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Leaving a TESL job etiquette - PLEASE HELP!
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That Lisa Girl
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2003 11:56 pm    Post subject: Leaving a TESL job etiquette - PLEASE HELP! Reply with quote

Hi everyone, here's the situation:

For the past few weeks, I've been working at a major international franchise ESL school here in Toronto, Canada. My students are really great, but the atmosphere is cold, rigid, and inflexible; there's tons of red tape, bureaucracy, over-sized classes, and uncomfortably crowded facilities. My employer (the academic coordinator) is completely unsupportive and hostile when anyone questions the system or suggests a change. The pay is so-so ($15/hour Canadian, for 20 hours a week).

I have been offered another job at a small, independent private language school that is willing to match my current pay, but teach 25 hours a week. Also, the vibe is much friendlier and warmer. The problem is, they need me to start a week and a half from now, which doesn't give me a chance to give my present employer two weeks' notice. What should I do?
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bnix



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 645

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2003 12:50 am    Post subject: Etiquette?In TESOL? Reply with quote

If you were in Korea,or a few other places,I would just tell you to run(leave).
However,since you are in Toronto,I would say:You say you have a week and a half before you start your new job.There is not that much difference between a week and a half and two weeks,obviously.

You could explain(very tactfully) to your current employer that you have a new job offer and can only give a week and a half notice instead of two weeks(!!!!).You know your current employer better than I do,obviously...so you will know better whether that would go down okay with them.

OR...you could ask the small private school that you are contemplating to wait a few extra days(after all,what is half a week,really?) so you can give your current employer the full two weeks notice.

Incidentally,I would really think about the new employer.Of course, they seem friendly at first...they want to hire you.But you mean they could not wait an extra half week for you?Sounds a little...ah...fishy to me.Why do they need someone so fast...someone quit suddenly on them?If someone quit suddenly on them...WHY did that someone quit suddenly on them?They might be giving out good"vibes" now...but I would ask to speak to former teachers of the school(or send them emails.etc) to check this place out.It is always a good idea to proceed with caution when dealing with private schools.I hope for your sake it is a good one...but be careful.Sometimes a "good" job change changes into something worse...especially in this business. Smile
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Celeste



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 814
Location: Fukuoka City, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2003 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am stunned that you are earning so little. Go to the school that is offering you more hours. Is that standard pay at EFL schools in TO these days? I used to work at a school in Vancouver, and we made $20 per hour and taught 25hours a week. (I think substitute teachers even made $18/hr there) After time,select employees were offered the option to go on salary- the pay worked out the same, but we had paid vacation time and extended health as well. This was a year ago, and it was not the highest paying school in town by a long shot. Have things changed? Is Toronto that different from Vancouver? I thought that the cost of living was higher in Toronto than in Vancouver.
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lagger



Joined: 08 Apr 2003
Posts: 40
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2003 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your employers should be able to work around it. Just be honest.

Are you sure you want to work an extra hour per day for the same pay? There's something about a fifth hour that just kills me. 4 hours/day 5 days/week is enough for me. Still, a nice teaching environment is worth a lot.

The pay does seem kind of low. I'm surprised.
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MartinK



Joined: 01 Mar 2003
Posts: 344

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2003 6:31 am    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

...

Last edited by MartinK on Mon Nov 17, 2003 9:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12305
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2003 12:11 pm    Post subject: hours Reply with quote

4 hours five days a week is optimum. I am shocked at the low rate of pay in Canada.I thought that was a developed country ? Seems it is in the Third World, like England.
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rogan



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 416
Location: at home, in France

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2003 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there a minimum wage in Canada?
Can your new school do a deal with your current school?
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Afra



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 389

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2003 1:19 pm    Post subject: Hours and pay Reply with quote

According to my currency converter, $15 Canadian is GBP 6.57. This is what EF was paying unqualified undergraduates to teach Easter and summer schools when I left the UK about 5 years. Qualified, experienced teachers started at about GBP 18 per hour in HE/FE establishments. Where and when was Scot47 last working in the UK?
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bnix



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 645

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2003 12:13 am    Post subject: EF? Good Lord! Reply with quote

I agree with Scot...4 hours five times a week is optimum...it really should be maximum,too ,in my opinion.If you are going to really teach...and not just try to dazzle them with your b.s.,you are also going to have to do some lesson prep, of course.In my opinion,anything over twenty hours a week,and the quality starts going down.Of course,a lot of places(and especially at some private schools),the quality does not matter that much.IT is whatever the market will bear at places like those...teaching thirty hours(and sometimes more ) a week...but usually it is not really teaching...just babysitting and playing games.I know,I know,there are bound to be SOME exceptions.


