Friday, March 30, 2007
How low can you fall and still look yourself in the mirror?
I was just talking to friend here in Thessaloniki who is also a language teacher. Unfortunately, she has recently lost her father to cancer. As you can imagine this has come as a devastating blow to her and her family. To add to her distress, not to mention anxiety she has been told that she ill have to make up the lessons she has missed organising and attending her father's funeral over the coming Easter holidays, otherwise she will not be paid. As she is married and has a family this is money she can ill afford to miss, especially considering the expenses she has incurred.
Words can not describe the anger I feel over this. Yet this kind of incident is not isolated, but rather indicative of the attitude of many, if not most school owners here in Greece. They feel that their staff are utterly disposable and hardly worth the effort of addressing civilly, let alone treating with respect. High unemployment combined with an endless stream of possible replacements means that language teachers have as much job security as your average fast food employee.
One can't help but wonder if one of the reasons why Greece does so badly in international EFL?ESL exams (click here to see the statistics) is because of such attitudes.