I teach part-time in Hong Kong, and have done so for some years, between and alongside my "regular" work. I frequently see materials prepared by supposedly qualified teachers that are riddled with errors.
I was recently asked to teach an intensive Conversational English course for youngsters preparing to attend schools in the U.S.. The materials I was given to teach from were absolutely atrocious, filled with spelling and grammatical and syntactical errors, and laced with badly-chosen content.
Some of the errors were humorous: "I have never eaten good food like this. It makes me a big appetite." In some places, background information aimed at the instructor had been included in the student handouts, leaving the lower-intermediate students puzzling over pedagogical and grammatical jargon that they would never, ever need to know, unless they desired to earn advanced degrees in Education. There were long and randomly cut-off lists of "slangs" [!], some of which were either very obscure or very embarrassing to discuss in class.
Obviously, these materials were prepared by someone who (1) was not a native English speaker; (2) was not an experienced teacher; (3) lacked even the most fundamental common-sense grasp of what should have been included in such teaching materials, and probably (4) was in a hurry to "complete" the materials via a somewhat random cut-and-paste approach.
Yet these materials were being used at one of the more prestigious institutions in the city, and when I complained about their quality, it immediately became obvious that nothing would be done to improve them. The materials had been used before, without complaint from the teacher or the students. The students had paid their fees and would not know enough to complain, anyway, so why rock the boat? Why should they do extra work to create better materials, when it wouldn't be appreciated? Besides, I was told, "We know you can work around any weaknesses in the materials and still make good lessons. Do whatever you want to; just make it good."
In other words, they wouldn't spend a cent of money nor a scintilla of effort on creating good materials that any teacher could work with, and which would give a good impression of the school; instead, they just wanted to find a teacher who wouldn't need their materials, and could still deliver satisfactory lessons, without proper materials.
Yes, I can do that... but is it fair to ask me to? Am I supposed to do curriculum design AND deliver teaching, for only a teacher's pay? Or do I hand out the inferior materials and struggle through them, making boring lessons while suffering the embarrassment of being associated with such garbage?
With that attitude from the people responsible for quality control, how can one expect good teaching standards? It's sad. The saddest part is that the students would actually LIKE to learn; they try, and they would gain real benefit from a properly-structured course, but they aren't getting what they should be getting.
I certainly won't be teaching that class again; at least, not with those materials --nor am I going to reward the school administrators with such a bad attitude, by handing them materials they haven't paid for. I'm trying to find a middle ground by creating lessons on the whiteboard and in the classroom (without other handouts) that will still benefit the students, but I feel as if I'm being taken advantage of, doing even that.
In such situations, EVERYONE LOSES: the students and their parents don't get as good value-for-money (or time) as they deserve; I don't gain any satisfaction from a job that isn't done right; the school probably won't get a good reputation nor many referrals from people who see the materials they use. It's just really, really sad, when it wouldn't be too hard to make a GOOD course with GOOD materials.
It's all about the money, and nothing else. Pride in a job well done seems to be an unknown concept, at least in some parts of some educational establishments in Hong Kong.