Students & Money: Fighting the shortcut

This is not a social media related post, however it still is on my mind for a quite a while now and I need to get this out.

I am teaching on college level now for almost 1.5 years and while this might not seem to much for most teachers it is, far away from home and in a different culture, quite intense and already left me with a lot of impressions and difficult situations. One of those situations I know face more and more while my students are getting older is one, that I consider not to be based on the culture though. Students realize that there is a way to make some nice quick money without being asked about their certificates from school. Those part-time jobs are nice to earn a little extra and to get started and accustomed to the working environment of course. I think it’s always good if students know what it means to work. Nevertheless more and more students start to shift priorities when getting a little older (mostly between 17 and 19). They start to work more and attend school less and this is, obviously, not the smartest thing to do. Besides the fact that I am a teacher and that I have to say that school is important it really is stupid to gamble with the last year (which it mostly is for students of the above mentioned age) at college.

I will try to give one example and then I would be very happy to hear how guys think about it. What do you do in order to ‘fight’ this development? Is there a way to fight it? What can one do? If I say ‘that’s not good’ students will obviously say ‘yeah…teacher…sure..’. So let your spirits free and share your experiences.

Here’s one of the many cases. One of the subjects I teach is English for the Tourism Industry which aims to prepare students for a) work as tourist guides or b) attending University to study ‘Tourism Management’. During their 3 years here at the college they have to complete some trainings in tourism agencies. They are, obviously, cheap working staff and therefore welcomed by those agencies. If students do a good job those agencies very often try to keep the working relationship and offer students weekend or holiday jobs. Those jobs now very often switch from weekend jobs to 3 or 4 days / week jobs. Quite often they also become weekly engagements. Students usually receive a nice amount of money (from a student’s perspective) but therefore gamble with their future (grades getting worse, bad certificates, no Uni, etc…).

The question now, as already asked above, remains: What can we do? Of course it would be wise to contact the companies and tell them that their behavior doesn’t do any favor to our students – but I really doubt that they care about it. They see the cheap and motivated staff. That’s all that matters.

How do you handle situations like that? Let me know.

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