Terrible Boss?

Discussion about TEFL jobs in Europe

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Mary-Kate
Member
Posts: 1
Joined: 03 Aug 2019, 21:58
Status: Teacher

Terrible Boss?

Unread post by Mary-Kate » 03 Aug 2019, 22:22

I would like an opinion about my current boss because I would like to know if others have been/are in the same situation as me...

A little bit about me: I've been teaching for 8 years and have a CELTA, TEFL and I'm an examiner for Pearson, Cambridge and IELTS. I've worked in Spain, Holland, Italy, Austria and now live in Germany.

I love my job and I would never change it. However, my boss is a narcissist and very competitive. I HAVE to follow all her lesson plans, materials and use course books which are not exactly to my taste nor style. Sometimes, naturally, I like to add my own materials but she hates it. She has a regimented way of doing things and micro-manages me. She has never even seen me teach but she continues to make horrid comments about my style and way of doing things. I got shining feedback from all my courses apart from one thing: the course-books we're using - the students hate them. This did not go down well. She said that I wasn't open-minded about using her materials and that the students would LIKE the books more if I liked them. "Teachers have an influence on students so if you don't like something, they also won't do it". True, I guess, but in this case they actually just didn't like the books. She's had 4 teachers leave this year because they can't stand her, the terrible contract we have and/or the teaching method.

Now, I have ALWAYS had great feedback from students in the 8 years I've been teaching and have never doubted my methods or style of teaching. However, after hearing these comments over and over I have begun to doubt myself and I hate that. She's made me feel that I'm a bad teacher or that I should be perfect ALL the time. Working at this company with this boss has made me sick, stressed and sometimes miserable. I've been in hospital for two months because of stress-related problems. She's lovely one minute and then insanely horrid the next and I don't know where I stand. I'm a nervous wreck and the students can see this.

Of course, she has no sympathy and she's done everything and been everywhere and has always been worse off than everyone else. That's her flaw: she doesn't LISTEN to people. The funny thing is: she's a leadership and change consultant. WTF? She can't even lead or keep her own employees. Total fraud.

What should I do? Has anyone been in this situation?

harvey
Member
Posts: 1
Joined: 09 Sep 2019, 19:47
Status: Teacher

Re: Terrible Boss?

Unread post by harvey » 09 Sep 2019, 20:11

Hi there, I empathize with you. I also had a terrible boss too and similar to yours. I made the mistake of working for a school that was relatively new in a franchise, but run by somebody with no experience of teaching. There was no DOS and the person running the school claimed to cover this role and almost everything else. Morgan Schools in Italy are a franchise operation which has been growing rapidly in recent years. However it seems that for the sake of business, they open a few schools that are badly run with unprofessional management. One of their terrible schools is the branch in San Benedetto del Tronto (Marche). This school is a small and new school that has very limited resources and has given people very bad training. The school has a director who is incompetent in running the school and doing basic administration. Teachers who need to speak about certain issues are intimidated in approaching the director for support. Just to enter the office is a daunting experience. The director, Stefania Stazi, has personal issues and deals with her personal affairs in her office. This often results in a 'get out' attitude and a closed door policy when teachers need to speak to her. Very unwelcoming behaviour.

Teachers who need support are often not given what they need as the Director does not make the effort to really engage with a teacher and discuss the courses and materials. Over-time is never paid unless a teacher has to beg the director to pay. She gets some kind of power trip over requests for over-time to be paid. This is an unprofessional environment to work in. Teachers are required to work 27 hours and anything over is extra pay. However, this school always try to shy away from paying that overtime. They enjoy hiding the extra pay and trying to claim it was in regular time. It is a great strategy that they use to exploit teachers and save their money. You must keep very close accounts of your hours to ensure that you get the full pay that you are owed. The director of San Benedetto's branch has her personal issues which she brings into the working environment, often with mood swings which can be frustrating and result in mis-information about courses and teaching materials. Many classes have students who are not the correct level for their course. Also students in some classes are at mixed levels which is not effective for the learning environment. However, the director claims to be 'always right'. Concerns about courses may be eventually heard but need to be repeatedly stated before the director will even understand and consider what you are saying. The students of courses who are in mixed levels often have problems and complain. But Morgan School always like to blame the teacher for this, even when it is the school who put the students together and caused the problem in the first place. But, it's OK for the director as she just wants to get her money from students, regardless of which class she thinks is right for them. Observations of classes are never conducted.

The director is far too busy with personal matters and she does not care about the teaching, but just the money she gets out of the students. The director is a stupid old woman who does not know how to run a language school. Approaching her about issues is normally a daunting task which should be avoided. She resembles the guard dog in the cage, and she is far too important as she sits on her big back side. Her cage is her office and her private place, not so open or welcoming. This is especially when you need to ask for wages that have not been paid or over-time. Stefania Stazi has never been a teacher herself, but she knows how to exploit and abuse the teachers who work for her. She is a cheat, liar and thief. The only time that the administration of the school works well, is when payments are taken from students in reception. Most other times it can be rather inadequate and teachers need to spend a lot more extra time in dealing with this, especially as the director is too important to disturb in her little cage. So any issues and concerns about courses are so difficult to openly discuss. The director employs her own sisters to help her run the school, but not real professionals. So it's an amateur school for people who want to have fun and relax. Not for serious students. Stefania does not respect or care about her native English teachers, as she only cares about herself and her money. Her mood swings can be unpleasant. Stefania is a most terrible boss and horrible person when she gets moody. So, keep away from this woman and her school.

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