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Lumbering Ox

Teaching, is this level of bad that normal.

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Lumbering Ox

Short form of the video. Changsha Foreign Language University is introducing fines for teachers for things at least partly out of their control. Students not showing up, not paying attention, sleeping, fooling around etc. Half way through teachers strike back. They can't force those who don't want to learn to learn. They can't punish nor fail. A third of the students after 2 years of French can't even say hello but everyone passes so nobody cares which leads to the behavior that the teachers get fined for.

 

I'd expect this maybe from a private school, but a university. Is this sort of stuff common in the public or private sector?

 

Edit: Based on another video, it seems it was a private university, the question still stands. I remember some pretty horrible things on this forum about a TCM university also though. :Edit

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXxKVhzSMgo

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ChTTay

I can see it being the case in lower level Universities as they probably need high pass rates etc to attract students. 

 

Then again, on my final listening test of my first semester at Tsinghua (Chinese language program) the teachers “revision” ended up all being on the test. Not as bad as just giving the test but still. Actually, the book we used was a nightmare so if she hadn’t we’d have all failed. It was so inappropriate for our level I just learned the transcripts of what she suggested. Good times back then. 

 

The Gaokao is the hardest thing students have to do. Once they’ve done it, University is considered easy street.  

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889

I remember Chinese friends telling me that high school and even middle school were times of intense study. College for most was viewed as relatively relaxed.

 

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Lumbering Ox

I knew University was considered easy street but the idea that administrators would consider it fair and reasonable to punish teachers financially when they have only a marginal impact on that and when really the no fail, don't even bother showing up attitude encourages students to do the things that will get teachers punished for.

 

IIRC fines were 10 yuan for every 1 to 6 points, it can add up.

 

And I thought there was an English teach shortage in China, one would figure they wouldn't screw talent like that.

 

OTOH if I ever wanted to get a Phd just for kicks... as so fellow nerds would call me "The Doctor" I know where to go.

  • Good question! 1

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lakesandrivers

What a horrible meeting. We know for a fact that "Students not showing up, not paying attention, sleeping, fooling around ..." is not limited to high school but also university students. But punishing the teachers is unacceptable, not to mention illogical. It seems a problem of the management not owning the problem and passing it on, and finally onto the teachers. One would think the Uni would present a united front, but if CFLU had been a diploma mill for years then the students had likely been assured of a degree regardless of performance. 

 

If what the teacher said was true, that new education authorities are now asserting quality, then the Uni might need new management ... In a way, this is easy and an advantage of a one-party system, no?

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roddy

If anyone's a Youtube commenter send the guy a link to this topic. It's not massively surprising though - Badly run school gets into a bad situation, comes up with bad idea to try and fix it. I can't speak to this university, but there is definitely a pay-to-graduate thing going on in some cases - rich parents park gaokao-failing kids somewhere for a few years while they figure out what to do with them, on the basis that the hefty fees mean a guaranteed pass (well, what ELSE are they for?). 

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imron
3 hours ago, roddy said:

rich parents park gaokao-failing kids somewhere for a few years while they figure out what to do with them

Yep, in many ways it's an extended baby-sitting service.  When I was a teacher, the worst students almost always had the richest parents.

 

11 hours ago, Lumbering Ox said:

They can't punish nor fail.

I can't speak for getting fined, but this is definitely true.  Here are some examples from when I was teaching (at a foreign language college).

 

1. The school held an English speaking competition and us foreign teachers were asked to be judges, ranking on a grade of 0-100.  After several students had spoken, a teacher came up to us and mentioned that all our grading was quite low (sometimes in the 60's or 70's) and said that even though the score was from 0-100 could we please keep the answers between 90-100.  Which we complied with - a student getting a 60 became a 96, a 70 became a 97 and so on.   As a side note, the student who ended up winning definitely didn't deserve it.  He had memorised an entire speech by Al Gore and delivered at breakneck speed attempting to mimic accent and all.  It was almost unintelligible, and so so ridiculous that all of us foreign teachers couldn't help but laugh most of the way through it.  I suspect the other judges couldn't understand what he was saying either, but saw all the foreign teachers laughing and so assumed he must be good and so gave him top marks.

 

2. At the end of the semester, some of the foreign teachers had students with awful English and they didn't give them a passing grade.  The teacher didn't budge on his opinion about altering the grade.  The school therefore altered the grade themselves and the student passed.

 

I have more examples, but they only serve to reinforce the same point.  It's very difficult for students to fail at university.

 

 

 

 

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roddy
12 minutes ago, imron said:

He had memorised an entire speech by Al Gore

I once had a student hand in an essay which began "President Bush and I..."

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imron

So you were teaching International Relations and he was well connected?

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mungouk
12 hours ago, Lumbering Ox said:

sleeping

 

Oh, so this is suddenly considered bad?

 

 

 

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Lumbering Ox
14 hours ago, mungouk said:

Oh, so this is suddenly considered bad?

I once started snoring in a Naval History seminar in a Canadian university. I actually like the subject but I guess I was real tired. The professor woke me up. Embarrassing.

