Duped & Ready to Walk

A couple of weeks  into every academic year I begin seeing a sprinkling of School Reviews that claim a slick school director duped the reviewer into accepting a job at their lousy school. My reaction to such comments has always been the same: stick it out, stop whining. YOU signed the contract. I couldn’t imagine that any school would be half as bad as what these teachers were describing…

Well, the tables have turned and I stand corrected. I now find that I am the victim of severe duping by a fast-talking director at a school not reviewed on ISR.

Everything here is contrary to what I saw (on the school’s website) and was told during my online interview. There’s no disciplinary support with known disruptive kids, and believe me, there’s plenty of real “prizes” at this school. There are no classroom supplies — not even pencils. The internet connection is so sketchy it might as well be shut down. There is no AC in the classrooms — it’s like a sauna in my room. Textbooks are all photo copied from one purchased edition. Software is boot-legged and glitches to a standstill constantly. To top it off, the director has proven himself to be an egocentric, buffoon who lacks any semblance to an educator.

I might be able to bite the bullet and put up with everything wrong with this place, but the crowning assault on my sanity is that the majority of students are local kids with poor, to non-existent, English skills. Try teaching high school Literature to a classroom of students who can barely muster enough English to ask to use the restroom, let alone read and discuss a story by Edgar Alan Poe. It’s like a bad joke.

The job was advertised online and not through a recruiting fair. So, if I walk out and don’t put this job on my resume, what might be the long term consequences, if any, of doing so? Also, what is the best way to bail? Should I give the school notice that I plan to leave ASAP or send them an email once I’m safely away and out of the country? I’m leaning towards the ‘wait until I’m safely away’ idea…

To those of you who have suffered the disastrous consequences of being mislead by a slick website and/or a fast-talking director, please accept my sincere apologies for having doubted you and thereafter posted such to the ISR Forum or Blog. Once I’m out of here, I’ll post a lengthy review of this place on ISR. Any advice would really comfort and reassure me at this time.


Duped big time

26 thoughts on “Duped & Ready to Walk

  1. Best to leave fast so no gap on your resume. It will not get better if you stay. Don’t list that job on your resume. EVER. Schools are mercenary when it comes to candidates and likely to exclude anyone who breaks contract for any reason.


  2. There is a school in Yangon that lies and cheats and is run for profit to benefit spoilt, affluent rich kids. Good teachers don’t stay. Unfortunately with so many fly-by-night ‘international’ schools being run as a business by greedy owners deceptive hiring practises will continue to prevail.


  3. There is zero shame in leaving. You signed a contract, in good faith, anticipating the basic necessities of a workplace and a modicum of functionality. I’m assuming you went to university, investing time and money into your credentials. To work like this? Stick it out, suck it up? For the sake of your CV? Ridiculous and a waste of your life and talents. Let us know when you are safely out (as suggested, don’t tell a soul of your intentions) and be sure to review the school. Yes, the international teaching community is small. As professionals, we need to tell teach other what and where to avoid. Eventually, these schools will not be able to recruit any true talented professionals. Also, if the school is this chaotic, I don’t think administration is going to waste time or resources going after you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you one hundred percent! And the students plus their parents have seen it all they really don’t care who’s teaching their children! It happens in their homes, they change their kadamas like … You-know-what!! Please go quietly and quickly! Leave the school off your cv and fill the missing time with supply teaching or travelling! Miss, you are allowed a break!!! 😳😳


  4. Look this is such a common experience – it’s almost ridiculous! Who feels it knows it! I have had to do this twice as my situations were so dire. Both schools were a facade, not reviewed on ISR but had all the credentials/accreditation etc. but everything was just a lie. A complete sham. When it comes down to it some international schools see teachers as a disposable spec! Some will say anything just to get you there! Professionalism?! It’s hard to be professional in places that are neither professional or have any professionals whatsoever! That’s it! It is still very early and you don’t have to put them on your CV/resume. You cannot put a price on your mental health and sanity. It’s just not worth it. In my cases, I tried to stick it out due to both fear of the school, what they would/could do, the impact of me leaving and of course lack of funds. In the end, I just couldn’t take it and there really was no other choice. I left and it actually worked out.


