On the one hand, I'm older and the world has changed, and on the other hand, the jobs that I get now are generally better (in terms of salary, if nothing else) and thus may attract a slightly different breed than the cruddy language schools I started at.
But it seems to me the "average" English teacher has changed.
In the beginning there were these people:
You had the Mean Old Bastard, the Bloated Middle Aged Alcoholic, the Hip Young Guy. They pretty much made up the bulk of language schools employees. Happily drunk, barely qualified, cheerfully amoral. There were the Frumpy Yet Idealistic Young Women and the Professionals, but not nearly so many. The Professional was usually the Director of Studies, and used a lot of jargon, but was often secretly even more depraved than the others. (Come to think of it, it's even been a while since I've heard the term "Director of Studies" used.)
This would have been the 90s.
In the 00s, things changed. Slowly, and more quickly in some places than others, but they changed. Other people started entering the trade.
And I drew cartoons about them.
I wrote a whole series of cartoons when I first started this site back in 2003 (!).
See my original cartoons, Part 1
See my original cartoons, Part 2
See my original cartoons, Part 3
But what about now?
Well, you'll still find all those people in the business. Just in different ratios.
So the Mean Old Bastards are still around, in smaller numbers, but they're mostly consigned to the shittiest jobs -- rural China, for example -- and clinging miserably to ever-crappier positions in the Middle East. In many cases the Drunk Middleaged Whoremongers became Mean Old Bastards, as it's not nearly so possible these days to stay drunk all the time and keep an English teaching job.
The Hip Young Dudes kind of surprised me, in that in many cases they have turned into the Professionals. They got Master's degrees and started being more discreet about fucking students, and turned their smarmy ways towards obtaining important positions at well-paying schools. Oh, of course, they occasionally turned in Middle Aged Whoremongers.
There aren't many Hip Young Dudes entering the business these days, because those guys all want to operate affiliate websites and do online marketing and all that kind of thing.
Now, the Frumpys?
The Frumpy Young Women tend to be Middle-Aged Women now, but they are fucking EVERYWHERE in TEFL now. They are much more confident, much more professional and qualified, even more blazingly indignant about social justice and GMO foods, but they're still pretty frumpy.
They've kind of combined with the Hip English Chick archetype, in fact, although I'm seeing a lot more American chicks than English these days. In any event there are a lot of 90s nose-rings still in evidence.
Many of the others are flat-out disappearing in these days of high demands for qualifications and experience. The Crazy Guys are mostly unemployable, rarely getting past Skype interviews. The Canadians and the Starting Over Guys, who were mostly just doing it for a short time, find it hard to get work. The Bullshit Artists can't verify their documents, and the Conspiracy Guys don't want to.
I am seeing a lot of these, in the modern era:
These couples used to be middle-aged, but now I'm seeing more relatively hip and young such couples.
What about the rest of you out there? I welcome your comments. Are my observations typical? Am I moving into such rarefied air in the world of ESL that my finger is far from the pulse, and instead jammed up my ass?
My collected book of cartoons will be FREE on Amazon, from September 28 to October 3
Get it HERE ON AMAZON