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BANGKOK 26 April 2019 15:00
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Ijustwannateach

What I Would Tell My Administration

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I'll take this one a bit more slowly and post one point a day (when I've exhausted my list I'll post it as a summary)

Advice I Would Give My Thai School Administration If I Could Do It Without Getting Fired

1. LISTEN to your employees and don't shoot the messenger- and thank them for caring enough to tell you- then take them seriously and do something about it. After all, do you want to wait until your STUDENTS or their PARENTS are p*ssed off enough to start complaining to you?

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2. Choose your target market and keep them narrowly in your mind forever. Trying to be all things to all people will not work. If you want to teach the (dull) masses, do so- and make it clear to the super-smarty students that's what you're doing so they'll go elsewhere. If you lie to them and mix them with the dull boys and girls, they'll go elsewhere anyway- and they'll be angry. Conversely, if you want a real elite school, don't take just anyone because of the money- otherwise you will wind up with all dullards just the same.

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3. Good farang teachers are a very rare commodity, and need to be retained. Replacing a good teacher with a bad teacher is lousy educational management.

4. Keeping foreign teachers uninformed causes them to teach your students less effectively. It also causes unhappy parents, which causes YOU a loss of revenue from special programs.

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Heh heh heh... Can I rephrase your numbers so they have my evil style?

5. It's a teachers' market. In case you haven't figured out the economics of this business-thingy you're running here, that means that the salaries are fixed more by what the teachers want and where they want to work than by what kind of job you offer them. If you are foolishly offering below industry standard wages and conditions relative to your location, you can expect that except in the rare and admirable case of someone who simply loves the job, by economic law your worker will less qualified than the average, industry standard one- and in Thailand, that's already pretty low, trust me. So any time you're tempted to complain about your 20K-a-month tourist-visa Swedish backpacker doing a runner only a month and a half into the term, read this point again until you understand it.

6. More about market forces: Thai teachers and farang teachers are NOT in the same market. If you fail to understand this, you will soon be punished for it by your workforce. Foreigners are a limited commodity item with highly volatile lifestyles, and in a teachers' market they can afford to vote on your management with their feet. It is NOT an acceptable ploy on the job market to excuse poorer conditions to the farang teachers by shrugging and saying "oh, well, that's what we do with the Thai teachers!" This includes issues of overtime pay, holiday, and basic salary. There's no easier way to needlessly annoy [split infinitive!] your farang teachers by telling them they should put up with some new BS of yours because they have it so much better than the Thais. Conversely, there will ALWAYS be tension among the Thai teachers about paying the farang teachers so much more for basically the same job. While it is inevitable, and must be handled sensitively, attempting to cut conditions to the farang to satisfy the Thais will not work for the farang and will never been enough anyway to make the Thais feel better. The appropriate response is to remind the Thais of market forces and that the presence of foreigners makes EP programs possible, including the creation of *THEIR* jobs. It is also wise to remind the foreigners to be humble and sensitive of this issue and not to gratuitously flaunt [split infinitive!] their advantages.

"Steven"

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nobody cares guy's , not your employers , not your shool, not the governement, if you don't like THEIR terms go somewhere else.

It's a THAI market afterall.

So you can only teach IF you take the cuts needed to become more as THAI teachers. Maybe you can start a Farang teachers union :o

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^Yawn. Did you even read the point of the thread? It's not about working conditions; it's about what a well-run school would mean (advice I would give administrators)- and that does include advice about working conditions.

To respond off-topic- we ARE leaving the places we don't like. That's why it IS a teacher's market. Perhaps *you* don't care, but the schools which are competing for our services care very much indeed these days (as do we!)- otherwise they are getting punished (in a slow-motion kinda way).

"Steven" :o

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nobody cares guy's , not your employers , not your shool, not the governement, if you don't like THEIR terms go somewhere else.

It's not quite that bad actually.

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hopefully for you guys it isn't , but i don't think there's point to WHAT IF..ect.

