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Workload At International Schools.


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I wonder what the word quiz could mean in this context.

I give my students a 5 minute math drill each day at the beginning of each period. It sharpens their basic arithmetic skills and I have a daily record of their progress.

These could be considered a quiz by some.

My coworker give a pre and post test each week on vocabulary words, also a "quiz".

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Thank you sincerely for the above replies.

It does seem that the high salaries earned at these international schools go hand-in-hand with heavy workloads.

I wouldn't call it a "heavy" workload, I'd call it a "normal" workload. smile.png Normal as compared to teaching jobs in the US or UK, that is. Yes, international school teachers work hard, but so do certified teachers all over the world. Honestly, I feel that if people aren't willing to put in the work (and I don't mean you, OP), then they shouldn't be teachers. The last thing that any education system needs is more teachers who do a half-assed job and try to get away with doing as little work as possible.

And to be frank ( as a parent ) the fees some of these places charge I'd expect nothing less than professional, dedicated teachers willing to go that extra mile for their students. I mean, you don't buy a top end Benz or BMW and expect it to break down on you every day.

Edited by mca
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My tests are usually between 7-10 questions and usually last the period. My units are quite long and usually I'll give 2-3 tests on a unit. I don't mind the marking as the weekly testing keeps students on the ball. Actually each unit is tested every two weeks so the students I don't think are all that stressed over it. I teach m3-m4 maths by the way. I do push m3 hard as they are in transition to m4 which is the senior school in a Thai school. We do in-class marking but I also give homework sheets which I correct myself. I use those sheets to judge whether the understand the material - I don't record the scores for those sheets to discourage students from copying others. I wouldn't expect new teachers to do my workload - I have the material prepared for the year, which new teachers do not. So I think the 'heavy workload' in any school seemingly decreases the longer you have been teaching.

Strangely the problem we have is not with the subject teachers in math / science: we have been here, 10 yrs, 8 yrs, 6 yrs, etc.....in this school. The problem is getting english language teachers and keeping them. The problem is partly with agencies that supply fresh teachers with little experience and throwing them into the classroom with senior highschool. It's just not working and we are still short many teachers even coming into the 4th week of the term.

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The difficulty with tests and examinations is that they are taken way too seriously in Thailand, especially with younger students. I used to give tests to assess the both the students learning and what I have successfully taught. But you can give a short quiz with 5 or 10 questions which takes a few minutes. If they can't answer 10 addition questions, then it's unlikely that they can answer 100. If most demonstrate a level of mastery over the subject material, then it's time to move to something else.

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I'm sorry Culicine, but you test every two weeks and don't record the results...........

Erm....... Well, I can tell you work in a Thai EP programme.

An accreditation organisation would ask you this.

What is the point of your tests? How are you tracking student progress? Show us how you are checking student knowledge (paper tests are merely ONE small way of doing so). Show us how you are giving feedback to the student about their progress. Show us how you are using differentiation to teach to all levels in the class. Show us how you let the students know what they can do to improve their knowledge. Show us how your are communicating with the parents.

Lots and lots of tests certainly satisfy Thai school management because they appear to think tests on their own have some use.

If OFSTED saw this, you'd get seriously reported as inadequate. I'm not joking.

Can I ask you this. How often do you take the students out of the classroom to practically apply their mathematical knowledge to everyday scenarios so that they can see the benefit of learning maths. Your answer should include phrases like 'at least 3 times more than I give them a paper test'.

Practically demonstrating their knowledge IS the test - but it's just not on paper!

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A little harsh, there, Markg- I get the point of all of the things you're saying, but if OFSTED were lurking in the wings, Culcine would be teaching at a school where her students were native speakers and where her resources would most likely be MUCH better. And I don't get the feeling from what I've seen of British teachers (including on British teaching websites) that out-of-school activities are that much more common than testing- because of things like the GCSE's, in fact, testing is still an important issue in the UK curriculum.

And one could argue that the tests she mentions are a feedback system (the point, as it were) rather than a marking activity- and there may be others. We haven' t seen her entire schedule of tasks....

Just sayin'.....

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A little harsh, there, Markg- I get the point of all of the things you're saying, but if OFSTED were lurking in the wings, Culcine would be teaching at a school where her students were native speakers and where her resources would most likely be MUCH better. And I don't get the feeling from what I've seen of British teachers (including on British teaching websites) that out-of-school activities are that much more common than testing- because of things like the GCSE's, in fact, testing is still an important issue in the UK curriculum.

