Teaching troubles

Mistreatment of freelance teachers in Germany

I am a freelance teacher in Germany and have had some quite unfair treatment from language schools. I do not want to give my name and location but I would like to invite anyone with a story to tell (anonymous or not) to share experiences. Quite simply that.

OK; so now we are getting closer. Sounds like you have had some experience with the German education and service system. What exactly do you mean by ‘unfrair treatment’?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Window washers[YSaerTTEW443543]

difficulty getting paid for a month’s work, attitudes of school managers (condescension, snobbishness) class sizes, amount paid per unit of teaching - I am finding that standards and treatment of teachers in commercial schools are getting progressively worse - I find that these scholls are treating freelance teachers like slaves through disorganised and over-crowded teaching situations and I’m getting a bit pissed off with it, quite frankly. It’s destroying my trust in people as well as eating away my desire to do a job that I’ve enjoyed doing for a very long time.

Well, I understand what you mean. What do you think is the reason for the current situation? And why are you a freelance ESL teacher?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Working in the garden[YSaerTTEW443543]

I’m an esl teacher because it’s something I quite enjoy doing. I think that commercial schools are mostly only in it for the money and are more and more trying to squeeze an extra bit of work out of people like me who are rsident here and need to make an honest living. In the last few years I’ve seen hourly pay come down and general friendliness from schools diminish. It’s difficult to define, but from experience I can see this happening and I wondered if there were other people out there who shared this feeling. Some of the people that run schools in this city, for instance (which I won’t name yet because I don’t want to be identified and frozen out of possible work…), are real assholes who couldn’t care less about the pupils or about the teachers: they’re in it for money only, and I could name some big names in the commercial schools here…

Hi again, you are right. It’s probably best to offer your teaching and training services to clients and customers direct instead of working for a school. Have you thought about that?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Holding a box[YSaerTTEW443543]

[color=blue]Something of the kind is happening at this side of the pond, once upon a time, when teaching English was well paid. Nowadays is not, if you get paid minimum wage for six- hour-a day-work it is a lot.

Hi Tititeacher

I was very impressed about your story. Next term I am going to the Czech Republic to teach Spanish, and I would not want to go through the difficulties you told us about.

Bad working experiences can be very discouraging. As for language teaching, I think that people in general do not appreciate our job. They do not realize how difficult it is.

I have recently done a course on ELE (Spanish as a second language), which I enjoyed very much. It was based on a communicative method: “m?todo nocio-funcional”, in Spanish. I suppose that the name is very similar in English. I also learnt a little about task-based language teaching. Those methods taught me that teaching, and learning, a language, can be a very creative process. But these methods ask the teacher for a lot of work too. I have the feeling that some schools want the teacher to be skillfull, and to prepare their classes thoroughly, but then these academies will not pay you for the extra work you have done.

I have heard some Spanish teachers complain about how badly paid their job is. It is always the same: you accept to earn less so that you do not lose your job. But I am sure that not all the language schools are the same. Actually, the school where I had that course in ELE teaches Spanish too, and I heard the teachers said that they were reasonably paid. Also, I know an English teacher in another school who is quite happy with the money he earns. On the other hand, there is a lousy academy in the same town too: bad salary, old-fashioned methods, etc.

What I want to say is that even though many, or most language schools, are badly run, there is always the chance that you find a good one.

I suppose that you have already looked for a better school. I am not trying to give you the magical solution: I have no experience, and I know nothing about language teaching in Germany. But I noticed that you were very disappointed, and I want to explain to you that there must be some good language schools where you can work.

I hope to hear from you soon, and that you carry good news with you.