My state of gruntlement with this current teaching caper is fragile.
It’s starting to look like I might have jumped through all the hoops necessary to stay on in the job til March next year. But it’s looking a little more like I’ve won not the Jackpot, but the Booby prize.
Below is a list of the latest in the Office Politics games which dominate my tiny corner of the world lately.
I feared that with the departure of my Thai co-teacher, Film, that the school might try to load me with extra teaching hours. That hasn’t happened, and they appear to be hard on the heels of a replacement for Film.
Today I was asked to sign an amended contract. Different from the original terms, of course. The original said I would be reimbursed Visa fees ( so far 3800 ฿ ). The amended contract said not. I didn’t sign.
Monday I am scheduled to visit the Immigration Office with Her Som-ness, the High Priestess of all things bureaucratic. I will pay 5000 ฿ for Visa and Work Permit.
This week Film demanded that I schedule exams immediately for students who recently failed. He also told me that he has already entered a pass mark for those who failed. Making these make-up tests a fiasco for the sake of placating fee-paying parents who would not be please that their wee treasures should not be learning computers. Or English.
I asked him about printing them out, a mysterious Byzantium process which requires sign-offs for Africa. He told me to do it myself. Wonderful. When I tried there was almost a shoot-out over access to printing paper.
I discovered that no NES teacher, or Philippine teacher, or Thai teacher, has more classroom hours than I do. Of a total of around 20+ teachers in the English Programme, only 2 others have the same number of contact ( classroom ) hours. All others have significantly ( 16 – 19 hours vs. my 22 ) less.
On a personal note, many of the Thai & Philippine teachers are just plain bad-mannered. It may be that my Western sensibilities about personal spaces is different. But spreading books and computers all over the lunch table, for example, is just bad manners. Desks are for one thing, tables for another, I woulda thought.
So given the fragile state of affairs, it may have been .. impolitic for me not to have buckled and signed the amended contract.
It’s probably a fight I can’t win. Maybe I should just put my head down, say ‘yessir’,’nossir’ and survive until March, when the contract ends.
Or mnaybe I’m just over-thinking the whole game, and the HOD doesn’t give a damn about whether I sign or not.
The balls is in the his court for now.