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Teaching 40hrs+ a week in Vietnam?
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Dream_Seller



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 38
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="kurtz"]
Dream_Seller wrote:
on second thought...still moving to Vietnam...come what may.

"I'm a dreamin' man, yes that's my problem, I can't tell when I'm not being real "........let me wake you up.



Haha...Thats a perfect song for how I'm feeling these days. Moving abroad and teaching will take steps. Leaving my current job will be one of them. I do agree that many of the ESL teachers I will not relate to, some I will. In any case I want to teach outside of HCMC or Hanoi. With less opportunities to splurge, I feel I can put away more in savings. I don't know everything. To live and teach english abroad means I have to sacrifice something of myself (the fact that I could have earned more in the states). Yet even now that I earn more, its so easy to spend it here. And I know already I can be a baller in Saigon and spend it even faster...but that's not what I want to do.

Thanks for the song reference:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv-knusIj0w


Last edited by Dream_Seller on Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 758

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What they are not doing though is telling people to be 'free like the wind' and 'float like the waves on the sea' when they themselves have come from a background in which they have never been bogged down by the fear of knowing where their next meal was going to come from ..

If this guy was a sadhu living in the hills, then I would have a lot of respect for his words. But coming as they do from the gold plated pen of a pampered merc-driving poseur, the words mean very little indeed.



Very true, and elegantly stated as well. More meaningful (to me at least) than the poem (or whatever it was) that was referenced.

Quote:
I couldn't give two hoots if you go to Vietnam, but if you put pretentious crap on the net in an effort to explain your spiritual dilemma, just don't expect people to go along with it ..


Don't exactly disagree with this either, just seems we could be A TINY BIT more sugary. I try to look over my posts several times before I hit Submit. Even though this may be 100% true, we really want and need new guys to post here. I recall a few years ago when it was a constant insult fest on this site, made people want to not post at all.

Very nice having your viewpoints here guys. Hope to see more of you.
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bentanddisfunctional



Joined: 19 Oct 2010
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back on topic.

40 contact hours a week????
You're off your face mate-even if you get get them you'd be fried in no time.

I can hardly cope with my 17 Rolling Eyes
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 177
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like to keep my hours close to 20 a week. I thought that was just my own position based on my age, however a friend who is a retired school teacher from AU, and more than a decade younger that I, tells me that he feels that 25 is the equivalent of full time teaching back there. I know that a full time High School teacher in the US probably doesn't have more than 30 hours of actual "face time." I also had a local VN English teacher tell me that she was doing 26 classes (not hours) and that she considered it difficult. As she and I teach the same students on different days, I know that she is doing a good job.

Some people are doing 35 public school hours, but a lot of their classes are identical. Prep time for one class may cover more than 10 class time hours.

A 40 hour goal may be unrealistic. You can get that many hours, particularly if you are willing to work public school contracts, but at what cost to the quality of your work.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 758

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, and your voice can run out of steam also. 20 paid hours seems right to me. If getting a high rate and doing high level work which requires a lot of analysis, preparation and scoring, you may still end up working 40 or more. But in those cases you should be making a credible income and not have to scramble around in the heat, floods, pollution and traffic. When working the public schools and jumping from place to place, I figure 20 of those hours is at least 40 as well. You have to also factor in getting ready more than once For schools that work you in the morning then later in the day, you may go home, change, then change again to get ready again. Yeah, no real prep time on that work, it really seems like a different industry.

Not sure why guys ask about working long hours, but I would not recommend it. Folks who do it seem like zombies to me, they have no life, but they often seem to be the guys who need tobacco, booze and paid encounters to make up for no life. I enjoy my work, but my 20 is much more than 40 considering all the time I put into it, it is plenty. You have to have rewards other than the work itself and the money to make this really worth doing, in my opinion. Working 40 contact hours would be way too much.
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 366

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe British Council and RMIT both have 20 contact hours on a 40 hour a week contract (24 at BC if you have a DELTA). Based on my secondary school, I'd say that a high school teacher back home would be doing about 25 hours (5 hours x 5 days). I typically consider 24 hours to be full time, although I'm happy with 20. I can go up to 30 occasionally, but I wouldn't want to do it for more than a couple of weeks at a time. 40 hours would kill you and your lessons would likely be terrible.
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Guiza



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a good read this thread.

