but I am so tired of the Chinese work environment. I am now thinking of other options like tutoring or maybe starting my own tuition center. I hope you get into a good school in China where you can be treated well and the work environment be a little more pleasant. Yes, I agree – we don’t have any protection in other countries and this is something that has bothered me for many years – I cannot express enough how much I want to do something to help foreign teachers so that they can get some protection, some justice and fairness. But I have no idea where to start but I am not giving up – I will keep talking to others and keep looking for opportunities – the Neil Bantleman case (accused in Indonesia) and the Nepalese teacher imprisoned in Qatar just convinces me that we need serious action – But like you said, let’s be hopeful that something will change in the near future.

      Like

      • Brett says:

        In China, the government does uphold labor laws for foreign teachers and I know several who have sued and won for unfair dismissal because their dumbass principals didn’t bother with written warning or correct protocol. So probably better than the ME. Good luck.

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        • B says:

          Good for China! I’m on my way there the end of August!!!

          Like

        • Esther Joseph says:

          Brett, thank you so much for that information! Yes, I will remember to inform teachers who plan on working in China in the future. Good for the teachers who sued and won.

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          • B. says:

            A female African American teacher at AIAN in Ningbo was dismissed without warning after 3 years at the school by a pretentious and hostile principal who took a personal dislike to the her. She hired a local lawyer, sued and got 6 months salary. Teachers working in China should appraise themselves of the labor laws.

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    • Matt says:

      Depending where you are going and which school, your China experience could be amazing or awful. Good luck and let us know what happens!

      Like

      • Ran says:

        True and the Chinese are very opaque. Keep a deadpan expression whatever happens and don’t gossip with local staff. Foreign teachers are seen as “temporary” as they come and change things, then go and leave the locals to clean up.

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        • B says:

          I am crossing my fingers. International Schools are like a box of chocolate…. You never know what you are going to get (or something like that).

          Like

          • Esther Joseph says:

            Yes, true – international schools can be like a ‘box of chocolates” – just make sure they are not laced with something dangerous – you know how the Chinese are into ‘packaging’!!!….some schools can be ‘sweet and rich’ just like the owners (when they first hire you)!!….I think the original phrase was something like ‘Life is like a box of chocolates you never know what you’re going to get’!…..very true for international schools.

            Like

  3. Ron says:

    Well stated Esther. Many Asian schools – the lower tier ones especially – want attractive, young, white faces who will be “fun” for the students and popular with parents as they will never give bad grades or complain to parents about their kid’s behavior. Yeah, there you go — “negative” gripe – fact of life!

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    • Esther Joseph says:

      Thank you Ron! Yes, you are right – that’s what schools want – bringing in the dollars into the coffers, is what it’s all about. Yes, the tier two Asian international schools especially want young attractive foreign teachers to keep students and parents happy as long as the coffers fill up. The tier two schools have to work really hard to compete with the more established, top tier international schools.

      Like

    • B says:

      Ester and Ron- It is not just Asian schools (and it really depends on the schools of course as I may have been a babe in my day, but at 56 was hired for next year at a very well paying school in Beijing), who want the young, attractive (or what they think the customer wants), teachers. The school I was in for 2 years in Qatar hired (for the most part, young, beautiful, thin, South Africa girls with little to no experience and many without teaching credentials. And I mean these girls were (are just one better looking than the next. Primary looked like a modeling agency. They paid them much less than me, but they had no choice as I am American and demand higher pay, but also joined them in late November to take over for a runner. The 5 month contract I have now is also very well paying and I am again taking over for a runner!!! When they need you- They will pay.
      The school in Beijing I am going to has an actual pay scale for years of service and advanced degrees, so my Masters Degree actually counts.

      Like

      • Esther Joseph says:

        B, thank you for that information! Wow, young model like teachers hired…truly amazing! Actually beauty and slim bodies really do count with the Asians but I see its wanted in schools in the Middle East as well. But so glad things worked out for you with replacing the runner! A really good opportunity. Well, I am over 40 so I don’t have a model figure but I guess it will be up to the schools to eventually decide. I am now thinking of other options.

