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Do I really have it that bad? (Question about workload)

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by SnorkelingTeacher03, May 9, 2019.

  1. SnorkelingTeacher03

    SnorkelingTeacher03 New commenter


    I am currently working at my first "international" school (it's really a private bilingual school with nearly 100% of the students being local)....

    As I am new to all of this, I am wondering whether or not the situation I am in could be improved by moving on to another school after I finish this contract. The main reason I am hesitant to leave is because this job allows me to live close to my wife's family. I would really hate to move my wife away from her family and not at least improve our life quality. However, if our lives (work/life balance) can be improved by moving on, then it is something we will have to sit down and discuss.

    A little about my workload....

    I am at a primary school

    I teach three different classes with 42 students in each class (2 grade levels)

    I have thirteen 40 minute class periods per week (fifteen 40 minute classes every other week...)

    I have six 45 minute class periods per week (with two 80 minute extra curricular actives per week)

    I have a total of 13 different lessons I have to prepare per week (this includes having to teach art, music, and PE)

    Does this seem excessive?

    This is my first experience at a real school since earning my teaching certificate. I had previously been teaching ESL for a few years.

    Thank you!
  2. PuRe

    PuRe Occasional commenter

    I am just tired just reading this, hopefully someone more knowledge in the primary division can tell you more, but to me its sounds VERY excessive and thats not how it is in our primary division.
    Helen-Back likes this.
  3. percy topliss

    percy topliss Occasional commenter

    It's the 42 kids in a class that caught my eye. Doesn't matter which division you teach in, it sounds like you are on some type of production line.....is this in China?

    mahipaul and Helen-Back like this.
  4. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    largest class i have ever taught internationally is 22 students (secondary).
    Susanne12345 likes this.
  5. ed717

    ed717 New commenter

    That sounds even worse than the UK, which I didn't think even possible abroad! :eek:
    42 kids in a class is waaay too many for an international school - the most I have is 18. 25 should be the absolute maximum.
    I understand your situation - though in my experience, if one of you becomes really unhappy, it can cause the relationship to go sour. Sit down with your wife and tell her how you're feeling. It sounds to me like you both need to reach a compromise...
  6. SnorkelingTeacher03

    SnorkelingTeacher03 New commenter

    I'm in Taiwan.

    My wife supports the idea of us leaving (if it improves our quality of life). My fear is us leaving Taiwan and the workload at other schools being as heavy as it is where I am now.

    I'm also working on my master's degree, so that doesn't really help with having much free time outside of work.

    Appreciate the responses!
  7. mermy

    mermy Occasional commenter

    42? :eek:
    Finish the contract and run!
    dumbbells66 likes this.
  8. worlo24

    worlo24 New commenter

    I would leave - 42 kids is way too many.
  9. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    That's insane. Yes, your workload would be a lot less at a better school. Max at my school is 25 for most classes (less for Nursery and Reception). You need to talk to your wife and find a new job.
  10. Bentley89

    Bentley89 Occasional commenter

    You should leave.
  11. theintlteacher

    theintlteacher New commenter

    Yes this is poor. Anything over 24 in an international school I consider a large class. How much marking does this generate? It’s making me feel stressed just thinking about it.
  12. SnorkelingTeacher03

    SnorkelingTeacher03 New commenter

    I have four books plus tests to check in my third grade class.

    I have 2 books plus tests to check in my sixth grade classes.

    Honestly, having to deal with 42 third graders during PE and music class is the worst part of the job for me.

    Thank you all for the responses. It's giving me a bit more confidence that I will be able to find a better work/life balance after leaving this current school.
  13. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    My guess would be that this is a bi-lingual school and not an actual 'international school'. There's no way on earth you'd pay international fees for your kid to be in a class of 42
  14. adrixargentina

    adrixargentina Occasional commenter

    It's a local school though so anything goes.
  15. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    This sounds AWFUL! Dumbbells will tell you all sorts of horror stories about awful schools he taught at in Spain, but even those pale in comparison. 42 in a class at a fee-paying school! As we say in Spain, someone is pulling your hair! Leave as soon as you can....
    DocShew likes this.
  16. 576

    576 Established commenter

    At my school a full timetable for someone with no responsibility is.
    27 out of 33 lessons.
    Having a tutor group.
    One hour of after school meetings a week
    One hour of extra curricular activity a week.
  17. SnorkelingTeacher03

    SnorkelingTeacher03 New commenter

    You are correct that it is a bi-lingual school.

    That sounds like a pretty full workload.

    Do you also have to teach music, art, and PE?

    I guess I should also add that our first semester was 21 weeks and the second semester is 20 weeks long....
  18. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Yes it is. Finish up your contract and spend the year preparing to leave.

    Have a look at the other schools in Taiwan, but also some of the better schools in China (assuming that it's OK for your wife to some here.) That way she's not too far from her family but you will have a much better teaching load.
  19. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter

    42 kids! Madness.

    I had 12 kids in my grade 3 class a few years ago and was moaning that it was too small a number.
  20. 576

    576 Established commenter

    It's secondary...

    It's double the PPA you would get in most UK state schools but with lovely kids.

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