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Uneducated teachers

  1. #41
    JJ's Mrs. P is offline Registered User
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    I find this topic very interesting and on a personal note quite timely!
    I am not a trained teacher, rather a trained neuro educator and qualified midwife paediatric nurse. I have operated early years (pre three) classes for more than 15 years in Hong Kong (all of those children are accompanied by a parent or caregiver as per the social welfare ordinance). After many years of parents requests to start a kindergarten I am finally from September co operating with a local kindergarten to offer places to our playgroup graduates and begin a K1 class (I already have another kindergarten out of Hong KOng, operated by a business parter with a B.ED and Dip T). The first thing I did was employ a curriculum advisor, experienced in Early Years with relevant qualifications and experience in setting up an International school (she has a B.Ed in early childhood and a Dip T and currently studying her Masters in Early Years education). The second thing I did was advertise and begin the task of getting qualified teachers (regardless of the fact it is Kindergarten - the children deserve qualified teachers).
    Here my shock began! The amount of people applying for the position (with no qualifications) was astounding. Granted the cv's I cited were exceptional with experience, some had even held administrative and head positions. I continued the process of interviewing and really wondered if I was expecting too much to get a qualified teacher while so many came with glowing references from well known kindergatens all over Hong Kong and some had even had experience writing their own curriculums - all with no relevant professional teaching qulification.
    Fortunately for me patience paid off and I have been fortunate to employ two well qualified, experienced educators registered with EDB and excited to impliment our well written and meaningful curriculum.
    This week has been the week that has made me smile and feel relieved that I held on to get the trained staff. They are working together to set up the classrooms, library and playground to reflect our curriculum, they are planning the weeks routine around our learning objectives and they are talking in a professional language all of their own!
    I am a mother of four, I have always expected qualified teachers from kindergarten through. The children deserve this. I am sad to say however that I personally believe that many parents are unaware of just how many unqualified teachers are teaching out there.
    Unfortunately (from a kindergarten perspective) a lot of dammage can be done if the foundation stage is taught incorrectly and I am sure there are countless reception and P1 teachers that will agree that all the decoding of bad habits takes up valuable teaching time when the children get to primary.

  2. #42
    Elise is offline Registered User
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    Totally weigh in with Quasi and Cupcakes here. I'm a DipTeach, BEd, DipChildLit, MPsych, train teachers and write educational resources and teach. I'm no longer shocked by some of your stories - seen it gong on for years in HK. Education is a money maker so many places not set up by educationalists. So bottom line is cutting costs to make a profit = cheap teachers = unqualified English speakers. The "can't get a job in HK so I'll teach" or " I graduated with honors from a US university in ......( insert a degree/masters other than teaching) so I'll set up a writing centre" syndrome negates the recruitment montage "best person for the job".
    I DO know all ESF and top tier international schools would never hire an unqualified, less than 2 years experience teacher - there are on or 2 exceptions. Lower tier internationals and locally owned or government schools are a different matter. Local schools that go through the ED receive a BEd or PGDE, many local schools just get the monetary grant from ED and recruit themselves. Kindergartens are privately owned. They are beginning to demand Early Childhood qualifications but when the pay is so much lower than that of primary teachers - which is lower than secondary ( local schools here) the best applicants don't bother and insulting.
    Hong Kong needs to rethink its whole educational approach to valuing all areas and levels of education and recruiting educators with globally acceptable qualifications and experience.

  3. #43
    Elise is offline Registered User
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    Sorry, some typos - Sunday morning ( just) after all!

  4. #44
    geocup Guest
    Fully agree Elise. I am so bothered right now by the standard of teaching at my school. I am an excellent teacher, I have had fantastic experiences with a variety of schools/curriculums in different countries as well as developed curriculum myself. Unqualified teachers really lack the core of this profession. One problem I have with my school is that the principal acts and treats the unqualified teachers like they are the bee's knees. Honestly, this can only be because they are Caucasian, and are cheap. Why do parents spend sooo much money on their child's education in HK when the teachers can be so cheap and uneducated themselves?

  5. #45
    geocup Guest
    I also believe that many people who are unable to gain reputable professions in their home country DO come to Hk because it is so easy for them to set up a 'learning centre/play group.' SO many teachers I know would never be allowed to teach at any level in their home country.

  6. #46
    Elise is offline Registered User
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    Absolutely, Cupcakes! It is all a game in HK. Management is old fashioned so if you can suck up to the 'boss', so much the better. If you can't play the game, you're left on the outer. A good teacher would rise above it and just get out of there at contract's end. I've even had the 'you're too qualified' excuse - seen unqualified people step in. I work privately now and continually have to undo what unqualified teachers have taught (eg. comprehension where you read the text twice and NEVER allowed to revisit it again). Degree in Accountancy + online TEFL does not a teacher make. Saying that, some people have a natural vocation for teaching and with the proper training would be amongst the professions' best.

  7. #47
    geocup Guest
    It certainly is a game - it is all about what people can get away with. In my experience management only care about the bottom line. Little do parents know about the background of teachers!!!

  8. #48
    geocup Guest
    I would really like to bring this to the attention of the media....and the unwitting public.

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