Last post I mentioned the disappointing student. The word kept sticking in my mind, and I wondered why?
In the ESL industry, we have a few mainstay agents. We have the School Owner, we have the Student. Then there are the Parents and finally also the Teachers.
Each of these players carry a weight of disappointment around their necks. I’m going to try explain you why. (FYI)
The School Owner
It is often felt by many that the School Owner probably knows the least about education or the management of a school. It’s probably true, otherwise he or she might not actually even contemplated starting one. So let’s be happy about those who are ignorant of the complexity of running a school, so at least there is a job on the market. (This is meant to be taken as funny..)
Imagine, you are a man in your forties your career has just been given a golden handshake, you sit on a reasonable amount of money, but no foreseeable income in the future. What do you do? Well, you follow the hype that starting a school will make you a lot of money, or at least some form of income. You start looking into the first hurdle being the real estate market with it’s inflated prices, because most real estate owners also rely solely on their investment to “get by”. You probably buy into a franchise, since you haven’t gotten a clue on what curriculum design is. Then you start looking for your miracle worker, the best ESL teacher ever to have set foot upon Korea’s soil, who will attract an abundance of students to generate your revenue. Just before that happens, due to bad budgeting and foresight, you see your golden handshake melt into oblivion. You start pinching pennies to make ends meet, and you hope that your miracle ESL teacher will solve all the problems.
You guessed it. You hire this guy.
It is easy to point fingers and claim that that person made a mistake. That he shouldn’t have invested in a school and so forth and so on. He is trying to survive and provide for his family within the culture of Korea. It is easy to condemn, but when your capital has been sucked dry into such an investment, and your hopes were set on making a living by providing employment to others, the bitterness is self-evident. Teachers should understand the effect they have on their environment. How so many people sacrifice so much of their time and money to make it work. Even though the School Owners actions on how they treat their teachers when things go south is wrong, a culmination of small bad decisions one after the other. Some responsibility also lies with the teacher for failing to understand the hope of the School Owner in the teacher to make it all work.