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Is the workload and hours really less than the UK?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Ds2d12, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Ds2d12

    Ds2d12 Occasional commenter

    I’m starting to get interviews etc. But researching a lot of schools and they seem to want the British curriculum, long hours, after school clubs.
    Where is the difference to the uk?
  2. mermy

    mermy Occasional commenter

    The difference is that once your school day finishes you can go home and enjoy your life as you don't have to worry about jumping through hoops and Ofsted in addition to having less marking, smaller class sizes and more autonomy / trust in your lessons. There are only a handful of times I had to take work home - first week of the new school year and end of term for report writing. But that's it. Some schools will work you to the ground, but from reading the boards here for years and personal experience it is clear that most of us are able to tune off at the end of the day and enjoy our adopted countries.
    Kartoshka and TeacherMan19 like this.
  3. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    I dont work in a british curriculum school, but from what i remember what it use to be like when i was in the UK, my workload, teaching load now is significantly better. I have more than enough time during the working day to get everything done, and rarely to never take work home with me.
    soni likes this.
  4. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    Here in Spain, I have more responsiblity (HoD, whereas I was Second-in-Department in the UK) and classes go on for longer here than the UK (9am to 16.15, as opposed to 8.50 to 3.20). Yet, somehow, not only do I work less, but I spend less time in the school. I put it down to more trust from management, no culture of presentee-ism, more control over what I teach, fewer pointless data requests and, yes, smaller classes (though not by much, actually).

    I still work in the evenings and weekends, but only because I love my job and I chose to - whereas in the UK I had to do at least 2 hours in the evening and half a day at weekends just to stay a float. The work I do now in the evenings is all about developing myself, supporting my team, stretching my students and planning an exchange trip (something I never had time for in the UK).
    tigi likes this.
  5. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    No, the hours can be as long and even longer in some schools where you lose weekends due to local and international meets/fixtures/DoE/MUN etc.

    After school clubs is standard for nearly all international schools whatever the curriculum.

    Punching out at 2:15...2:30..3:00 is simply a misconception. Some school packages range from £40,000 - £50,000. You will be expected to earn that.
  6. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    With all the extras expected, yes, I work longer hours actually in school, but it’s generally pleasurable work.

    I stay until my prep/marking/paperwork is done and get home between 5 and 6 on a weeknight, but never work evenings or weekends (unless at a school event).

    All in all, probably work the same or even slightly harder than I did when I left the UK 18 years ago. Probably work less than is expected in the UK now. Longer holidays internationally as well.

    I certainly enjoy it significantly more and I don’t resent the odd weekend event at all. Quality of life more than makes up for it.
  7. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    but that is so much more pleasurable than the endless paperwork that you got at home. I'd much rather lose a weekend to coaching than to triple marking and target setting.
    rouxx and dumbbells66 like this.
  8. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    I cant actually remember the last time i had to write a lesson plan, or put comments on reports. Im out the door at 4 everyday, and dont take anything with me. Add in the longer holidays and significant pay increase, i would definitely say that international teaching is much better.
    TeacherMan19 likes this.
  9. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    Let's focus on the OP's initial post,
    "... long hours, after school clubs."

    To him/her, they just don't want long hours no matter what form it comes in.
  10. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    You missed this bit.
  11. motorhomer

    motorhomer New commenter

    I think it depends on the school or more importantly, who is leading it. Just like in the U.K., some leaders value the wellbeing of their staff more than others. My day is very full on with lots of admin work on top of the teaching & planning etc. However, I get more than triple the amount of PPA time that I got in the U.K. I find that all of my PPA time is used up but I get it all done. I'm aware that some of my colleagues book holidays and do online shopping during their planning time so I guess it depends on the teacher. I'm a Primary teacher in a British school. My Secondary colleagues have a much easier time of it. Whether that's typical or just down to leadership at our school, I don't know. I leave around 4pm most days & only do work at home if I want to or when it's report writing season. After-school clubs are mainly run by local staff who need the extra cash.

    However, you also need to consider the benefits to your standard of living that can come with the right school/country. Having the extra cash for dinners out, taxis and childcare or to pay someone to clean etc at your apartment can be just as important to your wellbeing as getting home earlier from work.
  12. MsBuzy

    MsBuzy New commenter

    It depends.

    Many international schools are placing ever increasing demands on teachers. It is not unusual to find all teachers being expected to write weekly lesson plans and many schools are placing all the data monsters in the way of work life balance.

