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Warning about school in Novosibirsk

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Joined: 07 Feb 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:43 am    Post subject: Warning about school in Novosibirsk Reply with quote

ETA: I understand having to remove names/details to protect this forum. Anybody who wants more details, feel free to contact me and I'll provide you with them. Sarah123

This post has been moderated UJ

For those who are looking to work in Novosibirsk, Russia, I wanted to post a warning. You may remember that a couple of months ago, I mentioned I was having trouble with one school. I didn't mention names back then, but since my visa is over next week and they refuse to pay me the last USD250 they owe me, I am ready to talk about them. The school's name is (removed). They are located in Novosibirsk, Russia. The name of the director is (removed). Not only is she absolutely bipolar (with sincere apologies to anybody out there who is actually diagnosed with it) but she has taken every single opportunity she's had over the past two years to screw me over. They would say one thing, put another in writing (and made me sign it) and then ignore both and come up with something completely new. So, of course, whatever I did, I was always in fault.

Case in point: when I first started working for (removed) I was guaranteed a minimum and it was their job to make sure I had enough hours to earn that minimum. Then, after some time, they switched me to a hour-by-hour salary with no minimum guaranteed, but promised to get me enough hours to earn the minimum or more. Then, a week before summer started, they decided (even though we never changed the contract) that they couldn't afford to find me enough work for the summer and they left me hanging.

So we changed the contract again and they put in writing that I was allowed to work in other schools at the same time if I wanted, so I could make more money. Then, one day, they found out I was actually working for somebody else (I didn't exactly hide it, because they said it wasn't an issue), and came up with the reasoning that what they meant to say was that I was allowed to work for public schools, but not private ones, so I was in violation of the contract (there was no specific wording in the contract and they clearly told me I could work “at any other school”). At that point, (name removed) (who, I swear, has mental problems) started screaming at me and calling me a “f*cking liar” for not telling her about the other job and decided she was going to cancel my registration. That was the time I posted here. Note that there were no questions, reasoning or words accepted from me. She just went off and made the decision.

After 30 minutes of trying to calm her down, I left. She then had the manager call me the next day (because (name removed) English is deplorable) to tell me she had changed her mind and that everything would be fine if I agreed to a new contract that said I couldn't work anywhere else. At that point I knew I had only two months to go before the end of my visa, so I just said fine, signed and stayed out of their way.

Now it's the last week before I leave (school name removed) and Russia. I'm supposed to get my salary on the 1st. They keep stalling until yesterday. I knew something was coming. Yesterday they tell me on the phone that they owe me less than I worked because “there was a mistake on accounting back in December and we overpaid you, so we have to discount it from your January classes.” I know it's total bull, but I tell them “you know what, just tell me how much you think you owe me and I'll stop by the office to pick it up tomorrow.” I'm running all over the city, I'm stressed, I'm packing... I don't have time to deal with these people. They say fine and tell me about $150 (they really owe me 250). Today I go pick up the money. Svetlana starts asking me to give her my registration slip right now if I want to take any money. I tell her that's impossible because I need it to pick up my vet's certificate on Saturday (which is true; I'm flying out of Russia with pets and they won't give me the certificate before Saturday and without the slip). She already knows this because I told her two weeks ago that this was the case and that I would meet somebody to give the paper on Sunday, but now she says she won't pay me anything at all if I don't give it to her RIGHT NOW (I don't even have it with me at that point). I try to reason with her for 10 minutes and eventually I tell her to keep her damn money and that she won't get anything from me and I stomp out of the office.

Ok, this is really, really long, but I wanted to make a point. These people are NUTS. (name removed) in particular, but also all the others who work for her and who have no guts to say anything over all the sh*t this woman does. Over that time that I was allowed to work for other schools, not a single one treated me this way. There's a lot more to the story than I'm putting up here, so if you're considering working in Novosibirsk, I'll be happy to point you in the direction of the normal schools and tell you even more about why you should NOT work for (school name removed) Believe me, these people need to be committed.

Please contact the poster for further details UJ
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Joined: 11 Jun 2009
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:45 am    Post subject: Sign it? Reply with quote

This post has been moderated UJ

You don't need to go to Novosibirsk for this kind of treatment. I was doing a PGCE at (School name removed) in East London. We had to write a report for the Head about how things were going: I wrote I was enjoying it, but as my teacher-tutor was absent a great deal of the time, I was having to use my own years of experience teaching for language schools in my classrooms.
The Head of Languages and the Head of Year, marched me into a store cupboard scowling, - you are not sending this to the Head..AND DICTATED WHAT AND AS THEY WANTED ME TO WRITE MY REPORT.
I left the school immediately afterwards at Easter before the end of the Course and later went to work at a nearby College. I have never regretted it. I find College Managers less one sided and more concerned about making the College work as a whole!
Incidentally, at that school one boy threw a bottle of ink at me and I had a whole load of other nasty experiences, besides the usual good ones from the experience of teaching..I will admit I was teaching German and Russian. Some of the other teachers laughed as the kids banged their desks upon my entry--we won the war!
What ever for, she isn't even a German! I find that because I had to learn English as a child when I arrived on these shores, I have more empathy with English learners anyway, as I remember some of the wonderful tricks used by my very ancient spinster teachers of my Church schools back then!
I have a whole store of nasties I could bring up from over my years of teaching and oddly none of them from Colleges, but that one really shook me! I wonder if they would have locked me in had I refused to write what they instructed!
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Joined: 11 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:07 pm    Post subject: which are the kids? Reply with quote

Actually, I think I have to add, that I myself appeared to have set off this reaction against me by leaders of the staff...though I cannot see it even yet.
It was all prompted by my two thousand word thesis for Easter, I had written:

We Continentals see children as THINKING young people who need set goalposts and constant guidance...whereas in Britain I found that very often children were treated merely as NAUGHTY ADULTS who cannot think.

For this observation, I was shouted at like a kid in front of my fellow PGCE students .. yet several of my colleagues had not done their thesis ''HOMEWORK'' set them over the holiday, giving the most incredibly weak excuses and not a word was said to them..which left me wondering at the state of things..and whether I really wanted to expend time and energy to such a system. Time is short for mature students! well, I did sing that famous song in the staff room when the Inspectors called: we don't need no education---and I do have a strong voice which carries; taught me at my Church school choir.
Incidentally, my daugher is a school Principal!
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