Fire! Fire!

I started to write a blogpost last night about how I might get fired today.

Today I was fired.

My crime was asking my class to write short essays about what they liked and disliked about the school. They liked the teachers, the games, and the way we taught using pop songs and TV shows - a method greatly disapproved of by management.

The students hated, and I mean really hated, just two things. The absurdly long prescribed lesson length of 80 minutes. And the official school textbook.

This book was compiled from mismatched sections spliced from other textbooks. The section on asking questions contained no questions, the spread on second conditionals was simply incorrect, and tasks for beginners were explained in language difficult for advanced readers.

It came with a CD of pre-recorded dialogues - in the wrong order, with some missing, not matching the pages in the book which referred to them.

In short, it was completely unusable. Which is why none of us used it.

Management however, decreed that teachers must use it, and every student must learn from it, even though there weren't nearly enough copies to go round.

Oh, and any manager could walk into any class at any time to 'assess' whether a teacher was 'supporting management', and terminate their contract at any time. All completely illegal of course.

My crime then was agreeing with my students. Or knowing my job, whichever is worse.

On friday, the directive came through, complete with threats and belittling language, and three teachers walked out. One was persuaded to come back - and was fired an hour later for explaining why he walked out.

On monday morning, another was re-hired, re-fired, re-hired and re-fired.

On monday afternoon, I got an email telling me I was fired. It contained three short paragraphs, featuring four basic grammar mistakes and two punctuation errors.

At least one other was also fired - and all by the same unqualified manager parachuted in to, er, calm things down. At least another two colleagues are considering walking out, and a further two desperately want to leave but can't for financial reasons. Yet.

So, a shitty school in meltdown. A raft of complaints to the regulators - who've been known to withdraw accreditation on the basis of one complaint. So far two legal actions against the school pending, and a picket outside the premises.

Two things I love. Teaching - and learning from - students, and watching idiots crash and burn. I've got a new job starting soon, I've made some good friends at work, there's now finally some time to make music...and I get a lie in bed tomorrow.

Today has been a good day.


  1. So they're firing teachers for actually teaching? Bureacucracy at its best!

  2. Well it's a good thing you got out before the house burned down, and it sounds like that school is going down in flames!