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Micro-management, criticism and stress

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Micro-management, criticism and stress

Postby cow sung » 09 May 2012, 07:29

I'll be concise and say I take criticism to heart. I can deal with constructive criticism, but when I hear the same old chestnuts when nothing else is wrong (you speak too fast) and an array of creative criticisms, my head starts to boil. Sorry, but the teacher who is preaching classroom management to me, with over ten years of experience is having to resort to lifting a child out of his sitting spot and put him in a corner...there's something self righteous about that. I've just started two new jobs in Kaohsiung. I teach adults at one school and kids at the other. Now, short of leaving and waving the "if you threaten me with the penalty clause I'll shake my CLA fist at you" scenario, I want to try and make it work. So, the school I'm at working with kids is a blank canvass (apart from a few textbooks) in terms of a syllabus, but what do you do when one of the other Chinese teachers in the classroom tells you to do more interesting stuff, panicking about teaching styles and oh no he didn't remember to do this. I have no problem conducting a class, but if a school has specific practices, doing these right comes with learning not having an innate skill to memorise or mind read specific schedules...I asked for the schedule today, so I'll see if they give me one tomorrow (and the schedule of course :D). Short of this, any useful tips on how to deal with micro-managey or flustered teachers who eventually irritate the hell out of you? Sure, I'm being paid to do a job and want to do it right, but it just makes me worry that all this criticism in the first few weeks, are they trying to find an excuse to fire because they think I forgot to brush my teeth one morning or something? Seriously, I'd love nothing more than to ignore it and the boss seems to leave everyone alone. So, ignore it or act all worried and over-compensate? Do I need to start saving my job or just ignore the frequent panic attacks of the other teachers. I would even go so far as to tell them to back off, but I haven't been there that long. Any rants or suggestions welcome, including the inevitable criticising of this thread by some pedantic fool just to make what they perceive as a witty routine. Thanks :)
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Re: Micro-management, criticism and stress

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 09 May 2012, 09:44

cow sung: I honestly don't know. I've been here almost five years and I still don't know how to deal with this stuff. Colleagues are frequently extremely disorganised, yet expect clairvoyance on my part. I don't get the micromanaging too much these days because I work in the government system, but it used to plague me too when I worked in a buxiban. In many ways, I suspect it has nothing to do with the job at hand and everything to do with making sure the employee knows his place (i.e. that he can be the victim of arbitrary authority at any point and has to put up with it because he is the employee). Being a boss here often seems to be as much about making sure everyone knows you're the boss as it does with actually getting them to do anything productive. This is also the case if you're the customer. I can't say that realisation has necessarily made things easier for me, but it has given me some perspective.
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Re: Micro-management, criticism and stress

Postby bigduke6 » 09 May 2012, 12:23

I work at 2 schools. At the one I often do not see the boss for a week.

At the other school they are like a bunch of gossiping junior high girls that try to criticise everything foreign teachers do.
I shit you not. They had a meeting last year to tell the local teachers that they are better than the foreign ones.

How do you deal with the criticism and micromanagement?
SIMPLE. IGNORE, IGNORE. IGNORE.
That's it. Constantly worrying about it is the worst thing to do as they know when they are getting to you.

Just ignore, and disagree if need be. They don't know how to deal with any type of confrontations, so they will back off.
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Re: Micro-management, criticism and stress

Postby TheGingerMan » 09 May 2012, 21:40

Be polite. Express total agreement with body language and the odd vague phrase. Then, as bigduke6 advises, ignore, and carry on with your own agenda. As long as the students and parents are happy, then the co-teachers can go and get stuffed! That is indeed the bottom line.
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Re: Micro-management, criticism and stress

Postby Enigma » 10 May 2012, 04:33

"I understand exactly how you feel". However, I don't feel that way. You do it my way or I'll walk away and leave you with this messed up class. Now, I can fix this but I don't want any shit from management. If they want to teach this fucked up class, just tell them I said to come do it. In the meantime, I will take control and I don't want to hear any bullshit. You with me, or maybe you want to teach the class."
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Re: Micro-management, criticism and stress

Postby Enigma » 10 May 2012, 04:34

Worst can happen, you will be looking for a decent job which you should have done in the first instance.
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Re: Micro-management, criticism and stress

Postby Hamletintaiwan » 12 May 2012, 16:49

Enigma wrote:Worst can happen, you will be looking for a decent job which you should have done in the first instance.

And after 12 years looking, when interviewed for one of the better places to work at they will ask you, why you left all those previous jobs.
It's a dilemma!
Get it right, right in the first place.

I know it's difficult, but, try to make a great effort showing them what a great teacher you are and then find a good reason and time to quit.
Hopefully, you can use them on your next resume.
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Re: Micro-management, criticism and stress

Postby austin » 02 Jun 2012, 07:30

Do what TWese do:
i pretend to listen
ii ignore
iii pretend to do what they say
iv ask questions
v ask questions that point up their own failure
vi do the above while smiling

Whatever you do, do not respond directly. Smoke, mirrors, act dumb, compliment them. The last one - blatant shameless flattery works amazing well on 'humble' Chinese(twese)

Expect the criticism and pico-management. They do it because i) it is what they know, ii) the want to piss you off

Have an out, a plan B.
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Re: Micro-management, criticism and stress

Postby Confuzius » 02 Jun 2012, 10:03

I think its pure micro-aggression, simply nothing you can do about it since you're not Asian.

I bet they think you're pretty good with 'em chopsticks tho :bow:
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Re: Micro-management, criticism and stress

Postby superking » 02 Jun 2012, 10:06

austin wrote:Do what TWese do:
i pretend to listen
ii ignore
iii pretend to do what they say
iv ask questions
v ask questions that point up their own failure
vi do the above while smiling

Whatever you do, do not respond directly. Smoke, mirrors, act dumb, compliment them. The last one - blatant shameless flattery works amazing well on 'humble' Chinese(twese)

Expect the criticism and pico-management. They do it because i) it is what they know, ii) the want to piss you off

Have an out, a plan B.


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