And one could argue that the tests she mentions are a feedback system (the point, as it were) rather than a marking activity- and there may be others. We haven' t seen her entire schedule of tasks....

Just sayin'.....

Yes our school is woefully inadequate in terms of resources. Try 7-8 year old computers, and schools that won't pay for resources.

Actually I do record the scores from the tests, but not the homework. The homework informs whether the students understand what has been taught. If many students do poorly I will reteach the material. Students with consistently low scores will have their parents informed and remedial measures taken as necessary. Some students are taken from the class and taught separately if need be (I don't necessarily agree with that though).

I know about differentiation - I'm a qualified teacher by the way. The material presented to students covers a range of ability, though I don't go to the extreme of giving different work to various groups of students within one lesson. Peer group work / mentoring is used sometimes to help accelerate slower students.

The problem with Thai schools and some parents is that some don't want to admit that their child has severe learning deficits , A school like mine should not accept such students because they are not providing for their special needs - we are not talking about slower than average students, but those that might be 4 or more years behind their peers.

Testing IS a big part of Thai school life, but that's the culture here. It might explain why when some of my students move to international schools they find the work 'easy'. And these are not necessarily the best students I have. I push them hard and encourage them to do the best they can.

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Hi to all you hard working teachers, you are doing a grand job, keep up the good work - your efforts are valued and appreciated - our kids benefit from education - we all know that! - but without you teachers...what can I say? THANKYOU ALL!!

Does anyone know Pete Barmby? I have lost contact with him and need to speak to him, he teaches English, has worked in Buriram and Rayong and was last in the Pattaya area.

If anyone knows him, can you give me his phone number or please can you ask him to contact me, it's a rather urgent serious matter.

Thanks.

Rungnapa.

0824 788 234.

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The workload in international schools is significantly higher, in my opinion, than in a Thai school.

When i worked in a Thai school, I created and submitted lesson plans, marked books (tick and flick only - no comments), set tests at the end of every term and input the test results in a ledger.

I taught my lessons and went home. I worked from 7.45 to about 4pm Monday to Friday. I think the key-words are that I was responsible for teaching and that's about it.

In the international school I work in now, I work from 7.30 to 5pm Monday to Friday. I catch up with marking and emails in the evenings or at weekends.

In addition to what i did in a Thai school, all teachers have a lot more responsibilities. Arrange assemblies once a week (on a rota), do homeroom and take care of the students' pastoral needs which can be significant, mark students books according to the ATL (Attainment Target Levels) and leave specific comments about how they can improve their level. Record student progress and show evidence about this. It may include photocopying work and filing it under the student's name in a very large filing cabinet for every student I teach. If students are either failing or advancing at a gifted-student rate I have to show how i am using differentiation to meet their needs. I have to make sure every student in my homeroom is doing their homework (subject teachers sign it off in their student diaries) and if they are not, call or email the parents and meet with them to discuss the problem. I have to organise at least 3 field trips per academic year and get parental consent for each of them. If students have a problem or are sick, as a homeroom teacher, I have to deal with this. Many lunchtimes will see some students in lunchtime detention. If i confiscate a mobile phone, I have to get the parents to come in. I probably answer 4 or 5 parental email enquiries per day ranging from 'Jane said Jimmy is bullying her' to 'Jane's aunt just committed suicide, please take it easy on her at school'.

Working at an international school required me to change up at least 2 gears. The workload is MUCH much more. However, the holidays are far far better. If I average out my working week over the course of a year, it's about the same as working in a Thai school.

Things that i like about it are that i speak at native English speaker rate as all lessons are in English. Most of our kids cannot speak Thai, so the lingua franca in the playground is English. The other thing is that i speak quietly. The students absolutely do NOT speak when I am speaking. That never happend in a Thai school.

I enjoy the increased level of responsibility with the students - the buck stops with me.

Tracking students' academic progress and providing evidence takes up an awful lot of time.

Hope that helps you.

Hi to all you hard working teachers, you are doing a grand job, keep up the good work - your efforts are valued and appreciated - our kids benefit from education - we all know that! - but without you teachers...what can I say? THANKYOU ALL!!

