Teaching English is a very common job for foreigners in Taiwan. Whether you want to share your experiences as a teacher in Taiwan or learn from the experiences of others, this is the right place for you!
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This is my first time posting here, and I have a question for anyone with experience working as an ESL teacher.
Can anyone explain to me the average amount of unpaid work expected outside the classroom? I know there is a lot of prep work that goes into each class, and one of the biggest complaints I've heard is the tremendous amount of time preparing. I heard this was especially the case for bigger school chains like Hess. How true is this? The answers I've heard have been mixed. Some say it only averages to about one hour of prep work per average 4-hour work day at a typical buxiban. Others, though, have said they spent nearly as much time on prep work as they did inside the classroom.
I just want to hear from some of the ESL teachers regarding this. I'm considering becoming an ESL teacher but I also have a side gig as a freelance writer that I want to continue doing. However, I may not be able to do that if the unpaid prep work eats up most of my time.
Thanks in advance to anyone who replies, and I look forward to your answers.
Hello, Muyen. Welcome to Taiwanease. It's good you're thinking about the unpaid work involved in English teaching work. Some newbies just compare the hourly rate with other jobs and then get a nasty shock when they find that full-time teaching means 25 hours a week.
The amount of unpaid work will vary by the school, class size, class setup (e.g. whether there's a class teaching assistant) etc. But as a general rule for new teacher during the first year I'd say to expect to spend 45 minutes on prep and after-class marking per hour in the classroom.
BTW, I think part-time teaching is quite a nice compliment to your freelance writing - it's good to get away from sitting in front of a screen and have some social interaction.
Hi John, thank you for your reply. Could you clarify the quote above? Do you mean an average 45-minutes on prep for every hour spent in the classroom?
Nope. The 45 minutes refers to time spent on "on prep and after-class marking," not just "prep." Your post is slightly confusing because your title mention of "unpaid work outside classroom" is not a perfect match with "prep" because there's sometimes unpaid work that comes after the class (of which I've only mentioned the most common and obvious, i.e. marking). But like I said, the amount of work will vary greatly between classes and schools. However, you can get a pretty good idea before accepting work by asking any prospective employer about what is expected of you outside of the classroom.
To give you an idea of what's expected the schools generally base their hourly pay rate on 2/3rds teaching time and 1/3rd prep for new teachers. That doesn't include marking etc. This is the rule of thumb for most chain schools.
Okay, I understand now. I was confused at first because I didn't understand what you mean by "marking." I had to look it up by I understand now. This information is very helpful and puts things in perspective.
Be careful about the definition you've looked up. There are several. For example, "make a visible impression or stain on" isn't necessarily what you're looking for. Well, it could be but probably isn't.
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