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Teachers beware

June 20, 2006

How can teachers protect themselves against unscrupulous employers ?

Hello again,

I wish I could reassure teachers that all schools are honest and honor contracts. But I'm afraid the world is a dangerous place and for people who travel to countries with different systems and attitudes dangers abound. Recent comments posted on this weblog show how vulnerable teachers are when they travel abroad to take up teaching posts. Unfortunately rogue organizations do exist and the only way teachers can avoid the traps is by exercising extreme caution themselves.

First they need to know which countries or regions pose the greatest problems. While regulations and accreditation ...

...schemes offer protection in many countries, other parts of the world do not have such systems in place and thus carry an increased risk. Now of course teachers may be keen to see the world and experience other cultures but they must be aware of the risk factors.

If you wish to travel to countries in developing regions then you should do as much research as possible before accepting a post. Check first with the foreign office of your own country to find out what advice they give to people going o that region. If a school offers you a position ask for contact with existing teachers so that you can check with them how they are treated and if they are satisfied. If the school refuses then that in itself should be a warning. Never pay money to a school. If a school demands a payment you should smell a rat.

Ask the school what systems they have in place for handling complaints by teachers. Investigate travel insurance options before you leave to see if you can get cover for repatriation if things go wrong. In any event you should try to have a cash reserve for such emergencies.

If things go wrong be realistic about what you can do. You cannot single-handedly change things and the battle may be so stressful that you simply make things worse for yourself so know when to give up and come away.

Please let me know what you think about this issue.

Bye for now,

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  1. Dolores Says:

    Dear Brenda,

    Thank you for bringing up this subject. It is really risky if you are a stranger in the place. That's why I suggested to ESL to publish schools and their Email addresses so that there is a way of checking the truth right from source. Now, ESL has it all. No need to access other web site.



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