Teacher employer etiquette
All we're asking for is a reply
Dear Teacher Employers,
If you can't be bothered reading this e-mail, then please go straight to the last paragraph.
I am a qualified teacher and have worked in Thailand for the past 10 years. In my university years, I graduated in the top 1% of teachers in Western Australia. In-between working for a Thai school for those 10 years I worked for agencies, small ESL schools and did private tutorial work. Never with a complaint or problem from an employer or a student.
If you have received this email, it is probably because I have done the hard work of researching your school and customising a cover letter and resume. I write this e-mail only because for all the work I have put into an application to your school, never to receive an acknowledgement or even an automated response is pretty shoddy, not to mention unprofessional. There are several other 'reputable' schools I have omitted in the address bar because their schools had web form applications and thus no email addresses.
An email from employers saying 'thank you for your application but...' would at least be polite rather than for the application to just go completely ignored. Now you are thinking... 'But we receive so many applications, how could we?'. True or untrue, even an automated thank you for an application would do the reputation of your school a good service. To paraphrase a saying - 'a happy teacher tells his colleagues about his experience with a school. An unhappy teacher will tell EVERYONE about that school'.
Maybe it's because I am currently back in Australia that I am thinking too much about my experiences in Thailand? I don't know... There has been a trend in recent years in the name of cost cutting to hire 'non-native speakers' (yes there are many good teachers in this group but they dont get paid as much) or hire unqualified or under qualified English teachers. But you get what you pay for. Of the 30 teaching jobs I have applied for in the past month and a half, I have had three responses - and from those three responses, I have had two interviews and a job offer which I turned down as it turned out to be with an agency which after some research, I felt would be unsuitable.
I feel it is just unprofessional that if someone well qualified for an advertised job takes the time to research the job and your school then you as an employer, should have the courtesy (manners) to acknowledge that application even if the applicant may not be right person for the job (even an automated one would be good).
I love Thailand and I have built a life, raised a family and made many friends over a 10-year period. But if Thailand's schools want to become leaders in education (you may think your school is the big fish in the pond, but there are many ponds) it has to appreciate that there are many well qualified and dedicated individuals applying to your schools for work who would rather be told 'no thank you' if they are not suitable rather than just be left waiting and not knowing where they stand. Remember, like your school, the teachers are professionals and deserve to be treated as such. China, Japan, Korea and the rest of Asia are calling....
Politeness is one of the core qualities of Thai culture. So should it be with its employers.