        Like

        • B says:

          Ha-Ha-Ha…
          Esther, if you saw these teachers you would think they all should be standing around Sports Cars at the New York Auto Show. Seriously!!! But the school also knew that due to the difference in dollar value, even 1/3 of my salary demand would be a ton more than these girls would make in South Africa.
          ADEC on the other hand has a set pay scale and only deals with degreed and certified/licensed teachers. If I understand correctly the other Gulf countries are also going to that and a bunch of un-certified “teachers” will be out of jobs.
          I look back at the schools I have been in and the last one I finished my 2 year contract and this one, while they have given me a contract for next year, I will not stay- I have to say that after ADEC and the UAE ANY SCHOOL seems better. And the school I am in now, really sucks! :- D

          Like

          • Esther Joseph says:

            Ha!Ha!…thank you B! ….yes, I can imagine how they must look. How sad to think they are used for less – these girls will probably earn more as models than teachers! Yes, I am aware that ADEC only considers qualified, certified and licensed teachers (and glad that I am one) but you are right, ADEC will take only the best. I do hope you get a better school in the next contract – one where you can look forward to going to work everyday.

            Like

            • B says:

              I made it 1 year at ADEC and anyone who complains about their treatment deserves all the complaining they want!!!! Trust me Esther- while some people do stay, it was a rough-rough year.

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            • Esther Joseph says:

              Thanks, B!…you actually made it through a year! Yes, I can believe it when you say, one stays but it’s rough. I have been through the same at my other schools -1 year stay is tough and rough. I felt I couldn’t make it through the second year – it felt like I would lose my sanity or just explode.I just cannot believe that’s teaching has come to this.

              Like

      • Ran says:

        Yeah and the kids think they are “cool” because anything goes and any experienced older teacher is ignored or regarded as “boring.” Sad!

        Like

        • B says:

          Ha-Ha-Ha… Ran, I worked 2 years in Qatar teaching “The Boys” grades 7-9 and I was not ignored or thought boring.
          Because I had a very good control of them (and Middle Eastern boys can be MORE than a handful), lessons were pretty smooth all things considered. We could joke and take some time off now and again, because I wasn’t always on guard- But they also knew (learned 1st week of school), that life was much easier when I wasn’t mad- Ha-Ha-Ha. And that I could make them much more miserable than they could ever make me (really). They were actually a nice group once we had some ground rules. The 1st one being it was NOT a democracy….

          Like

  4. Esther Joseph says:

    Dear ISR Community,

    I have to agree with the writer of the article.

    I have been through many schools abroad and yes, there was always a ‘downer’ who would constantly groaned, moaned, complained and grumbled, no matter if things improved even if there was a little improvement. Their constant complaining, bitterness and resentful attitude becomes very poisonous and results in the contamination of the rest of the staff. Downers have an agenda of their own – they are master gossipers – they understand the power of words and how regular, constant negative words and attitudes can cripple and destabilize an environment and the impact of negative words on people’s minds and attitudes. What schools don’t realize that they lose good teachers because of the ‘downers’ and what’s more shocking is that the good, positive teachers leave and the downers stay at the school – they are even promoted and given better perks. If downers are given free reign at a school, then it’s the management’s fault and they have to come up with a strategy of identifying the downers and dealing with them. I am sorry to say this but all the downers I came across (except two) were from first world, developed western countries where I believe it’s ‘normal’ and acceptable to complain, negatively criticize, bitch and moan about everything and gossip – these individuals ‘export’ this culture when they work abroad. My advice is to record their bitter complaining and bitching on your mobile phone (without them knowing) and let them know, that if they come to you one more time to off load their bitter complaints, you will send that recording to the management and parents and others in authority. Don’t become a rubbish dump and allow downers to ‘spew’ out their negative words and bitter complaints on you and don’t entertain their gossiping – it’s a trap to set you up for trouble.

    On the other hand, I have to say that the concentration-camp style of international schools, does not accept any feedback or constructive criticism – this is regarded as ‘attacking’ the higher powers, teachers are victimized and some are eventually fired. Education has become big business and these owners hire teachers like ‘slaves’ who are supposed to keep their mouths shut and not say a word – they are to be grateful for the salary the receive and for a roof over their head.

