How not to commit career suicide?

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How not to commit career suicide?

Unread postby vichart » 24 May 2012, 20:14

Hi there,

I'm a London based CELTA qualified teacher with one year's experience of teaching General English at a BC accredited school in London. I'm currently unemployed and I'm facing a bit of a dilemma over my rather limited job options and would really appreciate some advice.

I have been offered a summer position at EF, who are refusing to disclose the terms and conditions of the post until the day I will be expected to sign the contract. Teachers are also asked to complete a significant number of unpaid training sessions, and to pay £50 for their CRB checks, which will not be reimbursed. This is leading me to suspect that the pay will be really poor.

In the meantime, I have been offered interviews at a couple of other schools for longer term work- one is a Berlitz school, and another one that doesn't have BC accreditation. I also see a fair number of ads for long term posts at various Callan method schools. My question is whether I'd be stupid to be picky about the schools, given the lack of long term positions available in the UK at the moment (I've been out of work since January)... would it be a bad career move to teach Callan or Berlitz (I don't know much about the Berlitz method, but I think it's similar to Callan??) or in a non-accredited school in favour of longer term stability, or should I take the temporary contract with EF, knowing that I'll be unemployed again in September, may be just as badly paid, but will at least be working at an accredited school using the more highly regarded communicative method? I know that taking longer term work sounds like a more sensible option, I'm just worried that it's still a bit early in my TEFL career to move into teaching with an unorthodox method and the deskilling that it might entail. The same applies to teaching at non-BC accredited school in the UK- would it be career suicide?

If it helps, my longer term career goals would be to teach in Paris in 2013, and then to move into teaching EAP after I've gained enough experience to do the DELTA.

Sorry there's rather a lot of questions there! I'm just despairing a little over the lack of decent long-term contracts in the UK at the moment- going abroad is not an option for me until 2013, for personal reasons.

Many thanks for your time.
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Re: How not to commit career suicide?

Unread postby Alex Case » 25 May 2012, 22:40

Is it a summer job in a year-round EF centre (e.g. EF Waterloo) or just a basic EF summer school job? If the latter, being BC accredited doesn't mean much because summer school accreditation is much slacker, and so in that situation I'd take a longer term job. Especially if you want to take the Delta, number of years of full-time teaching on your CV is the most important thing anyway.
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Re: How not to commit career suicide?

Unread postby vichart » 26 May 2012, 15:47

Hi Alex, thanks for your reply. It's for a year-round centre, with a small possibility of continuing work in September (depending on the competition) but obviously not guaranteed.
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Re: How not to commit career suicide?

Unread postby Rusmeister » 27 May 2012, 10:15

EF has always paid its teachers poorly, abroad, anyway. I remember in Moscow in the 1990's, when the going rate at language centers was $15/hr, I walked into an EF interview and found they were offering $6.
I didn't slam the door on my way out...
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Re: How not to commit career suicide?

Unread postby Lucy » 27 May 2012, 15:01

It sounds to me as if you are dealing with a number of issues/problems all at the same time. I think you need to get clear about your priorities and then it should become clear to you what you need to do.

I would also be suspicious of a school who do not wish to disclose terms of employment before you sign the contract. If you choose to accept their offer, remember: you don’t have to sign the contract immediately you see it. You can take time to read it, think about it and ask for advice before you sign. In any case, that offer doesn’t sound great and reading between the lines of what you write, you are tending that way yourself.

If getting a long-term job is your priority, you should think carefully about Berlitz. Consider the economic situation. If you accept the summer position, you will be out of work in September when there will be more competition for long-term jobs. As Alex said, if your intention is to do the Dip, years of teaching will count. I don’t know anything about the Callan method. From what I have heard from teachers at Berlitz, they are free to introduce their own methods of teaching. It may not be so limiting.

My advice is to consider what your priorities are and to keep your long-term goals in mind.
If you’d like to discuss it more, you can PM me or post another question.

Lucy
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Re: How not to commit career suicide?

Unread postby vichart » 29 May 2012, 17:27

Thanks Lucy- I'll send you a PM as I'm a little paranoid about this being read by the prospective employers named above. I might even delete the original post...
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Re: How not to commit career suicide?

Unread postby Rusmeister » 30 May 2012, 06:58

That's why it is vital to conduct business under a pseudonym and make it as difficult as possible to connect your various online activities (and the scary thing is when even honest people needto do that!)
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