Sep 25, 2009

You Might be Working at a Bad Language School...

... if your boss introduces a uniforms rule for the female staff only, then orders the clothes a size too small (oops!) so that everything is short and tight.

... if you're invited to take an interview, watch a foreign teacher get fired before your eyes, then hear the words, "so, a position has recently opened...."

... if the lagerlout teachers can phone in sick with hangovers, but your genuine bout of food poisoning is only legitimized with a doctor's note. 

... if the head teacher organizes a thoughtful birthday party in your honour, then, after presents and cake, calls you into her office and fires you.

... if your students campaign (successfully) to have you taken off their class because they don't like your clothes.

... if your boss generously arranges your accommodation, then commissions the landlady to keep a running tally of the nights you come home past midnight, the number of beer cans in your recycling bin, and the number of opposite-sex visitors that have come and gone.

... if the beautiful ex-model on staff teaches classes in sweatpants, yet when you show up one day in flat shoes, you're commanded to go home and change into heels.

... if one American teacher quits without notice and the school, as a precautionary measure, fires all the other American teachers on the spot. 

... if your teacher training, delivered by the native speaker whose job you'll be assuming, consists only of a list of ways to "waste time" in class, and instructions on where to find the Go Fish deck in the teacher's room.

These are first or secondhand accounts of laughably bad language school situations, as witnessed by yours truly or fellow teachers. Yes, they're all true. 


  1. Anne! This is brilliant! I'm putting together an article about ESL experiences for Matador and these are perfect. The rest of the Matador team is going to contribute their experiences as well. Would it be alright for me to include these, with links to your blog?



  2. I totally believe these are true. Great list!

  3. This is unbelievable. We need to write a pilot about a zany Bluth-esque group of ESL teachers. We can use all of this. UNBELIEVABLE!!!