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How to chose where you want to live?
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 1311
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tellersquill wrote:
The contract is 20hrs in class - but they say lesson prep and what not may take 5-10 hours. The wage is 1000rmb per month, which is quite low, but the rent and bills are free and its a lot cheaper there than in Shanghai.


With lesson planning, it will always take 2-3x longer (if not more) when you first start out, that's just the nature of teaching. 5-10 hours will not be realistic for a first-timer (and I would argue 5 hours is never realistic but that's how I do things). This is normal and something to prepare for when considering offers.

I can't speak for the salaries right now in Chengdu though. You should really post the offer on the China forum for some good advice.
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tellersquill



Joined: 08 Apr 2016
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MotherF wrote:
For a first TEFL job in this situation I think just find a reliable job that you are fairly certain is not a scam and go with an open mind. You will learn a lot, not just on the job, but living in a new place and you will also learn what you are looking for in a place. For example you might find you'd rather a warmer or colder place. Or a bigger or smaller city. You also might find you'd rather a different age group, not everyone is cut out for working with kids for example. There is also the possibility that you will quite like it just fine. It there are a lot of other foreign TEFL teachers they will also talk about the other places they have worked and you will get a good idea of what working in those places are like and make connections that will help you get future jobs. I have hired six or seven people over the years who get in touch with me because they are currently working with one of our former teachers, and frankly those are the hires who have worked out the best.


Yes, this is how I see it. One years teaching experience is invaluable to me right now and I can learn so much.

Besides, if it isn't the best city its only 10 months and i'll just make the most of it.

To the OP - thanks for the tip - I will post it on the china section when I see the exact contract.

I'm okay with the 40hrs to start off with (20hrs in class and 20hrs prep) and hopefully I can reduce that after a few weeks or months experience.
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getbehindthemule



Joined: 15 Oct 2015
Posts: 481
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

santi84 wrote:
tellersquill wrote:
The contract is 20hrs in class - but they say lesson prep and what not may take 5-10 hours. The wage is 1000rmb per month, which is quite low, but the rent and bills are free and its a lot cheaper there than in Shanghai.


With lesson planning, it will always take 2-3x longer (if not more) when you first start out, that's just the nature of teaching. 5-10 hours will not be realistic for a first-timer (and I would argue 5 hours is never realistic but that's how I do things). This is normal and something to prepare for when considering offers.

I can't speak for the salaries right now in Chengdu though. You should really post the offer on the China forum for some good advice.


Many teachers are just winging it here in China (sad but true). Teaching (effective lessons) is damn hard work and needs a lot of prep time!
It's true that prep time will decrease with time but I find I'm always trying to improve my lesssons and make them more interesting for my students (and for me). If you think that your lessons are fine and that you don't need to adapt them (once you get to know your students) and improve them using multiple resources, indicates a bad teacher imo.
I'm not saying I'm a great teacher or anything, but I've observed a lot of lessons this semester and encountered some terribly lack lustre efforts! After reading santi's post it hit home haha!
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tellersquill



Joined: 08 Apr 2016
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

getbehindthemule wrote:
santi84 wrote:
tellersquill wrote:
The contract is 20hrs in class - but they say lesson prep and what not may take 5-10 hours. The wage is 1000rmb per month, which is quite low, but the rent and bills are free and its a lot cheaper there than in Shanghai.


With lesson planning, it will always take 2-3x longer (if not more) when you first start out, that's just the nature of teaching. 5-10 hours will not be realistic for a first-timer (and I would argue 5 hours is never realistic but that's how I do things). This is normal and something to prepare for when considering offers.

I can't speak for the salaries right now in Chengdu though. You should really post the offer on the China forum for some good advice.


Many teachers are just winging it here in China (sad but true). Teaching (effective lessons) is damn hard work and needs a lot of prep time!
It's true that prep time will decrease with time but I find I'm always trying to improve my lesssons and make them more interesting for my students (and for me). If you think that your lessons are fine and that you don't need to adapt them (once you get to know your students) and improve them using multiple resources, indicates a bad teacher imo.
I'm not saying I'm a great teacher or anything, but I've observed a lot of lessons this semester and encountered some terribly lack lustre efforts! After reading santi's post it hit home haha!


Isnt the celta rule that for every hour you teach you need an hour of prep?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11438
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no one-size-fits-all for prep.

I write courses at university level and our standard is 3 hours for 1 hour of contact, BUT we use the courses in subsequent years (with reasonable revision and updates, of course), so in the long-term the time invested goes down.

If you are writing a lesson for kiddies, it may be an entirely different animal in terms of prep time from writing for adult businesspeople.

And, whether you are/aren't using a coursebook is obviously an important factor.
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 1311
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tellersquill wrote:
getbehindthemule wrote:
santi84 wrote:
tellersquill wrote:
The contract is 20hrs in class - but they say lesson prep and what not may take 5-10 hours. The wage is 1000rmb per month, which is quite low, but the rent and bills are free and its a lot cheaper there than in Shanghai.


With lesson planning, it will always take 2-3x longer (if not more) when you first start out, that's just the nature of teaching. 5-10 hours will not be realistic for a first-timer (and I would argue 5 hours is never realistic but that's how I do things). This is normal and something to prepare for when considering offers.

I can't speak for the salaries right now in Chengdu though. You should really post the offer on the China forum for some good advice.


Many teachers are just winging it here in China (sad but true). Teaching (effective lessons) is damn hard work and needs a lot of prep time!
It's true that prep time will decrease with time but I find I'm always trying to improve my lesssons and make them more interesting for my students (and for me). If you think that your lessons are fine and that you don't need to adapt them (once you get to know your students) and improve them using multiple resources, indicates a bad teacher imo.
I'm not saying I'm a great teacher or anything, but I've observed a lot of lessons this semester and encountered some terribly lack lustre efforts! After reading santi's post it hit home haha!


