Director’s Cut?

This post was inspired by Christina’s #FreelancerDiary thoughts on her excellent blog.

Among other thought-provoking questions, there is a one shared by a teacher (and Christina as the post author) that made me want to respond. Quoting below, then adding my thoughts.

Teacher: What can I do when I’ve seen there might be some learning disability in a student, but my DoS says to not mention anything because it will upset the parents?
Christina: From the first moment A. started sharing, my thoughts were “there’s clearly no support there’. That DoS has failed in keeping the team going. Unfortunate, but common.

Two points to make, out of personal experience:
When the DoS doesn’t hold one-one teacher sessions regarding feedback and conduct, there’s a problem.
When the DoS tells you to be quiet about anything concerning your learners, there’s a problem.


  1. no (quality) training for being a manager is another problem (even though there might be a need, and a budget for an academic management position, this person is often someone from the teaching team, who has been with the company long enough to ‘keep and transfer knowledge’ to colleagues; sometimes, there is no training, or even a job description for this job)

  2. being told what is to be done is a huge problem (as well as not being able to hear someone’s concern); especially if it is pattern, and the way the DoS is being treated by the senior management

  3. as freelancers, we can choose our Personal Learning Networks and communication circles. Teacher networks and communities become important channels to voice a concern and share advice (and/or a simple chance to be heard)

  4. as freelancers, we are ‘free’ in many ways – not having a boss, and not being a boss…

Question: is a possible reason for the growing number of freelancing teachers (at least in my culture here) hidden in the DoS problems outlined above? Is freelancing a form of quitting?


  1. Teacher Hub is such a great name!

  2. Networking versus Community Building is a question that made me think. This post was/is my starting point. Might share more thoughts on this soon!

Thank you Christina for making me think and write! 🙂


About Zhenya

ELT: teacher educator, trainer coach, reflective practice addict
This entry was posted in Manager Reflections and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Director’s Cut?

  1. ChristinaC says:

    As I was reading through your post, almost every other word pushed a new thought forward – such an excellent opportunity of thought-bouncing.

    Some notes on your notes:

    (Quality) training
    That picture you painted above, with ‘someone from the teaching team’ being appointed a management position and left to make their way in it without training or assistance, is very common here too.There is a gap – no, a chasm in training, not only for specific positions, but for being involved in education in general. What saddens and scares me is how obvious the deep, deep faults of the educational system are, yet we mostly have a look, grumble a little and then keep as we were (I guess that’s easier than protesting and changing). Perhaps what we really need is some training in common sense.

    Culture, hubs and freedom
    We can certainly choose the networks and circles we’ll be sharing with and this brings our personal culture out in the open as well – some concerns and even polarity are unavoidable, and, in my view, necessary. The core essence of community for me is having the chance (and freedom) to be in a circle that’s open but safe, that helps you build understanding, that gives you the ground to share and the urge to keep forward; community is learning and it’s a way of life. And I love the word ‘hub’ 🙂

    As for freelancing, it’s difficult to pinpoint the “why” someone chooses it, and as with most things it depends on perspectives. It didn’t feel like quitting in my case, it was a form of cleansing and a step forward into a better, more creative, empowering place. This point will see many follow-up thoughts (and posts).

    Thank you Zhenya 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zhenya says:

      Hi Christina

      Thank you for motivating me to write, and for the response. A big Yes to thought-bouncing – another word I am going to like and use 🙂

      In your comment re (Quality) training I feel sadness about the educational system on a more general level than only in a language school… I am joining you here. Well, looks like it is (another?) international problem, not just in one place then… Haha (sad laughter), a common sense training, (or training in reflective/critical thinking) has been something I have been thinking about to develop. Or take 🙂

      What you wrote about a community and the necessary polarity in order to grow is something I agree with. Finally, the ‘Why’ behind becoming a freelancer (as opposed to being employed, or starting one’s own business) is something I think about a lot nowadays. Your referred to it as a ‘a step forward into a better, more creative, empowering place’ – and it is a beautiful way to formulate it! I think we might start a small blog challenge sharing the reasons/stories behind this choice. I will draft my thoughts on it 🙂

      Thank you for this enjoyable conversation – I have a feeling it has part 2, and maybe more 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • ChristinaC says:

        ‘Train of thought’ is a common expression, isn’t it? But I like ‘thread’ better, we need every little stitch and ‘needles’ of all shapes and sizes to make sense of things 🙂
        Please develop that common sense/reflective/critical thinking course! Where do I sign up?
        And that blog challenge sounds perfect.
        Yes, I think this conversation will keep going and thank you in turn 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Eager to hear what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s