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Does Contracted Hrs = # of Classes? Also Q re: Split Shifts

 
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Ro_Laren



Joined: 29 Dec 2013
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:15 am    Post subject: Does Contracted Hrs = # of Classes? Also Q re: Split Shifts Reply with quote

As mentioned in another thread, I've been to Russia number of times and am considering returning to teach English. Since I've never taught English, I have a number of questions. It seems like the typical teaching contract in Russia is for 30 hours a week (though as a side note I’ve seen a few for 24 or even 40 hours a week). And I’ve seen that an academic hour is actually 40 or 45 minutes of teaching. My question is this, does 30 hours typically = 30 classes? That seems like way too many classes & lesson plans, lol. Do you find that the promised paid 30 hours typically includes things such as office hours, lesson planning, teacher conferences, and school training? If so, how many classes would one typically teach if they are told that they were told that they will work 30 hours a week.

Also, I know that working as an English teacher means you are going to work split shifts. Is it more common to have teachers teach classes in the morning AND afternoon AND evening. Or is it normally 2 out of the three?? Or can it change day to day (ex: 2 classes on Monday, 3 on Tuesday, 1 on Wednesday, etc.)? Of course, I’m sure if you sent to do private tutoring somewhere at an apartment or a business, then your schedule will be even more messed up. With travel time a 30 hour contract could easily end up equaling over 40 hours, not even including the time it takes to plan your lessons.
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teacher X



Joined: 13 Feb 2013
Posts: 135
Location: Super Sovietsky Apartment Box 918

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll try and answer all your questions from my own experience;

1. Yes, usually an academic hour is 45 minutes. I would say that my standard classes are 2 or 3 academic hours. So you would be highly unlikely that you'd be teaching 30 classes.

2. Split shifts are dependent on the school, but they are fairly likely. You need to remember that you are working as a service and as such tend to work when the client wants you. I have split shifts on Mondays, Wednesday and and Fridays, usually around a 4 hour gap. But I take Russian lessons in between the Wednesday/Friday gaps and on Monday I generally sort out aspects of my life, so I find the gaps rather productive (plus, I'm the kind of person who'd lay in bed until mid-day if he didn't have to get up)

3. I don't know any McSkools which send you out to do private tutoring. 'Most' of their teaching is done in the school. I do work for one company which offers classes at the clients work, but that's on a freelance basis and not contracted.

4. Currently, (ignoring all the private stuff I do) I work about 26 academic hours per week. Travel time probably comes to around 3 hours for the whole week since I live close to the school. I've been teaching for a while, so planning doesn't take me too long unless I have to teach a piece of grammar I'm not used to teaching. I'll usually turn up to school 90 minutes before my first class to plan my days classes (although much of that time is spent drinking tea and chatting). So I guess I clock in at around 36 hours per week.

I hope that was vaguely useful.
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smithrn1983



Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 319
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto what teacher X said. Thirty hours a week is about 10-15 classes depending on length.

Split shifts will depend on whether you teach children or not. If not, you'll largely have your afternoons free and work in the mornings and evenings.

I did quite a bit more commuting than teacher X but that's because I taught a lot of in-company classes, and also did quite a bit of private tutoring that required me to go and meet the students at their places. It can take a big chunk of your time in Moscow, but it depends on how much work you want to do. If you're happy with your McSchool schedule, I wouldn't worry about the commuting time so much. If you plan on teaching lots of private lessons, it'll eat up more of your time.
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LAR1SSA



Joined: 02 Nov 2013
Posts: 20
Location: Memphis

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Does Contracted Hrs = # of Classes? Also Q re: Split Sh Reply with quote

Ro_Laren wrote:
As mentioned in another thread, I've been to Russia number of times and am considering returning to teach English. Since I've never taught English, I have a number of questions. It seems like the typical teaching contract in Russia is for 30 hours a week (though as a side note I’ve seen a few for 24 or even 40 hours a week). And I’ve seen that an academic hour is actually 40 or 45 minutes of teaching. My question is this, does 30 hours typically = 30 classes? That seems like way too many classes & lesson plans, lol. Do you find that the promised paid 30 hours typically includes things such as office hours, lesson planning, teacher conferences, and school training? If so, how many classes would one typically teach if they are told that they were told that they will work 30 hours a week.

Also, I know that working as an English teacher means you are going to work split shifts. Is it more common to have teachers teach classes in the morning AND afternoon AND evening. Or is it normally 2 out of the three?? Or can it change day to day (ex: 2 classes on Monday, 3 on Tuesday, 1 on Wednesday, etc.)? Of course, I’m sure if you sent to do private tutoring somewhere at an apartment or a business, then your schedule will be even more messed up. With travel time a 30 hour contract could easily end up equaling over 40 hours, not even including the time it takes to plan your lessons.


