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Management basics

May 02, 2007

Hello again,

Given that language schools are dispersed all over the world, it is not easy to identify core management practices that both teachers and students should be able to expect no matter where they are. Each country has its...

... own norms and customs and what may be seen as an obvious standard in one country can seem quite odd in another.

So can we at least find some fundamentals? I think we can. Firstly it is a basic responsibility of management to ensure that the premises offer a safe and clean environment. In many countries health and safety laws apply and are enforced, but not everywhere. Teachers and students should, therefore, ask about what arrangements are in place for fire prevention, fire drills, and should be confident that when they report any faults in equipment, furniture or infrastructure that might be a potential hazard, management will put the situation right. Classrooms should not be overcrowded lighting should be adequate.

Secondly, management should give clear descriptions of a teacher’s duties. Of course, it is advisable to give a legal contract of employment, but employment laws vary enormously. It is not, however, reasonable to expect teachers to accept an open-ended agreement in which they do not know exactly what is expected of them and how their employment may be terminated from either side.

Proper financial management is also essential. Teachers should be paid the agreed salary on the appropriate date and fees payable by students should be open and clear without hidden extras.

Some form of communication system that is transparent and understood should be established between teachers and managers to permit the two-way flow of information. Part of this system should be a procedure for dealing with grievances and disciplinary issues.

Proper student records should be kept and the school should have a form of academic management to ensure that students’ progress is monitored, appropriate advice given and that support for teachers is available. That support should include cultural orientation where necessary, induction and ongoing professional development.

In an ideal world, many other management practices would be added, but here we are concerned with basics. I would urge any teacher considering a post in an unknown environment to raise these points at interview. If you feel the management falls short in any of these key areas, then be wary of accepting a post.

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  1. Shrek Says:

    Hi, We are interested in doing CELTA , but we cant get the following details anywhere:

    Can we do CELTA online? If so , who do we contact?

    Is any institute offering CELTA in or near Connecticut during June, July or August.
    Is any institute offering CELTA in Toronto or London(Ontario) ?

    We will appreciate it greatly if you could kindly give some phone numbers that could help us in getting more details. Thanks a million,

  1. Carol Rueckert Says:

    Check out the following link to find a CELTA course near you: http://www.celta.esljunction.com/find-celta-course/celta-courses-worldwide.html

    I did a quick search and didn't see any in Connecticut, but it looks like Toronto should offer something. You'll have to contact the schools directly for more information.

    Hope that helps.

    Writer, ESL Lesson Plan

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