I’m going on rant. I’m stepping up on my soapbox and I’m gonna holla and shout at a whole bunch of people.
Let me start by saying this:
I am a certified teacher. I started my education journey by obtaining my associates degree in Early Childhood Education. I went to college for 4 years to get my undergrad degree in Early Childhood Education. I then went BACK to school and obtained my graduate degree in Elementary Reading and Literacy. I have also started graduate degree number two Teaching English Language Learners. I took the Praxis exam to become a certified teacher. I have the debt to prove it. I have the knowledge to prove it. I have teaching certification to prove it. I have the degrees to prove it. I have taught preschool to 4th grade. We will even add the year I worked with teenage mothers.
I said all that to say this: TEACHING ENGLISH ABROAD IS NOT THE SAME THING as teaching.
Obtaining an TEFL or anything that you can get off Groupon for 120 credit hours does not put you in my league.
We are not on the same level.
Now I am not negating the fact that there are some amazing teachers who are open minded and willing to put in the work to be a teacher as a second career choice.
But (yes I started a sentence with but) what is pissing me off and many in my profession, YES TEACHING IS A PROFESSION, are these people who see teachers teaching internationally making loads of money wanting to jump on some bandwagon.
Have a seat boo-boo and let me educate you for a moment.
When you teach ENGLISH abroad WITHOUT a teaching certificate they are lowballing you. They are placing in an ENGLISH LANGUAGE CENTER or some random public school. You are “teaching” a lesson that was created for you. You will work on the weekends. You will work long ridiculous hours I’m talking getting off at 9:30 pm. Public schools will have 30 to 50 kids in ONE classroom with no teaching assistant. You won’t get paid a whole lot to the point you just may have a roommate. Some cases they won’t cover the countries taxes. They may or may not cover your flight over or flight home. The horror stories about teaching aboard and the hate for certain countries are more than likely from those who are not educators. Not saying educators don’t have their fair share of horror stories but for a different purpose.
My salary as a certified international teacher is similar to my salary back in the states if not more. My school covers the local taxes. I don’t have a roommate unless you count my daughter LOL. I won’t have any more than 24 kids in a classroom. I have a co-teacher. In some cases I have a co-teacher plus a teacher in training. I follow an international curriculum either American or British. I still go through professional development to maintain my teaching certification and to know the latest research to effectively teach my students. I teach ALL core subjects (English, Math, and Science) I have access to learning support teachers. I can refer my students who need further assessment. Basically it is a highly similar setup to teaching in the states. I don’t work on the weekends and school is over around 3:30pm.
So yes I get UPSET when I hear people say I want to live and work abroad and their first idea is to teach. How boo? You have NEVER taught a day in your life. You don’t know how to teach, what to teach. You do not even have the educational background to teach. So what has happened is this: someone said let’s create a TEFL and tell people they can go teach abroad and make loads of money. Okay one TEFL is more for teaching adults English. Two would you want a doctor who went to Groupon to perform surgery or diagnosis you? Would you want your own child to have a teacher who went to Groupon to be a teacher? Can you at the very least look and see if your current skill set is marketable abroad? Can you see if your current career is in demand abroad.
I am tired of working with people who do not have the basic understanding or knowledge or strategies to teach children properly and align with developmentally appropriate practices. I am tired of people who can only teach from a TE (teacher’s edition). I am tired of sitting in meeting after meeting, training after training, “professional development” session after “professional development” session about shit I learned in undergrad. We can’t get to the heart of teaching our students because you decided oh I am going to teach abroad and now you gotta be trained to do the simplest of shit like classroom management and the importance of structured routines while being flexible using children interests to drive instruction and lesson plans. Now we gotta have a meeting about how to hold a positive and productive PTC. Now my Saturday is lost on developmentally appropriate practices explaining that worksheets is not okay ALL the time. Now we gotta discuss at a departmental meeting about how children should be allowed to create their own work and all the crafts should not look identical. You don’t understand the importance of baseline assessing students within the first few weeks of school. You don’t understand the importance of building relationships with students. Your classroom is not warm and inviting. You can’t even explain differentiated instruction. You don’t know how to effectively implement small group rotation to support your small group instruction. You don’t even do small group instruction or guided reading. You don’t even know your student’s reading level or how to access their reading level. You don’t even know the popular websites for resources either paid or free. Amazing schools are being run into the ground because of your incompetence. Teachers are leaving schools by the droves because it is cheaper to hire you and we can’t keep working around the incompetence. It makes teaching 1000 times harder and complicated when there are people who do not effectively do their job and don’t reach out for help. JUST STOP IT!!!! STOP infiltrating the teaching PROFESSION with your get rich quick bullshit. STOP saying I want to go abroad and teach and make a load of money and you have NEVER taught a day in your life. STOP coming abroad getting mad at your pay, work conditions, the country, the school, the system when you DO NOT have the proper training. You can come teach if you have true passion and desire to become and EDUCATOR and be CERTIFIED. You can come teach when you are willing to go to a doctor that become a doctor on GROUPON. You can come teach when alternative facts become real facts. You can come teach when you have taught in your home country. Let me drop this here teaching online does NOT equate to teaching. You were given a lesson and you read from a script. When you can adapt a lesson to meet IEP goals come holla at me. When you can conduct a small group guided reading instructional lesson that is fun and engaging that does not involved worksheets, holla at me. When you can throw your WHOLE lesson plan away because the students that were not interested and you gotta pull out a lesson from your bag of tricks, holla at me. Teaching is NOT easy if it were then you wouldn’t need a four year degree. You wouldn’t need professional development hours to keep that teaching license current. As an educator you are always learning. If you think you know everything then you don’t belong in a classroom.
Now I’m gonna jump on us teachers us educators. God bless our hearts. We have come abroad for a better life and actually teach our students without all the constant testing and a million people telling us how to do our job.
STOP LYING ON SOCIAL MEDIA!!!
I love you but this life is not always easy. This life is not all glamorous. It’s not always fabulous. Some of these schools are straight trash. Some of these kids are horrible and that’s putting it mildly. Sometimes the pay and the cost of living do not match and you struggle just as much abroad as you did stateside. Sometime our kids are miserable and hate EVERYTHING about living abroad. This goes deeper than homesickness. This is about faking the life you are living and now you are encouraging people to come over without giving them the whole story.
Now we have someone who is over here miserable and is ready to pack up in the middle of the night break their contract and run back home.
This life is hard. You are away from family and friends. Some countries are just hard to live in. The culture is vastly different from home. Some of the locals are just mean and stupid. Some are even more racist than back in the states.
Now I know you can’t always share your true feeling on social media but pull your homegirl to the side in a private message and tell them the facts and your real experience.
Yes we travel. Yes we save. Yes we get out debt. Yes we are living the life but when we are not openminded and we want an American experience in a non-American country we end up miserable.
RANT OVER! I love you guys.