    Esther Joseph

    Like

    • David says:

      It is illegal to record people without their knowledge and incredibly negative. It would be better to have a polite word to ensure pleasant collaboration by stating that you know the person is unhappy but either go and discuss it with admin. or look for another job as you do not wish to keep hearing these problems. The only matter I would agree with you on is that admin do not accept complaints or comments on improvement very well in many cases and label anyone drawing their attention to negative matters as “trouble makers.” This is the reality of international schools and unpleasantness towards stressed colleagues does not help anyone.

      Like

  5. Nick says:

    Please forgive the philosophy but…’The Greek philosopher Epictetus said it beautifully more than 2,000 years ago: “People are disturbed, not by things (that happen to them), but by the principles and opinions which they form concerning (those) things. When we are hindered, or disturbed, or grieved, let us never attribute it to others, but to ourselves; that is, to our own principles and opinions.”‘ From the mind body green website. As I get older I am finally realising that we can do a lot to help ourselves when we find ourselves in difficult circumstances.

    Like

    • B says:

      I somewhat agree with what I think you are saying, Nick (philosophy major undergrad), as I believe it is within ourselves to be happy or unhappy- However no matter how many lemons you are given, sometimes the lemonade will still be sour.
      Some people complain- It may be the only control they have over their situation. For example, I am currently doing a 4 1/2 month stint that I was told by the school director himself, was a leave replacement and unfortunately there were no reviews for the school ANYWHERE online… I have a very good position for August lined up, but my contract for my last school ended late November (yes- I took a job to replace another runner), and while most mid year jobs are red flags, I had a number of down time months and figured how bad could it really be for only 4 1/2 months? Well, it is HORRIBLE!!! But, I knew what I was getting into and that does make a difference.

      I think a lot of teachers are blindsided with how bad some school conditions really can be. I was cursed and demeaned by administrators at a school in the Western Region with ADEC where I did 1 year and resigned, but a teacher I worked with had some heavy financial problems and did not have that option. She was miserable and in a plain word “abused” verbally everyday by the school. Yes- She complained a lot… But we all knew how bad it was first hand. Some complained and some of us (quite a lot of us), left.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ADECmove says:

        Someone really needs to set up a review site just for ADEC (come through ISR!). I hear the same complaints about them over and over. I don’t know why people think that the Middle East or China are the only places hiring teachers. If someone is reading this and considering ADEC, don’t do it!

        Like

        • B says:

          ADEC is bad, but they pay very well and while I have never met anyone who LIKES their job, some are far less miserable and abused than others. Secondary Teachers (I was secondary English way out in the desert), fares much worse than primary regardless of placement and it really does depend on the individual school’s administration. I had a friend on Delmar Island that was very isolated but her administrators were human. She transferred to MZ and after less than 4 months ran. She never quite believed the things I told her went on in my school until it was being done to her. Sad, but for every runner there are 10 ready to replace them. And we all think before we get there that we can handle it.
          The school I am doing a Runner Coverage in now loses teacher monthly and when the turnover is that great its not because teachers are “downers”- Its because a lot of these International Schools are horrible to work for.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Esther Joseph says:

            Thank you so much, B! I am so glad to read your comments on ADEC. And I am so glad my application did not work out and I did not have to attend the interview. I will keep your advice in mind and will definitely caution others in my network. So glad you are doing a Runner Coverage – I have never been a runner, never a downer but as a really good teacher, I got hit which left me no choice but to leave. Yes, I agree – international schools have become like slave camps which forces teachers to look for the exit door!

            Like

            • B says:

              Ester, I have 2 friends who stayed 4 years with ADEC- One happened to be in a nice school (as nice as they can be with ADEC), in Al Ain and the other was in the desert, also doing primary. Because they have seen so many teachers come and go, they both know how simply lucky they were to have decent placements (administrators). Neither of their jobs were easy, but doable and they both did save a lot of money. I unfortunately was in a High School with a principal and vice principal who resented the western teachers and let us all know on a daily basis as well as feeling I was walking into a prison riot everyday as the chaos and noise was non-stop. I resigned after a year and numerous requests to be transferred, but every teacher who started with me left by Christmas break.

