Friday, August 21, 2009

Goodbye to All That; Hello to All This...

Well, it's certainly a well-deserved 'goodbye' to my seasonal repose at the Costa Clonakilty, where I managed to survive another month of summer shenanigans with the relatives and their assortment of wives, girlfriends, and wild dogs. Thank f*ck all that business is over for another year or two!

So here I am now, snugly ensconced in our terraced residence in Skidrow-on-Sea, waiting for the next chapter in my glorious Tefl career to take shape. Or perhaps 'hoping' would be a more appropriate choice of word, eh? But what was that proverb - 'he who lives on hope, dies of hunger'?

Anyway, meanwhile, and before things really kick off for another season on The TEFL Tradesman, here's another 'blast from the past', as I'm too knackered to consider writing anything new for a while yet. There is also a thematic link here, as I'm considering undertaking a bit of educational research, into 'classroom motivation' no less. That's 'classroom motivation' for the teacher by the way - the fuggin' students have had things too much their own way for far too long, I reckon. Student centred teaching - my arse!!

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How to Demotivate Your Teachers for just Ten Quid

We all got an e-mail at work the other day, from The Really Big Boss, telling us that next year there'll be some sort of 'Teacher of the Year' competition, and we all have to participate. Whether that means we'll all be ‘Teachers of the Year’ is doubtful, though. Here, decisions are usually more like decrees, made at the top of the pyramid and rolled down to the labouring plebs at the bottom, who have to make the most of them.

I’m telling you this because, in a previous life when I made the big mistake of taking a job at Aspect in the UK, there was a similar scheme going there. Every three months or so they chose a ‘Teacher of the Term’, and this was done by totting up all the marks from the students’ feedback. Whoever got top marks was the winner (are you with me so far?).

And what was the prize? A weekend for two in Paris? Nope. Two tickets for the Bolshoi Ballet? Uh-uh. A year’s subscription to ET Professional? Not even that. The miserly buggers gave Mr (or Miss) Whiteboard Winner … a bottle of red wine and a box of chocolates! Worse still, it was done with no small degree of grimace-inducing ceremony at the weekly Teachers’ meeting (compulsory, but unpaid, of course).

So what did the company really achieve with their outrageously generous ten-quid expenditure on the Tesco’s plonk and the Quality Street? Well, the net result was 23 slightly demotivated teachers, and one highly embarrassed one. I mean, what was the incentive in offering a quarterly ‘bonus’ worth all of a tenner? None at all, of course. It just got other teachers’ backs up. Was their teaching any worse? Probably not. And would the carrot of vino and choccy make them pull their metaphorical socks up? Of course not.

Fact is, it was always a new teacher that won the coveted prize, which led to rumblings of contempt amongst the more experienced inmates. Clearly, it was perceived as a management ploy to encourage new teachers to stay. The effect was, of course, the opposite. It was seen (through) as a cheap management trick, sort of aping the real world where bonuses are worth their weight in discarded Headway books, and was implemented by dull senior management types who had no real understanding or appreciation of teaching and teachers at all.

Let’s face it – if you really want someone to perform at their peak, it’s probably a good idea to (a) pay them properly in the first place, (b) give them the right tools to do the job, and (c) offer them succulent prizes – not the mere equivalent of an hour’s extra pay! And then there’s the whole question of whether this sort of remuneration technique is appropriate to an educational environment.

But of course, I’m forgetting that EFL schools in the UK do not offer a normal ‘educational environment’ - certainly where the teachers are concerned!

I wonder what sort of prize our Sheikh is putting up for grabs – a weekend at an exclusive desert oasis? Or a night with one of his wives? Hang on, shouldn’t that be the booby prize!?

First Published: Wednesday, 31 May 2006

Comments

'A visitor' left this comment on 1 Jun 06
wine and chocolates is pretty good compared to the cheap plastic watch I got at one job.

'A visitor' left this comment on 1 Jun 06
I'd be happy with a blowjob and a half-corona. But then I'm easily pleased.

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Any further comments, please have a mind to leave them below. An upgrade in the general tone of The TEFL Tradesman is anticipated this coming year, so no more mention of 'blowjobs', and definitely NO swearing, you c*nts, OK!?

13 comments:

KALINAGO ENGLISH said...

Sandy, you're an absolute hoot and more than a little mad!

More articles like this please!

xxK

William Frederickson said...

Damned right,Sandy! All this cunting swearing is fucking terrible!

The TEFL Tradesman said...

Yeh, and you're gonna be the first to get the push, William, you saddo bastard. Go on, push off back to Ladbroke Grove!

