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Lesson Preparation
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JRJohn



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:25 pm    Post subject: Lesson Preparation Reply with quote

This is for people who teach inside the school. I teach from 4 p.m. till 9 p.m. but I find that all of us teachers spend the whole morning up till 12 or 1 in lesson preparation. Is this normal in Spain? I have never had to spend this much time in lesson preparation before. I have no free time, and no time to go houdse hunting, though I am expected to do that too.
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daniel_hayes



Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you get paid for this preparation time?I am sure that the longer you're in the job the quicker you will prepare.

If you only work 16.00-21.00, that leaves plenty of time for house-hunting after work, no?
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daniel_hayes



Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And there is also the 13.00-16.00 period to look for places and chill. But I understand your anxiety about the preparation time. I was in the same boat, preparing loads in my own time. And then that time just gradually dropped, and now I don't prepare more than 30 mins for my classes (and usually more like 10-15m).
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pr455



Joined: 08 May 2011
Posts: 135
Location: MADRID, SPAIN

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daniel,

No one gets paid for prep time. I was a teacher in the USA and I wasn't paid for prep time at all. It was part of the job.

I have no idea, personally, why, when people come overseas to teach, that they think they should be paid for prep time. Where does this idea comes from? I would like to know.

And being a teacher in the USA as well, no one paid me for my travel time either.

This is not a personal attack on you or anyone else on this board. I just would like to know where this idea came from or at least how it got started.

Shawn
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daniel_hayes



Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know two of my friends who get paid 2 hours a week for preparation time. It is in their contracts at work.

As far as I'm concerned, if more schools did this, it would mean better classes and more prepared teachers. If a school pays me 12 Euros an hour, for only a few hours a week, I will naturally not go out of my way to prepare ...

You said, 'I have no idea, personally, why, when people come overseas to teach, that they think they should be paid for prep time. Where does this idea comes from? I would like to know.'

I disagree with you completely on that point. I think that getting paid for prep time should be far more common. PR455, why do you think different?


Last edited by daniel_hayes on Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:50 am; edited 2 times in total
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Grimace420



Joined: 24 Sep 2011
Posts: 83
Location: Madriz

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course you have to prepare your classes, but you should also be paid a full-time wage that allows you to teach around 25 clock hours as a standard full-time week because of the preparation involved. A lot of non-teachers think we're lazy when they hear that teachers "only" teach that number of hours per week. That's why there was a scandal last year when the now ex-president of the Comunidad de Madrid announced that secondary teachers would have to do a few more contact hours per week and many members of the general public couldn't understand why there were protests against the decision.
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pr455



Joined: 08 May 2011
Posts: 135
Location: MADRID, SPAIN

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

daniel_hayes,

Thanks for your dignified and well-thought out response and I am glad to see that you disagree with me. This will be a healthy discussion indeed.

I am looking for an answer as to why people think this way. Nothing more and nothing less and I am not stating an opinion. Simply trying to figure out how this way of thinking started. I can tell that you feel passionate about this issue.

If you go back and read my post, I was a teacher in the USA and they do not get paid for prep time. It's a part of your job. Teachers are expected to prep for their classes on their own time. Have you ever taught in a proper academic environment, such as an elementary, middle, high school or university? Just asking. If so, did your contract include pay for prep time. I have done all of them and I can tell you that my contract said nothing about prep time, but it did include a clause that said "other duties as assigned," and that did not mean prep time.

You mention that you know of two friends who get paid 2 hours a week for preparation time and that it is in their contracts at work. That's good for them, but, this is not the norm and expecting it to become the norm is not something to even think about at this stage because it won't happen.

For me, I spend very little prep time because I work smart and I never work hard. I've been teaching for 19 years. I know how to take a short article, read it, think of interesting questions that lead to discussion as well as finding an audio related to that article all in less than 15 minutes and I use it for multiple classes and multiple levels. When I train teachers, I teach them how to do the same thing. You can adapt an article for all levels. It will require scaffolding as well as knowing how to adapt authentic material in the classroom.

Shawn
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9436
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you go back and read my post, I was a teacher in the USA and they do not get paid for prep time. It's a part of your job. Teachers are expected to prep for their classes on their own time. Have you ever taught in a proper academic environment, such as an elementary, middle, high school or university? Just asking. If so, did your contract include pay for prep time. I have done all of them and I can tell you that my contract said nothing about prep time, but it did include a clause that said "other duties as assigned," and that did not mean prep time.

You mention that you know of two friends who get paid 2 hours a week for preparation time and that it is in their contracts at work. That's good for them, but, this is not the norm and expecting it to become the norm is not something to even think about at this stage because it won't happen.


Actually, prep time is paid in the uni where I worked in Canada. It's at different rates to make a distinction between speaking and writing courses. Speaking is paid at 1:1, while writing is paid at 2:1, to compensate for marking time. This is also true in some of the European universities where I've worked. I think the difference if prep time is paid or not is partly based on whether one is salaried or employed on an hourly or project basis.

When I did a summer camp last year for a Canadian private language school, we were give 5 hours weekly for prep.

It's not unheard-of in ESL/EFL by any means.
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pr455



Joined: 08 May 2011
Posts: 135
Location: MADRID, SPAIN

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
Quote:
If you go back and read my post, I was a teacher in the USA and they do not get paid for prep time. It's a part of your job. Teachers are expected to prep for their classes on their own time. Have you ever taught in a proper academic environment, such as an elementary, middle, high school or university? Just asking. If so, did your contract include pay for prep time. I have done all of them and I can tell you that my contract said nothing about prep time, but it did include a clause that said "other duties as assigned," and that did not mean prep time.

