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Monday, 11 October 2004
The Incredible Shrinking Teachers' Room
"Creating a comfortable workspace is an important part of any business. ... Large attractive rooms furnished with comfortable chairs and personal belongings...encourage feelings of pleasure, ambition and a desire to be an effective member of the workforce."

Ahh, good old MAE! Before the text goes entirely by the wayside, however, it would be worthwhile considering the jarring contrast between the wisdom of the passage above, and the actual conditions in which Berltiz employees are expected to work.

Since Berlitz announced plans to renovate several large LC's, and to close floors in some locations, teachers have naturally been concerned about the size of the teachers' rooms in the new layouts. The union brought up the matter of the decreasing size of teachers' rooms in new LC's during this year's shunto negotiations, and management responded that, while nothing could be done about existing schools (the closet-sized teachers' room at Shimbashi, for example), they would make changes in the design for new LC's.

Unfortunately that promise does not appear to have been kept in at least one redesigned LC, where a staff of nine is now forced to make do with seating for three (four at most, if you pretend to be riding the Chuo line at rush hour). A recent peek into the school revealed three teachers sitting in the teachers room, three sitting in the hall, and two wandering. Quite a difference from the previous layout which had two teachers' rooms, measuring 315x320cm, and 280x475cm, while the current space is a mere 234x305 - smaller than either of the two previous rooms. How teachers are expected to prepare for lessons while wandering the halls is a mystery to which HQ has yet to provide an answer.

Again, the union sees this situation as a result of the misguided expansion plan, and has requested some evidence from HR to support the decision to downsize the old schools rather than simply closing the new ones.
Refusal to share that evidence demonstrates once again the lack of a sincere commitment to transparency on the part of Berlitz management.

Posted by begunto at 12:01 AM KDT
Updated: Monday, 11 October 2004 12:26 PM KDT
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink

Wednesday, 17 November 2004 - 11:04 AM JST

Name: acetrawl

And once you move from the teachers' room to the classroom...

Some of our classrooms are so small that opening and closing the door can only be done with group cooperation. First we all enter the room, then we close the door, then we move the table into the middle, after that we joke about 'the next stop is'...

We have to repeat this EVERY time a student arrives. Imagine how much fun we have when the students arrive 5 minutes apart.

Leaving the door open isn't really an option because the noise disturbs other lessons.

Not only do we have to prepare in a pigeon hole but we have to work in one as well. hahaha

Tuesday, 28 November 2006 - 4:48 AM JST

Name: "If I say they might fire me..."

I am a Berlitz Employee, I don't work in Japan but in my center we sometimes teach in the Teacher's Lounge which has a fridge and a microwave (just in case we get hungry during the class, not!). We also teach sometimes in the computer room with no tables for the students to put their books on.

 I am so tired of Berlitz's attitude that I am quitting before December is over.

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