Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Teacher Gripes

I have taught ESL in three countries already (the Philippines, Thailand and Australia) but my career has never been as uncertain as when I moved to the last one. It is not taken seriously here.

In the Philippines and Thailand, I was assured that I would have a job at least for a year and these contracts were renewed automatically. It was not a problem planning ahead.
It is true that you need only a university degree in English to be able to teach in those countries legally. You will find a lot of backpacker English teachers who do not care about teaching or improving their skills.

South Australia imposes a very high standard in teaching. One has to have a postgraduate course in Education or Teaching before he/she can be considered. There are also some training certificates required even in Adult Education. That means 1 1/2 years of full-time studies on top of a Bachelors degree.

Once employed, the teacher will enjoy a very good hourly rate but the advantage of teaching in Australia ends there.

Even if you have already spent tens of thousands on your education, you will be employed as a relief or casual teacher not just for the first six months, not just for the first year, not just for the first two years...but for the first five years.
That means no sick pay and no holiday pay. That also means no pay during the school holiday. You will only earn money when you teach and that means you are practically unemployed for almost half of the year.

Since you are a casual worker, you can be sacked any time the employer wants. No wonder there is always a shortage here.

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