EFL Teachers to be 'Tagged'
by James Meikle, education correspondent
Monday October 9, 2006
EFL teachers at language schools are being asked to "clock in" to classes in an attempt to ensure attendance and cut drop-out rates from courses.
An electronic monitoring system is being tested at two EFL schools and nine more have expressed an interest in using it to track teachers. Its inventors insist they want to help teachers rather than enforcing a Big Brother approach, but the development coincides with some private language schools introducing good behaviour contracts which warn lazy Teflers they could face disciplinary procedures or even expulsion if they fail to turn up for classes.
The National Union of Tefl Suckers (NUTS) branded the scheme draconian, saying its members were being tagged like criminals. Gemma Goodgrope, president of the Teflers' union, recognised that teacher drop-out rates needed to be addressed but questioned whether such schemes would work when much of the problem might be increasing debt, low pay, lack of contracts, and a general lack of stability - sometimes mental. "Rather than employing such strong-arm tactics and effectively treating their employees like an underclass, which is what they effectively are, we believe more should be done to address the underlying reasons behind poor attendance - hangovers, overdoses, and a refusal to grant bail."
However, Tatum O'Greedy, Principal of the South-East London School of English, based in Jersey, stated that there was a real need to look at patterns of attendance. "There is a distinct correlation between attendance and a teacher's attainment. Teachers who miss out irregularly, we are not going to target. They may have had a bit of a late night the night before. However, teachers will be targeted if they miss three consecutive ‘learning events'. More than 50% of our teachers work part-time, and we are finding a lot of our teachers who work in take-aways on a Thursday night are missing on the Friday morning."
Original Source: http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/news/story/0,,1890939,00.html
Some comments from the original posting
- I have long considered it necessary to tag EFL teachers, firstly in order to keep them out of the pubs, and secondly to ensure they are in class, rather than having a crafty ciggy (or worse) in the basement. Most EFL teacher are cockroaches - a 'necessary evil' in any school.
- One way to encourage teachers to become more professional may be to pay them reasonably and provide them with a more professional working environment run by more professional managers. Re the article, the expression 'having your cake and eating it' comes to mind. The situation seems to go from bad to worse.
- This blog is nearly as funny as toothache. Seriously, if you hate yourself this much, why don't you go out and get a different job? It really isn't that hard, you know. [Andy]
- Andy, you've caught me in a bad mood, so I'm gonna take a swing at you. First off, you really are a wanker, intcha!? Don't read the blog if you don't like it - quite simple, eh? Anyway, what's wrong with me taking the piss out of YOUR job (not necessarily MY job)? Private EFL schools and their teachers are ripe for this sort of humour, as they take themselves so seriously, promote themselves as utterly professional, yet they are really just SO amateur. I could give you hundreds of examples, but I don't suppose you'd listen, anyway. If you've ever worked in a proper college, university, institute or such, you'd know what I'm talking about - but you're probably just a two-bit Celta-belter!! So I won't waste my breath anymore.
- Alex, of course teachers should be paid propery. We do such at IVLAD and we give even marijuana discounts to our teachers. But teacher must show up on time. And not sleep with students and sell them ecstasy. That all I ask, really. [Dr Kim]
- Dr Kim - why don't you offer your teachers a marijuana bonus if they arrive on time? Say 100g per term, less 10g for every class they arrive late for?