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OFW’s (Overseas Foreign Workers) in Education

Yesterday I received a comment from ExpatBrazil about an article he found online from the Los Angeles Times about Filipino Teachers in America.  I know about Nurses, Domestic Help, Marine Engineers, Seamen and Ocean Cruise Line workers but never knew about Teachers.

Looking at that article and searching for others, I was more informed about the needs and hiring of Math, Science and Special Education Teachers.

In one article it mentioned a lot of the teachers are for Inner City and also remote locations usually not desirable to American Teachers.

I remember when I was a Field Engineer for a P.C. and Apple Computer networking company I was sent to Window Rock, Arizona, which is the Capitol for the Navajo Nation. The area was beautiful and just what you would dream of if you think of getting on a horse and riding the desert plans. When I mentioned it to the head of IT for the school district and joked about him hiring me as his assistant he told me I would not be accepted as a non Native American. The non Native Americans there were the teachers and they were hired as contract personnel since they were needed.

Also, as in the article from the LA Times, it mentioned the trouble the Filipino Teacher had with the uncontrolled Inner City students.

Here in the Philippines, most children are respectful of elders and would not fight in class or disrespect a teacher. One child I spoke to told me if a child was loud or uncontrolled, the other students would control him before the teacher had to step in.

That got me to thinking of the stories and memories from schools in America. I remember entering a school in New York City and had to go through a metal detector, which all students and teachers must use, to enter the school. Then I was patted down and my tool case inspected.

At a school in Compton California, you could only enter the campus through the school office because all gates were locked during school hours. Then walking through campus I see 2 Police Officers walking ahead of me. I noticed their utility belts with nightstick, Mace Can and Gun. I thought there must have been trouble or the 2 Officers were there for a presentation until I got closer and noticed their shoulder patch “Compton Unified School District Police.” I guess I was naive and never realized crime has reached a level where school districts had their own Police Force.

When I was a kid, the biggest fear was the Principal calling your parents in for a meeting, detention after school or at one school, being called into the Vice Principals office and feeling one of his paddles on your butt. Later, in the computer lab, one kid looked at me, and called to the teacher, “This guy is wearing a pager.” I did not realize, since drug dealers used pagers to get orders, or the payphone number to call, they were not allowed in schools.

I then thought about these Filipino Teachers, so new, so excited, walking into a class the first time and seeing these out spoken, wild, non respectful kids and wondering what they have gotten themselves in for.

The difference in schools and students from the Philippines to Inner City America is like going from a quiet movie theater into a high security prison.

All I can say to these teachers is Thank you, you are really needed.

7 Responses to “OFW’s (Overseas Foreign Workers) in Education”

  1. Palawan says:

    Bruce, it seems you only validated what I saw in American movies…hehehe Actually I am very worried about the Philippines losing its best teachers…it seems that we need the best out there and well there are no support whatsoever to maintain the best.. my friend once wrote an article about the plight of most Filipino children..the link is here ,

    • Bruce says:

      I do not know if the movines were totally true, but some are. My favorites are the stories where they raise the stutents from the inner cities to a higher level. Of the fictional but enlightining moves tat are favorites are “the Blackboard Jungle” “To Sir with Love” and “Dangerous Minds”, a true reinactment “Stand and Deliver”

    • Ray says:

      Seems the government needs to pay the teachers more. I know a teacher in Ozamiz who only earns 10000 per month and they said 2000 gets deducted for retirement so they only take home 8000 per month. Can’t say I blame them for going overseas.

  2. ceblogger says:

    bruce, johnray works for our aunt. It’s a small school and can’t afford a higher pay.

    For public school teachers, i think the pay is much higher. One of my sisters is a public school science teacher. It was really her ambition since she was still a little girl.

    As to filipino teachers in the US, i know of people who studied SPED (special education) because it is the easiest and fastest way to go to the US. A family friend is already there in Texas. Her husband, also a teacher, will follow within the year. But they have to shell out almost $10k just to get there.

    Another friend of mine, a lady who stood five feet tall, was shocked to see how her US students behaved in class. She was a cum laude from the top teachers’ school in cebu. She wanted to quit in the first 3 months. But she held on because of the debts she had to pay. A male co-teacher (who soon became her husband) help her cope up. Now she quit teaching and shifted to nursing. She graduated last year in a US college.

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