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  • Blacklamb
  • Adventurer

    • 48

    • September 07, 2011, 09:52:06 am
    • Incheon
Prep-time??? What's the go with it?
« on: January 11, 2012, 10:46:58 am »
Hi-
 Just wondering about prep-time for classes and wanted to run this by the good folk of waygook.

I know prep-time isn't considered paid working hours, but at the moment I am doing 5 extra classes for a Winter School program, which means I have to come in 1 hour earlier, plus these classes require a PPT to be made for it. This is all on top of my regular teaching schedule that can be anything from 4-7 classes a day.

With the new schedule, it has been created so the hours that I technically teach in the classroom are within my contracted agreement, but this leaves no time to prepare, which means I am staying back late and/or coming in early to accommodate this.
For example, each Monday I teach 7 classes back to back with no room to move in regards to preparing, so everything has to be fixed up on Friday (which means creating 3 PPTs for that schedule of classes).

My contract states I only have to be at school one hour before teaching starts...I know this is temporary but I'm not getting any extra money for these classes and my days are long (between 9 and 10 hours long).

On top of this, there is still the usual marking, creating tests, plus doing call-tests for 90% of my classes.

Is this normal?? Or do I just suck it up and wait for the Winter School program to finishee??


  • ingrid28
  • Veteran

    • 89

    • August 29, 2011, 12:16:39 pm
    • Gangwon-do
Re: Prep-time??? What's the go with it?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2012, 01:35:35 pm »
You get paid for teaching hours. If you aren't doing any extra teaching hours then I don't think you are owed any overtime.

This should be stipulated in the contract.

Kinda sucks in your case if you have no time at school to prepare.

Are you at a public?


Re: Prep-time??? What's the go with it?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2012, 04:23:21 pm »
It sounds to me like you're working at a hagwon.  If it is a big burden, you should talk to your supervisor or director otherwise I think you're stuck with it.  Good luck.  One hour is not anywhere's enough time to prepare for all the classes you mentioned. 

I used to teach six to seven classes a day plus do the placement interviews a couple days of the week.  I had to take my prep work home with me where I did it. 


  • Blacklamb
  • Adventurer

    • 48

    • September 07, 2011, 09:52:06 am
    • Incheon
Re: Prep-time??? What's the go with it?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2012, 01:03:30 am »
Thanks for the replies.

Yes, I'm in a hagwon. The workload seems to have slowly increased in the 6 months I've been here, and I'm wondering if it will stop now that the limit to the contracted hours has been met.

I guess I shouldn't speculate on that...I'm sure there are countless ways my school can think up to get maximum worth out of what they are paying me without having to reach any deeper into their pockets.


  • erufiku
  • Waygookin

    • 19

    • October 31, 2010, 12:06:10 am
    • Anyang, S. Korea
Re: Prep-time??? What's the go with it?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2012, 11:06:28 am »
Thanks for the replies.

Yes, I'm in a hagwon. The workload seems to have slowly increased in the 6 months I've been here, and I'm wondering if it will stop now that the limit to the contracted hours has been met.

I guess I shouldn't speculate on that...I'm sure there are countless ways my school can think up to get maximum worth out of what they are paying me without having to reach any deeper into their pockets.

I'm in the same situation. My supervisor decided it's a good idea to give me 40-50% more teaching hours than other NETs because "the kids really like you". Took it up to the boss, nothing was done to remedy the situation, so I'm stuck teaching 6 classes in a row until the end of the month. Seeing how there is no incentive (not even a gesture) to keep me working hard, I just stopped preparing for classes. I come to work 15 minutes before my first class starts and I leave 5 minutes after my last class finishes.

I know it's unfair to the kids, but at the same time I'm not just about to bend over and take one for the team. So, for the next few months boring classes, a short temper, and a lot less smiles... gotta get these student evaluations down to below average so that I don't get "rewarded" with even more classes next semester.

It's terrible because I really like the job and the kids, but if you have a system in place that rewards hard work with more work, you're basically creating a breeding ground for mediocrity.


  • iggyb
  • Super Waygook

    • 289

    • November 12, 2010, 10:17:07 am
    • Gapyeong
Re: Prep-time??? What's the go with it?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2012, 11:48:47 pm »
That is hakwon life.  They will milk as much out of you as they can.  You count yourself lucky if they aren't cheating you out of pay and/or harassing you in innumerable ways.

Most of the hakwons I worked for didn't cheat on pay, but the hours were brutal.  1 school required us to come in 2 hours early for prep time, but little prep was done.  It wasn't that most of us didn't want to do a good job or didn't see the value in doing prep work:  8 or 9 hours of in-class work takes a lot out of you.  People routinely burnt out anyway.  Adding 2 hours of real work to each day was not something most people could handle.  Add to this the lack of vacations like teachers in public schools get back home (or Korean teachers get here), and the hakwons were one big grind. 

The ironic thing is -- in the public schools you get a bunch of planning time, but the lack of freedom in controlling the curriculum and limited amount of time KTs give you in controlling the class (in elementary schools) dramatically lowers the amount of time you need for prep.  I teach ESL back in the US too, and I'd love to have as much planning time as I get in this elementary school in Seoul, but here, given the nature of the teaching job I have, it is a battle fighting off boredom.  (Stil beats hakwons, however, where I had complete control of the class and much freedom in the curriculum.)


  • Blacklamb
  • Adventurer

    • 48

    • September 07, 2011, 09:52:06 am
    • Incheon
Re: Prep-time??? What's the go with it?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2012, 10:35:25 am »
Yes...one big grind is exactly what it is.

And I agree, it's not that I am especially lazy or want to do a bad job, I care about the kids and doing a good job, but as an above poster commented, there is little incentive to do better when you get swamped by work, work and then more work.

I am wondering how I am going to be able to stick this out for another 6 months............