    I have worked in 5 different countries and in each case actually worked longer hours than I ever did in England, but had a longer summer holiday.
    24hours and towncryer like this.
  13. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    In the years I've been working overseas I work hard; but nowhere near the levels I worked to in the UK. The misconception is that overseas isn't hard work (it isn't a holiday, certainly) but it is easier comparative to my years in England - my work life balance is SO MUCH BETTER and I am generally happier as work isn't as demanding/stressful for all the other reasons the other posters have pointed out. I rarely take work home (evenings/weekends).... maybe 2-3 times a year at most. Usually, I do an hour or two after school Mon-Fri (slightly longer if I'm doing after school intervention or a club) but try to get away about thirty minutes after the bell on at least 1-2 of the weekday nights and I'm a HoD! I get much better non-contact hours and class sizes are smaller. Behaviour generally a lot better (but don't be deceived, some of my colleagues have issues but if you have UK experience in city comps - for example - it will be fine). Resources and support excellent.
    dumbbells66 likes this.
  14. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    When I was in the UK I worked pretty hard. I was Head of Outward Bound and D of E at a London school which meant you could be quite full on and every weekend during term time was one that was spent with either sport or Duke of Edinburgh or some such. However, that was something that I volunteered for, I was 20 years younger and it was fun, I also got paid quite a lot! One of the things that I have noticed overseas is the difference between the competing systems. I have worked in loosely British based schools which demand at least 1 extra curricular activity a week, a meeting and then there seems to be an unwritten rule that you will stay at your desk until 4PM even if you have no work to do. I have also worked in quasi American systems or perhaps just more International ones, where teachers come in at about 7:30 and when they finish at 2:45, as long as everything is done, they are free to go home, if they carry out extra curricular activities they are paid to do so. One kind of feels more trusted in that type of system, as long as the work is done no one is breathing down your neck. I also think that there has certainly been in a rise in what I would call "baby sitting schools" where well to do parents think that the teachers are actually just glorified nannies and should be available to look after their kids until they or the maids are free to pick them up.
    Is the workload less? Perhaps not but it just seems to me like I call the shots here, I make a very good income and can live a more balanced life. I can be on an island in a matter of hours, back in the UK in 12 should the need arise and my disposable income in much, much more than it was in the UK.

    I was at a sports tournament at the weekend speaking to a PE teacher who told me that almost all of the people that she trained with in the UK are either out of the profession or are teaching overseas....I think that that probably answers a few questions.

  15. sidekick125

    sidekick125 New commenter

    To be honest, I work probably the same amount of hours that I do in the U.K and I don't mind at all. From what I am led to believe, the working hours in Asia seems to be more than the Middle East because we don't have such extreme heat.

    However, my quality of life is fantastic comparatively, I go away every holiday and stay in five star hotels / resorts. I spend six weeks travelling in the summer. Internationally, the pay matches the hours that you put into it.
  16. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Established commenter

    I have a longer school day, but a much lighter teaching load. I arrive early but leave on the dot of home-time and having any planning or marking to do at home is very rare. I actually probably work harder than in my last UK job as I enjoy this job more, but it's definitely less demanding - not the same for all schools in the city though, and probably not the same for every teacher at my school - some people have crazy timetables.
  17. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    I definitely think it's better. Every school and every teacher? Probably not. But on the whole. Less work, less time, what admin asks for makes more sense.
    I can't help but think about the difference between starting out and being a few years down the road, though. As a new teacher, I needed to work so much more than I did as a veteran teacher. Same with admin - when I went the leadership route, once again I was back to working evenings and weekends. But that got better and now I accomplish more/better in less time.
    So if you're relatively new to this gig, moving isn't the only factor. You've got to put in a few years before the required hours start to fall.
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  18. bead

    bead New commenter

    BRITISH SCHOOL OVERSEAS (BSO) are the dreaded words if attached to a school's website. I have seen the changeover from being an international school to a BSO and the result is horrific. The management enthusiastically try to out do their English counterparts. Teaching and learning are way down the list of priorities and new incentives are rolled out on a daily basis. CPD is more important than teaching and targets are set from everything from impossible attainment levels to excessive consumption of toilet rolls.
    I can assure you that working in a half decent comp in Scotland is much easier than working in a BSO.
    towncryer and DocShew like this.
  19. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    I work in a BSO and we don't have any of that. We don't even have a data system. Nor do we have targets. I see 3 other schools on their list too that I know for a fact are nothing like UK schools.
    24hours likes this.
  20. bead

    bead New commenter

    Give them time. It usually takes about 3 years for the changes to start and another three to become worse than England.

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