Just in response to the food discussion, since I got here there have been some shocking stories about produce being sold here. A friend of a friend (of my grandmother's auntie ha) suddenly died after complaining of stomach cramps that lasted for days. She died of something that was in her stomach that could not digest causing too much damage.

To be fair, that's hardly the sort of thing you're going to give much creedence to online, but these were all published last year:

http://tuoitrenews.vn/business/11723/75-of-vietnamese-pho-samples-found-toxic-food-tests

"The center said the samples were randomly taken from nine food selling facilities, including three supermarkets (Co.op Mart Cong Quynh, Maximark Cong Hoa, and Big C Hoang Van Thu), five markets (Pham Van Hai, Ben Thanh, Tan Son Nhat, Go Vap, and Ba Chieu), and a grocery in Tan Binh District."

http://tuoitrenews.vn/city-diary/12056/food-safety-crisis-in-vietnam

http://www.beveragedaily.com/Regulation-Safety/Heineken-absolutely-on-top-of-fake-beer-threat-after-Vietnam-gang-bust

There's just no control over anything in food.

I doubt these things would kill you within a week but spending a decade here eating noodles for dinner... seems like you are putting your insides through some turmoil that will probably rear it's ugly head one day or another.
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deadlift



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm With Stupid wrote:
I believe British Council and RMIT both have 20 contact hours on a 40 hour a week contract (24 at BC if you have a DELTA). Based on my secondary school, I'd say that a high school teacher back home would be doing about 25 hours (5 hours x 5 days). I typically consider 24 hours to be full time, although I'm happy with 20. I can go up to 30 occasionally, but I wouldn't want to do it for more than a couple of weeks at a time. 40 hours would kill you and your lessons would likely be terrible.


It's worth considering that not all "hours" are the same:

At one extreme is an hour long lesson in a language mill, 8am on a Saturday, 20-odd under 10 year olds, improvising from some appallingly bad text book from which you are allowed to teach only two pages and an incomplete set of badly copied flash cards.

At the other is an hour of a writing-workshop style class with a dozen 20 year old students in the final level of RMIT's academic English program, laptops out and working largely independently on their research reports with you circulating around the class monitoring.

How many hours you can do depends a lot on what kind of hours they are, what happens between them and what else is going on in the workplace.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 758

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guiza,

thanks for your very interesting post.

We have a thread called "straw men and issues we cannot resolve", where we tried to move the food discussion over to (also pollution). Interesting how these threads go. Like this one, talking about working 40 hours, so it is natural to discuss driving around in the heat and the nasty air. So then the discussion can become the pollution. I am doing my part to try to keep topics a bit organized, so I will copy your post over there, and hope that anyone who wants to continue the food/pollution discussions will respond there, where we already have a lot of posts on that topic.
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Guiza



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Guiza,

thanks for your very interesting post.

We have a thread called "straw men and issues we cannot resolve", where we tried to move the food discussion over to (also pollution). Interesting how these threads go. Like this one, talking about working 40 hours, so it is natural to discuss driving around in the heat and the nasty air. So then the discussion can become the pollution. I am doing my part to try to keep topics a bit organized, so I will copy your post over there, and hope that anyone who wants to continue the food/pollution discussions will respond there, where we already have a lot of posts on that topic.


Thanks, Mark

Cool
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2007
Location: Paradise, Paradise, Paradise!

