American School of Guayaquil - ASGColegio Americano Saves Money by Firing Teachers
It happens every year. It happened the year before I arrived to two teachers and it happened the following year where I cleary saw it happen. And it happens at exactly the same time each year. Right after classes are concluded for the year, when the teaching is over and the grades are handed in - right when the teaching staff can't organize or protest as everyone is unconnected and getting ready to travel for break. The American School of Guayaquil will fire a foreign teacher or two.
Of course they will make up some excuse - each year the excuse is different. But each year the school saves itself from $4,000-$12,000 US dollars by not paying a teacher or two for the final 3 months of their contract. That is a fantastic amount of money in a developing country like Ecuador. Firing a teacher is the easiest way to save the school money and the Board and Director General do it like clockwork. Always it is a teacher who is not planing on returning next year.
So if you or a loved one are thinking about working at the Colegio Americano de Guayaquil ask yourself if you are one of the lucky ones? With only 20 or so ex-pat teachers, the chances of this happening to you are pretty high - almost 10 percent.
And they are so slick about it too. The School books and pay for your flight home so they control your ability to leave. They know just what to say to get a gringo on a plane home to the States fast:
1. The Board and the Police department are tight and we'll let them know your Visa is no longer valid. Mr Blank, have you ever been inside an Ecuadorian jail?
2. Since you are fired, if you don't leave in a few days, we'll cancel your flight home.
That got me to go - I packed my bags and left the next day. Bye-bye Guayaquil, bye-bye Ecuador and bye-bye four thousand dollars.
So off you go - minus 4 to 5 grand of hard cash that you've already earned but now will never get to spend. The irony is you feel almost lucky getting on the plane, lucky you didn't end up spending a few days, weeks, or months in an Ecuadorian jail. Great place the American School of Guayaquil, the kids are great and Guayaquil is fun. But the Board and the Director General - man they are a summer vacation killer for some un-lucky teacher.
ASG Fires Principal
1/21/11 - Colegio Americano de Guayaquil Board Fires Director General Keith Miller without cause. School saves money, stops pay and pulls flights home for Principal of ASG. Read Keith's Shared Story.
The US Department of State Office of Overseas Schools does not recommend sending children of US government employees to the American School of Guayaquil, instead it recommends the InterAmerican Academy. InterAmerican Academy is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the American School of Guayaquil is not even US accredited. Only a very small percentage of students who attend are American citizens and most are children of the American teachers.
US Department of State recommendation: InterAmerican Academy
US Department of State recommended schools for Latin America
The School Board - their hands are not clean The school board directs the process. After I was fired I spoke with the head of the board, he just shook his head at me. Firing a teacher is easier when both the Board and the Director have the same goal - saving the school money.
Jorge Segura, Antonio Ubilla, Marco Soto, Fersenth León, Luis Izquierdo, José Leal,
Aracelly de Bucco, Francisco Andrade, Laura Macías, Blanca Martínez, Tomás Chang