Edited by Scott
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  • 2 weeks later...

This is an interesting thread, especially to someone who has wondered what it's like to earn over 70k a month in a nice comfortable 9-3.30 job. I guess now I know the truth, and I respect you hardworking teachers all the more for it. I've tried applying for an International Kindergarten position (I have experience teaching here) but was turned down instantly. Though I did get a nice email telling me so, so I didn't mind. You guys and girls work a LOT harder than us 'TEFL' teachers do, that's for sure. Honestly, I like having my afternoons/evenings free, though I have found that if I find a couple of nice part-time jobs which take up a little more time, being a 'TEFL' teacher can be quite lucrative. That said, I think the doors open up here a lot more for International teachers.

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When a TEFL teacher sends their CV into a real international school it gets filed straight in the bin without even being looked at. They won't even get their foot into the door so your point about it being a shock to them is totally irrelevent.

Doesn't stop some of the TEFL fraternity from wanting to get a nice int. school salary, though, does it..

BTW, lucifer, unless you're a moderator, kindly refrain from lecturing others as to what is, or isn't, relevant in their posts.

There is nothing wrong with the TEFL fraternity wanting a nice international school job and salary, but until they become certified properly, their chances of that are virtually non-existent. And once they are properly certified, they cease to be a TEFL teacher. Therefore, discussing whether a TEFL teacher could handle the pressures and workload of a teaching job in a real international school, is, by its very nature irrelevent, because it isn't going to happen.

I always find it funny how the "International School" teachers like to act superior to their TEFL counterparts.

I teach "Experimental Design" to medical students at a top 3 Thai university. Taught at a top 50 U.S university before deciding to spend a couple of years here in Thailand.

Wonder how many "International School" teachers could handle the pressures of having to publish every year. Wait, it's irrelevant, because it's never going to happen.

There's nothing more disgusting than a person who tries to put another down based on their chosen career path.

No matter how big you think you are, there's always someone else with the ability to stand over you and "piss" on your head.

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When a TEFL teacher sends their CV into a real international school it gets filed straight in the bin without even being looked at. They won't even get their foot into the door so your point about it being a shock to them is totally irrelevent.

Doesn't stop some of the TEFL fraternity from wanting to get a nice int. school salary, though, does it..

BTW, lucifer, unless you're a moderator, kindly refrain from lecturing others as to what is, or isn't, relevant in their posts.

There is nothing wrong with the TEFL fraternity wanting a nice international school job and salary, but until they become certified properly, their chances of that are virtually non-existent. And once they are properly certified, they cease to be a TEFL teacher. Therefore, discussing whether a TEFL teacher could handle the pressures and workload of a teaching job in a real international school, is, by its very nature irrelevent, because it isn't going to happen.

I always find it funny how the "International School" teachers like to act superior to their TEFL counterparts.

I teach "Experimental Design" to medical students at a top 3 Thai university. Taught at a top 50 U.S university before deciding to spend a couple of years here in Thailand.

Wonder how many "International School" teachers could handle the pressures of having to publish every year. Wait, it's irrelevant, because it's never going to happen.

There's nothing more disgusting than a person who tries to put another down based on their chosen career path.

No matter how big you think you are, there's always someone else with the ability to stand over you and "piss" on your head.

It's not a case of putting anyone down, it's is stating a fact.

And if you want to compare CVs, I also have a good one, so you certainly won't be doing any pissing on me, sorry.coffee1.gif

Edited by LucidLucifer
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I teach "Experimental Design" to medical students at a top 3 Thai university. Taught at a top 50 U.S university before deciding to spend a couple of years here in Thailand.

Wonder how many "International School" teachers could handle the pressures of having to publish every year. Wait, it's irrelevant, because it's never going to happen.

There's nothing more disgusting than a person who tries to put another down based on their chosen career path.

No matter how big you think you are, there's always someone else with the ability to stand over you and "piss" on your head.

The old 'Publish or Perish' huh?

Lets face it though.............in order to keep that going........there is an awful lot of dross published, just so that they can say they 'publish'.

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When a TEFL teacher sends their CV into a real international school it gets filed straight in the bin without even being looked at. They won't even get their foot into the door so your point about it being a shock to them is totally irrelevent.

Doesn't stop some of the TEFL fraternity from wanting to get a nice int. school salary, though, does it..