Yep split shifts are rather common. I work them. You usually work in the mornings and again in the evenings like what was said. Think about it, people have to work at go to school, so normally they do things before and after such. If you teach at kindergartens like I do you will work days a couple of hours and to make up for the lack of hours by working again in the evening. I too will lay in bed all freaking day or sit around my apartment messing around on the internet until its time for work if didn't get out of bed in the morning so the split shift is quite productive. You can read, get work done at a cafe, lesson plan, explore the city, study Russian etc since there usually isn't enough time to go home. I usually get in 40 hours.. 26 hr work week with 3 hours or more travel time every day! (similar to say living in NYC in america.. takes 1 hr to get from some parts of brooklyn to manhattan for example) I learned to speak a B2 level of russian listening to mp3 lessons during my commute lol

Also its unlikely that you will have thirty classes considering a lot of people do take a class more than once a week and they often last more than 1 academic hour. You also might teach the same curriculum twice in a row.

Also perhaps the pay is thought of to include the lesson planning etc? Many schools pay you a flat pay 2,000 a month etc (with subsidized or free housing) regardless of the hours you work even though the norm might be from 25-30.
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LAR1SSA



Joined: 02 Nov 2013
Posts: 20
Location: Memphis

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

smithrn1983 wrote:
Ditto what teacher X said. Thirty hours a week is about 10-15 classes depending on length.

Split shifts will depend on whether you teach children or not. If not, you'll largely have your afternoons free and work in the mornings and evenings.

I did quite a bit more commuting than teacher X but that's because I taught a lot of in-company classes, and also did quite a bit of private tutoring that required me to go and meet the students at their places. It can take a big chunk of your time in Moscow, but it depends on how much work you want to do. If you're happy with your McSchool schedule, I wouldn't worry about the commuting time so much. If you plan on teaching lots of private lessons, it'll eat up more of your time.


Also you may not have to commute but to one place working for McSchools BUT from what I have seen the pay is considerably less.. and you STILL may have to work split shifts.. Onsite corporate and private pays nice $$ although not for everyone if you dont like commuting..
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1818

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Does Contracted Hrs = # of Classes? Also Q re: Split Sh Reply with quote

Contracts obviously vary with the different schools, 25 teaching hours being quite common, generally meaning 45 mins (could be 40) per t.h.
But you should clarify with the employer whether they mean clock hours or teaching hours, in writing (at least email).

I think you will find 25 teaching hours to be quite a lot. You don't want to do 30 unless (a) you've got a bit of experience, (b) some of the classes are more or less duplicates (same age and linguistic level, same book and preferably at the same stage) and (c) they are paying you on top for that extra 5 or so teaching hours.

No, generally the hours quoted are contact time. Lesson planning is expected outside of those hours. Ditto for meetings and training. If you take on regular additional duties, or cover other teachers' classes, then perhaps you would get paid more. But to sum up, expect the number of hours cited to be teaching time only (although if you are lucky, you might not end up teaching the whole quoted amount).

Split shifts. This varies depending on the school. Chain schools, probably, mornings and evenings. Small schools, depends on their clientele. Do consider this when choosing an employer - if you get a choice. Personally, I would try to avoid splits, especially in a large city and when you have to visit businesses etc - as you suggest, it's the travelling. They won't pay for that time either.
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teacher X



Joined: 13 Feb 2013
Posts: 135
Location: Super Sovietsky Apartment Box 918

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surprisingly, I found that a colleague of mine is paid for her travel between our schools. We have two schools and she works between the two. They count the travel time between schools as part of her a/h.
I think this is something of a rarity.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1818

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

teacher X wrote:
Surprisingly, I found that a colleague of mine is paid for her travel between our schools. We have two schools and she works between the two. They count the travel time between schools as part of her a/h.
I think this is something of a rarity.

Yes, I think so too.
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 948
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:34 pm    Post subject: split shifts in moscow.... Reply with quote

can be hell, especially if you have to use the buses and metro for early morning classes and then have all day free before another class in the late afternoon or evening and cannot go home and rest because it is too far-and too exhausting-to commute! You will effectively be on the go from 06.00 until around 21.00 unless you are lucky enough to live near where you work and in whatever weather!!I started around 12.00 mid-day and my latest class finished at 21.00 so I was home around 22.00,ready to eat and sleep until 10.00 next day! Otherwise I would not have survived it for 6 months!
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