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Expat English Teachers Are Losers ?


Pianote
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I feel like Ondrejko might have had some negative experiences either as a teacher or with them. 

 

When I was an ESL teacher all of my students and parents were great. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t a loser so maybe that’s why. 

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I know I can sometimes be a bit tongue in cheek, but I'd just like to ask that if people are going to be calling anyone losers at all, that they be of the more abstract variety and not specific members of the forum. Many thanks ^^

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I am not sure you have too much to worry about on this issue.

 

First, it's men generally who are stigmatized as "losers," not women.

 

Second, young men who head to Asia to teach English are particularly stigmatized in a way that women aren't.

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I suppose it depends on what your definition of a loser is. One might think staying in a the same job your whole life earning money but never actually living life, having difference experiences, seeing the world, etc is also a loser .

 

It's why I quit a good career and came to China . 

I think people should live their lives for themselves, not for others or how society expects them too. Each to their own. :wink:

 

 

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@DavyJonesLocker  That's absolutely right.  If someone calls you a loser for being a teacher they're jealous. You best believe they'd do the same if they had the opportunity. Since when is teaching and traveling the world losing? You mean, I'm a loser by teaching and not the person who cant get a job because  he/she has a criminal record as long as my arm? Not the woman who gets knocked-up by different men for a government check? 

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9 minutes ago, edelweis said:

Davy the rebel :mrgreen:

Do you secretly have a crucifix tattoo on an interesting body part ?

 

 

haha no, probably a combination of (a) I never cared what people think of me and (b) I'm getting older so comes with the territory.

 

Eccentric or just plain weird, still not yet sure. :wink:

 

4 hours ago, Pianote said:

 If someone calls you a loser for being a teacher they're jealous. You best believe they'd do the same if they had the opportunity. Since when is teaching and traveling the world losing? You mean, I'm a loser by teaching and not the person who cant get a job because  he/she has a criminal record as long as my arm? Not the woman who gets knocked-up by different men for a government check? 

 

Actually Pianote,   truth be told, I think you are a very brave lady. A black woman coming to China to do what she enjoys is commendable. (The black reference just reflecting that you are naturally going to stand out so can be trying at times). I have worked with a lot of rich poncy so called alpha males in my career. Their confidence just stems from financial security and senior position in a large company. However i know inside they are seriously lacking in confidence and wouldn't be brave do what you do! 

 

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15 hours ago, 歐博思 said:

To be fair to loser teachers, they were brave enough to come to another country. At least they're brave losers.

I've always liked this view of it. "You are such a loser you moved across the world for a better life." 

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Imagine an elephant working in a circus in Europe with kids giving him carrots for taking pics. Lot of carrots, cabbage, apples, bananas everyday. Back in Africa? The same elephant might get the same stuff, even more, but with much more effort. The elephant has to move at least to get food back home. The elephant in Europe might think: „Am just special, a nice life, people love taking pictures of me. I am SOMEBODY! Unlike my countrymates back in Tanzania.“ But the elephant is just a clown. Of course, parents in Europe love seeing their kids happy. So they MUST have an elephant to play with! The parents might even call it education: „Our kids are learning from animals! Really important. Elephant education is really important for my kid!“ Not a shit! Just clown. Just a looser elephant. 

Chinese parents are wiling to throw away 35 euro (Beijing) for a foreign face clapping beside their little things. Nobody would give me such money in Europe for nothing. American clapper in Peoplesrepublic, Tanzanian elephant in Austria, they are not teachers, to begin with. Just losers.

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Or the elephant in Austria spends her spare time learning German and then after a few years goes back to Tanzania and earns a living translating from German to Swahili.

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Or, the elephant gets poached and has its tusks sent to China on the black market.

 

But seriously, saying going to China to teach English makes someone a loser is putting the cart before the horse. It is just an unfortunate fact that many losers are drawn to the gig by the very low entry and performance requirements (which, thankfully, have been increasing), and tarnish the reputation of all. But that's life.

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While we're at it, what kind of reputation, I wonder, do the relatively minute number of expat Chinese teachers in the west tend to have, not among the westerners they interact with, but among fellow Chinese back home? Are they similarly regarded as losers more often than they deserve?

 

I suspect they might be, and that the loser label may be as much to do with what sorts of things are and aren't perceived as good careers in western and Chinese cultures respectively as with the behaviour some of the teachers exhibit. My thesis, which I'm sure I've made before, is that language and literature as academic disciplines are considered by many Chinese (or at least by a greater percentage than is the case with westerners) to be of lower status than sciences, not just because of the relatively modest earning potential they entail for graduates, but because the intellect required for their study is thought to be inferior to that generally required for the sciences.

 

This assessment of things isn't just whimsy on my part, but something I've heard myself from the lips of a good many Chinese people over the years.

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An elephant can learn German, of course. But Austria calls the tune, Austria is sending stuff to Tanzania. Austria will find staff speaking swahili, if it comes to some business. Austrians dont need elephants to handle serious stuff, they will never let them. All they need from elephants, is FUN! 

Even if American mastered Chinese, okay. It is nice: "You can speak Chinese, excellllent!!" A Chinese speaking American can never compare with an English speaking Peoplesrepublican.

But, most of the Americans never learned any language. They dont know what is it like, learning a different language. Because they dont need it. I had to. I learned Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Italian, Turkish, German, Greek. Some of them I wanted to, some of them I had to. Former Sovietunionists, Latinamericans cant tell am not native on a phone.

I remember talking to one parent at a school I was clapping at back in 2014. Together with one Bulgarian guy, one girl from Uzbekistan and one real American. The father was happy seeing us: "You are not native. You had to learn something. At least you know how it is to learn a new language. How can someone, having never learned any language, teach my daughter? Chinese teachers? Just drilling words, speaking only Chinese. Americans? Just clapping for easy money, speaking only English. I want my daughter to speak!"

That American was really stupid, being not able to spell "carrot". he had no idea who was Oscar Wilde. Waking up, going to McDonalds, then to clap, than to a bar. That was his business. All of us (non-natives) got kicked out. He survived.

Teachers from Bulgaria, where an average salary might be around 250 euro are thrown back on teaching in China. And they must have made every effort to master English! They are not losers. Americans are not desperate. They are just lazy.

But I cant blame them for going to China to clap. If I was American, I would do the same.

 

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