BTW, lucifer, unless you're a moderator, kindly refrain from lecturing others as to what is, or isn't, relevant in their posts.

There is nothing wrong with the TEFL fraternity wanting a nice international school job and salary, but until they become certified properly, their chances of that are virtually non-existent. And once they are properly certified, they cease to be a TEFL teacher. Therefore, discussing whether a TEFL teacher could handle the pressures and workload of a teaching job in a real international school, is, by its very nature irrelevent, because it isn't going to happen.

I always find it funny how the "International School" teachers like to act superior to their TEFL counterparts.

I teach "Experimental Design" to medical students at a top 3 Thai university. Taught at a top 50 U.S university before deciding to spend a couple of years here in Thailand.

Wonder how many "International School" teachers could handle the pressures of having to publish every year. Wait, it's irrelevant, because it's never going to happen.

There's nothing more disgusting than a person who tries to put another down based on their chosen career path.

No matter how big you think you are, there's always someone else with the ability to stand over you and "piss" on your head.

It is interesting both: 1. how you are unaware you are doing exactly the same thing you criticise the other poster for doing, and

2. How ignorant you are of the different natures of high school and university jobs, that you would consider the university job somehow 'superior' or 'more important' inherently. Perhaps if one places more value on doing, evaluating, and reporting research, most likely isolated from much social contact, compared to placing value on helping foster bridges to higher level learning in a complex and immature social group with many distractions and challenges, it might seem this way to you. Both professions are laudable in their fashion.

But I entirely agree with you that 'There's nothing more disgusting than a person who tries to put another down based on their chosen career path.' :rolleyes:

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Wonder how many "International School" teachers could handle the pressures of having to publish every year. Wait, it's irrelevant, because it's never going to happen.

And I wonder how many university lecturers could handle the pressures of far longer teaching hours plus marking/paperwork of an international school or US/UK school teacher. You know little of pressure until you have experienced that.

Nothing wrong with TEFLing, it's an honourable enough job. But you can't compare it in terms of workload to international school or US/UK/Aus etc school teaching.

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Having worked as a TEFLer and at an international school I can honestly say that the workload at an international school is far higher.

That is in no way meant to be a slight towards TEFLers. It is just my opinion based upon my experience.

Also in my experience, as I've mentioned earlier in this thread, the level of responsibility at an international school is much higher than when I was TEFLing. The buck for most things stop with the homeroom teacher, whereas when I was TEFLing, the buck stopped with the THAI homeroom teacher - ergo, far less responsibility for me !

That being said, there are SO many things that I find are better (for me) at an international school.

In no particular order.

1. No cancelled lessons. Ever. Not for marching practice, flower making, candle making, Krathong making, furniture moving, display board making or any other BS. Not ever. Ever.

2. All students speak English. There is no misunderstanding due to language, about exactly what standards are required.

3. We don't care how important you say your uncle's second cousin is. Your kid is in detention tomorrow night. Pick him up at 5pm.

4. If your kid doesn't work hard in class, do homework, or thinks he can mess around for longer than, oh, about 2 days, you will be called in, he will be put on report and we will suspend him if he doesn't improve.

5. If your kid gets a low score in a test, then that is the score that will appear on his end of year report. No retests. No erased scores.

6. 70 percent is an acceptable score. It won't go up because your child drew pretty pictures on the test paper.

7. When I'm teaching, your kid will be silent. I will indicate when the time has come for them to speak politely to the class or their work group. No ifs, no buts. (That NEVER happened when I was TEFLing except for periods of 3 or 4 minutes during tests)

8. I will go to the ends of the Earth to improve your kid's education. I expect you and them to reciprocate.

9. I will not answer my cell phone to you after 6pm. It's not that I don't care, it's just that it's unreasonable.

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When it has come to crunch time, actually, I *do* miss sleep- sometimes even a whole night's sleep- getting work done. That's part of the obligation I feel as a professional. Other times, I *am* very well rested. It depends what part of the year one is asking about.

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P.S. TEFL is a third, also laudable job, just in case you were wondering... it has lower entry barriers and wages here, but I don't find it by that nature to be 'inferior' either.

yep there's quite a number of Thais in my experience who have a genuine reason to thank their "humble" TEFL teacher from students all the way to top management.

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