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is this a good contract?
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BTM



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Location: Back in the saddle.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2003 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
7 classes a day? Yes it's a bad schedule! No teacher can teach 7 classes a day, day in and day out 5 days a week AND do a good job. It's not possible.


Bah. Back when I was young, dumb and full of ***, I used to do that 7 days a week, and be top teacher at the school, and keep a full drinking schedule, too! Shocked

'Course, now, many years later, I'm a broken shell of the man I once was. Heh.
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eamo



Joined: 08 Mar 2003
Location: Shepherd's Bush, 1964.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2003 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys, Gord is right!

Seven 45 minute classes per day is less than 100 hours per month! Thats not a big schedule for hagwons. If these classes were roughly in one block that's not too bad at all.

If they're spread out from 9.30 to 6.30 then it's not good at all.
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eamo wrote:
Guys, Gord is right!

Seven 45 minute classes per day is less than 100 hours per month! Thats not a big schedule for hagwons. If these classes were roughly in one block that's not too bad at all.

If they're spread out from 9.30 to 6.30 then it's not good at all.


Having physically done the 7 45-minute class schedule, all I have to say is that it kinda sucked. Actually, I could cope with 7 if I had to, so long as the break was placed near the middle of the run, but 8 was impossible.
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Son Deureo!



Joined: 30 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Gord has a point, 7 forty minute classes isn't really that big a deal IMHO. Aren't a lot of people saying sign for no more than 6 fifty minute classes? There isn't really that much difference between the two.

Accomodations inside the building might mean you live in the school, or an apartment in the same building. This requires further questions and maybe some digital pictures, not a panic attack.

I agree with the concerns about the split shift and mandatory overtime. Plus the salary is a little low. If he won't budge on these items, I don't see any reason to sign with this school.

The director not putting you in touch with the departing teachers would be another reason not to sign.

All in all, I'd say try to negotiate a better deal. Since both of his teachers are leaving on short notice, he may be a bit more willing to negotiate. If he won't budge, keep looking.
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thegadfly



Joined: 01 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

7 classes a day 5 days a week is not a bad schedule at all -- the 9:30-6:30 shift is what sucks. Now, if that is just the school's operating hours, and the teacher is not expected to be in the school at his/her desk the whole time, and the apartment is a few flights up...even LESS of a problem. 7 45 minute classes a day is not impossible -- it is just a full time job, once you consider prep and checking any homework/doing paperwork. Last I checked, most of these ESL positions are posted as full time...anyone who thinks class contact time is the total of a teacher's work time is sadly mistaken, and the mistake is not with the industry, it is with the person who misunderstands the teaching profession.

Mandatory overtime is much more of a deal breaker to me -- you should ALWAYS have the right to refuse overtime, or you should negotiate such a high overtime rate that you wouldn't mind overtime.... Now if the mandatory overtime is ONLY during a certain period (summer and winter camps come to mind) then that can be ok...assuming you are adequately compensated. If it is mandatory overtime whenever the owner feels like it...that would be enough for me to refuse the contract. I have never actually turned down overtime, but I like to be asked to work it, not told, and I like to know I can say no.
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Skarp



Joined: 22 Aug 2003

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

7 lessons everyday has got to be too much work to do well.

If you had excellent curriculum in place for every lesson you could do it - but if not then most will just be wash-outs. A waste of everyone's time and money....

Some schools probably don't care, and some teachers probably don't either.

Anywhere that wanted you to teach the lessons wouldn't ask for more than 5 a day, even if they were 40 minutes. Short lessons are harder than longer ones in my experience.


Skarp
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Squid



Joined: 25 Jul 2003
Location: Sunny Anyang

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hoisted by your own petard...Gadfly (As your name adequately suggests).

Have a cup of tea and a lie down mate- on the one thread you bemoan the question of overtime as an issue in job placement, then on this one extol it as a "Deal-breaker".

On the contract issue, write the offer off as one of many you're likely to receive. The full day commitment is, for the classes you're supposed to teach, too much, and as Gadfly finally sorted out in his own mind, the mandatory overtime is the kicker... don't sign.

Plenty more fish in the sea,

Squid.
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kelly



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its not a bad schedule for anyone thats used of normal working hours. For those that have never had a real job before...yeah it might be a bit much. But for that money no way......
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VanIslander



Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Location: Geoje, Hadong, Tongyeong,... now in a small coastal island town outside Gyeongsangnamdo!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's see. 9:30 to 6:30 plus obligatory overtime may keep you there until 8:00. Add in fifteen minutes of prep time per class and you have an 8 to 8 day. I know how you can work no more than a 2 to 8 or 2 to 9 daily shift schedule: Avoid schools with kindergartens. There are plenty of hogwans looking for teachers to handle the elementary and middle school kids from 2 or 3 until 8 or 9. I heemed and hummed over 6 such positions, each one giving me the entire morning off. I ended up choosing a school based on its geographic location. There's no need for you to settle for such long hours. If you want to be a well-prepared teacher then you could take an 2 to 8 job and arrive at work at noon each day. That still gives you plenty of time to sleep in and relax after one of many late nights out with staff and friends. And you WILL have some late nights. It's nearly mandatory in many places.
But if you take the job, don't moan and complain about the long hours you work. You're going into that with your eyes wide open. There's barely enough sympathy to go around to all the unexpected stuff that happens here.
Good luck whatever.
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Gwangjuboy



