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Farang123

New Teaching Job: What have I got myself into?

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Hello All,

 

So I started (Monday) at a new school outside Chiang Mai.  I had previously arranged my visa and the job many months ago but do to covid and so forth the start time has moved back.  When I went for the two preparation days my school informed me, that since they could not get any other foreign teachers for the time being, I will have to take every class from Mateom 1-6.  This is like 2000 students as I understand because there are 10 different classes for each grade.  On top of that, because of some weird social distancing they are trying to practice, they have me breaking each class into two parts.  So it's like teach half the class for 25 minutes and another half for the remaining 25 minutes.  They have me teaching all Mateom 1 the first week, followed by 2 the second week and so forth.

 

I have only worked at one Thai school previously and I taught Pratom 1 and 2.  Only 2 different classes.  The hours of the current job are still around 20-22 of teaching per week.  Plus they said I have to do an English camp once a week and maybe some camps on weekends occasionally.  Also have to be at the school early to talk with students and do the national anthem.  It seems like I'm going to be spread awfully thin with so many classes.  Does anyone have any opinions or advice about how to deal with this situation?

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12 minutes ago, Farang123 said:

It's 20-22 hours of teaching time.  This is no part time job.  I have to be there promptly at 7:30 a.m. every morning and stay till 4.  There is lesson preparation, extracurricular activities and answering the questions of the Thai teachers and so forth.  I was just wondering if anyone else has found themselves in a similar situation do to the covid crisis.  I appreciate the advice about sticking up for myself.  I will keep that in mind. 

You will be fine. The secret is to win over the students and then classes are enjoyable. I remember hectic schedules when I taught in the Thai system before joining an International School. 60 M students in the one room with fans clicking and Sathon rd traffic.

All good fun and because they've had such a long break you can probably deliver the same lesson for M1 to M6 as they've probably forgotten most. Or start at: K kor khai. (I've forgotten that as well :))

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40 minutes ago, Farang123 said:

It's 20-22 hours of teaching time.  This is no part time job.  I have to be there promptly at 7:30 a.m. every morning and stay till 4.  There is lesson preparation, extracurricular activities and answering the questions of the Thai teachers and so forth.  I was just wondering if anyone else has found themselves in a similar situation do to the covid crisis.  I appreciate the advice about sticking up for myself.  I will keep that in mind. 


If you are relatively new to work they might calculate that you can be taken advantage of? 
 

In your situation I would look at the contract that you signed and agreed to and compare it to what they are asking of you. Highlight the extra work compared to what you signed up to. Be calm and polite, and explain that you would like extra compensation for the additional tasks or you are happy to agree to work what you signed up to. Remember, calm and polite. I think you’ll get something from them ... either a less onerous work schedule or a little more cash. Good luck.

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Actually, for someone who is relatively inexperienced this job doesn't sound that bad.  You basically need to plan just one 25 minute lesson per week which you then repeat 20+ times.  That about 4 or 5 lessons per day. (unless my math is off, that's only 2 or 2.5 hours per day)

 

I would look closely at the other aspects of this job.  Do you have a 12 month contract?  What kinds of grading/record keeping is expected?  Is there a lesson plan format in English and how often are lesson plans due?  Will you be expected to write and administer tests?  Will you have to do gate duty and how often will it be required.  If any of these extras are required, are you being paid well enough to do all this?

 

As for the weekly camp, just say no, negotiate for a once or twice a term camp.

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2 hours ago, bwpage3 said:

If that is the task at hand and you took the job, you shouldn't have to ask for advice how to handle it.

exactly .... I would think your old enough to decide how to handle what comes along .....  otherwise forget it and leave.

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These are unprecedented times. Go ahead and start the job. Take on the responsibilities they give you. If the teachers and students make you happy and all the official stuff is done to a satisfactory level, continue.

 

There could be a situation in the future where you will be well respected and thought of and get a better deal. Maybe a supervisory role as and when more teachers arrive.

 

Stick with it for now and see how it goes. That is what I would do.

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I have seen collectively bargained contracts stipulating 280 minutes per day of teaching, which should be called "classroom time.". Music and Art often teach the entire schools, and I even had to go to two schools in one day, subbing.  

 

Big red flags for me with the Thais are curriculum development and camps.  Camp is doable, but would have to be tightly limited.  Coaches earn large amounts in the West, for running sport camps, in addition to their salary.  

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I agree with what moontang said, politely excuse yourself from more than 1 English camp per semester and as far as curriculum development goes excuse yourself on account of lack of experience of Thai schools English teaching or some such excuse, you will probably find you'll teach each class a max one lesson per week which means basically the same lesson with small changes between the youngest and oldest, in most gov. schools the standard of English is appalling so you'll be able to do this. you shouldn't be teaching for more than 22 hours max...

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20 hours ago, Farang123 said:

It's 20-22 hours of teaching time.  This is no part time job.  I have to be there promptly at 7:30 a.m. every morning and stay till 4.  There is lesson preparation, extracurricular activities and answering the questions of the Thai teachers and so forth.  I was just wondering if anyone else has found themselves in a similar situation do to the covid crisis.  I appreciate the advice about sticking up for myself.  I will keep that in mind. 

The facts that you outline are pretty standard for teaching at most schools.

 

20-25 is the usual hours teaching 

 

being at work at 730 is not that much stranger than if you had a real job back at the world you would be expected to show up for work at a specific time and would have to stay until a specific time

 

As to class sizes yes Mat 1 - 32 usually has around 10 classes but i am positive that Mat 4-6 has less

 

You are in a room with the Thai teachers and it is common in any job that you talk to your co workers and help them.

 

This has nothing to do with covid this is a "normal" Thai school.

 

 but if you can not handle it tell them now Give your notice so that they can find another teacher that wants to teach their students.

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