Over-educated, over here and overwhelmed
September 6, 2001 4:03 PM   Subscribe

Over-educated, over here and overwhelmed The teacher shortage in Britain is so acute, that talent from the four corners is being shipped in at double the cost. The irony is, that if our teachers were actually paid the salary this gentleman is getting, there would be more of them...
posted by feelinglistless (10 comments total)
similar topic here
posted by machaus at 4:11 PM on September 6, 2001

ah -- the double post police are in force I see --
posted by feelinglistless at 4:20 PM on September 6, 2001

-- I was aware of the previous thread -- this story is interesting for the clashing of cultures - I wondered if anyone had any experiences of the American teaching method being used via the national curriculum --
posted by feelinglistless at 4:22 PM on September 6, 2001

didn't say it was a double post, there are a lot of good links in that post to also reference... I see that the eggshells are out in force.
posted by machaus at 4:54 PM on September 6, 2001

this story is interesting for the clashing of cultures

What clash of cultures? Man from English speaking industrialised nation moves to English speaking industrialised nation? Or do obscure acronyms qualify as culture these days?

'So I move to the UK, and instead of saying 'TV', some of them say 'telly'. It was like living on Mars, man - a whole other world.'
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:57 PM on September 6, 2001

It's going the other direction as well. Chicago has been "importing" teachers for a couple of years now. Some of them notoriously left, unable to handle the casual and impertinent American students (shades of To Sir with Love, Blackboard Jungle, etc.), but most worked out.
posted by dhartung at 5:12 PM on September 6, 2001

feelinglistless: are you sure that he's getting paid that much more than native teachers? if you divide 26500 by 136 (what the agency gets), it comes out to be just under 195 days. even if he never misses a day, he's still not coming out much better than his native brit counterparts. add in the costs associated with picking up and moving your whole life across the world, communicating with family and friends back in the states, etc., and the gap shrinks even more. And the pound is not quite as strong against the dollar as it used to be; at the end of the day he is making less than he could as a teacher in many places in the States.

This isn't to say that the situation isn't fairly abominable. I can understand why you're pissed. My fiancee is a native New Zealander. As a midwife in the midst of a national shortage, she sees the same thing, foreigners imported at a higher pay rate to fill in some of the gaps. But the real crime is how much the agencies get paid. In my own years of temping through agencies, I've seen first hand the ways in which they milk both companies and employees. They charge a ridiculous rate to send employees to a company, then take a massive percentage for themselves. The ones that market themselves to more upscale jobseekers often charge a headhunting fee to prospective freelancers, on top of what they are getting from the company. Then they require a payoff if the client company wants to hire the employee. They offer poor benefits and (at least in the states) have no requirement to negotiate cost or pay rates uniformy. I worked on a data entry project out of the agency's office last year, and saw first hand how they manipulate both clients and temps to increase their percentages. The company pays commisions to those reps who make the most money, effectively tying their salaries into screwing everyone else. I haven't done any thorough research, but I get the feeling that in most countries, these agencies operate with little regulation above and beyond regular labor law. If you're going to blame anyone, you should point your finger at the middleman.
posted by hipstertrash at 6:27 PM on September 6, 2001

Main reason why there aren't more teachers in the US, even more so than the pay: They burn out because of bad administration and government strangling. Teachers have some of the highest turnover in the professions. Since we're talking about walking on eggshells, it's what teachers must do everyday. In Oregon, the state simply can't afford to buy new materials and whatnot to make the schools good enough to make it worth the time of a well-educated person to teach. This year, I've already paid $675 for fees that the government won't cover (at a public school...things liks sport fees, IB Test fees, class fees, graduation fees, everything). My school has very low turnover and a the state's lowest drop out rate, despite being in a lower-middle class area, having the highest minority population in the county and having SAT scores avg. 120 pts. below the richer neighboring school because the administration concerns themselves with getting teachers hyped to go to work. A huge percentage of my teachers are former lawyers, which I found interesting. I guess after law, the red tape in education doesn't seem too bad. The education system needs to be redone.

Personally, privately run schools (with government funding) are a great idea. Look at the American and British schools in Singapore, Mexico City, etc.. They're phenomenal.
posted by Kevs at 8:10 PM on September 6, 2001

I can understand why you're pissed.

I'm not actually annoyed - in fact I love cultural mixing in all it's forms - I was just wondering about the economic implications.
posted by feelinglistless at 11:16 PM on September 6, 2001

This just sums up the nature of British public services, and the managerial insanity that pervades within them. It's advantageous to pare down basic running costs, and then spend over the odds on "emergency" cover, rather than making the initial investment

The same applies at hospitals. My sister was on the books of an nursing agency, and was called out for months at a time; but the ward sister couldn't give her even a short-term contract because all the budget was allocated to "emergency cover". It's like waiting for gangrene to set into a wound, because you know you'll get faster treatment; the problem being that they may have to amputate.

The situation's ridiculous and shameful. I can't say enough on how there needs to be a purge of the middle tiers of management at schools and hospitals. For sure, bring in nurses and teachers from abroad: but as part of a well-organised programme, like JET in Japan, which provides decent support on all sides, rather than a last-ditch effort that plays into the hands of agencies.
posted by holgate at 4:06 AM on September 7, 2001

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