Thursday, January 15, 2009

Stereotyping

While my mother was here we talked a bit about stereotyping and how I find it quite frustrating that people will often make broad statements about people from a certain country based on very limited information etc. I try so hard not to do that living here, but sometimes it is just too hard to be open minded to the ways that people do things here. Today was a prime example of that..... I am currently teaching a few hours each week at two different schools in my town/city (there are about 15 different primary schools in this "city" since three towns merged into one a few years ago) and both schools are getting funding from different places to pay for me to come. Today I went to the board of education to discuss something about one of the schools and as I was leaving I made a comment about whether they really don't have enough funding to get more English teachers into the primary schools here (it seems pretty unfair that some schools can get teachers but not others). Although I have questioned them on this many times in the past their response was.... "We have just applied to get funding for you to teach at all the schools next year. When it has been confirmed we will probably contact you to discuss it".
How does this link with not stereotyping people? I have never said that I would be willing to do any additional teaching for the town. They have never mentioned this proposal to me before. We have never discussed how much time I would be available to teach if I was in fact willing to teach at all. Of course no discussion has ever been made as to how much I would be willing to do any additional teaching for - if in fact I was willing to do any. But.... a proposal has been made to the city to employ me (I have no idea for how many hours a week) from April this year. In my experience this is quite a common thing here - get all the details sorted out to such a point that it is impossible to actual negotiate or say no. Start at the end and then keep your fingers crossed that the person involved will actually agree to it. Don't bother to get any input into how things would work best from the people who will be most involved before you actually make proposals etc. I could go on all night!
I'm not saying I wouldn't be interested in a little more teaching - there are not so many jobs I can do during school hours here so I can be home for my children after school. I am just saying there are more logical ways of doing things. I wonder when they would have informed me if I hadn't happened to "pop in" today..... the day before I was due to start? Perhaps the funding won't go through and this whinge is all for nothing anyway!

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:13 AM

    You could always suggest that you know two very willing kiwi's who would be more than happy to be employed to teach english! Tell them to sign up for the JET programme and request us!!

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  2. Flattering but rude all the same - typical Japan I guess though. Tell them you can't teach every day as boardering on insane friend in Kunimi needs place to run away some days! I guess you could take me a long for show and tell.

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  3. Not sure this is just Japan - small towns do it too!! However, better to be a little famous somewhere, that irrelevant everywhere!! Great holidays - as they say!! Besides, you are perfect - you can even speak english!!

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