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Why American teachers quit their jobs Options
TheParser
Posted: Saturday, April 15, 2017 11:18:50 AM
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The following letter appeared in the April 15, 2017, edition of the Los Angeles Times. Since I am computer illiterate, I cannot link to it.

*****

As a high school English teacher with 10 years of experience in the classroom, I want to adamantly stress that there is only one overriding reason teachers quit: the steady erosion of authority and respect.

Too many students are out of control, and there are zero standards of behavior for them. Take any large high school in Los Angeles and look at the manner in which officials address discipline. You'll find that teachers are on their own once they close that classroom door.

Students can do anything with impunity. Many parents don't care about their children's behavior, and principals often treat disruptive students like high-powered clients due to the litigious nature of our society.

The truth is, effective teachers aren't too concerned about earning a higher salary. This fight is for our survival and, I would argue, that of society itself.



Alejandro Escude
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Saturday, April 15, 2017 1:41:50 PM

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I rue.Coz I thought otherwise.

Are AE scholars aware?

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
TheParser
Posted: Saturday, April 15, 2017 2:11:28 PM
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Hello, Mr. Joshi.

I don't understand the meaning of "I rue."

If you visited the classes of many large-city American schools, you would understand what Mr. Escude meant.



Have a nice weekend!
L.Rai
Posted: Saturday, April 15, 2017 7:26:12 PM

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I know this is also a problem in China (recently) but it's being addressed. I was asked to create a program to be taken into the local public schools teaching "respect" from a "western" perspective. The problem in China has been created by the "emperor/emperess" syndrome because of the one-child policy. Children here can do anything and most of the time there is little discipline in place. They are taught to "behave" only after they go to school.

Even with that said, I still would prefer teaching here than to teach in the US. None of my kids will ever bring a gun into the classroom...

BTW, I hire teachers who'd like to come teach English in China. If anyone is interested you can PM me. You need to be between 25 to 55, have a BA (in anything), have a TEFL or TESOL certification (minimum 120 hours), and be a native speaker from one of the following countries: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand. The criteria is not mine...it comes from the Chinese government. If you are interested, please PM me. We are always looking for teachers who want to teach, and would like to try living in China.

LRai

"Your life matters more than you will ever know, so live it well"
Ravindra
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 2:53:55 AM
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Thank you Parser (Could I address you thus please?) for an interesting topic. Here, such unruly situation used to be existent in colleges. Thanks to the Indian Movies. They (movies) are prompting the young to embrace the most unhealthy practices to the school going. Love, rather lust, challenging parents,and street fights, are the main curricula for the students. Extra curricular activities that used to be compulsory in the institutions have to be searched for now. Soon the gun culture would make inroads here too. Am not a pessimist. This is the existing reality here.

One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.
Malala Yousafzai




Ravindra
Epiphileon
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 3:46:42 AM

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Quote:
The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers


I remember reading this quote in the 1960's, it is often attributed to Socrates; however, I do not know whether that is verified. I also remember the National Guard being called to my high school twice to put down riots, as well as hardly ever going to school because it was just plain too dangerous. The classrooms were chaos, this is not some new phenomenon in America, particularly in big cities. Many teachers do in fact quit over lack of funding either for wages, or for education in general. The U.S. has one of the worst educational systems of first world countries and I believe only fools would believe that is accidental.

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Ravindra
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 5:27:50 AM
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Epiphileon, a country which boasts of the top varsities and draws almost every fifth child from here for higher education has such a gloomy schooling system. Unbelievable! But I do.

Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.
Kofi Annan



Ravindra
Romany
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 6:11:59 AM
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Epi =

Yeah, we were given that quote and the Plato(?) one about not inspecting one's handkerchief as if looking for gold, after blowing one's nose, in an Ancient History class at school.In fact it was the 'kids today' one which decided one of my class-mates to study Ancient History at Uni.

