An international teacher silenced and harassed by a corrupt administration recently wrote Dr. Spilchuk (ISR on line teacher advisor) asking for advice: “Should I stand up for my academic principles, possibly destroying any future hope of securing another overseas teaching position, or curb my comments and quietly move on to hopefully a better school at the end of the academic year?” (ISR has been asked to keep the specific situation confidential.)
………………………………………Dr. Spilchuk’s Advice
The one thing I have learned over time is that standing on principle, while feeling good at the time, can be painful in the long run. There are always those of us who must stand on a principle or things will never change. However, my advice to you is to let this one go and look after your best interest instead. I have been in this country several times over the years so am very aware of the situation. You will not change it by making a stand here. What you may do is limit your possibilities for doing a whole lot of good for a whole lot of children in the future if this school chooses to pursue blackballing you. You must decide: Is it worth standing on principle for this one situation or is it better to maintain your potential to educate so many children in the future? I feel for you…not an easy choice. I have stood on principle many times….but I have also made the second choice.
Best and keep me posted,
In some situations schools have the upper hand as they can wield the axe over our careers and current financial well-being. Add family into the mix and taking on a school can can have far-reaching consequences. Many teachers have successfully sued their schools for breach of contract, and won. But when it comes to a conflict of ethics in a country that universally squelches free speech there is nothing to be won and no protection to be found. You’re on your own.
Have you been in this or a similar situation? How did you make it through? ISR invites you to weigh in on this topic.
I’ve been at this school since late September and hate it. It’s completely unprofessional from the intimidating, top-down admin, to the parents and students who think I’m just another form of servant. The director is really just a puppet of the parents and he always sides with the paying customers. There are no consequences here for cheating, copying or anything!
Outside school, the city itself lacks cultural activities or interest, and people with a few dollars in their pocket are rude and pushy, believing their money buys them this right. As a single women, I have come to dread being out on the streets, even with a male colleague, as men make incredibly crude comments. Being here is like being in hell.
I read the ISR reviews and thought the teachers on your web site were just a bunch of whining, moaning complainers. As it turns out, they were telling the actual truth. Naturally, the school director represented the school and location to me in an entirely different light.
I’m so torn about what to do. At the forefront of my thinking is the idea to get on a plane this weekend and fly out. This may have a bad effect on my future as an international educator but this place and these kids are are not worth sacrificing any more of my life for.
If you would be so kind as to post my comments on your web site it would really help me to hear what experienced overseas teachers have to say about my situation. I need to keep my present location under wraps at this time. I hope you understand.
Reports have been coming into the ISR office for weeks that some international schools have already been pressuring teachers to commit to contract renewals for the 2011-12 academic year. Not too many years ago it was the trend for schools to wait until after the winter holidays before asking teachers to declare their intentions to stay for another year.
Why are some schools now pushing the commitment date to earlier & earlier in the school year? A few schools have even announced a substantial financial penalty or threatened to blackball teachers who indicate they will renew their contract but later change their plans.
Why so early? What reason could schools have to expect such an early commitment date for contract renewal?
Teachers at International School Anaco Venezuela, International School of Port of Spain Trinidad, and other schools around the world, have reported their contracts were terminated during the last weeks of school due to “budgetary cut backs”. Termination came without warning and left these teachers, some of which are teaching families, jobless for the upcoming school year. Continue reading
Posted May 20/09
Dear ISR: I am an American teacher working in X– (withheld for privacy). I am under contract for next year and I signed this contract over six months ago. But many things have changed since then – not the least, my nervous system and ability to overlook headlines like “X–, One of the Most Dangerous Countries in the World”. Continue reading