Some clips of Flight of the Conchords. "Business Time" and "Jenny" are partcularly great. Two very talented and funny Kiwis!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Serious Teachers

The following request was posted on the Berlitz, Istanbul thread concerning Serious Teachers. The Inspector feels that the criticism is justified. The Serious Teachers' site looks amateur and tacky and a number of the schools are decidedly dodgy. If you really are a serious teacher then do yourself a big favour and get a seriously long bargepole out or you could be in for a very serious shock.

"I noticed that a lot of these scam jobs start at As a language school human resources director, I have to give my 2 cents about scam. Beware of
In my experience, I have posted 1 job ad on their site for the "free trial". Within 2 days, I received over 60 "form emails" about "interested teachers" though nowhere in the email was the teacher speaking directly to us about our ad. That being said, EVERY link in the email redirected me to a "pay" page to contact any teacher on the list. Funny enough, when we actually did contact some of the teachers, they had no idea who we were and after being directed to our ad, they stated they were not interested.

To me, this is a scam...they bait schools with 'interested' applicants and then ask for money to contact them. In addition, they allow absolutely NO information whatsoever to be communicated...with or without contact information.
October 14, 2008 8:51 AM
Anonymous said...

Dear Inspector:

Could you start a new thread with the last comment here about I would like to add my 2 cents without burying the Berlitz Istanbul info in unrelated info.



Anonymous said...

The Serious Teachers website focuses on two things: 1. Spam the schools; and 2. Spam the applicants. While this will produce alot of offers and traffic, about 99.5% of it is unsolicited by either the school or the applicant and represents redundant spam. I didn't like how I received offers from schools I didnt wish to communicate with, with the headline of the email stating, ''A New Teacher is Available.''

Also, I am becoming dismayed at what are passing for teachers, administrators, and schools in these advertisements. ESL is quickly becoming an industry reknowned for overly certified backpackers with no life experience and little education; dictatorial schools that are run like the Gestapo; and local and national restrictions that make it impossible for a foreign national to even resemble anything that is legitimate or lawful. To both sides I say, ''You reap what you sow.''

It's not Serious Teachers or the bloggers that are the problem here (except the Serious Teacher quick path to certification), it is the whole damn illegitimate industry. ESL is a bastard by-product of a false sense of hope in borderless globalization, and one too many schools that format their business model to give the impression that a job at a language center or school is a spring-break or vacation. Think about it, in the U.S. or the U.K., the owners are the same people that own a McDonalds franchise, they are only greedy people with money who want to make more money. ESL is never about education, just look at the finished product when the student completes the course.

All of the schools that require the Golden CELTA deserve a Golden Cucumber. The process of being a teacher is a formative process that takes years, you do not make a teacher by providing a 4-16 week course in how to teach British Grammar. To teach English requires more than a certificate, it requires a person who can think and who can teach in several subject areas. I would like to see the whole ''English Instructor'' titles go away and replaced with something along the lines of ''Foreign Services Consulant'' or ''International Business Consultant''. Also, are all of you schools so afraid of male authority figures that you have to hire a woman married to a resident to nanny the teacher population?

All this said, the Mc-ESL industry needs to be cleaned up! Get rid of the backpackers, the nannys, and stop hiring college graduates. When a school takes a 21 year-old backpacker over a person with a PhD in English Composition there is a serious problem in the industry. Just ask International House who requires all of their backpackers to undergo a nanny style British CELTA in order to teach in any of its centers. I was paid more than all of the CELTA graduates in the city I worked in. I had a drink with one of the International House teachers after a teachers meeting and I felt I was surrounded by the Smurfs!

Honestly, I have taught on five continents and I have seen this terrible behavior everywhere I have been. I have seen the best and the worst and its not getting any better out here. The teachers are getting worse and so are the schools.

Anonymous said...

Questions for all school owners:

1. Is it legal for a foreigner to teach in your country?

2. Do you provide a teacher's permit from the appropriate agency of your national government?

3. Do you provide health insurance and contributions to the pension program to full-time instructors in your country?

If the answer is ''No'' to any of these questions, then you are being a responsible owner and you are running an illegal operation involving foreigners.

Serious Teachers should ask the companies posting on its website these same exact questions and have the owners sign and provide a release that you can look at an download and present to any consulate or government agency when asked.

Anonymous said...


If the answer is ''No'' to any of these questions, then you are NOT being a responsible owner and you are running an illegal operation involving foreigners.