How does red tape affect ESL schools & teachers?

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As a trainee or novice ESL teacher, you are probably aware of the harmful effects of red tape; however, in order to fully appreciate its inimical effects on schools and teachers, you should be particularly aware of the following detrimental effects of red tape.

Red tape may lead to duplication of roles within the administrative department(s) of the school, and this may, in turn, lead to a breakdown in communication, misunderstandings, and administrative blunders: crucially, this may lead to a shortage or a total lack of teaching resources and materials.

Additionally, administrative procedures may take up such an inordinate amount of time that ESL teachers are not paid on time, orders for school supplies and resources are not delivered at the appropriate time, and the hiring of ESL teachers is left too late. Consequently, this may lead to situations where ESL students find themselves commencing a new academic year or term without books; classes are left without ESL teachers; technological equipment purchased without proper consultation is subsequently underutilized or not utilized at all because no trained people have been hired to operate the equipment (e.g. language laboratories and computers), or it has been decided the equipment is not really of any use.

Furthermore, because different parts of the school administration failed to coordinate their activities properly due to red tape, the whole school environment in its role as an ESL educational institution is pervaded by a sensation of instability and uncertainly: this produces a feeling of dissatisfaction in both the ESL teaching staff and the ESL students – which is ultimately detrimental to ESL teaching and learning. Novice ESL teachers become especially exasperated and annoyed by red tape: valuable time that could be devoted to improving their teaching skills and lesson planning time is consumed by having to keep detailed records of their students and completing numerous administrative forms.

A lack of appropriate classroom resources and teaching aids caused by red tape is frustrating because the teacher is unable to make the lessons more interesting and varied without the necessary means: the same applies to technological equipment that has been purchased – but which no one knows how to operate. Red tape also affects senior members of staff such as heads and deputy heads of departments who are still required to teach classes: valuable time may be spent on unnecessary meetings and conferences rather than on improving their departments’ efficiency, and novice ESL teachers may be unable to obtain proper guidance and instruction because of the (deputy) head’s lack of available time.

Ultimately, it is the students who will suffer most from the effects of red tape because the quality of their learning experience varies directly as the amount of red tape. Red tape may lead to duplication of roles within the administrative department(s) of the school, and this may, in turn, lead to a breakdown in communication, misunderstandings, and administrative blunders: crucially, this may lead to a shortage or a total lack of teaching resources and materials.

Additionally, administrative procedures may take up such an inordinate amount of time that ESL teachers are not paid on time, orders for school supplies and resources are not delivered at the appropriate time, and the hiring of ESL teachers is left too late. Consequently, this may lead to situations where ESL students find themselves commencing a new academic year or term without books; classes are left without ESL teachers; technological equipment purchased without proper consultation is subsequently underutilized or not utilized at all because no trained people have been hired to operate the equipment (e.g. language laboratories and computers), or it has been decided the equipment is not really of any use.

Furthermore, because different parts of the school administration failed to coordinate their activities properly due to red tape, the whole school environment in its role as an ESL educational institution is pervaded by a sensation of instability and uncertainly: this produces a feeling of dissatisfaction in both the ESL teaching staff and the ESL students – which is ultimately detrimental to ESL teaching and learning.

Novice ESL teachers become especially exasperated and annoyed by red tape: valuable time that could be devoted to improving their teaching skills and lesson planning time is consumed by having to keep detailed records of their students and completing numerous administrative forms. A lack of appropriate classroom resources and teaching aids caused by red tape is frustrating because the teacher is unable to make the lessons more interesting and varied without the necessary means: the same applies to technological equipment that has been purchased – but which no one knows how to operate.

Red tape also affects senior members of staff such as heads and deputy heads of departments who are still required to teach classes: valuable time may be spent on unnecessary meetings and conferences rather than on improving their departments’ efficiency, and novice ESL teachers may be unable to obtain proper guidance and instruction because of the (deputy) head’s lack of available time. Ultimately, it is the students who will suffer most from the effects of red tape because the quality of their learning experience varies directly as the amount of red tape.

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