This is just the age old worker/employer debate.

The worker (teacher) wants the best conditions for him (high wage, nice work) the employer wants to make a profit (high numbers of pupils, income).

One influences the other but nu use in starting the " my employer should do this and that" debate.

Maybe you should become an employer then yourself and you'll find your thoughts change to an employers point of view.

Nobody cares about the Quality of students, just the numbers or the money they bring in.

If you are a very good teacher and you can prove that you bring in X amount of revenue , you're employer will have no problem compensating

If you're a loosy teacher and don't raise the added value of the biz , you won't get any return. That's just biz even in teaching

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Just to clarify: this thread is advice TO the (typical) Thai employer about how to make his business/school more effective. A savvy businessman will be able to see how my suggestions accomplish this. Others, I suppose, will not.

"Steven"

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Your Headline say's it correct:

"What I Would Tell My Administration, If I Could Do It Without Being Fired"

You can't cause your Savy THAI businessman will kick your ass on the street for meddling in his affairs :D.

Plenty more where you came from :o:D

And even if you were the only willing he would simply close that lesson packet or similar.

Your comment will maybe have an effect on a private tefl company or an international prestige institution. Thai bosses ???? no way, hozé

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^and your point is?

1. I'm not a business owner?

2. I like to keep my job?

3. Thais are unwise managers?

4. You somehow feel you're better than me?

Where's that wanking icon?

"Steven"

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Well, maybe my honeymoon's over. The big boss, the DI-rector, just proposed increasing my contact teaching hours for next semester from the current 6 or 12, to a whopping 23 hours per week. Nobody will laugh in front of him (there are signs he thinks that he's verrrry important), but they're laughing behind him.

In this same vein, I reminded the two ladies who helped me get hired, "It is extremely difficult to get GOOD farang teachers to work in the provinces for more than a month or two. I have to take more time to teach English because I haven't been doing it for 25 years as you have, and because I'm expected to know all 31 of my students individually, whereas you Thai teachers of English have up to 600 students each. I need lots of time to prepare lesson plans for Math because I've never taught it before, and it took you two months just to find a textbook in English, with no teacher's guide. I teach two entirely different subjects, and you're ###### lucky to mind a native-speaking math teacher anywhere in Thailand. My friends think I'm crazy to work at all, at my age and with my pension. I have enough energy at an older age, than your director has. When's the last time he taught even 17 hours per week? My pension's probably larger than the director's salary. I don't need to do this. The contract says I teach for no more than 18 hours........blah blah blah."

Getting back to the initial point of this thread, and using the subjunctive mood to indicate impossibility: "If Thai school administrators were good at the job of hiring and keeping farang teachers for EP and MEP projects, they'd treat the farang much better, because their SCHOOLS are on the wrong side of the supply and demand curve, even if it is Thailand."

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This is an example of the violation of my rule about Thais and farangs being in different markets and YOUR rules about encouraging good staff to stay. After a regrettably short period of time Thai administrations are laughably likely to forget that they hired us initially at such expense BECAUSE we are rare and valuable. It only takes one buffoon from a KSR agency coming by promising to provide qualified, reliable personnel at 60% of the cost (read: 40% more "tea money" in principal's pocket) and suddenly we're being treated like the Thai staff, as disposable and exploitable- until we disappear- and OOPS! These KSR guys with dreadlocks and hangovers who only stay 2 weeks at a time if that much aren't so good, after all! But at least the principal gets his tea money (from the parents, who if they are wise will discontinue the whole program at first opportunity).

7. All farang teachers are not created equal. Some of them are qualified. Some of them are experienced. Some of them are even native speakers. Learn to tell the difference, and have at least some rudimentary benchmarks against which to compare your hires. If you can't do this yourself, hire someone who can (and make sure they don't get any financial rewards from any decision of yours to hire or not to hire). If you don't, then what's the difference (as far as you know) between your hire and an axe murderer?

"Steven"

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