And yes - unfortunately you're right: American education is pretty terrible. Some students from USA coming to study they have to either knock themselves out catching up, (or, at times, change completely from the Humanities to IT!)

Unfortunately though, it's been a kinda circular discussion here on TFD: people who haven't been educated in critical thinking hold the view that 'criticism' is un-American and have their patriotism questioned if they recognise faults in ANY American system. Without flagging the faults of course, one can't change anything for the better and so the need for a liberal education remains a pressing need that is never seriously understood by whole swathes of the population, it seems.

While the English system is nothing to write home about, I think Education is a much broader concept in other countries than it is America. If one doesn't encourage a world-view; a sense of we're-all-in-this-together-ness; a common history; a universal inclusiveness; concern & knowledge about the world, then insularity is almost guaranteed.And within that kind of construct, denied understanding of objective thinking, propagandising an entire population becomes simple.

Teaching that population's children then, becomes a way to enshrine an ethos of exculsionism, superiority, invincibility,and morality which, once ingrained has no chance of doing anything other than to flourish. Unless it can be fought by the ability to examine a proposition,question it, test it,research the evidence: critical thinking.

I recall once on this forum comparing America and China - the two countries which loom largest in the world - and pointing out the ways in which they were similar, as a plea for understanding when China had been copping a bit of a hammering on these pages. I was absolutely gobsmacked by the response. I had, unwittingly, stumbled upon a propagandist trigger for many Americans: China.

China is bad. America is The Best: Any comparison is invalid.

Which, of course is exactly what the Chinese believe: USA is bad. China is The Best: Any comparison is invalid.

Now, I reckon that if one said to anyone from any other country "You know, I lived in China for some years, and I noticed how many things it and England/Norway/Spain/Australia/Africa have in common." they'd be intrigued and would say "You're kidding! What things?"

But the consensus amongst the USA posters here was that I was the anti-Christ.

That, of course, was before this Election circus impinged upon my notice. I had put the reaction to my post down to an individual crazy-gang who probably all knew each other. But I never dared raise the subject again.

I just didn't understand then, and neither did any of us outside, I think, that this was a political issue. Or that some of the (to us) weird ideas that were postulated and to which the last 8 months has now exposed us fully; were not the individual thoughts of a few random people - the 'crazy Yanks' sector - but were an entire political ideology.

And the thing with any propagandist ethos is that the less a population is given the educational tools to combat it, the more it takes hold. Which is why it stunned us that such a transparent move as cutting funding from the one branch of learning that has always increased a societies cultural capital - The Arts & Humanities - doesn't seemed to have caused as many ripples inside the country as it has outside. In fact, I've been to three seminars since February concerned with the future of our own A & H funding because of it.

Normalising bad education is much easier with compliance: and if a vocal number can be inculcated with the idea that intellectualism is 'dumb', then tap that down into a solid bedrock of 'Our education is the best in the world' - this will perpetuate a national agenda based on political expediency as well as a willing sub-section of Hoplites to send into battles.

Mao - who, dare I say it? - had a lot in common with Trump, denied education to an entire generation. This led to the torture, death or re-education of millions of scholars, intellectuals, educators, artist etc. His senseless slogan "The more you read, the more stupid you get" was triggered by any mention of education. And we all know how that turned out.

Well...the rest of the world does. But, for those caught in a silken cocoon where the outside world does not penetrate, lessons from any reference point not inside the cocoon are irrelevant.

It's an uncomfortable time for everyone right now; but when the threat to Education from the Leader of the Free World isn't even understood by a large percentage of his own country, it exponentially increases the concern of those around the world.





TheParser
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 7:30:35 AM
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L.Rai wrote:
Children here can do anything and most of the time there is little discipline in place.




Thank you so much for that fascinating information.

I remember reading some years back that some young people were no longer offering their bus seats to older people!




