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Q: Managing Monitor of foreigners promotion.

Well, I'm seeking agreement about the ESL reality, not for myself for a friend.

An agency that was formed by the educational government that finds, trains, and send teachers to primary schools, now if you're a good teacher you get promoted, than you train and handle foreigners. Yep foreigners handling foreigners, now my friend is an amazing teacher, only been in China almost 2 years and my friend is excited about the promotion to train and handle foreigners and exit teaching to handle "to be teachers".

My friend was seeking the normal promotion congratulations, but as some on EChina know me, I'm too honest and that's me, so I told my friend that: "Yeah promotions are nice salary wise (sometimes), but in the ESL reality that's no such thing as a real manager, they are instant targets when handling foreigners, now if you were promoted in IBM or HUAWEI we'd be celebrating, but to me being a small time foreign manager in the ESL market is the most unrealistic job title that it gives it self, Director or CEO in ESL, that's different.

Anyone knows that foreigners handling foreigners = disagreements, arguments and stress that makes you drink your a** off come Friday's.

I've refused many small time manager job offers that involve handling teachers because I've done it before and the channel between Chinese & foreigners is very hard if not impossible to balance and please both sides. (Plus made more after work, being a manager would cut into that extra money.)

I don't know how to explain to my good friend that this isn't something or a challenge to be excited about, it's a stress trap. My friend is very pro, so good, maybe too good, because the low time teacher will feel out classed and automatically feel unqualified for the task once my friend tries to match them up their standards, I saw a MASH episode when Margaret came back from her Honeymoon and she said her new husband Donald turned off after being out classed and out ranked by higher class army officers and their achievements during a bar night.

If the new teachers feel like Donlad, well they blame, leave, or argue or worse. Or even teachers that match qualifications will try to match up to feel respected, there are so many holes to fall into.

I don't know how to save my friends from this reality. Foreigners handling foreigners 6 days a week? Scary. We come from all walks of life, from OJ teachers to Ozzy teachers, even down to Mr Bean teachers. Even myself would be hard to handle after 15 years of teaching in Asia. I don't think I'm alone when admitting this truth.

What's your take?

1 year 44 weeks ago in  Business & Jobs - China

 
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I did a job like that for one of the biggest esl mills in China for about 2 years. It was soul destroying and I am not ashamed to say, I burnt out.

 

The problem is when you give a shit and nobody else does, it drains you. I found that a large proportion are basically untrainable or refuse to be trained and make a bigger effort to make your life more difficult than it has to be.

 

It was like trying to pick up a dog turd by the clean end.

 

There are some that embrace the process but they are few and far between.

 

Not to mention, the unreasonable demands put on you by your Chinese overlords who expect you to manage a full class load AND get people who have no interest in developing their skill up to speed. To get curriculum development to go forward is an impossible dream because even the tiniest decision will require dozens of meeting to which you are not invited and will take months/years to make (personal experience).

 

In my opinion, a relatively new guy like your friend probably isn't as jaded as those of us that have been here a while and may have a better chance of making something of it. Doing it for himself as a professional, and not as a step up the ladder is not a bad move. Not only is it great on your resume but by training the detrius of the esl world, you do hone your own skills a lot.

 

In short, for personal and professional growth it isn't a bad thing. Doing it to climb the ladder is a fool's errand. An esl teacher/trainer simply isn't going to be offered a genuine role with any scope for real advancement.

 

I was once told, and I quote: "You are doing a fantastic job with the teaching department and are extremely qualified but we will never give you a promotion to a management position because Chinese are treated badly in the west." I was a little butt-hurt when a new graduate was given the management role over me but I did appreciate the honesty.

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1 year 44 weeks ago
 
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Posts: 2778

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I did a job like that for one of the biggest esl mills in China for about 2 years. It was soul destroying and I am not ashamed to say, I burnt out.

 

The problem is when you give a shit and nobody else does, it drains you. I found that a large proportion are basically untrainable or refuse to be trained and make a bigger effort to make your life more difficult than it has to be.

 

It was like trying to pick up a dog turd by the clean end.

 

There are some that embrace the process but they are few and far between.

 

Not to mention, the unreasonable demands put on you by your Chinese overlords who expect you to manage a full class load AND get people who have no interest in developing their skill up to speed. To get curriculum development to go forward is an impossible dream because even the tiniest decision will require dozens of meeting to which you are not invited and will take months/years to make (personal experience).

 

In my opinion, a relatively new guy like your friend probably isn't as jaded as those of us that have been here a while and may have a better chance of making something of it. Doing it for himself as a professional, and not as a step up the ladder is not a bad move. Not only is it great on your resume but by training the detrius of the esl world, you do hone your own skills a lot.

 

In short, for personal and professional growth it isn't a bad thing. Doing it to climb the ladder is a fool's errand. An esl teacher/trainer simply isn't going to be offered a genuine role with any scope for real advancement.

 

I was once told, and I quote: "You are doing a fantastic job with the teaching department and are extremely qualified but we will never give you a promotion to a management position because Chinese are treated badly in the west." I was a little butt-hurt when a new graduate was given the management role over me but I did appreciate the honesty.

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1 year 44 weeks ago
 
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Done it myself, I lasted about four months. Just not worth the hassle! You think that getting out of the classroom to a 'proper' job will be better but the work doubles and the aggro triples. Not worth the candle. Best to try to get out of the ESL market altogether and set yourself up in something else if at all possible. That's what we did.

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1 year 44 weeks ago
 
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It depends on how much actual control the manager has. If he's merely the FT figurehead, then nope - not worth it!

 

If, however, the agency is serious about it, and genuinely wants your friend's input, then yeah - great opportunity not to be dismissed!

 

However... if your friend only has 2 years teaching experience, then they obviously aren't serious, and s/he's in for a world of hurt!

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1 year 44 weeks ago
 
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Yeah I went down that road too, and while it did have some merit I mostly hated it. Most of the people I know who have been in China more than a couple of years did the same thing and after the initial buzz of a new life challenge I don't think many people really like it.

 

Being a good teacher doesn't necessarily translate to being a good manager and just because you enjoy teaching doesn't mean you'll enjoy the new, completely different job.

 

That said,I encourage your friend to give it a go if that's what he/she wants to do. Stagnating in the same job can be soul destroying too, what's the point of traveling to the other side of the world looking to experience new things etc if you don't take advantage of the opportunities that come up that may point you in a new direction in your life?

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1 year 44 weeks ago
 
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Been there and done that. It was a matter of foreign teachers being against me and losing respect for me. You are basically in the middle of everything. The school wants something to be done and you need to delegate accordingly. It was so bad that after being sworn at I almost got physical with a good friend of mine. I eventually told the school that I would rather just be a normal teacher again. They allowed this and guess what? I'm still here as a teacher after many years and I'm happy. The rest of the teachers have left ages ago. They promoted one of the ladies to this supervisory position and we work great together. I know how many difficulties she faces so I will always support her.

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1 year 43 weeks ago
 
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Smart enough to have turned down the 'opportunity' at every turn . Being a middle manager at poorly run schools with no authority to do anything means nothing. 

 

Being proud and celebrating something that is a non-achievement is silly. 

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1 year 43 weeks ago
 
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don't waste your time. keep your sanity. and keep your friends. Management in China doesn't exist as we know it in North America. It does have a nice ring to it. But management is about managing things. People are not things. People need to be lead by leaders with qualifications to lead and people skills. This exists in China, but in sparingly small amounts. This management means you get to tell the foreign teachers what the leader has told you to tell the foreign teacher. end of story.

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1 year 43 weeks ago
 
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