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歐博思
23 hours ago, Lumbering Ox said:

And I thought there was an English teach shortage in China, one would figure they wouldn't screw talent like that.

Good question!

 

 

Quote

If anyone's a Youtube commenter send the guy a link to this topic.

I got you Roddy.

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vellocet

Seems obvious to me.  The education bureau came by and said these things are a problem. Sleeping in class, etc.  The school management, panicking, immediately passes on the problem to its teachers.  Tells teachers they must do their job for them.  If the school actually starts failing students, it will lose them.  The better educational standards are going to put a lot of schools like this out of business, so they're right to panic.  Don't get better and get closed, get better and students flee and they close.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.

 

What I don't get is how many of these teachers take themselves so seriously. Do they not know they're figureheads?  Their lack of qualifications and low salary should clue them in.  Foreign language class is just an easy A.  One of the youtube comments said he works for 3000 a month?  You can make more than that as a waitress.  I just don't get these foreigners and their rage.  How are they not aware they are a joke?  

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roddy

I have a certain degree of sympathy. In many cases they'll be competent (or at least well-meaning) teachers who incorrectly thought they were going to a competent school - I couldn't find a job ad for this particular school, but I can assume it wasn't particularly accurate. That's an enormously frustrating situation to be in, especially if this is your first experience in China (although if it's your second, you should probably have known better) and it's not that easy to just up and find a new job. And even a good school can go bad very quickly - a change of management, rapid expansion, investors clamouring for more.

 

So I can understand any anger and bitterness - I probably felt a little of the same, many years ago, although I was never in too awful a situation. My unsolicited advice for anyone in that situation would be to accept your utility in the classroom is going to be limited, do what you can with the resources available, and make the most of whatever else you have. Start a Youtube channel, maybe. 

2 hours ago, vellocet said:

What I don't get is how many of these teachers take themselves so seriously. Do they not know they're figureheads?  Their lack of qualifications and low salary should clue them in.

I was, like, 21. In my defence I caught on after a few months.

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ChTTay

Which teachers are we talking about? 

 

The guy is a University ESL teacher?

 

I can’t get to the video at the moment. I’m behind GFW and my “tunnel” has collapsed. 

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Lumbering Ox
21 hours ago, vellocet said:

What I don't get is how many of these teachers take themselves so seriously. Do they not know they're figureheads?  Their lack of qualifications and low salary should clue them in.  Foreign language class is just an easy A.  One of the youtube comments said he works for 3000 a month?  You can make more than that as a waitress.  I just don't get these foreigners and their rage.  How are they not aware they are a joke?  

 

He was miserable in France and he is miserable in China.

I think he is one of those guys who will find a way to be miserable.

Not quite as bad as Ryan Boundless but still. At least many of buddy's China complains are legit. However his comments about France, yeah hommie ain't going to be happy anywhere.

 

I think the turning point was when they started saying they were going to fine him and he said he will not accept a single yuan less. So technically it isn't outrage over not being able to teach but more being financially screwed over.

He does seem to be the sort who does want to teach though, kudos for him in that regard sort of. In a way it's better than the sort who would show up to class every day and not care in the slightest.

 

This sort of came up in the Japanese language forum. Some people got into a snit with the idea of teaching basically for the visa and not because you want to teach but the schools don't care, the students mostly don't seem to care and you are a glorified human tape recorder/performing circus monkey, so why feel guilty. If they cared they would pay more and demand actual credentials. [I would care but I am weird]

 

19 hours ago, roddy said:

That's an enormously frustrating situation to be in, especially if this is your first experience in China (although if it's your second, you should probably have known better)

 

I don't know his deal, but he is married and has a kid with a Chinese girl and I get the impression they met in China.

As such I doubt this is his first job.

 

14 hours ago, ChTTay said:

The guy is a University ESL teacher?

He teaches the French not the English. But yeah basically. Private school. I did a summery on the first post because most people arn't going to look at the full video and I can't blame them.

 

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Lu
4 hours ago, Lumbering Ox said:

but he is married and has a kid with a Chinese girl and I get the impression they met in China.

This is the worst part, I think. If you're miserable yourself, in a job that from here looks pretty shitty, with no clear way out or up, I'm sorry for you and I hope things get better at some point. If you're dating a man in that situation, same thing, I hope either things get better at some point or that you break up with him. But to put a child into that kind of situation is not good, in my opinion.

 

And if you've been in China for long enough to have a child by a Chinese woman, you should really have your act together more. I think. But well, easy to judge from here of course.

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ChTTay

I’m not so sure. Regardless of how good a teacher or not they are if this was teaching ESL there would be more options. If the guy isn’t a qualified French teacher (seems probable?) then it’s very likely he’d need to go home to get qualified. That would mean spending money and probably at least a year back home. If he’s got a child then it makes it even more complicated. 

 

Anyway, who knows. 

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abcdefg
On 5/24/2018 at 4:58 PM, roddy said:

...and it's not that easy to just up and find a new job.

 

https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/56564-english-lesson-to-up-and/?tab=comments#comment-437524 

 

Quote

I'm going to have to try and sneak up on myself when I'm saying it. 

 

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mungouk

Busted!

 

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