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POLL: What time CAN you leave school for the day???

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by CoastTeacher, Apr 13, 2019.


What time can you leave school for the day?

  1. Before 2:00

  2. 2:30

  3. 3:00

  4. 3:30

  5. 4:00

  6. 4:30

  7. After 5:00

  1. CoastTeacher

    CoastTeacher New commenter

    I really wish there was some sort of database with Search or someone else on online that gives the start and end times for when teachers have to be on campus at international schools around the world. Everyone talks about annual salary and cost of living but you see very little mention of actual contractual hours. Compared to the public school I went to in the States when the day ended at 2:00 or the first school I worked at in the States where I could leave for the day at 2:45 (Oh how I took those days for granted), I am now not allowed to leave till 4:45 at my new school here in workaholic Asia. This does not include the one day a week where I have to stay till 5:30 for my ASA! And here I thought getting out at 4:15 at my last overseas post was late? I calculated that this extra 2 hrs a day over 185 days adds up to an extra 370 hrs a year. If you consider a 40 hr work week, it is as if I am now working an extra 9 WEEKS a year! That is a whole summer vacation's worth of extra hours spent in school!!! This is why I believe that SALARY per HOUR is so much more important than ANNUAL SALARY when considering a new job. The annual salary doesn't look so enticing anymore when I look at how much I get paid by the hour. Quite frankly, I'd rather take an annual pay cut to get out 2 hrs early everyday since my hourly pay would probably work out to be the same anyway!
    I am fortunate to be in a financial position now where I don't have to grind out long hours and chase money anymore. In my next job post, I would love to work at a school where I can walk out the door by 2 or 3 at the very latest where at least I feel as if I still have enough of my day left and am not feeling like I want to collapse into my bed when I get home. I don't care about prestige or "tier" of the school as long as it doesn't pay a pittance or is one of those "no office hour" jobs where you only get paid per class taught. Anyone here work at a school currently or one in the past where you still had a good part of your afternoon left? Do these international schools actually exist? I also set up a poll so others can compare their situation to other board members.
  2. 576

    576 Established commenter

    Mon 7.10-3.15 (meetings)
    Tues-Thurs 7.10-2.10 (though one day you'll have an hour of eca)
    Fri 7.10-12.05
    mermy, 2mature and CoastTeacher like this.
  3. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    But you also have to consider teaching time. On my bad day i have 1hour and 30minutes of non contact. On my good day i have 3 hours non contact. Start at 7:30, out the door at 4. Hour for lunch in the middle of that and 20 minute break. All my decent schools have been very similar.

    My "zoo" in Spain i got 1 period (45 minutes) off a week.
  4. Ms_Love_

    Ms_Love_ Occasional commenter

    8am-4.30pm every day. It's a productive day for me and I never take work home, but I wish it were more 'flexi'... If I only teach p1 on a Friday, why do I still have to stay there till 4.30pm?

    Flexi time is the way forward IMO. The sweltering heat is back now in southern China so sometimes you just want to rip off your work clothes and fester inside your apartment with the AC on full blast.
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    5pm, every day.
  6. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    Our school day is from 9:00-3:45 but I usually arrive at around 7-7:30 (easy access to printer/photocopier, uninterrupted work time). If I don't have a class last hour, I can sometimes leave after lunch as long as I tell the office and don't abuse the system...
  7. CoastTeacher

    CoastTeacher New commenter

    Just for clarification when voting in the poll ==> This is for when you CAN contractually leave school for the day without being written up for insubordination and not when you actually do go home for the day because you opt to stay longer for whatever reason.

    Good point about contact hours. I would happily work 25 teaching hours a week if I was only required to be on campus for 35 hrs (a 7 hr day) but not if you are going to add on another 2 hrs a day to make it a 45 hr work week so I can twiddle my thumbs or even worse....fill in the time with pointless meetings or extra duties!
  8. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Leaving time isn’t that meaningful without knowing the starting time.
    8.5 hour attendance for us, with a work culture that includes gathering together for two meals during the day. Sometimes three.
    Mr_Frosty and 576 like this.
  9. 576

    576 Established commenter

    Agreed, you have to look at the big picture, not just how long you're required to be on site but how much non contact time you have, etc etc
  10. kpjf

    kpjf Occasional commenter

    The option "whenever my classes finish" is missing:D. I can leave the second my last class of the day finishes. So on Fridays for example, I finish at 11.30 and can go home as soon as the kids leave my classroom without anyone batting an eyelid. However, in saying that I usually stay and do some work.