              Like

            • Esther Joseph says:

              Thank you, B! Yes, I can understand the situation, with some schools being okay to be in and others, are just terrible. I am so sorry to hear what you had to go through – I can only imagine what it must been like to walk into a ‘prison’ work environment every day. Glad you are finally free and I am not surprised others left eventually. It makes you think what we have to go through for the money – but is it worth in the end? I would much rather keep my sanity and health than take the money but then again, I cannot expect everyone to think like me – there are people out there who desperately need the money and they need work. Admin and Owners want to own your soul and control your life, just because of the salary they pay.

              Like

  6. Sometimes it becomes impossible to shun the complainers because almost everyone I work with are complainers . I just walk away if someone starts complaining.

    Like

    • Jamie says:

      I do not know any teacher who does not complain about something! Get real. Hard to avoid if you have one in the classroom right next door who starts to get nasty every time you excuse yourself when she staggers in hungover and is complaining about the kids, her lack of social life or latest whine about life in the city. I did that and it created an atmosphere and she bad mouthed me all over the school as being “stuck-up” and unfriendly. I complained to admin and got told that it is my fault for not getting along with Ms Whiner.

      Like

  7. Anonymous says:

    Many of us are victims of one horrible situation at work or another. How we get out of it depends entirely on how we choose to manage it. After all, it is our career, our self-preservation. It took me two years to get away from an awful administrator but I did, I put my head down, focused on my students, did not burn bridges, kept the end goal in mind, tried to take something away from it and surrounded myself with like minded people who lifted me during the really dark times. My peers were struggling too and while some of us chose to get on with it , work hard at keeping the door to progress open, others chose a different, more toxic path. A path that they believed would damage the school, the board and the administrators. They became chronic complainers invariably trapping themselves in a lonely bubble. Although my group had the same struggles with the people at the top we silently became united against the negative naysayers. This turned their downward spiral into a tailspin of paranoia, personal toxicity and in some cases near breakdown and social isolation. Their incessant complaining had sent the peer support structure running or avoiding and while we would stand and listen to their complaining just to be be polite in the moment, we would move away as fast as possible at the first opportunity. In our case, that school has doubled in size, churning out some exceptional students, the head has moved on to a big job at a top school, in an idyllic location and of the group every single one of that group of complainers has had major strife. (Divorce, substance abuse, and the 2 that are still in education are rolling stones moving from one little post to the next). Draw your conclusions. It is what it is. This was my own experience, one I learned a lot from, particularly about strength of character and who I would want to work with and spend time. The group I stuck with during that time remains tight, we holiday together and that dark time has given me friends for life. We got through that together and look back at it as being one or our greatest learning experiences. So, none of our group are actual victims. We gained so much from that experience and feel proud of how we dealt with it. It was very hard but we came through and are all better for it. (That year close to 30 people left our division of that school). – Disclaimer – pardon all the errors, sent in a rush, it’s weekend here.

    Like

  8. B says:

    A few of the problems in working in international schools are that you really don’t know what you are getting into until you get there (to a country you may not be familiar with and working conditions that are not what has been represented to you), as well as now working for a “business” where profit is the priority and not the actual learning outcome and progress of the students. Coming from a westernized country where you may have been protected by a union and or labor laws does change things. I am in my 3rd international position that started with ADEC, which was hands down the worst experience of my life (the Administrators at the school I was assigned to, and you are ASSIGNED to your school, location and grade level AFTER arriving in the UAE, resented and treated the western, English speaking teachers HORRIBLY beyond anything I could have imagined or been warned about), to a crazy house in Qatar, which I didn’t hate, but it had its definite challenges- particularly management who had little to no academic background, to now a short term contract, covering the end of the year months for a runner (and this school has the highest turnover rate I have ever even heard of for a reason!!! People literally disappear every single payday), 4 1/2 month position, before I start what will be my 4th and probably last international school this August in China.

