Monday, October 29, 2007

How do they look at themselves in the mirror?

Well, I'm going off the travel topic for this post. From time to time, I check my e-mail, and because of various discussion lists I'm on, there will be job postings for either ESL teachers or librarians. After they go through a lengthy list of qualifications for the job, always including a Master's Degree and experience, one often discovers the job is part-time for something like 16-21 dollars an hour. Now, I think the ESL teachers are harder to come by than the librarians (where I live, at least) but seriously, don't they feel bad about asking for that in return for what they're willing to give? It's one of the (many) reasons I decided not to pursue my MA in TESOL. At the university nearby, it even said on the Web site the last time I checked it that it's a pretty sure bet you'll be working part time unless you want to arrange conferences and such. At least in the library world, there's some chance of working full time, although I know that situation has many drawbacks as well right now. Why would someone pursue a master's in an area in which there is little chance of making a living wage (or salary?) And it's one of the areas in education in which there is a shortage of qualified teachers. Aren't these people in education and ESL going to conferences every two minutes? It seems like they could get together and work out the faulty logic on this one.


Dana Watson said...

That is precisely the reason why I have no interest in trying to find a teaching job anymore. You can get a full-time job if you're willing to move abroad or work in the public school (non-adult) setting, but otherwise, you're stuck fighting it out for the very few college level jobs that open up only when someone dies, or you have to be married to someone who can put you on their benefits plan, because you'll never them. When I was looking for my current job, I saw that the same university looking for ESL people in their English for International Students office. PhD preferred... 20 hours a week. Talk about a waste of a degree.

(In my own defense, I didn't get an MA-TESOL with the intention of teaching anyway, but it turned out to be such a terminal degree oriented program that it really wasn't worth it anyway.)

Mary said...

Like the things I'm seeing in library school, I think there is something insular in those communities that cause them to be their own worst enemies. I can't really put my finger on it, but it's kind of like complaining about this thing or that thing, but then continuing the very behavior that is causing those problems. Perhaps that's true in all fields, but seems particularly noticeable to me in those areas.

Shanghai Laowai said...

Even having a MA abroad is not all that much of a plus. Most of the people I know do not have a MA in TESOL. Alternatively, I am thinking about coming back to the states to teach Chinese.