I met a South African recently who told me she was refusing jobs at 700/hr because she felt that she was worth more.
Good for her, and, to be fair, her accent was fine. I’ve met a few that were pretty unintelligible though. Some of them were almost as bad as some of the Brits.
In most other posts where ‘we’ have been asked to justify the relatively high salaries we demand it has been pointed out that most locals have studied more and harder than most foreign teachers. We earn more, not because we deserve it, but because that’s what the laws of supply and demand dictate.
In the last few weeks we have had a steady stream of people (about 80 of them actually) coming through our doors in search of work, and the story is usually the same. Apart from the FOBs and wasters there are plenty of skilled competent teachers who have suddenly found themselves not working as much due to a slump in student numbers.
One of the other schools I teach at heaved a big sigh of relief when I told them I didn’t want to work as many hours for the time being. They were able to allocate my classes to another teacher that was threatening to quit because he wasn’t making enough any more. One of their big competitors has just closed his doors.
So we appear to have a surfeit of supply, and not much demand. No point getting upset about it. I wouldn’t work for 400/hr either, but I don’t feel that I’m especially entitled to make twice that much. I’m ‘worth’ more if what I can do meets the needs of my customer better than the cheap alternative, but there are plenty of schools that don’t really need teachers. We’re just a product, packaged for sale into a throw-away society where quality is considered to be a waste of money. Cheap crap is always going to win in this environment.
One thing I like about teaching adults is that they’re usually serious about learning something and can form their own opinions about how well you do your job. If your class are consistently full of happy paying punters then you’re worth a fair wage and can insist on it. Quality counts when people are studying for a definite goal such as study overseas.