March 16, 2007

Small is not always beautiful


Rebutting the assertion that the "comparatively small schools" in Japan should be favored by English teaching professions, this Japan Times article points that that while "small schools are more convivial places in which to work,"

Teachers who worked in small schools often spoke of feeling under more pressure there than in big schools. If a tiny cog in a huge machine breaks down it's unlikely the whole thing will come to a shuddering halt. That's not the case when the teacher is the machine.

Another common sentiment was the difficulty in leaving work behind in a small school. Teachers spoke of receiving e-mails and telephone calls from their bosses at unsociable hours and on days off. This rarely happens at large schools unless you are in a management position.

Obviously, a Goldilocks solution is called for: a school that is not too big, not too small. Just right.

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