Joined: 08 Jul 2003
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

7 x 40 minutes isn't too bad. I am doing that now, The only problem I encounter is that the director wants me in at 1pm, but the first class doesn't start until 3 00pm.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, i feel like a slacker now. VanIslander is saying he has 2 hours prep time each day and Gwangjuboy's boss wants him to be there 2 hours beforehand. Then there is me, who puts in 30-45 minutes each day to prep for 4-6 classes each day. 15 minutes/class of prep? Really? Why? Not much repetition in your classes? I've taught most of my books 5-10 times already so just have to remember what I did the previous time I taught the book. Makes teaching very tedious but saves on prep time.

When I started my job, my boss told me not to show up any earlier than 1:45 (classes start at 2:20) because no one would be there yet. I was like, "sweet, i'm working with a bunch of lazy people here." That changed a couple months later though and I have all new co-workers now (minus my boss) who put in a lot more prep time than their predecessors. Ironically, the best teacher there was the one who prepped the least.

But back to the OP, like everyone else said: your hours suck.
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thegadfly



Joined: 01 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To squid:

Naw, it isn't the overtime itself that I find the deal breaker -- it is the idea that a teacher gives up the final approval of any action outside the contract -- that is, if you agree to a clause in the contract that is vague and yet compulsory on your part (automatic overtime, for example), I would pass on the deal. Overtime is not a bad thing, not having a choice is the bad thing....

I tend to be a workaholic, and I do not think I have ever turned down extra work. However, I would have a problem being contractually obligated to behave as a workaholic...I might do it anyway, but I don't want it to be a REQUIREMENT of the position.

To buncheon bum:

A general rule of thumb (for experienced certified teachers in public schools in the US) is a minimum of 20 minutes of prep per class hour or fraction thereof...so 20 minutes of prep for a 40 minute class, or 20 minutes of prep for a 60 minute class, or 20 minutes of prep for a 75 minute class.... This prep time would include checking homework, recording grades, planning new assignments, doing research for new methods of presenting the same material, etc...it also assumes the teacher wants to improve on known methods and lessons....

New teachers take significantly more time to prepare lessons, and this 20 minute figure is an average, so some days and lessons require far more, and some days and lessons require far less. For example, if I give my students a standardized test that was produced by the textbook company, my actual prep time would be whatever it took to photocopy the material (maybe 5 minutes with a working copy machine -- which is another issue that can increase prep time without actually being "real" prep time). So, to prep for the test is only 5 minutes...after the test, however, I would have to correct the tests, interpret the results, and plan lessons based on that interpretation. "Most of the class messed up on possessives and plurals? Guess I need to plan some more lessons addressing that." Since I had already run through all the lessons on this topic that are in the book, I would have to generate my own materials, or find them...and that may well make up the "extra" 15 minutes....

Another thing about preparation -- it really does not need to be done at a desk. You say the best teacher at your school did the least prep -- I would counter that it was likely the best teacher at your school did prep that you did not observe. I personally did a lot of planning while showering and walking to work -- I usually had already done about 90 minutes of "prep" before I even got to my desk...the time at my desk in the office was simply gathering the materials to put my plans into action, and that may have taken another hour or so for that day's lessons...so did I do an hour of prep or two and a half hours of prep? Folks only SAW one....

In my own experience, good teachers are excellent at multi-tasking. A lot of preparation can occur while doing other things -- I know that when I read the paper, I clipped articles to copy and use in lessons, or around which I based entire lessons and units...snippets of interesting conversation also formed the basis of lessons...so, was my reading the paper prep or not? The line blurs, because being a good teacher is something you ARE, not something you DO for a few hours a day.

You make the point that in your own experience it is not necessary for you to do much prep...and you also state that this situation makes teaching "tedious" for you. I would ask, that if instead of tedious, you found your teaching interesting and unpredictable -- that is, if you were doing new things or trying new methods of doing old things, and so they required your entire attention and energy -- wouldn't the difference in your own interest be visible to the students? And wouldn't this interest on your part make the lesson more interesting to the students? And wouldn't this increased interest lead to more successful learning on their part?

I do not mean to suggest that you are anything but competent -- you may well even be an exceptional teacher. But if, even as an exceptional teacher you find your teaching "tedious," don't you think there are ways to improve? And isn't finding ways to improve your teaching part of your duty to the profession, to your students, and to yourself?
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Squid



Joined: 25 Jul 2003
Location: Sunny Anyang

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clear as mud Gadfly, thanks Confused

Squid
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