As for Karenne, she can stay, especially with her quaint compliments (me - only a LITTLE mad?!). And her interview's coming up soon anyway.

It's just a shame she wouldn't give away her breast measurements, but there you go. She did dend a couple of horny piccies though...!

Kapitano said...

In most schools a "Teacher of the Year" award would have to go to whoever's stayed a whole year.

The TEFL Tradesman said...

Hah! Exactly, my dear Kapo. Maybe a 'Teacher of the Month' award could be given to the one who has made it out of bed and arrived on time on most occasions, too.

popeye said...

Facebook bully jailed: Death threat girl, 18, is first person put behind bars for vicious internet campaign

A teenager who posted a death threat on Facebook, yesterday became the first person in Britain to be jailed for bullying on a social networking site.
Keeley Houghton, 18, said she would kill Emily Moore, whom she had bullied for four years since they were at school together.
On her personal page, Houghton wrote of her victim: 'Keeley is going to murder the bitch. She is an actress. What a ******* liberty. Emily ****head Moore.'
Two days before she made the threat, Houghton had intimidated Emily, who is also 18, after spotting her in a pub.
Sara Stock, prosecuting, told Worcester magistrates: 'When Emily was sitting on her own the defendant came over and sat next to her and asked her, "Are you Emily Moore? Can I have a huggle?" Emily told the defendant to leave her alone otherwise she would call the police. Keeley then told her, "I'll give you something to ring the police about".'
Yesterday, jobless Houghton sobbed as she was sentenced to three months in a young offenders' institution after pleading guilty to harassment.
She was also given a restraining order banning her from contacting Emily in person, via the internet or in any other manner for five years.

People have previously been jailed for harassment and stalking on social networking sites but she is thought to be the first to be jailed for bullying via the internet.
Houghton, of Malvern, Worcestershire, had two previous convictions relating to her vendetta against Emily, the court heard.

How brave teenegers are over the internet (just like you), hopefully you will be the next in the newspapers, see you in court. Alcoholic or just a teenerger, who knows....

William Frederickson said...

Thanks a lot,Sandy.As i've done nothing to you mate,then you must have a problem? What is it? That racist cunt Paul Lowe not around for you to insult? Stuff TEFL.

The TEFL Tradesman said...

William: just joking, take no heed. This has always been the place for nonsense, after all!

Popeye: me, a bully? Get a life, dickhead - my entire remit has been to expose the bullies and liars in Tefl. I don't recall ever having threatened to kill anybody, either, so the Facebook case don't scare me at all.

You sound a bit of a cunt, in fact. Why don't YOU emerge from behind your modem and I'll give you just what you deserve, wanker!

William Frederickson said...

Indeed,Sandy,especially from Paul Lowe and Shaun Ryder.Anyway,piss-taking has a touch of the ridiculous or it wouldn't fucking work,would it? In any case,it's Ramadan,Sandy,so i'm behaving meself.Doesn't mean i have to turn the other cheek,though...

William Frederickson said...

As for 'Popeye's'comment regarding Internet bullying,Sandy,he/she is barking up the wrong tree,as death threats towards the plaintiff were made incessantly and very implicitly over a long period(four years.)If anything,Sandy,you probably have the right to drop 'Michael Flynn*'or the scrotes at 'UKHELP4U' in the legal shit,for death threats/blackmail,respectively.

Given the business dealings of the aforementioned,any complaints to the authorities may well leave them having to answer a few questions,not you.

Freedom of speech and action cut both ways-especially when those who want to complain about others have something to hide:especially when it comes to UKHELP4U and Windsor(Helping you learn English with conviction.)

Possession of an offensive sense of humour isn't an offence as yet.Otherwise,we're in the territory of 'Not The Nine O'Clock News' and arrests for 'wearing a loud shirt in a built-up area'or summat...

Anyway,keep up the good work.

*Paul Lowe,i am sure...

The TEFL Tradesman said...

Thanks, William - much appreciated!

Shaun Ryder said...

Aye, an' that. But fer me iss a bit surprisin' that y'know iss the end of the summer season an' there ain't like loads of Eflers comin' on 'ere tellin' their stories about bein' stiffed an' robbed an' fooked about. But their ain't none: reckon they're gotless bottlers meself. Coom on you coonts, show a bit of fookin' goomption.

William Frederickson said...

Yes- there has to be someone out there,some-bloody-where:we've flogged the Windsor Schools horse into fuckin' cheap dog food between us,and soon things'll become rather boring.