Have a pleasant new week!
TheParser
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 7:35:28 AM
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Ravindra wrote:
They (movies) are prompting the young to embrace the most unhealthy practices to the school going.



Yes, I agree with you.

TV shows and motion pictures and certain kinds of "music" glorify violence.

Young people do not have the ability to realize how horrific violence is.


I wish you a pleasant new week!


TheParser
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 7:42:34 AM
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Epiphileon wrote:
The classrooms were chaos, this is not some new phenomenon in America, particularly in big cities.



Private schools are doing very well as parents seek schools where their children can study in peace.

Sadly, though, many Catholic schools have closed. Those schools, I have read, used to provide quality education taught by dedicated nuns and brothers. And there was discipline.



I wish you a pleasant new week!
L.Rai
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 9:46:39 AM

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TheParser wrote:
L.Rai wrote:
Children here can do anything and most of the time there is little discipline in place.




Thank you so much for that fascinating information.

I remember reading some years back that some young people were no longer offering their bus seats to older people!

Have a pleasant new week!



Thanks, I hope to have a pleasant week...and yes, some young people have forgotten manners on the bus...but others are often very polite. No different than in other areas of the world.

BTW, I teach Critical Thinking here in China, using a world-view perspective. It's my opinion that the only way teachers can influence is by living what they "preach" so to speak. I also feel if we'd want to make a global difference it will require teachers to go to places where they can make the most impact. It's one reason I teach in China...I can't change a country but I can impact it one child at a time!

"Your life matters more than you will ever know, so live it well"
TheParser
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 10:05:17 AM
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L.Rai wrote:
It's my opinion that the only way teachers can influence is by living what they "preach" so to speak.



Oh, that is so true!

Example is the only effective teacher.

I have no doubt that all the thoughtless people in this world act that way because their parents did not set a good example for them.

Romany
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 11:19:10 AM
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I was first invited to China to teach Drama and Journalism - so I had a fantastic opportunity to help students both to think critically and to help them discover the whole world as well.

That's why I stayed for 7 years - with both my sons. Both of them consider they were immensely privileged to have started their teaching careers there too. Since we all came to England that sense of excitement and empathy in dealing with other people has stood them both in good stead: so I feel that, whatever they had given to China, China gave back to them in spades.

I think there is no feeling in the world comparable to that of seeing a person finally working out something for themselves, is there? It's the most humbling experience there is, too.

All too often, however, many of the people who go to teach at ESL schools only look upon it as a working holiday. Or a gap-year adventure. While a considerable number of the young men - only weeks away from their own student days - are inspired more by tales of beautiful Chinese students than by tales of actual education. This often can impact really badly on students

But for anyone who really wants not just to teach - but to be able to have an impact on - the movers and shakers of the future, I would also say that China is the place to go.

And then,maybe, Thailand, or Indonesia, or Korea or...well anywhere really, where students don't come to school armed, where respect is reciprocal, and where teachers aren't so tied up in Government red tape they are unable to do their jobs suitably.
almo 1
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 12:56:19 PM
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Romany wrote:


But for anyone who really wants not just to teach - but to be able to have an impact on - the movers and shakers of the future, I would also say that China is the place to go.

And then,maybe, Thailand, or Indonesia, or Korea or...well anywhere really, where students don't come to school armed, where respect is reciprocal, and where teachers aren't so tied up in Government red tape they are unable to do their jobs suitably.







Do they(people in china in general) know, or are they allowed to talk, about Great Leap Forward famine death or Tiananmen Incident?



Daughter of missing Hong Kong bookseller told not to travel to Asia

theguardian.com/books/2016/sep/01/daughter-of-missing-hong-kong-bookseller-told



Romany
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 4:15:38 PM
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Yes, they talk about all those things - especially the older folks. If you go down any park in the afternoon you'll get a horde of them eager to share their memories. Some are horrific and most older folk have a digit missing, or some horrible mass of scarring etc.

