Vindictive students - normal part of system?

You sound like my kind of teacher. This attitude is all you can have towards university level students.

Don’t worry, it wasn’t aimed at anyone on this thread.

Update: the brainless students were going to the wrong classroom - 208 instead of 308. So it wasn’t the slackers who were slagging me off, it was the retards who sat through a semester of some Chinese teacher.

The sup’ has apologised, the school “want to forget all about it”. Sup’ said I could lay a complaint in the form of an email. Reckon I should or just forget about it?

Get it in writing. Get the “misunderstanding” and apology in writing by writing something about you wishing to complain about the situation (or just confirm that what they said had been the case, so it doesn’t look so hostile on your part) and try to elicit a response from them regarding this. That way, they’ve committed themselves to covering you, so if they later try to hang you out to dry for this (despite saying it’s okay now), which I wouldn’t be surprised by, you can pull out your trump card. Likewise, if someone tries this again, then you can claim a precedent (in your favour) has been set. It may not accomplish anything, but it’s better than nothing and having something in writing on someone is often very scary for them, so they’ll back down.

Even if everything seems rosy now, you have to consider how they might try to fuck you in the future and how you can prevent that from happening. The Taiwanese way is always: you’re fine, you’re fine, you’re fine, you’re fired. You need to cover your own arse.

These students sat through an entire semester in the wrong class and then, when they were faced with failing, decided to complain that you weren’t even teaching your class? I’ve never heard of anyone who deserved to fail more than that! They obviously only showed up to one or two classes and couldn’t even be arsed to check that they were in the right room when the teacher didn’t even have the right skin tone!

I taught in NTNU’s English language program one semester. I always assigned homework (to bring in one English word they encountered in everyday life, have looked it up and have used it in an original sentence). The second class, two students showed up with no homework, so I made them sing the ABC song with me in front of the class.

One of the singers never showed back up, some of the students bitched and moaned because I thought I was better than them, but some others took me aside and told me not to worry about it–those students just didn’t want to do any work. NO ONE ever came to class without homework again!

Of course, some of them failed and they had to do the semester again. I was fine with it–all of it. Fine that some of them didn’t like me, and fine that they failed if they earned their Fs. I got paid to teach. Some of them spent money to learn, and some of them spent money to goof off. They all got what they paid for.

If you want to keep your job, think carefully before rocking the boat by failing students, especially at private institutions. I’ve seen any number of foreigners lose their jobs over the years on some pretext after they failed students or insisted on reasonably high standards. I’m not saying they weren’t right to do so, but there were consequences.

For example, when budget cuts came a year or so later, the ‘difficult’ foreign teachers were let go first.

Feiren: Precisely, which is part of why I’m leaving my job. I don’t want to work for them if they’re not going to have decent standards. Eventually, they probably wouldn’t want me to work for them if I kept rocking the boat about their lack of standards. I can see the pointlessness of it all and also the writing on the wall. Ultimately, this kind of nonsense drives certain types of people to either work for themselves or leave Taiwan. Taiwanese students, and Taiwan in general, are the lesser for it.

Tomhill,
I wasn’t saying Baas was an asshole nor are professors who fail students who deserve it are assholes. What I meant is that they would be viewed as assholes by the teaching staff and the students.

Now my guess is all those saying that they failed students, worked at public universities. Public universites are a whole different breed compared to their private counterparts. Private universites can’t compete on standards because everything is controlled by the MOE and if they had better professors, the public uni’s could poach them as they are seen as hgher in status since there is no difference in pay between them. Private universites are also a means of rent-seeking by construction companies, hence why the Construction industrial complex that rules the island(hat tip-Michael Turton) is so keen for mainland chinese studenst to attend university in Taiwan.

Baas, I would strongly suggest you get all that in writing and signed by your supervisor. It just sounds too stupid to be true, too many coincidences there for my liking. Of course they would like everything to be forgotten as then they could bring it up in the procedures to not renew your contract and what proof do you have then? Do you work at a private or public university?

Cheers,
Okamii

[quote=“Feiren”]If you want to keep your job, think carefully before rocking the boat by failing students, especially at private institutions. I’ve seen any number of foreigners lose their jobs over the years on some pretext after they failed students or insisted on reasonably high standards. I’m not saying they weren’t right to do so, but there were consequences.

For example, when budget cuts came a year or so later, the ‘difficult’ foreign teachers were let go first.[/quote]

I understamd your cautionary advice but I will never advocate a life lived on ones knees.

Glad to hear other teachers have principals and standards when it comes to university bullshit.