  5. I think I would probably just bail without notice and without telling anyone at all. If possible, I would squeak through until December, and then not come back after Christmas break. Inform them via email after you have been paid everything that’s coming to you (so wait until after you have received your pay for the month of December), and give an excuse about health or family. This allows everyone to save face. Maybe even send 2 weeks of substitute plans, saying you’re so sorry, etc. If you cc all the other international teachers as someone else suggested and explain your real reasons, then you are opening yourself up to huge blowback. You never know when you are going to come across these individuals again at some school, and they may or may not agree with your course of action. Same thing with your administrators. The international teaching community is surprisingly small.


  6. That’s why I roll my eyes every time I see a response from a Polly Anna shaming a traumatized educator into “sticking out a contract “. Always tells me they’ve been lucky, and have yet to be humbled. Your apologies are accepted. Now go and judge no more😊


  7. The horror stories are not exaggerations. Go to a school with a game plan on how to get out without anyone knowing. Don’t feel guilty. You can make any excuse as to why you “took a year off” in order to explain the gap in your CV. There’s always another job.


  8. It amounts to this. There is one hard and fast rule that any international teacher should obey without fail: Never take a job at a school that is not accredited by at least one, preferably more, major western organization, e.g. WASC, MSC, NEASC, SACS, CIS, IB, ECS. And that means fully accredited — not applied, going to apply, anticipating, probationary, and so on.

    Follow this rule slavishly and you will never be abused and exploited.

    If you can’t get hired at such a school, improve your experience, credentials and references until you can. Ignore this rule and you are asking for trouble.


    1. Totally disagree China Teacher. I have accepted jobs at many “WASC, NEASC,and IB” accredited schools that turned out to be complete shambles. It seems that WASC will accredit almost any school these days as long as they have the money.


    2. I worked at an IB school accredited by CIS and it was a huge mess. Rich kids who could get away with murder if they wanted to and a Principal & Director that would throw you under the bus gladly if you made any waves. I taught IBDP Physics to kids that had no business being in any IB courses, but was told that I had to pass them or take the blame for their failure. I left there a few years ago and I have been told by my former colleagues that the school continues to get worse each year. So your argument is invalid.


    3. Wrong. I have worked at a WASC (what a joke) accredited school and it was the worst ever with a lazy, incompetent director and teachers who were just there for a pay check. WASC in losing credibility. This particular school did all the accreditation write up in two weeks. A few dinners and drinks with WASC and hey presto! Acrredited again.


    4. Gotta add one more dissenting vote here, China Teacher. I’ve worked for accredited schools, and experienced the same toxic environments as with the unaccredited.

      That being said, I’d agree that certifications are at least an indicator of doing some things right. If a school has bothered to get certified (even if that only means, as some of my fellow cynics suggest, that they pay the fees and take the inspectors for a nice dinner), that shows the school cares about its image somewhat. That’s preferable to a school that doesn’t even care about *looking* good.


  9. My new school in Indonesia.
    Day 1. 5 teachers failed to show. All new teachers sat around for hours with nothing to do and nothing organised. Told be HR that we had 4 days paid hotel and not 14 as earlier tole to us by Principal. Nothing happened all day.

    Day 2. Told be HR that settling in money would be paid in first Salary paid on 31st of Sept. No help with finding Accommodation or dealing with landlords. New timetables issued. Told that I would be teaching Physics as well as the Maths that I was employed to teach, teaching in 5 different rooms. Told that we would have to stay in school until 5 P.M. every day (including first week where we want to find housing). Free Lunch with SMT.

    Day 3. Told that half of first 3 months Salary would be withheld and paid as a bonus when contract completed. Returning staff told the same and much shouting and tears. Introduced to Housing agent who was friends with somebody in HR, told that we must pay 3 months rent up front as deposit. Told that we must give up passports to HR for a few days for Visa purposes.