The story of Tiananmen Square was only introduced to the post-80's generation while I was there. It was a horrible day: my students were in tears and I cancelled their normal classes to talk about it with them. The general feeling was betrayal: their mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts etc. had all been there...and yet no-one ever spoke of it. These poor guys had simply never known. Their first reaction was anger: it hadn't been just the Government, but their own parents and grandparents who had kept it from them.
almo 1
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 5:09:32 PM
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Romany wrote:

Yes, they talk about all those things - especially the older folks. If you go down any park in the afternoon you'll get a horde of them eager to share their memories. Some are horrific and most older folk have a digit missing, or some horrible mass of scarring etc.

The story of Tiananmen Square was only introduced to the post-80's generation while I was there. It was a horrible day: my students were in tears and I cancelled their normal classes to talk about it with them. The general feeling was betrayal: their mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts etc. had all been there...and yet no-one ever spoke of it. These poor guys had simply never known. Their first reaction was anger: it hadn't been just the Government, but their own parents and grandparents who had kept it from them.







Do they know, or are they allowed to talk, about things like Tibetan refugees?


www.youtube.com/Tibetan Refugees




L.Rai
Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 6:43:29 PM

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Almo:

I live in teach in China and have done so now for 10 years. My students (in my class) are free to discuss anything. We talk about all kinds of issues, but I must caution those who have never been here...talking is not preaching!

I never bring up my own opinion on ANY issue. It doesn't matter what I think. My students need to form their own opinions and those need to be based on facts from both sides of whatever issue is presented. I do my best to present unbiased views, and to be fair to both sides of any issue.

I was raised on old fashion journalism where the journalist reported facts only. I miss those days.


Romany: So do you or your sons want to return and teach here??? I have jobs!

Parser: I have always felt that to walk your talk is the best way to teach anything. I believe I once heard an expression that says; "no one will care how much you know, until they know how much you care."

My mother used to tell us that "talk" is cheap and only your "action" mean anything. I have found that to be very true. I do my best to always be consistent in how I live and to treat others with respect even when I am not treated the same way. Kindness can go a long way in this world.

"Your life matters more than you will ever know, so live it well"
TheParser
Posted: Monday, April 17, 2017 6:56:28 AM
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L.Rai wrote:


[1] I was raised on old fashion journalism where the journalist reported facts only.
[2] I have always felt that to walk your talk is the best way to teach anything.



[1] We all miss objective reporting. It no longer exists in the United States.

[2] Spot-on!



Have a nice week with your students!
Romany
Posted: Monday, April 17, 2017 7:29:10 AM
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Almo - just as happens in many countries: things appear in a different light once one lives in a different country. Yes of course Tibet is talked about. However, once one visits museums and reads older texts, one's viewpoint becomes rather different than the accepted version in The West.

I think you have an idea, perhaps, that modern Chinese citizens are repressed by a Communist regime which doesn't allow them freedom to speak their minds? That WAS true, back in the day. But now Chinese students and younger people moan about the government, their education, lack of sexual education, Feminism, propaganda, censorship......the same things students and young people moan about everywhere.

That's the reason they took the news about Tienanmen so badly when they first heard it: - they realised there had been a huge conspiracy at work FROM WITHIN that had kept this from them all their lives. The rest of the world knew and judged them for something their own families had also kept from them. So as well as being angry they felt ashamed and foolish.
Romany
Posted: Monday, April 17, 2017 8:06:44 AM
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L.Rai,

I've never set out to 'teach' anyone. I think rather about 'sharing' information because, as you'll be very aware, we learn as much from our students as they learn from us. And they often show us a whole new way of approaching or thinking about things.

As to my sons: one is now teaching Russian students; the other's girlfriend now has her own ESL school here. The elder son was the China CEO of English First. Knowing the size of China, you'll understand he spent most of his time in planes and airports, was only ever home a couple of days a week and was on duty 24/7. It finally caught up with him both mentally and physically. But by utilising all the skills he learnt in China he now has a fantastic job where he only has to travel to Europe, is home at (most) weekends and tho still on call 24/7, never has to go and get Westerners out of jails or police stations; or implement structures he doesn't agree with!