Baas, maybe get the factual evidence written down and signed, don’t push for the apology. Then when contracts come up and some dingbat tries to twist what happened it will all be written down properly. Thats my take, but then again, I failed to make headway in the Taiwanese school system, and either left or was fired from my jobs over disagreements about good practice. I was stupid enough to give all my students equal attention, when everyone (?!) knows you should only bother with those who are doing well… :astonished: :no-no:

Okami, thaanks for the clarification of your views and for the info about public vs private universities. Sad that universities have such shitty attitudes towards professional standards, isn’t it? Happy chrimbo to you. Blaze one up for me.

Herewith the supervisor’s email, which I have saved (with previous correspondence):

[quote]Hi xxxx,
I talked to the secretary this morning and it turned out the students had gone to the wrong classroom. As i told u on the phone that the school takes students’ opinion very seriously and even though sometimes those complaints and opinions are not objective. Personally i feel very sorry for this hapening to u. Seems that the school want this just been forgotten.
I have faith in all our teachers in taking their jobs responsibly and seriously, that’s why i talked to u in the first place to clarify thing with u. if u can’t just forget this(as what usually chinese ppl do lol), you can send me a formal complaint email and i can forward it to my superior and also whomever it concerns. As I myself is only a channel for the information between the school and foreign teachers and have no authority in deciding anything, we can wait for the decision from up.
Hope u don’t feel too bad about it.
Have a good day.[/quote]

I think I’ll get that in writing, signed/stamped by the relevant department.

[quote=“Baas Babelaas”]Update: the brainless students were going to the wrong classroom - 208 instead of 308. So it wasn’t the slackers who were slagging me off, it was the retards who sat through a semester of some Chinese teacher.

The sup’ has apologised, the school “want to forget all about it”. Sup’ said I could lay a complaint in the form of an email. Reckon I should or just forget about it?[/quote]

this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of…how the fuck could students go to the wrong classroom for a whole sylvester? What about roll call? What about at least a first day presentation of admission slips or some such document?

OiT (only in Taiwan)

[quote=“Baas Babelaas”]Herewith the supervisor’s email, which I have saved (with previous correspondence):

[quote]Hi xxxx,
I talked to the secretary this morning and it turned out the students had gone to the wrong classroom. As i told u on the phone that the school takes students’ opinion very seriously and even though sometimes those complaints and opinions are not objective. Personally i feel very sorry for this hapening to u. Seems that the school want this just been forgotten.
I have faith in all our teachers in taking their jobs responsibly and seriously, that’s why i talked to u in the first place to clarify thing with u. if u can’t just forget this(as what usually Chinese people do lol), you can send me a formal complaint email and i can forward it to my superior and also whomever it concerns. As I myself is only a channel for the information between the school and foreign teachers and have no authority in deciding anything, we can wait for the decision from up.
Hope u don’t feel too bad about it.
Have a good day.[/quote]

I think I’ll get that in writing, signed/stamped by the relevant department.[/quote]

Whoa… I’d think twice before sending a formal complaint. She’s pretty much told you NOT to do this.

[quote]Seems that the school want this just been forgotten.

u can’t just forget this(as what usually Chinese people do lol), you can send me a formal complaint [/quote]

Or at least ask her FIRST whether making a formal complaint is a good idea in her opinion. You will win points from her by having asked for her opinion and listened to your advice and you may save yourself a lot of trouble by identifying yourself as a ‘difficult’ foreigner. While she claims to be just a ‘channel of information’, her real job is no doubt to make sure that the foreigners don’t cause any problems. Help her do her job by not doing anything that will cause her problems where possible.

I’d just reply with an email alluding briefly to the nature of the incident and concluding that it was all just a misunderstanding and how much you enjoy teaching this great kids blah blah blah. Send it to her and keep these emails!

And edit the last post. She’s not going to like it if she finds you have quoted your correspondence on a public forum.

[quote=“the bear”][quote=“Baas Babelaas”]Update: the brainless students were going to the wrong classroom - 208 instead of 308. So it wasn’t the slackers who were slagging me off, it was the retards who sat through a semester of some Chinese teacher.

The sup’ has apologised, the school “want to forget all about it”. Sup’ said I could lay a complaint in the form of an email. Reckon I should or just forget about it?[/quote]

this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of…how the fuck could students go to the wrong classroom for a whole sylvester? What about roll call? What about at least a first day presentation of admission slips or some such document?

OiT (only in Taiwan)[/quote]

No it’s not. You don’t seriously think that is actually what happened. The school has come up with a transparent face-saving excuse to end this whole dispute. No one expects the OP to believe this. They expect he will be gracious about and go along with the whole thing and will be unhappy if he doesn’t.

