What can teachers do about problem bosses?

Help, tips and advice in teaching English

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What can teachers do about problem bosses?

Unread postby Megan » 03 Apr 2004, 15:44

I work for a private school where the director of studies(also the owner) does absolutely nothing to help us poor teachers. We are expected to learn by telepathy. I have never worked for another school but I have WORKED before and it's not difficult to notice lack of any kind of training etc. I have started to take matters into my own hands, to the delight of the head teacher(I'm a little better trained in this aspect of management than him), but I have nowhere to turn for help, guidance etc. How do I know I'm even teaching well? Us teachers have started to help each other because it's the only way, and the internet has become my mentor, but I'm fast approaching a major burn out and I feel resentful because it's spoiling my enjoyment and professional development. Unfortunately, there's not much more on offer where I live so, Auntie Lucy, please give me some advice as to how to cope! There's no point bringing the matter up with the head because I know him and he couldn't cope with the responsibility, organization etc, and I don't think asking for more money would go down too well! But I can't just do it for me. I'm not like that. I want to work in a team!

From a frustrated English teacher. :(

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Problem bosses

Unread postby Lucy » 07 Apr 2004, 15:15

Dear Megan,

I would suggest that the first thing you look at is whether you really want to stay in this job or not. Only you will know the answer to this. What other opportunities are there for you in your area? If there aren’t many, you need to consider what your link is with your town and your reasons for staying. Which is best for you: to stay or to move on? If you decide to move on, get as much information as possible about your new destination and /or new school.

If you decide to stay, think about how to improve your time at work. You can check out my answers on how to work on your professional development and how to evaluate your teaching. You can also find out about IATEFL events in your area; they are present in most countries and organise conferences, send out newsletters and keep EFL teachers in contact with each other. You can also keep in regular contact with the various EFL websites. Depending on your relationship with the Head Teacher, you could volunteer to take care of one aspect of his work. This would provide you with variety and would ease his workload. However, some owners and head teachers see the school as their “baby” so care is needed in your approach.

It sounds as if you are a dedicated and caring teacher and colleague. You also sound like someone who is motivated and determined. So whatever you choose to do, you’ll probably succeed. So pick your targets and objectives carefully.

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