I shall never return to live in China - I've spent my entire life far, far away from my own homeland, so this is my time to discover it and Europe - yet another strange adventure!

My biggest regret is that all the papers, notes, m/s.s letters, publications, student notes etc. for the book I'd been working on for 6 years, went up in smoke in the housefire that robbed me of everything I had in the world when I finally got to England.That's why I'll never go back: I couldn't bear to be confronted again with all the work, triumphs, discoveries, adventures, awards, and people I've let down by not telling their stories.

Though I'm mostly concerned with research and historical writing now, I'm still involved with students and young people - I don't think I'll stop until the day I get carried out in a box!

L.Rai
Posted: Monday, April 17, 2017 7:33:48 PM

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Romany:

I believe you and I have much in common in many ways. I too don't think of what I do as "teaching" so to speak...I too find that I learn from my students as much as they learn from me.

Sorry to hear about your "fire" I would be lost if my files that I've kept for the last 10 years went missing or up in smoke. I have enough material for a book or two, but sadly no time to sit and write it.

I have however completed 6 coursebooks (done in one year) and now I've been consumed with teaching from them. I hope to hire my first teacher to train this year and once that is done I can ease off the full-time work and hopefully have some time to write again.

Life is a roller-coaster and since it has many ups, downs, twists and turns, it's best to ease back and enjoy it. Once the ride is over, you don't get a 2nd go round. I've learned to hang on and flow with it.

BTW, everything you've stated about the youth and the younger generation here in China is spot-on. They are becoming more informed and aware...it's an exciting time to be here.

"Your life matters more than you will ever know, so live it well"
Romany
Posted: Thursday, April 20, 2017 11:31:22 AM
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Thanks for your response LRai,and apologies for not responding before now.

Just wanted to add one thing: tho' I shan't ever go back to live, one of the things I miss the most about China is the freedom a [foreign] woman has there.

There was no need to 'take back the night' as First World Countries have been trying to do for years. I loved being able to go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted, dressed however I wanted and never to feel fear if a man - or even a group of men = were approaching me in a dark alley at 2 in the morning. It was the first and only time in my life that I had the freedoms men enjoy throughout their lives...and I revelled in every minute of it. The heady-ness of that freedom will never leave my memory.

Good luck with your future teaching plans. I had planned on opening a school for Asian Uni students coming to the West for the first time. I'd received a few awards from the Chinese Government -one for 'services to the Youth of China' and so, with them on my side and being encouraging about my plans, was able to recruit staff whom I worked with in China and arrange Visas. I'd written all the course-books, and was ready to get going the week I arrived.

However, the day after I arrived the partner declared bankruptcy and I lost the lot. The fire happened after that (hadn't had time for insurance) so for the next year just replacing things like knickers and electronics; chairs & tables, etc. got me through the desolating loss of a lifetime's work, life, books,photos etc. etc. Not too astoundingly, I had a nervous breakdown the next year from which I am still trying to recover - tho' not convinced I ever shall.

This isn't a 'poor me' epistle, but a recommendation to have everything ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING about your new school tied up securely in layers of red tape and to have a lawyer/solicitor's protection at all times. I would never advise anyone not to trust others - but I would hope that you were a little less Pollyana=ish than I, and while continuing to take people at face value, also have legal advice every step of the way which would ensure you didn't fall into the kind of pickle I did.

It's been a huge learning curve for me - and the only purpose I can see for it all to have happened, is so that my story will help other people not to be so daft!! So best of luck: it's a great plan and one which will continue to bring rewards as long as you are involved in it.
almo 1
Posted: Thursday, April 20, 2017 12:45:54 PM
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