British School, Vilanova I la Geltru - warning

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julieross
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Joined: 20 Jul 2009, 14:25
Status: Teacher

British School, Vilanova I la Geltru - warning

Unread post by julieross » 20 Jul 2009, 14:56

Hello, We would like to empower other teachers about the downfalls in working for this school, as we and many others have had an extremely disppointing and upsetting experience here, and we feel it is important that other dedicated and professional teachers like ourselves do not end up in this situation. So that you understand this is not just two peoples view please realise that this school advertises every 6 months for teachers. You will recieve no support at this school , no observations of your teaching, no respect as a teacher and you will never here anything positive said to you, in fact mostly you will be spoken to like a child. Class sizes here are very big and even if a teacher has booked time off no cover will be given and classes will be doubled up with different levels. There is no interest in your classes , the only interest shown is when parents come in. Students are streamed in the wrong levels of classes. Many teachers classes are cut at some point even though you think you have been contracted for a certain amount of ours and to thoroughly disrepect the teachers the students are told about this in advance and the teachers are told at the last minute being told you're contract 'is for however many hours I need you'. Your contract will only be given to you in catalan and you are made to feel stupid by asking for a. translation (which is not given). Asking for books and even board pens is followed with a barrage of checking up and at the end of your contract you will find that you will be made to feel responsible for any books missing . There are many other unpleasant things that I and others can tell you, we feel deeply saddened that a school can have one face for its students and a completely demoralising way of treating its staff. Please be warned that this will be a thoroughly unpleasant experience with no support, compassion or respect. J. Ross-Edwards/Gemma Campion

gemmamajor
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Joined: 29 Jan 2010, 14:57
Status: New Teacher

Re: British School, Vilanova I la Geltru - warning

Unread post by gemmamajor » 29 Jan 2010, 15:48

I couldn't disagree more with this post. What truly saddens me is that you would go out of your way to slander this school and its employees.
I worked here for several summers in succession and found that advice and support was given to me in abundance. My employer was also generous enough to pick me up from the aiport when I arrived, drive me to the hostel she had found for me and pay for my first weeks' stay until a more permanent accomodation (which she herself had found) became available. When I moved into the flat, she personally introduced me to my flatmates/co-workers and I found them to be personable and friendly people. Neither complained once about their working conditions. Other (non-teaching) staff members were extremely open, spoke English surprisingly well and helped me aclimate myself to the difference in culture in Spain. An issue that may be the cause of some of your negative experiences.
I would also like to clear up the point about the contracts in Catalan. In Catalonia, by law, contracts must be written in Catalan, not Spanish.
As far as there being a lack of 'observations of your teaching', I personally prefer not to be 'observed' as it is distracting and, as a fully qualified teacher with years of experience, I would have considered that disrespectful.
I agree that the classrooms were big. But I found the space to be an asset, leaving room for floor activities and more creative/art-based teaching methods. Moreover, in my experiences teaching here, my employer was extremely open to my ideas and more active teaching methods.
Also, your mention of 'checking up' on missing, misused or damaged material/books seems to me to be a common situation in smaller schools. It may be the books aren't cheap or are no longer easy to get a hold of in Spain and they're therefore protective of them. I would be surprised not to be held accountable for losing, damaging or mistreating material belonging to any school, big or small.
Lastly, it may be helpful to point out that respect is not received where it is not given. I have no complaints about this school or its emplyees other than perhaps that I could not stay longer!
Gemma Major[/size]

lequack
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Joined: 08 Apr 2010, 18:37
Status: New Teacher

Re: British School, Vilanova I la Geltru - warning

Unread post by lequack » 08 Apr 2010, 19:30

Is anybody else suspicious of the poor grammar that is to be found in these messages.

English teachers?

chitchat
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Joined: 24 Aug 2010, 18:04
Status: Other

Re: British School, Vilanova I la Geltru - warning

Unread post by chitchat » 24 Aug 2010, 18:24

I am so happy to see that someone has finally exposed this school for what it is. I worked there in 2001/2002 and out of my 5 years teaching English this was the WORST experience that I had.
The teachers were all treated badly and everyone left at the end of the year (or earlier) meaning a whole load of new teachers every year. I can't really describe just how awful this whole experience was (but see the first email which gives a good description) and I strongly urge anyone who is thinking of working here to think twice!

SwissBiffa
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Joined: 05 Aug 2010, 11:12
Status: Teacher Trainer

Re: British School, Vilanova I la Geltru - warning

Unread post by SwissBiffa » 24 Aug 2010, 21:50

The reply by Gemma Major sounds like either the boss wrote it or one or his/her minnions. Why should one not "go out of their way" to highlight shoddy unprofessional and often inhumane working practices? Why also, if one has so many years of experience, should they be worried at being observed? If they are such good teachers, then this would be an enlightening experience for the observer and a doddle for the teacher being observed. No one teacher should be above potential criticism, professionally constructive of course! I can't speak for julieross, but in my experience, teachers working outside their own native land generally "aclimate" (sic) themselves well and enjoy the experience of living and participating in a different culture. What I actually found funny here was that the complaint of "class sizes" ie: the number of students, was met with a reply about the relevant space available! Worth a million in miscomprehension bloopers that one!!!

systematic
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Joined: 21 Apr 2008, 12:38
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Re: British School, Vilanova I la Geltru - warning

Unread post by systematic » 11 Sep 2010, 07:06

What julieross describes is fairly commonplace throughout the entire world of 'teaching abroad'. Spain is a relatively civilised Western European country - wait till you get to Asia. Welcome to TEFL !

Username11
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Joined: 19 Oct 2017, 02:24
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Re: British School, Vilanova I la Geltru - warning

Unread post by Username11 » 19 Oct 2017, 03:10

Hi,

I would like to update this thread for the 2017 season, as if I had learned of this thread prior to accepting a position at British School Vilanova, I would never have taken the position. Everything the original poster has written is accurate regarding this school.

In smaller private language schools, I have been told that poor administration, restricted use of printers/photocopiers and outdated technology was to be expected. Certainly I was prepared for these small inconveniences and adapted to the schools regulations quite happily. However, what no-one should be expected to adapt to is a Director of Studies who is so insecure about her business that she is willing to emotionally manipulate and viciously lie to coerce teachers to adapt to her immaturity.

Before I had left, 2 other new teachers had walked out on this school. During one meeting, the DOS used the tactic of implying that I had caused one of these teachers to leave and that it was somehow a fault in my character that she couldn't keep this teacher.

On another occasion, having been irked by my legal right to ask for a copy of my contract 2 days in a row, she then decided to announce that she had received reports from parents that I had been 'throwing books at children'. When I immediately interjected that I had never done such a thing, she said 'well, you slammed a book on a table'. This is an incredibly serious allegation to make about a teacher, and for her to so quickly change her original accusation cemented her immaturity in my mind.

English Language schools in Vilanova are quite prevalent, and due to this competition, keeping clientele was this DoS's only concern. There were children of 5 and 6 who were moved up levels who should have never been in that level. This DoS would highlight the need for the workbooks to be fully completed to evidence to the parents their progress, and yet these children hardly know how to write. This seems to be done to keep business turning over but also to assure parents that their child is progressing when in fact they are not. It's not about the quality of the teaching, but rather about keeping parents happy here.

I hope this may help any future teachers to avoid such unprofessional employers as the one I am describing.

Densie
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Joined: 04 Aug 2018, 20:37
Status: Prospective Teacher

Re: British School, Vilanova I la Geltru - warning

Unread post by Densie » 04 Aug 2018, 20:40

Thank you for this update Username1. I was about to apply to this school but thankfully I checked on here first ;)

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