    Am I really the exception here?

    One thing to note is in France, where I work, classes end at 5.30 so some days I have 8.30 to 5.30 days of lessons, which can be a rather long day.
    576 likes this.
  11. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    It depends on so much and things can change. Culture, work expectations, parent expectations.

    Our school provides transport, so falling in line with transport times is sort of considered the minimum.

    However, an increasing number of us arrive earlier, under our own steam, to prepare for the day, so the occasional leaving before the "first bus" is acceptable as long as it's not every day.

    Staff are generally expected to hang around for a bit after school (it's often the best time to catch up with staff and discuss matters informally), but it's not written in stone. I expect that if you did it every day though, it would be noted, if only because you were "hard to find".
  12. amariB

    amariB New commenter

    Agreed about flexi time, it would be great for staff morale at my school . Although I’m not sure how that would work for primary, as we are essentially ‘on duty’ all day and need to be there to register pupils in the morning and send them off to parents at the end of the day. So even if they had specialist teachers all afternoon, I can’t see how primary class teachers could leave. Might breed resentment between primary/secondary colleagues. We currently have to sign out at a certain time, and this gets checked! Couldn’t give one answer in the poll as some days we have meetings and ECAs so it’s different on different days.
  13. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Established commenter

    Ours if fixed - you can get away 2 hours earlier to conduct important business if it doesn't clash with a lesson but it needs to be a written request submitted at least 48 hours in advance.

    Regular end time is 3:30 but we do get to leave at 3:00 every Thursday and there is generally a queue to sign out (required).

    During Ramadan it's usually 1:30 or 2pm but this has yet to be confirmed for this year.
  14. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    Flexi time doesn't work well in practice for several reasons. One being health and safety. If you've got a form and the fire alarm goes off at 1 and you've left at 12, then who will register them? Also, in cases of emergency cover, where someone needs to leave and have their classes covered, teachers who aren't teaching wouldn't be available as they'd have gone home
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  15. Millionsandmillions

    Millionsandmillions New commenter

    In Norway, 32 hours per week present in school is the standard agreement, but variations of this is negotiated locally between Head and union rep. They also negotiate contact time. Its usually around 18 hours per week.
    CoastTeacher likes this.
  16. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Not so great for students either. Students need access to their teachers in between classes. Not that they need you every minute of every day, but they should be able to come to you when they need help. Hard to do if you're only on campus when you're assigned a teaching time.
  17. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    In 23 years of teaching, the only place that I have worked that had a set arrival and departure time was a military institute.

    Other than that, every other school only expected teaching staff to be on campus when they had lessons or meetings, etc. etc. Outside of those, one could come and go as appropriate.

    In my current school, if I am not teaching, I don't have to be around.
  18. CoastTeacher

    CoastTeacher New commenter

    The cold winters and the sky high cost of living never made me seriously give Norway a strong consideration when looking at teaching jobs. But a 32 hr work at this stage of my life when I am looking to downshift sounds like heaven and may make me reconsider!
  19. 576

    576 Established commenter

    20 years of teaching, 5 schools, 4 countries. Only one was OK with what you describe and that was a boarding school where most of us lived in site so we worked all sorts of weird hours.

    As mentioned there are reasons such as emergency covers and fire drills, for expecting staff to be around for the duration of the school day.
  20. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    9am to 16:30 everyday (though Thursdays we have meetings until 6pm. However, one third of those I don't need to attend, and another third are run by me in a local bar). Hopefully, from September we'll be finishing earlier.

    Interesting. Do you work in IB schools?
    [I went for an interview at a school in the Hague (an IB school). Sitting in the staff room at 11.30ish, waiting for my one to one interview, a member of staff stood up and announced they were going and would see people tomorrow. I enquired, and it turned out that once you had taught your last lesson you were free to leave and you didn't need to show up until 10 mins before your first lesson started. That's what I can an enlightened approach. Never come across that in British system schools, so I wonder if it's a cultural thing?]

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