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More NET Advice Needed

 
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delian



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Posts: 40
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2003 12:50 pm    Post subject: More NET Advice Needed Reply with quote

Hi,

I wrote in a few days ago asking for advice/clarification on a job offer from a secondary school in Tsing Yi. I've since been in contact with this school on a daily basis and as it stands if I have 'no problems', they want to contact the Education Dep't to continue the recruitment process for me to work there.

Some people have given me some good advice concerning the working conditions at this school. These are the conditions as I know them at this point:
I would come to school from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. I have about 5 to 6 lessons a day of 35 minutes each. Of the 36 lessons a week, I have to teach two Form 1 classes(12 lessons for each class)and some oral classes for Form 4 and Form 6 . When the school finishes at 3:25 pm, I may have to help running English activities once a week.

This seems fair to me. My problem lies in the fact that I still don't know if I'm supposed to work Saturday or not, and I have no idea of vacations/holidays. I can't decide if I'm just being cynical, but after reading about how these issues are problems for a lot of NET teachers, I am nervous about agreeing to continue with the recruitment process if I don't know these things.

My question: Should I insist on these issues being clarified before I agree to continue the recruitment? Or, will I have the opportunity to haggle on this later? Am I just being paranoid?

It's the weekend now, but I will need to respond to this school by tomorrow to let them know of my decision. They are really pushing me to make a decision. It just seems so unclear at this point that I'm a little nervous about commiting to some potentially bad conditions. Or maybe they are good conditions...? I just don't know...
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well-travelled



Joined: 19 Mar 2003
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2003 10:37 am    Post subject: To accept or not to accept Reply with quote

Delian

I worked in a secondary school in HK for several years in the 1990s on the scheme that was in place before the NET scheme. In my opinion, based on my experience, it seems to me that the conditions you've described are very reasonable.

In the 90s Saturday work in secondary schools didn't, as far as I'm aware, exist - at least I knew no-one who had to teach on Saturday. I imagine it's still unusual. I should, however, clarify the fact with your school. Teaching large classes (42!!) is hard work and having to work at the weekend would be a bummer.

As for holidays, back in the 90s for the first few years I didn't have any holiday work. Towards the end, however, I was given some things to do in the summer holiday, but this was either at the very beginning or very end of the holiday, so it didn't affect me very much. Again, if the school admin is reasonable, they should make allowances for your personal situation ......

well-travelled
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delian



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Posts: 40
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2003 12:25 pm    Post subject: to accept or not to accept Reply with quote

Well-travelled,

Thanks for your reply. I think you gave me advice on an earlier posting that gave me some perspective as well. Thanks again.
I asked a lot of questions yesterday to the representative from the school offering the job. It seems a little bit clearer now - though she still hasn't answered whether we work Saturday or not (maybe it's so obvious that she doesn't feel she needs to respond). According to this person, we have 90 days of holiday a year - two weeks for X-mas, Chinese New Year and Easter, then over 40 days for summer. Of course it could always be a better vacation-package, but I think this sounds reasonable. I'm assuming these are paid vacations?

Anyway, I can't think of any reason not to sign with this school. Are there any other points I really should clarify? Having some sort of contract that lists everything so I could check it would be great, but I'm starting to wonder if I'll get that.

Delian
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well-travelled



Joined: 19 Mar 2003
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2003 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Delian -

There should be (I think) a contract drawn up by the Education Department, which is one all NET teachers sign. That contract will state you are entitled to 90 days holiday in the year.

The problem that NETs seem to have is that many of them do not get the full 90 days because the schools insist that they do some work during the summer holidays.

All local teachers have to do this and many principals seem to think that NETs should be no exception. (There is sometimes a feeling of resentment amongst local staff against the privileged situation of NETs, especially with regard to the housing allowance which they don't receive.)

It's a tricky area. Your school may not expect you to work in the holidays. I went along with it because I only lost a few days holiday at the beginning of the summer vacation, and it kept the principal happy. I never had to work in any other holiday. (I should also say I liked my school and the students I taught and generally felt appreciated.) However, as people have stated, each school can be different and the NET scheme can often appear like a lottery .... you're never really going to know until you get into the school itself.

I would not expect to work on Saturdays ...... In fact, I'm not at all sure what secondary NETs do if they go in on Saturdays. Perhaps, someone can clarify that... (I think primary teachers are different, as there are classes on Saturday mornings for them.)

All vacations are paid. It may depend where you are on the salary scale, but I found the HK job the best paid I've ever had in teaching - and am probably ever likely to have. Lots of money & time to explore the rest of Asia!!

well-travelled
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arju



Joined: 18 Feb 2003
Posts: 58
Location: h.k

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 2:04 pm    Post subject: advice Reply with quote

dont believe the 90 days holidays they are what the students get teachers get a portion of the holidays depending on the principal.yes we do get the xmass new year chinnese new year and easter but after that you have to be lucky.principals like to have inane meetings and thet eats into holidays technically teachers are able to be called into school at anytime the local teachers get a raw deal and because of that some may feel that we nets are lucky however we do have a contract and a special purpose.
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