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

toiyeuthitmeo wrote:
When you find yourself in some poor excuse of a staff room, with photocopiers that spit venom or do nothing at all, and an air conditioner that works when it feels like it, and a manager that would make a bald man bemoan his lack of hair for the sheer release of tearing it out, your cubicle in America is going to seem pretty f*cking sweet. Just saying. Make this choice carefully.


I second that Twisted Evil
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 177
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

deadlift wrote:
I'm With Stupid wrote:
I believe British Council and RMIT both have 20 contact hours on a 40 hour a week contract (24 at BC if you have a DELTA). Based on my secondary school, I'd say that a high school teacher back home would be doing about 25 hours (5 hours x 5 days). I typically consider 24 hours to be full time, although I'm happy with 20. I can go up to 30 occasionally, but I wouldn't want to do it for more than a couple of weeks at a time. 40 hours would kill you and your lessons would likely be terrible.


It's worth considering that not all "hours" are the same:

At one extreme is an hour long lesson in a language mill, 8am on a Saturday, 20-odd under 10 year olds, improvising from some appallingly bad text book from which you are allowed to teach only two pages and an incomplete set of badly copied flash cards.

At the other is an hour of a writing-workshop style class with a dozen 20 year old students in the final level of RMIT's academic English program, laptops out and working largely independently on their research reports with you circulating around the class monitoring.

How many hours you can do depends a lot on what kind of hours they are, what happens between them and what else is going on in the workplace.
Apparently you have only experienced the middle and the top. The actual extreme is 50 kids in a third tier high school. Only about 5 to 10 want to learn English, the rest are there because they must be. PE class is in the courtyard directly outside your window which of course you must leave open because there is no A/C and sometimes the lights don't even work. You have no computer or projector assets, and if you want to use the school copier, they have used up their monthly paper budget so you do it outside on your own VND. The best US comparison that I could make would be with a poor rural school. It differs from an inner city school mostly in that there is no threat of violence from the students. Younger students are more enthusiastic than high school students but the infrastructure and class size problems are the same.

I love public school work but it can be strangely invigorating and tiresome at the same time. By comparison, work in a language center is a walk in the park but, as deadlift implies, somewhat boring. At least they give you the flash cards! If BC and RMIT consider 20-25 contact hours full time then that is certainly reenforces the point that the OP shouldn't even be thinking about 40 hours.
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deadlift



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TRH wrote:
Apparently you have only experienced the middle and the top. The actual extreme is 50 kids in a third tier high school.


That's a fair point. It looks like the low is actually much lower than I indicated.

RMIT's full-time is 40 hours on-site, with 20 contact hours. It helps lower the pressure a lot when marking and planning can be done at a leisurely pace.
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Dream_Seller



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 38
Location: United States

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the helpful responses.This is what I should have asked.

How many hours do you work outside your main source of employment?
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 262

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm With Stupid wrote:
This article doesn't agree with you.

Highest Paid teachers:
Luxembourg
Germany
Canada
Ireland
Netherlands
Denmark
Scotland
Australia
Korea
USA
Japan
England

Teachers in Luxembourg get paid a ridiculous amount ($95k average), but ignoring that, German teachers get paid $10k more than American ones according to this list. But American teachers do get paid slightly more than British ones. American teachers are 9th out of 33 countries on this list. Below them are countries like Belgium, Spain, Italy, France, Finland, Norway, Sweden. Maybe the Forbes list is about pay per hour?


This is an interesting article. The Forbes article, which was about two years ago, looked at how many hours of work a teacher was expected to do over a school year and their pay over that time. I just skimmed the article you linked but it appears to be about a countries spending on education as a percentage of GDP which is clearly not the same as an individuals salary divided by their hours worked.

The Forbes' article was about two years ago so maybe US teachers have gotten a raise? Brits have been austerity-ized LOL?

I tried to find a link but I can't. Sites I have seen still US teachers with a very high hours worked per school year and a pretty good yearly pay but I suspect pay per hour to be lower on any list. Not the standard that I would want negotiate around for my hourly wage or contract with salary.
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