    International teaching in the best situations/schools/countries is a rough, rough gig and a lot of schools are not as selective as they should be with not only the students they accept (if the kid pays the kid stays), to their hiring practices (ADEC hires only licensed and certified teachers, however many-MANY, including my second and current school, hire what seems to be anything with a heartbeat), makes the job in many ways very hard. People are going to complain as an outlet and maybe to find someone who understands their feelings.

    International teaching is not for the feint of heart and it is a job- NOT an adventure. I don’t think a lot of teachers really know what they are getting into and neither the recruiters nor schools fill you in on just how rough things can be. As a matter of fact, a lot of them straight out lie to you. The school I am in now did-

    Like

    • ADECmove says:

      I try to warn so many people about ADEC but they just don’t listen. The unorthodox way that the schools are run should tell one all they need to know. People who are desperate to teach abroad for the money and adventure jump in way too fast and don’t realize there are opportunities beyond the ME and China. Then when things go sour they have negative opinions about teaching abroad and complain to me about it when I don’t want to hear it. It really pays to do your research.

      Like

  9. Constant Contrarian says:

    Hello, my name is ____ And I AM A DOWNER.
    I am a “but what about __?” person. Admin often feel that I am challenging and pushing. In a school that is growing, my attitude is celebrated and considered part of our success plan. When a school weakens, or is unstable already, my attitude sounds negative — IS sour– to those who feel helpless about our progress. My attitude feels hostile –but IS NOT Confrontational — to those who feel responsible for our progress.
    In 20+ years overseas in expat teaching, I’ve been written up three times about my “negative attitude.” In all three cases, the principal was brand new and didn’t last 18 months. Is that a justification? No, no. But it IS a canary to me.
    Have I tried to change? Oh, Lord yes. Can I temper my whining — definitely. Do I? I do try.
    I feel as if genuinely negative content is less than 30% of my Faculty Meeting and Staff Room talk.
    That’s still a lot.
    Here’s the kicker — I am not an unhappy person. I’m fairly funny (okay, almost everyone thinks that about themselves) and I’m very creative. I love my life. I love the challenge and struggles of international schools.
    I HAVE MET people who were unsuited for expat teaching. They are miserable. They are 90% Downers. I don’t, strangely, like to commiserate with them. They don’t see solutions, and, honestly, part of the reason I exasperate Admin is because I see and say Too Many possibles.
    At any rate, that’s my story about my Downer condition.

    Like

  10. Akhtar Hussain says:

    Based on my past experience, I would say that we should try to live/love in this real world and get our of “utopia”.

    Like

  11. Down so long at this school says:

    Do keep in mind that sometimes things are so bad that people who don’t usually go around complaining end up doing so. When they start complaining you know it’s time to run.

    Like

    • Bogeyman says:

      If you want a real “downer” try working for an administrator who whines, complains and criticizes every constructive thing that you do. Someone who encourages students to run to him and complain about teachers, someone who thrives on teachrs whining about each other. That is a “downer” ..and yes, I chose to run.

      Like

      • B says:

        Ha-Ha-Ha… Sounds like the school I am in now where the AQC (Academic Quality Controller if you can like that title), encourages teacher NOT to talk to each other, but to rat each other out for the sake of the school. And after a rat out session there is “an investigation”. I am only here another 6 weeks and took the position as a “Runner Coverer”, but it was called a leave replacement. I was so fed up 3 weeks ago that I packed my bags and knew every flight out the day after pay day, but it would have cost me a huge amount of pay, summer pay and flight pay, so I smile, signed a new contract and are counting the days. When I did complain I went straight to the director who didn’t give a rats-a$$ and defended the AQC and school. Surprise-Surprise. A lot of these schools are businesses and the administrators business coordinators and not academics.