[quote=“Baas Babelaas”]Herewith the supervisor’s email, which I have saved (with previous correspondence):

[quote]Hi xxxx,
I talked to the secretary this morning and it turned out the students had gone to the wrong classroom. As i told u on the phone that the school takes students’ opinion very seriously and even though sometimes those complaints and opinions are not objective. Personally i feel very sorry for this hapening to u. Seems that the school want this just been forgotten.
I have faith in all our teachers in taking their jobs responsibly and seriously, that’s why i talked to u in the first place to clarify thing with u. if u can’t just forget this(as what usually Chinese people do lol), you can send me a formal complaint email and i can forward it to my superior and also whomever it concerns. As I myself is only a channel for the information between the school and foreign teachers and have no authority in deciding anything, we can wait for the decision from up.
Hope u don’t feel too bad about it.
Have a good day.[/quote]

I think I’ll get that in writing, signed/stamped by the relevant department.[/quote]
The key point:

[quote]if u can’t just forget this([color=#FF0000]as what usually Chinese people do[/color] lol)[/quote] because, reading between the lines, if you do this

[quote]you can send me a formal complaint email and i can forward it to my superior and [color=#FF0000]also whomever it concerns[/color][/quote] you’re screwed.

But at least you know this, regardless of what happens

And the kicker is:

I feel for you, man. You do the right thing, you’re screwed (in all probability), but if you do the wrong thing (“what usually Chinese people do”), you’re ok.

I guess the only real dilemma here is, “How much do you like this job?”
This goes against the grain of everything I believe, but I reckon you should let it go. Do the Chinese thing. Don’t make waves and use the time to improve yourself, your prospects and find something better elsewhere, and ultimately more “serious and responsible”.

Edit: Feiren has the handle on this. I think his understanding of the “situation” is spot on.

[quote]Quote:
if u can’t just forget this(as what usually Chinese people do lol)[/quote]

Does that mean Chinese people usually do or don’t forget about these things? It is always tricky when dealing with translation. Baas is in China, will that make any difference to how the game is played?

I never know if a situation like this calls for one to bark down on an inferior or accept what has taken place. Fuck, Baas, what a shitty break mate.

Tough break Baas, I’d personally just pass everyone and spend my time doing research and shagging my students. Everyone seems to be in on the game here except you and I know that that situation sucks especially when you are the one who doesn’t get it.

Bismarck,
Where are my props? I was the one who called this thing correctly first. Feiren gets them, but I don’t? I feel left out, ignored, and unappreciated. :cry:

To all those kids out there, never ever believe the line:

[quote]As I myself is only a channel for the information between the school and foreign teachers and have no authority in deciding anything[/quote]Anyone saying this too you can easily make you search for a new job.

This would be a good training topic for those who are going to work at a university. We have the outlines of 2 different systems and how the private one is handled.

I’ve asked to have a written explanation of the event, stamped.

It’s not a formal complaint by me. I told her it would be useful in event of a future misunderstanding.

My last supervisor at another college, a Canadian fellow, kept all his correspondence with the school as he was winding up his contract early, to head back home and help his sickly mum.

He’d stipulated in the contract that if she got ill he would have to terminate it early and leave the school. That was agreed on. Come the time he was leaving, one of the office girls said he’d molested her. It was an outright lie, aimed at getting him to leave early, without getting paid.

He walked into the office, and got a written apology from her, in front of the manager, stating she’d lied. He got his pay and bonus, because the alternative was him dragging them through the mud.

I’m not quite in that situation, because I might stay on one more year with this uni, but he taught me the power of not backing down, bluffing, and the very useful poker face.

The message I’m getting more and more about Chinese culture is that if you want a serious job, you don’t get one in Taiwan or China. Kindergartens, buxibans, government primary and secondary schools and universities, they’re all full of shit. I’m still on the fence about private enterprise and how profitable having standards can be there. I guess I’ll know over the course of the next year. My plan B (which I’ll try to start in the middle of next year even if private enterprise is going well) is to get a Masters in Applied Linguistics so I have the option to get out of here and go to a country where I can either get some satisfaction or at least get paid a pretty decent amount of money to put up with bullshit.

That reminds me of two incidents at a school I worked at. One was the suggestion by the secretary that we didn’t interview one candidate due to his colour. We all went a bit postal over that one. The second was when we needed to sack a teacher, and it was suggested that we just say he is well known for inappropriately touching female students. Even though that was a total and utter lie. I was physically repulsed at the sheer fuckwaddery of the place and people I worked with that they’d happily destroy someones life to save a few hundred nt. Those two things still bitterly cloud my judgement about the scruples of the Taiwanese to this day.

Sure you can get a serious job, but 9 times out of 10 the employer will be a foreign one. Or yourself.

Okami’s original reply to the OP was what caught my attention to the gap in understanding that was going on here.

I’m pretty sure Taiwan and China are much too similar about this sort of thing.