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Keeping teachers safe

March 29, 2007

Hello again,

The shocking murder of a young English teacher in Japan should make schools and teachers alike consider what they do about safety. The latest ...

...murder brings to mind that of Joanne Parrish in France 17 years ago, who was killed after responding to an advert for a private English teacher.

Schools may have some responsibility in this. I know nothing about this particular case, but speaking generally, if schools offer poor salaries then teachers will be more likely to seek private students and thus expose themselves to danger. I know that many schools like to keep private teaching for themselves but they often charge much higher fees than the teacher does when working directly with a student. Why not compromise then and allow teachers to use the school premises and facilities for private classes and charge the teacher a small fee?

Of course some teachers work freelance and seek out private students. In this case I would say that a teacher should not go to a student’s home. Try to give the lessons at the student’s place of work, or share accommodation with another teacher and give lessons there, trying not to be left alone with the student.

While there may be measures an individual can take such as carrying a personal alarm
or even learning some form of self-defence, the best form of protection is never to put yourself in harm’s way. Never make the mistake of believing a particular region of the world is safe. A young person abroad is vulnerable and all societies have their share of criminals and misfits.

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  1. jayne simpson Says:

    Thankyou Brenda for a much needed comment!
    I teach in Mexico, and this issue always comes up, especially with new teachers. I always try to share my experiences to convince the difference between fast money and personal safety.

  1. jonathan Says:

    very interesting and timely piece . I was working in Taiwa recently and was told that it was illegal to do private lessons for me as a foriegn resident . Lots of people regard the law as a joke but I didn't . I don't know how widespread this law is ? Is it the law in japan ?

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