There are ups and downs in EFL careers, especially when you move around. For some reason there is a serious percentage of EFL schools that are dodgy either in what they do or how they do it. I am yet to meet more than a handful of similarly minded teachers, in fact, most of us are professional and strive for the best but who get burned. Some don’t get paid, receive contracts, get fired with no warning or just treated badly on a day-to-day basis.
I understand why so many get out of the industry because it’s so hard to stay in it. How many others are full of short term or no contracts and chasing hours and pay, unpaid prep, travel and holidays? But still we soldier on because we feel we are making a difference to our students.
Well, I think I have just had a brush with another of these ‘unsavoury institutions’ and it certainly puts you off continuing. I mean, why keep struggling to find work and develop yourself when nobody is bothered, you won’t get a FT job and there’s no praise or reward from above or below? At this precise moment I am more than willing to stick everything in the bin and just jump ship. This would end the continual battle that is freelancing that splits prepping with job hunting, chasing payments and interviewing.
I love EFL and teaching and all I ask in return is to be treated by an employer fairly and respected, when I earn it, by my students. Yet, the former is quite often to provided and here in France there are laws against slander so it means you can’t even tell anyone about your bad treatment. Thus, teachers get stiffed and we are expected to take it because as some say “we are not real teachers’. Well, I taught one yesterday and he just reads books to his students who mainly sleep or lean back on their chairs. He isn’t interested in teaching methodology as “learning isn’t interesting, students just have to do it”. That’s a far cry from us constantly developing EFLers.
So, should I put this latest event down to experience and trundle on with my desire to become the best possible teacher I can be and setup and run innovative courses? I mean, half the time my students aren’t really interested and couldn’t tell the difference between an MA level lesson and a dustbin or am I just doing it to prove something to myself? Whichever it is perhaps now is the right to make logical decisions and find/choose a reputable employer and position, if it exists. Or maybe it is the right time to move on or sideways. Then again it may just be time to get my boots out and become a lumberjack. We shall see…..