As for working for EF. personally,I would not work for them anywhere in the world...although I know it is a franchise op and some branches may be relatively better than others. Rolling Eyes
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That Lisa Girl
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2003 8:29 pm    Post subject: thanks! Reply with quote

Please tell me why you would not work for EF...aside from the fact that it is a franchise school... I am at the beginning of my teaching career (this is only my second position) and would appreciate the advice. I've been told that the classes average around 15-17 students. It seems a little bit much to me.

Yes, the pay rate for teachers in Toronto has hit an all-time low. Enrolment is down, schools are scrambling to make ends meet, and paying their teachers a pittance. There are even a few schools that told me they start their teachers at $13-14 CDN per hour!

Aside from the government-sponsored LINC programs for immigrants and refugees, and university ESL programs, Global Village is one of the highest paying private languages schools, at around $20/hr plus benefits.

For the record, I have decided not to accept the offer of the other (independent) language school. Why? Well, for just an extra 5 hours a week, it does not seem worth it, when I could make up the difference having a few private students in the evening. The school I'm teaching at (not EF, but I will not name names, for obvious reasons of anonymity) might give me a few one-on-one tutoring sessions a week. I realize now that a week and a half vs. two weeks was actually NOT the real issue for me, but I was dwelling on that small detail for some inane reason.

My current schedule is teaching 4.5 hours Monday-Thursday, and 2 hours on Friday morning. So it's not bad, but not great. On a slightly unrelated topic, the dress code is unusally strict for a North American city. Men must wear suits, women are required to wear stockings, even in the summer, and forbidden to wear open-toed shoes. I understand the need for a dress code, but they're so conversative about it! As if the sight of my bare calves or toes in the summer would make the Korean boys swoon!

On a more positive note, I have had an interview at yet another, more successful and professional independent school recently. Their starting pay for teachers was $18/hr, plus full benefits!!! I think the interview went really well, and they said they'd be contacting all the applicants within the next week. Wish me luck!

Oh yeah, about Vancouver...I never realized the pay for ESL teachers was so high!! That's good to know for the future....

Peace out,
Lisa
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Celeste



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 814
Location: Fukuoka City, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2003 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lisa-
I never thought it was high either, until I compared it with the wages in Toronto. What are the costs of living in Toronto? In Vancouver, most of the single teachers that I worked with could not afford to live alone, so they usually had roommates. A 1 bedroom in a normal neighborhood is about $650 per month. I think a lot of my colleagues in Vancouver were also paying off their student loans. After deductions, my net pay for a 25hour teaching week was about $400. Not a huge sum. Still, it supported me for 3 years. Now I am earning roughly double that amount in Japan. So nice to have a savings account again.
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That Lisa Girl
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2003 9:32 pm    Post subject: Money matters in Toronto Reply with quote

Celeste - wow, I never knew that ESL teachers could actually save money! $800 a WEEK?! Maybe I should consider teaching overseas again... although right now, I'm really happy living in Toronto, being in a really amazing long-term relationship, and having my family near me. And yet I love teaching English, I couldn't see myself doing anything else for a living right now, so I have to scrape by to make ends meet (sigh). The cost of living is very high in Toronto right now. Your average bachelor apartment starts at around $650/month here. You might be able to find a basement one bedroom for $700-750 now. It's completely nuts.

Currently, I am living with roommates and paying a very low cost, $340 a month plus utilities, which is practically unheard of anymore, for a very large and comfortable room. Most teachers here would have to tutor privately in the evening or find some other part-time job to afford the kind of lifestyle you're probably enjoying living in Japan. I used to make $34,000 a year as a customer service rep for a huge insurance company, take cabs everywhere, eat out all the time, buy new clothes every week, etc. I've had to tone down that lavish, materialistic lifestyle, and I know it's worth it, but it still sucks when you have to struggle to get by.

cheers,
Lisa
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MartinK



Joined: 01 Mar 2003
Posts: 344

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 7:44 am    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

...

Last edited by MartinK on Mon Nov 17, 2003 10:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12305
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 11:55 am    Post subject: scotland Reply with quote

Scotland hasn't made it that far. Still FOURTH WORLD
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dmb



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Posts: 8397

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:20 am    Post subject: Scotland Reply with quote

Dear scot47 can you please back up that last staement
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