Seems like schools hold all the cards at this point...

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Nexttrip
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:29 pm

Seems like schools hold all the cards at this point...

Post by Nexttrip »

Just trying to imagine what all the newly-hired teachers beginning work at new schools in July/August 2020 are going through at the moment. We've already confirmed that schools are reneging on contracts months after hiring teachers this recruiting season with no compensation or severance offered. At least those teachers were not informed at the last possible moment so they have a chance of finding another job. However, there are newly-hired teachers who haven't been officially "laid off" yet and many have NOT been given assurances by their new schools that there will be jobs for them. Those that have received assurances/guarantees are ok. But the ones that haven't have to be really struggling now. For these teachers, their new schools still expect them to report IF they are needed at the school (meaning enrollment doesn't dip too much) and the borders are open. And at the same time, they very well could be laid off at the last moment.

So for the teachers who are- 1. "hired" at a new school to start in July/August, 2. haven't been laid off (yet), but 3. at the same time haven't been guaranteed that the school will honor the contract signed, what are they to do?

We've heard "have a backup plan" often enough, however, other than "Oh, if I do get laid off, I would immediately start looking for another international job through Search, TIE, etc." or "If I get sacked, I will go back to my home country to teach." But shouldn't these teachers be looking RIGHT NOW for another (secure) job, again assuming this new school won't guarantee their jobs? Why do schools get to have the kind of power that says "You signed a contract with us and as of now, and you need to be available to start with us, just in case we need you. But we won't guarantee that will be the case or offer any kind of severance in July/August if we lay you off due to enrollment issues, border closings, etc." Isn't it only fair that these teachers should be able to OPENLY apply and interview for other jobs, instead of having to wait to be laid off (which it looks like will happen to many)? And if they do find a suitable replacement position, shouldn't they be able to resign from the first school, without any malice, stain on their reputation, or problems from recruitment agencies like Search or ISS?

I think we can all empathize with these teachers since they are really stuck in limbo and some (not all) schools have shown that they are cut-throat and only think about what's best for their school.

fine dude
Posts: 532
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:12 pm
Location: SE Asia

Re: Seems like schools hold all the cards at this point...

Post by fine dude »

It's time for these new hires to actively communicate with their schools and ask if it's okay to start working on their back-up plans. If they object, ask schools what they offer in return, but explain your situation and share what's at stake. Simply assuming it will all be dandy will help no one. The thing is many parents themselves don't know the fate of their jobs and hence can't confirm if they will be sending their kids to these expensive international schools. When they say we're all in this together, this is what it precisely it means. Some teachers and parents will be minimally affected, whereas others will return to home countries for a year or two. A few might even go back to school to upskill.

sciteach
Posts: 154
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:49 am

Re: Seems like schools hold all the cards at this point...

Post by sciteach »

Sorry to sound a bit snarky - but what's the actual point of this thread?

Will some schools treat new staff badly? Probably

Will some staff not show up even though they have a contract? Probably

To put it simply - COVID-19 sucks for everyone and it's difficult to plan when there is so much flux.

Here is what my school is currently facing: student numbers have collapsed due to expat families going home, staying families are starting to face financial difficulties and some will not be able to afford tuition, many staff are leaving, almost all new staff will probably not be able to get in to said country, upset teachers teaching classes they don't want to, new schools in the city opening meaning there was strong competition before this, school was not designed for social distancing, significant turnover of positions of responsibility, new owner, best students moving to schools which had waitlists, increased costs to be covid safe, large number of upper admin with positions of responsibility continuing to increase, multiple authorization visits next year (probably now online - one recently happened for the IB in Egypt recently), plus many other things I probably cannot think of.

The list for returning, leaving and arriving teachers is also just as long if I was to write one. People get stressed out in times like this and make (A) bad decisions and (B) rash decisions. Blaming schools or blaming teachers for the current situation at present is about as helpful as yelling at a packet of tomato seeds for not instantly being ripe tomatoes. It takes time and work for the payoff to happen.

vandsmith
Posts: 346
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:16 am

Re: Seems like schools hold all the cards at this point...

Post by vandsmith »

i'm not sure of a situation (. or not) where schools didn't hold all the cards (so to speak). the biggest problem for ALL schools right now is the status on travel and border restrictions. once that is cleared up - or made clearer - over the next 4 weeks, teachers and schools will begin to solidify things. even if your job is secured, what if you can't get there? i'm not sure i can think of a worse way to begin a school year than by doing "distance learning." even worse if you're new and your first meetings with students are on a computer. yuck.

v.

TheHuman
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:56 am

Re: Seems like schools hold all the cards at this point...

Post by TheHuman »

This is a strange thread. OP seems to be asking permission to act. There are no rules. Do what you what you need to do to secure a job. If you're transferring to a new school, you could be applying to other jobs without your new school's knowledge. It's not like you'd use your new school as a reference.

Nexttrip
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:29 pm

Re: Seems like schools hold all the cards at this point...

Post by Nexttrip »

Wow, tough crowd. Seems like you have it all worked out. Sorry for the strange and pointless thread. Carry on then...

TheHuman
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:56 am

Re: Seems like schools hold all the cards at this point...

Post by TheHuman »

@Nexttrip I apologize, I was a bit harsh with my response. For what it's worth, I have it on good authority that my school will keep all current staff employed for the start of next school year, even if China remains closed in the fall. I work for a large school with a healthy budget and a leader that has been very frugal and saved up a lot of reserves. However, I did hear that newly hired teachers may not have the same guarantee.

shadowjack
Posts: 1937
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: Seems like schools hold all the cards at this point...

Post by shadowjack »

I'm with fine dude on this one - if you aren't reaching out to your new school, you don't REALLY know what's going on. Our new staff have been in touch and know their jobs are secure, which, at this point, is the main thing.

PsyGuy
Posts: 9565
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

Dont ask your IS if you can work on your backup plan, you may as well just give them a resignation.

ITs should find a plan B another IS outside their plan A region with more permeable borders using services other than the original one of their plan A job. Then find plan C, a region you can get into and with a healthy ESOL industry.

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