    Day 4. Airport where I mwt 3 of the new staff and 2 of the returning staff who were also doing runners. Phoned Principal from boarding gate to say goodbye.


  10. You have signed a contract. If you bail, you are in breach of contract.
    Why would you not ask to be relieved of your contract instead of behaving unprofessionally?


    1. Because the school is likely to try to block you leaving the country. Some schools will go so far as to having you “arrested” because you are stealing from them. Obviously you are lucky enough to never have been in a truly horrible situation. This person is lucky to have enough money to be able to leave. Some people end up being virtual slaves because they don’t have enough to get back out. Count your blessings and have some empathy.


    2. Anonymous, you are going to deal with 4 days of the above mentioned by Bob, and not have your passport in your possession……You do not understand the rules of engagement !

      Jan Hart


    3. Contracts work both ways, Settling in money should be available for the settling in period. With-holding salary until you have completed contract and then calling it a bonus was not in contract or offer letter.


    4. You sound very simple minded. Do you think these sort of schools care about ethics, or contracts or a quality education!


  11. Do not even whisper a word of your intentions to anyone at all. Play the game, appear to be okay with everything. Then, in a week or two, announce you are going for a weekend in a neighboring city, This way no one will question why you are getting into a taxi with suitcases. Head for the airport and get the heck out of there. If you tell them in advance you are leaving they may be able to make it so you can’t leave the country. There are some super horror stories on this web site of what happened to teachers when a vindictive school decided to block their exit. Do not use the school’s travel agent or an agency that belongs to one of the student’s parents.

    I worked at a school and as a small group we decided to not return the following year. The board of directors had their own ideas and fired all the American teachers on the last day of school. Without notice. They had no idea we were planning on not coming back. They could give a damn about us and we knew it and the firing which took place at the last day of school breakfast just further justified our leaving. Long story short, for tax purposes they claimed to be an American corporation and had such status. They gave each of us a letter of dismissal. With the letters we all collected unemployment. At first the school claimed we had all quit, but a short review proved we had been fired. Especially since we had the letters. The school was found guilty of attempted fraud and forced to reimburse the unemployment offices for our unemployment. They had no choice since their bank account was in the States and it was easy for the government to freeze it. So there is some justice out there.

    But do be careful, getting trapped in a foreign country where you have no rights can be devastating. You can’t imagine if you haven’t experience it.


  12. Leave now or in December without notice and do not tell anyone at all including any school drivers. To get to the airport use a taxi and get there early enough to gat through customs and boarding pass. I am not sure what country you are in but some schools may block your leaving with fake some bill not paid. This sounds unprofessional yet they are being that with you. It is a game played too often with our careers…They think we are desperate and won’t leave and continue to allow students, local management, or the owners to make money off of you duping parents too. Spend your energy looking for a new job today! Cut your loses and get out


  13. The lack of AC would alone be enough to make me bail (if it is really like a sauna as you said), and no, they do not deserve any notice! Wait until you are gone and then email the director with the same thing you said here, and cc it to any foreign teachers there for whom you have an email address! You can probably find another job within a month and not have a gap on your resume.


  14. Your experience is shared multiple times by other teachers internationally. There is a school in Kuwait where the admin lied outright about everything. We all put up with it because we all had each other’s backs. But it is depressing and discouraging that admin is willing to be morally and ethically bankrupt. they are there for the $$$ they get from the board. Everyone suffers, especially the students. I just started at a school and the Education Director said to the staff he will not suspend any student. He is willing to talk with that student 3 hours to find out why they are bullying others. He expects us to have the time to do this. Really? I have 3 hours during the day to council the kids? He used 20 minutes of lunch time to do an activity that grew boring after 10 minutes. He decided we weren’t leaving at 2:30 for meetings with principals until he was done another activity, then proceeded to talk about respect and responsibility. Well, he has lost mine. He claims time is fluid. Teachers don’t have that option. He is all talk and no walk. I feel your pain. Walk if you want. Dont add it to the resume because you have barely started. Go heal.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.