segunda-feira, outubro 23, 2006

I am not one to gossip, however....

Since the beginning of the year, I get the feeling that our school is one giant window and the glass is slowly cracking from one little fracture, one little rock that hit, who this rock is, I will not reveal. Maybe it's more than one, I will give the rock some credit.

Since the duplo of teachers broke their contract and left in September of last year, I have spoken much more with the foreign hired teachers, just to get a perspective. There is so much of this "they get" and "we don't get" feeling that these dialogues are sort of difficult. Yet it seems even after the lessons of last year, nothing has really been done to resolve the abandonment issues the school seems to have.

Reports have told me that teachers come here without full paper work, or even a clear contract by the school, with promises of luxery and live it up on the beach life. What they get is an apartment that needs painting, with only one working toilet for the whole family (when there are 3 bathrooms), no advice about life in Brasil, and no help dealing with culture and language barriers. One teacher had a $2000 phone bill, due to long distance rates and the way that the phone company counts the "pulses" in a call. Had someone told her some of this common knowledge, or even just given a small booklet, outlining some "differences" between say, the States and Brasil, this probably could have been avoided. Now she is working virtually for free, having the money from her paycheck withdrawn to pay for one month of calls. Shortly after this shock, the electricity was shut off at their house. Why? Well, because they didn't know where to go to pay the bill and no one bothered to tell them how bill paying works here. When inquiring at the school, the explanation was "oh, yeah, we have someone who will take care of that for you, we just forgot about it."

Another teacher is reportedly so pissed off at the school that she decided not to go to work on Friday. Since her phone wasn't working (she has been trying to get the school to help her fix the phone since she moved here in July), she just didn't bother to call and tell anyone that she wouldn't be showing up. Since no one could get a hold of her by phone, they had to personally go looking for her at her apartment on Saturday. I cannot imagine what might have been said.

This year the school implemented a buddy system, pairing a veteran teacher with a new one, to try to coushine the fall I think. It isn't entirely clear if this was a school decision, or it was an initiative of the veteran teachers. So far, it doesn't seem to be very effective, considering we are still having these problems. I went and spent the day with a friend/new teacher (who is not my assigned buddy, by the way) and heard all these horror stories, how awful the culture shock has been, and how abandonded by the school they feel. It was a lovely day and I think we are both the better for it. From what I understand, this is not at all typical of international schools (one of these new teachers has taught in 15 different countries). So the question remains, why does it happen here? Year after year. After loosing two teachers for exactly these reasons and I am hearing now. It's like de ja vú. And the crack just keeps getting bigger.

Um comentário:

thornapple disse...

it's because it's brazil.

they like to cheat people. it's the national pastime.
:P