Isnt the celta rule that for every hour you teach you need an hour of prep?


CELTA is just one brand name of a variety of TESL certificates (and a minimal, one-month one at that). They don't make any sort of hard rule about teaching in practice for the rest of us. One hour of prep for every hour of teaching is not unreasonable for a new teacher but once you get experience, your prep time varies wildly (some do much more, some do much less).
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 1164
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tellersquill wrote:

Isnt the celta rule that for every hour you teach you need an hour of prep?


During the course yes, that's not a golden rule for when you are actually teaching.
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tellersquill



Joined: 08 Apr 2016
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HLJHLJ wrote:
tellersquill wrote:

Isnt the celta rule that for every hour you teach you need an hour of prep?


During the course yes, that's not a golden rule for when you are actually teaching.


Is it usually higher or lower (based on teaching young learners)?

That 20hr teaching offer might soon turn into 60hrs!
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 1311
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tellersquill wrote:
HLJHLJ wrote:
tellersquill wrote:

Isnt the celta rule that for every hour you teach you need an hour of prep?


During the course yes, that's not a golden rule for when you are actually teaching.


Is it usually higher or lower (based on teaching young learners)?

That 20hr teaching offer might soon turn into 60hrs!


40-60 hours is not unusual for a new teacher and 40-50 is still pretty standard for the teaching profession in general. You will expect to find the same after PGCE.

"Teaching hours" often confuse non-teachers as it's generally half or even 1/3 of actual workload.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 1164
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's impossible to give you a simple answer, there are too many factors. If you are working somewhere that provides the materials, the prep will take you longer at first as you get used to the materials. Once you are familiar with them, prep time drops and you can spend the extra time looking for new activities. With young learners you will have less grading, but you might find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time cutting bits of paper up for activities with them.

As a general rule, a full time job that has 20 contact hours will mean another 20 hours non-contact. That will include prep, grading, and potentially other administrative or even marketing tasks, depending on where you work. These are things you need to discuss with potential employers when you are interviewing.
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tellersquill



Joined: 08 Apr 2016
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

santi84 wrote:
tellersquill wrote:
HLJHLJ wrote:
tellersquill wrote:

Isnt the celta rule that for every hour you teach you need an hour of prep?


During the course yes, that's not a golden rule for when you are actually teaching.


Is it usually higher or lower (based on teaching young learners)?

That 20hr teaching offer might soon turn into 60hrs!


40-60 hours is not unusual for a new teacher and 40-50 is still pretty standard for the teaching profession in general. You will expect to find the same after PGCE.

"Teaching hours" often confuse non-teachers as it's generally half or even 1/3 of actual workload.


40 hours is fine with me. I wouldn't do much more than that. I'm a believer in the European attitude to work over the American - work effectively in 40hrs but if you do any more then you are doing some one else's job.

In the UK many teachers work 70hrs per week - I've got one friend who quit the profession and another who is going to quit soon. This the reason I refuse to work in the UK - they do not value teachers.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 1164
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to work at an international school. The classroom teachers worked just as hard, and put in the same hours, as they do in the UK. It's not necessarily an easier option.
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 1311
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tellersquill wrote:
santi84 wrote:
tellersquill wrote:
HLJHLJ wrote:
tellersquill wrote:

Isnt the celta rule that for every hour you teach you need an hour of prep?


During the course yes, that's not a golden rule for when you are actually teaching.


Is it usually higher or lower (based on teaching young learners)?

That 20hr teaching offer might soon turn into 60hrs!


40-60 hours is not unusual for a new teacher and 40-50 is still pretty standard for the teaching profession in general. You will expect to find the same after PGCE.

"Teaching hours" often confuse non-teachers as it's generally half or even 1/3 of actual workload.


40 hours is fine with me. I wouldn't do much more than that. I'm a believer in the European attitude to work over the American - work effectively in 40hrs but if you do any more then you are doing some one else's job.

In the UK many teachers work 70hrs per week - I've got one friend who quit the profession and another who is going to quit soon. This the reason I refuse to work in the UK - they do not value teachers.


You may want to reconsider the international school route then. Well over 40 hours is standard, as it is for many teachers in other types of schools. It's really one of those professions where "off the clock at 4" doesn't exist. Make of that what you will but it's the reality.
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tellersquill



Joined: 08 Apr 2016
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that's not so great. From what I can tell wages in places like China or Vietnam are fine to live off if you are single and happy to live in a small apartment. After speaking to a lot of TEFL teachers in these countries I've noticed most of them save over £300 per month, if not more.

But the long term issue is saving for retirements and buying a house - i'm not sure if these jobs that offer £1,200 per month can ever really fund that.

Side note: I might end up living in Nanning, China after all. The wage isn't that great but it looks like a good language centre will lots of other brits. Plus, its one of the least polluted cities in china and it has a good climate.
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 1613
Location: Home

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tellersquill wrote:
But the long term issue is saving for retirements and buying a house - i'm not sure if these jobs that offer £1,200 per month can ever really fund that


Kudos that you're thinking that way. No beating around this bush. You won't be retiring early, i.e. in your sixties or even seventies, or buying any house if you start TEFLing now and do it long term.

Twenty nine isn’t old. You have experience, a degree and four job offers. Why not take one of these offers now and get some real experience and transferrable skills. You can then later teach wherever for a few years, but you’ll always have that other experience to go back to. Believe me, I’ve been that teacher who can move on and do other stuff whilst my colleagues (at the British Council of all places) looked on with envy. You don’t ever want to have teaching as your only job (even if your partner bankrolls you) whatever anyone says.
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