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October 21, 2006

Workplace Issues- Being Professional

Hello Readers,

At most of the ESL schools that I've worked at, there's been a clause in the contract prohibiting teachers from dating students. While I personally think that every teacher should abide by that rule, many teachers don't. Furthermore, few schools enforce it.

While many expats would agree that dating someone from another country will give you an insight into both the culture and the language...

... I don't recommend finding that special someone at your place of employment.

Here are three reasons why this might not be a good idea:

1. The relationship ends and you still have to teach the student.
2. The relationship ends and the student decides to get revenge at the school by spreading rumors about you.
2. Other students think that your significant other is getting preferential treatment and complains to your boss about it.

Perhaps the most important reason that you should not date your student is that it's simply not professional. As a teacher in a foreign country, you are an ambassador of your country. Like it or not, your behavior will be observed and judged by the people in your place of residence.

So what are some other tips on being professional?

1. Be on time.
2. Let your employers know if you're going to be late.
3. Let your employers know in advance about your holiday plans.
4. Treat local employees with respect.
5. Treat students with respect.
6. Dress smart.
7. Pay attention to your hygiene.
8. Get enough sleep.
9. Don't come to work smelling like the bar from the night before.
10. Live up to any promises that you make.

Do you have any other advice on being professional at the workplace? Do you have any stories about a coworker who could use some advice? Add your comments below.

Good luck!

Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
E-mail: crueckert@eslemployment.com
Blog: www.esl-lesson-plan.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb

*Looking for more articles that focus on workplace issues specific to ESL? Click HERE!

About the author of this entry:
Carol, a native English-speaker who hails from the small town of St. Joseph in Minnesota, USA, and lived and worked in China for more than 7 years. During that time, she worked with students that range in age from three to more than sixty years old. She worked in universities, private language schools, grade schools, international schools, as well as private tutoring. Besides teaching, she also worked as a head teacher, an education manager, and a material development manager. In addition to working on this newsletter, she currently writes a monthly column for Time Out Beijing. Carol is also currently working on her MA in TESOL at the Oxford Brookes University in England. Look for her posts on the ESL-Jobs-Forum discussion boards!

Posted by crueckert at October 21, 2006 05:22 PM

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