Friday, March 18, 2011

The Smartest Guys In the Room... Maybe.

CRRRAAAZY times at work.

1st, staff of us 4 teachers are informed that we're being "pushed" out of the Chinese public school, and will relocate. In like 2 weeks. To a beautiful new school which is in Beijing, but definitely NOT downtown Beijing. Students and parents not yet informed. Expectation that some will follow us out to the boonies. Not a word about compensation, no apology, no direct word from our employer or anything. Told to keep our mouths shut about this. Prepare for the impending midnight run.


It didn't really add up. How were we being pushed out? Why?

Oh, the public school, which is responsible to pay our wages was withholding payments, and so my employer the private school had to pay out of pocket? That was right good of them.

But that doesn't add up either. Why was all this info withheld? What's the reason behind the public school's actions?
particularly badly
Much to our employer's displeasure we called a meeting w/ the Chinese public school admin, where we found out they have completed all payments, and are mostly interested in hiring us teachers directly when the present contract expires in June.

Our present employer is using the students as pawns and forcing students, parents and teachers all into a pretty fucking unpleasant situation of a mid-term relocation, sure to break the student body in 1/2, and screw things up tragically for the grade 12ers who've been preparing for final exams for 3.5 years now. The school is doing so to force the kids into the new school, build the new school culture and (imo) slap the Chinese public school in the face.


Once us teachers figured this out, we realized that there's a fight going on over students and TEACHERS. So now us 4 teachers have called private meetings with the public school to see if we can actually wrangle a better deal and future contract. And we gave a list of demands to our present employer, who is doubtlessly pissed OFF.

Note: all teachers have at most scant traces of respect for present employer, and we all feel (even me) that we each have a bad relationship w/ her, and feel a real lack or respect from her.

Although to be fair, there has been no shortage of problems caused by the Chinese school either.

Anyhow, it's pretty exciting to be in a situation where we fought to figure out what was happening and squeezed ourselves into a better position.

Or we could all lose our jobs and end up with nothing.

But there's definite power in being a unified core, and knowing that many students would consider that WE are the school, not whatever f'ing name or company it's under. And knowing that we have already proven ourselves, improving all aspects of school life and exam marks to boot. And a bit scary knowing that we do have the ability to make a choice which could royally fuck our employer up the ass, potentially stealing the entire student body.

Sadly however, my principal who has worked her ass off for her teachers has fallen somewhat into our bad books as she perpetuated her employers lies, lying through her teeth herself.

Anyhow, there's still loads of unknowns and boring details that i won't get into. All of which somehow make for a divisive and stressy atmosphere at school, which has made it hard for teachers to muster up enough focus to organize another 90 minutes of instruction.