You mention that you know of two friends who get paid 2 hours a week for preparation time and that it is in their contracts at work. That's good for them, but, this is not the norm and expecting it to become the norm is not something to even think about at this stage because it won't happen.


Actually, prep time is paid in the uni where I worked in Canada. It's at different rates to make a distinction between speaking and writing courses. Speaking is paid at 1:1, while writing is paid at 2:1, to compensate for marking time. This is also true in some of the European universities where I've worked. I think the difference if prep time is paid or not is partly based on whether one is salaried or employed on an hourly or project basis.

When I did a summer camp last year for a Canadian private language school, we were give 5 hours weekly for prep.

It's not unheard-of in ESL/EFL by any means.


Thanks for your post. But it isn't all that common and that's a fact that we must deal with. You are speaking of your particular cases.

Remember that I am speaking from personal experience and I was in no way implying that it didn't exist. It is not the norm and I was full-time in the USA and I was not paid for prep time. Even university professors who are salaried get time off to do research, but, they are not specifically paid extra for doing that research, that is, unless they get a grant.

Here is a concrete example. I interviewed to teach a class at Complutense University. I was going to teach from 10:00 - 1:30. I was expected to dedicate three hours outside of those teaching times to create material, do some testing or even help create test questions. I wasn't paid for that time. Imagine if I taught 4 classes with them. That would've been 12 hours of extra time outside of teaching. Something to think about.

Shawn
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9436
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I wasn't trying to imply that it's common (or needed, though that's another debate:-)).
Just giving some context why some teachers might have been paid prep in some institution and therefore expect that it's common.
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daniel_hayes



Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shawn, why do you think I feel strongly about this point? I don't.

I prepare as much as I feel necessary, but I am not going out of my way and above and beyond the call of duty. But I guess I have never taught at Ivy-league level or whatever you did in America.

I have only been an English teacher for a few months, and I have lots to learn. I know I do a good job, and I have a good balance between academy, privates, and time to relax.

There is a really strong current of aggression in your posts on this issue. This is unusual, because your posts are usually dripping with self-congratulation.
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pr455



Joined: 08 May 2011
Posts: 135
Location: MADRID, SPAIN

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

daniel_hayes,

There is no aggression here at all. You have taken it that way only because it is written and when we read what is written, we put our own point of view into it. It happens. It would have been different had we spoken face to face. If you have taken my words as aggressive, please let me be the first to apologize. They certainly weren't mean that way.

I was simply giving examples that have applied to me and when I asked you the questions, it was to see if you have taught before in a proper school enviroment to see if you were paid for planning time. That was all.

Quote:
This is unusual, because your posts are usually dripping with self-congratulation.


This remark was totally uncalled for, but, hey, I am not even going to respond to this. I am just going to let it sit in the air. Wink So, I am bowing out of this discussion and am moving on to higher ground.

I wish you the best of luck in your teaching and enjoy wherever it is you are in Spain.

Best,

Shawn
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9436
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Daniel,

No one gets paid for prep time. I was a teacher in the USA and I wasn't paid for prep time at all. It was part of the job.

I have no idea, personally, why, when people come overseas to teach, that they think they should be paid for prep time. Where does this idea comes from? I would like to know


This was pretty strong; that's probably why some of us are supplying some evidence to support the notion that it does happen in some situations, and people could probably be forgiven for wondering (if not 'expecting) that prep time might be paid overseas in some situations (and it is, in some).
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artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 867
Location: the world

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As other countries are being discussed, Iíll throw in an example or two. In Germany, I was always paid for prep time whether that was a class in a company, uni or polytechnic class (I did all kinds). It worked out as teaching for 45 mins and the prep time was 15. I did far more prep than that for specialist language classes.

My work environments have changed enormously over the years. In many cases that has required a fair amount of effort on my part to adapt and get on top of new situations, materials and expectations as quickly as possible. Doing so sure has been hard work at times, and I donít lack experience or work inefficiently. Whether or not Iíve continued to be paid for prep time has depended on the type of contract I have. As school teacher in NZ, I was paid a full-time salary for 20 contact hours (much the same in the UK but more contact hours, I think). I canít remember exact details now and if the contracts officially stated Ďpreparation timeí, but I clearly got it.

Being able to cut down on time comes with familiarity and repeated teaching of similar material. However, Iíve also spent time revising and do not merely regurgitate. Knowledge of that material has meant Iíve sometimes been able to take completely different approaches from the way I originally taught something Ė meaning further prep. For the most part, judging by student engagement and learning outcomes, itís usually meant improved teaching on my part. Iíd still spend quality time preparing (if needed) regardless, but I definitely think I should be paid for that.
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SirKirby



Joined: 03 Oct 2007
Posts: 250
Location: Barcelona, Spain

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd have to agree with Shawn. Preparing your lessons is part of any teacher's job. If you don't get paid for it, think of it this way: it takes you (say, for ease of the maths) 2 hours to prepare 10 hours of lessons, for which you get paid (say) @20 euros an hour, for a total of 200 euros. But, because it actually takes you 12 hours, in fact your "real" rate of pay is Ä16.67. You simply have to factor that in before you accept the job.

Certain sorts of lessons will involve more preparation; they'll almost certain involve less as you get more experienced; and will involve less if you don't go to absurd lengths creating "material".

But if anyone imagines for a minute that you can teach without preparation, paid or otherwise, or resents having to prepare lessons for which they probably - in Spain - don't seem to get paid, then I'm sorry, but change profession. Those are simply the facts of life: teachers have to prepare classes and, yes, they are poorly paid.

I've been here in Spain for 30+ years and I can't think of a single case where people were actually getting paid for "preparation" time.
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