Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Changing Face of English Teaching, Part 2 (Or: This Shit is Ancient History)

Read Part 1 here

I was sitting and perusing my first book, the English Teacher X Guide to Teaching English Abroad.

I was considering doing a new edition for 2017.

But I'm thinking:

This shit is ancient history. English teaching just isn't like this anymore. 

The meat of that book was written between 2003 and 2007. English teaching (and the world) has changed a lot since it was published in 2011.

Of course my impression is colored by my current job, and my last job, where I was working with a lot of people with primary and high school teaching experience -- actual licensed teachers -- and words like "scaffolding" got tossed around a lot. Places where telling a story about a night at a go-go bar in Pattaya is more likely to get you a somber lecture about the realities of sex trafficking and AIDS rather than laughter.

But then I look at the want-ads on TEFL.com and so forth -- there damn sure are still a lot of $1000 a month jobs left out there, despite all the new requests for state teaching qualifications and master's degrees and all that.

They can't all be full of frumpy female teachers, can they? Married couples and people with kids?

Can they?

Give me some input. Are there still language institutes out there where most of the staff is drunk all the time, where the teachers and the students freely bump uglies, where words like "scaffolding" are reserved for something to watch out for when drunkenly wandering through construction sites?

Or are those days gone forever, a thing of the past like the three-martini lunches of MAD MEN?

I mean, I don't care -- I barely drink at all anymore. I'm not pining for the old days, particularly.

Just wondering,

I mean it's a whole new world in general, and not a particularly light-hearted one.

Just curious.

Anybody still having fun out there?


Some Guy in Vietnam said...

From what I saw in Saudi and even now in Vietnam, there are plenty of shenanigans still going about. Vietnam actually has plenty of fit Expat girls mucking about and I dated more in Saudi than I was expecting.

What you see now are more "work hard, play hard" types. They'll talk seriously and sternly about scaffolding, multiple intelligences and delivering dynamic lessons but still hit the pub or the bong just as hard on a school night.

Personally, I prefer my drunken louts and loutesses to be knowledgeable on their fucking job. Japan I remember being a black hole of people being the exact stereotype you mention. Not I though. Oh no not me. At all.


englishteacherx said...

Yeah, I have seen a lot of good-looking foreign women in Beijing, also -- usually tagging along with their husband and child. It's true that I'm seeing more hell-raising women in ESL than men, these days, and that'll be an issue for the next post..

Anonymous said...

I think people got smart, realized getting a proper teaching certificate and then hitting the International School circuit allowed for a long term career, better money/benefits, and still loads of foreign debauchery....while mainting a savings/retirement!

Alex Thomas said...

Is it possible to get an international job with just a degree and a teaching certificate and no teaching experience?

Anonymous said...

Yes, but those are usually the lower tier or for profit cowboy international schools....the top tier do require 2-3 years prior experience.

englishteacherx said...

If you have a state teaching certificate or whatever equovalent license or qualification in your home country, rather that just an ESL certificate, those seem to swing a lot of weight these days.

Alex Thomas said...

Do international schools generally look at GPA/college transcripts? I want to go abroad and have a CELTA but was concerned about long term career aspects going that route if I wanted to come back to the US. I got accepted into an alternative cert program to get a teaching certificate but am concerned my poor GPA and transcripts (2.7 economics degree withdrawing from a lot of classes first couple years) would keep me from finding a job in the states without experience. Do international schools generally look at GPA/transcripts like US schools do?

Anonymous said...

It depends on the type of school we're talking about. Some "international schools" are really just there for status and have no actual accreditation. These are the cowboy type outfits that the Anon above referred to.

I think less than the withdrawals, a school is likely to ask you about your GPA given that you have no experience. The kids who go to even the cowboy outfits often have a better grasp on English and better work ethic than most of their teachers.

That said, there are some places that are desperate for people and if you look like a better candidate than most, you can very well get lucky. It's not impossible nor even improbable. It just doesn't land on your lap.

For what it's worth, I've heard of one school in Cambodia that is sketchy but often takes in people and gives a more-than-reasonable salary for Phnom Penh. Only catch is that you have fall in line with the morales of the Turkish cult that runs it. I don't want to mention them explicitly by name but think that gives enough to begin a Googlin'.

englishteacherx said...

"international school" it seems can mean a lot of different things; international students or international curriculum and there seem to be places that use it if they just have an international staff.

Darzin said...

Oh they still exist I was in Vietnam two years ago and you get backpacker types staying or kids coming right out of university. There was a group of my friends who went out every night till three or four and then taught little kids at 8. Which is crazy, I didn't start work until 5 PM so any night I wanted i could head to the backpacker street and party. Those jobs still exist but you've moved passed them. The set is a bit different from your times. A lot more chicks, and in Southeast Asia a lot of gap year girls who like to party neither frumpy nor idealistic. In Vietnam at least this dynamic has lead to less interaction with locals of my friends there I was the only one who had a significant circle of local friends.

Anonymous said...

Somewhere in Central Europe, finding your own students/companies, renting out apartments on AirBnB, ordering shit from dark net markets to places you still have letterbox keys for and having a fully flexible schedule results in a fair few shenanigans. Feel a 3 day bender coming on? Just postpone everything.

Staff rooms seem a bit dry recently, however. People take things way too seriously. I think globalisation and culture shifts are to blame. People have no bollocks.