        Like

        • Ron says:

          Yep, been there done that. Some of these jobs end up being completely miserable due to the atmosphere engendered by admin and owners. Some “colleagues” try to get other teachers to gripe and then run to admin and tell tales and distort something trivial into a major issue. It gets to the point that you want to stay locked in your room and not talk to any other teachers in case whatever you say is twisted and misinterpreted. All teachers gripe about something at some point in the job and this doesn’t mean they are “negative.” If there is a common problem, it helps to talk about then several teachers can hit admin up about it not one lone voice.The worse “negative” teachers I ever worked with were a young unmarried couple who thought teaching was an overseas vacation and whined about actually having to work, refused to lesson plan and were generally unpleasant. Ugh.

          Like

          • Esther Joseph says:

            Ron, sorry to hear about what you had to go through but I know what it is to be in your position. I have been down that same path many times. It seems that with foreign teachers, we all don’t want to approach the admin and owners together on an issue – everyone will gripe and moan and try to find some scapegoat to speak for them, who will get hit anyway and eventually dismissed. With regards to the lazy young unmarried couple, last year I was in school in China, working with a young unmarried couple, who were into recreation and leisure, travel and exploring more than actually working, like some of us – they had 3 masters degrees between them – they griped and moaned but worked they up to getting their own office, they were promoted and they still enjoy a life of luxury, not actually doing anything constructive or contributing much to the school. The teachers who planned their lessons, were hard working and contributed so much to the school, were terminated and dismissed. Well there you go – we now understand what kind of teachers admin and owners really want at their school.

            Like

      • Deviah says:

        Life is too short to be treated with disrespect, damage your health through stress and overwork and be unappreciated for what is becoming a less generous package. A good administrator does not end up with teachers who are so stressed that the only option is to “run.” Check you schools very carefully before taking a position. Just because a school is not on ISR, it does not mean that it is any good just that people are probably afraid of reprisals.Be carefully of new schools in developing countries that have individual for-profit owners – these are the guys who flatten teachers and standards in the grab for money.

        Like

        • B says:

          I agree Deviah- The school I am in now is a short contract (5 months), and while I was told a teacher left for unexpected family reasons, I knew (and was correct), that I was taking over for a runner. As you state there are not always reviews on ISR- there was none for this one, and it has an unbelievable turnover of teachers. Every week and especially right after payday, teachers are just gone. With only 7 weeks left of the school year a teacher left last weekend never to return. She was also only here since early February, taking the place of one of the many winter break runners. I have never run, but hated every moment in an ADEC school of which I resigned after 1 year of a 2 year contract KNOWING I could not use it as a reference- And the school I am at now, I DID pack my bags 3 weeks ago and had to convince myself to stay for the kids (I am teacher 3 this year in a 1st grade class). But to give you insight into the hiring practices at my school, I have 25 years experience teaching SECONDARY ENGLISH and Humanities, yet I was hired for 1st grade. In fairness I do have a Masters in in Elementary Ed, but the only teaching I have done in primary was my student teaching.
          Yeah- all me a Downer, but it really sucks here.

          Like

          • ADECmove says:

            Hey B, I hope you do leave a review about those schools here on ISR. Even one review is still a review, and can give insight especially when info can be corroborated on the school’s website.

            Like

          • LOL says:

            Good on you B. Sounds like a school I was at in Yangon. I have come close to doing a runner twice in 12 years of teaching and it was due to incompetent and nasty administrators. As schools seem to get worse, I can easily imagine doing it. Be happy you are only short term. In international teaching being pessimistic is being in touch with reality and shouldn’t be regarded as negativity!

            Like

            • B says:

              LOL- I left ADEC after a year because it as just too horrible to make the pay worth it. I didn’t run, but resigned after the first year when they refused to transfer me to a different school. I then completed 2 years in Qatar. The school was pretty crazy and very-VERY unprofessionally run, but I kept my head down, did my job and fortunately for the most part was left alone as I could control the Middle School boys that I was given even though I was hired to teach middle school girls (Middle Eastern boys are NUTS!). Now I am in Kurdistan (my contract in Qatar was from November to November as yes- came in as a late hire for a runner), figuring I did not want to not work until late August when I start at a very high paying school in China.
              But- again, while good pay is great a bad school is sometimes just not worth it- The school I am in now is driving me mad!!!!!
              Mainly because of management.

              Like

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