Read 2142 times

  • shellyryan
  • Adventurer

    • 29

    • June 23, 2010, 08:40:38 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
SMOE Contract Hours Problem
« on: May 28, 2012, 08:00:21 pm »
I was wondering what the minimum hours are for SMOE public school teachers.  It says in our contracts that we should not exceed 22 hours, but it does not say what the minimum is.  I've been teaching here since 2009, but my contract and 2011 SMOE-ersí contracts should still be the same, correct?

My new vice-principal recently came across some regulation in a new Board of Education book that all foreign English teachers have to teach officially for at least 22 hours.  Since all of the After School classes at my school require money, they cannot take my extra pay away and count those classes as part of my official teaching hours.  Since I work at a small school and my textbooks have very little context, I need to make a lot for my classes to actually be interesting.  I also have not successfully found a textbook that I can actually use in my After School classes, so I need to make the materials myself (students vary too much in their abilities).

My school wants me to start teaching a 2-hour extracurricular class for 3rd and 4th graders (again, no textbook for this), a 2-hour class for 5th and 6th graders, and tutor 2 different classes for low leveled 3rd and 4th graders.  Tutoring was something that I did unofficially, but this whole thing is still sudden and overwhelming, so I do not know what to do.  I think that I just have to accept things and teach these classes, but I do not think that I can handle all of them.

Does anyone know the minimum hours or have any advice for me?  I know that I have no right to complain because I only teach 19 hours a week, but since my two co-teachers have other responsibilities, I cannot afford to lose that planning / creating time for classes.

Thank you for reading this m(_ _)m.


  • plchron
  • Super Waygook

    • 262

    • July 20, 2011, 10:24:04 am
    • Ulsan
Re: SMOE Contract Hours Problem
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2012, 08:47:25 pm »
show them movies, hand them questionnaires. give them word searches and crossword puzzles. Have them play games all class. Hell, give them Sudoku in English.

If anyone at your school gives you trouble over the minimalist approach than say you don't have time to lesson plan anymore or that the school should buy new textbooks so you can teach them something with a base curriculum.


  • shellyryan
  • Adventurer

    • 29

    • June 23, 2010, 08:40:38 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: SMOE Contract Hours Problem
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2012, 11:01:16 pm »
Thanks for the suggestions, but I have to have a theme for my 2-hour extracurricular classes...something that the kids can do for fun.  The students in my regular classes can do a crossword for 5 to 10 minutes, but it's really painful to teach them when they're bored.  Our textbooks are the new YBM ones, so we just started using them this year.  Thanks to mrpopo and omgitsmax, my students have been quite happy in class, but their materials only take up a small portion of a few class periods.  My school is wonderful...the students, the teachers, everyone (even the puberty problem-plagued 6th graders)...so I don't particularly want to fight with anyone.

Anyway, I posted this question mostly to see what other teachers were doing and if they are having the same sudden contract changes.  I want to know how many official hours other public school teachers have been teaching and how big their schools are.  If anyone works at a small school (about 300 students), please tell me about your situation.  When there are not enough classes to teach, what do you have to do in order to get 22 hours of official teaching done?  Does SMOE make exceptions for small schools?


  • macchiato
  • Adventurer

    • 67

    • October 25, 2011, 12:17:22 pm
    • Seoul
Re: SMOE Contract Hours Problem
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2012, 08:49:46 am »
There is no minimum in SMOE. In theory you could, if your principle wanted, work zero hours. But the school would have to justify why this is to SMOE.

Your VP is wrong. 22 hours is the maximum, and if it exceeds that you get overtime. But you can work under the 22 hours according to the contract and this is totally fine.

So if your school is giving you extra classes that still come under the 22 hours and its within your workday then you have to do it. But if those extra classes exceed 22 hours (or if its outside of your normal 9-5) then you do have the right to say no.


Re: SMOE Contract Hours Problem
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2012, 10:03:37 am »
Your VP is wrong. 22 hours is the maximum, and if it exceeds that you get overtime. But you can work under the 22 hours according to the contract and this is totally fine.

IF the OP's VP is interpreting her contract as meaning that you have to teach 22 classes, period, then s/he is indeed wrong and that's a not totally uncommon misunderstanding amongst VPs and other school officials. However, that might not necessarily be the reason for what the VP is saying. Many schools and their VPs are put under pressure from their own superiors in the district education offices to make sure that the NSET in their school is teaching right up to the 22 threshold. So if the VP is claiming that according to some Education Office rule or directive, he has to have you teaching 22 a week, then he may well be right.


But if those extra classes exceed 22 hours (or if its outside of your normal 9-5) then you do have the right to say no.

There are quite a few things you can try saying to wriggle out of extra classes during school time, but your contract does not actually give you any right to say no. If it's outside of your regular working hours, then you'll have a bit more of a leg to stand on. But not if they're giving you extra classes on top of the 22 during normal school hours - they have to pay you extra for them, of course, but you do have to teach them unless you can somehow persuade them to not give you those classes.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 10:05:17 am by ironopolis »


  • plchron
  • Super Waygook

    • 262

    • July 20, 2011, 10:24:04 am
    • Ulsan
Re: SMOE Contract Hours Problem
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2012, 11:52:00 am »
Theme one- zombies, movie: 28 Days Later, after movie discussion: What would you do? Who would we eat first?, etc.


Theme 2- Armageddon, movie: Armageddon, after movies discussion: What would you do? Who would we eat first?

Theme 3- survival, movie: Alive, after movie discussion Same as above

Theme 4- dinosaurs, movie: Jurassic Park............... .....


  • orangeman
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1769

    • September 01, 2011, 09:56:35 am
    • Seoul-East Side
Re: SMOE Contract Hours Problem
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2012, 08:21:16 pm »
Well, there's not minimum but that doesn't mean your VP is wrong to make you work the maximum.  It's like telling a boss back home, "Well, even though you pay me to be here 40 hours I'm done what I need to do at noon so I'm going home.  You can still pay me, though."  Your boss will find something for you to do, that's for sure. 

Your school could totally make you work those afternoon classes for free in order to make up for your 22 hours.  Yes, they collect money for them but that could go into the school's budget or they could lower the price for the kids.  Think of it as working at Subway.  It doesn't matter how many sandwiches you make in your 8 hour shift, you get paid the same even if your boss' profit margin increases.  Here, it doesn't matter if your school is making money off of you as long as you're still within your 22 hours.  So being allowed to keep that at the OT rate is actually a benefit to you.  If you don't like it, please feel free to start your own business. 

That fact is, every school is different.  At my first school I only had to make 2-3 lesson plans a week because my school was so big.  I know people who only do 1 lesson plan for a week!  But my new school is small so I have to do 11 lesson plans and see each class twice.  I then have several afternoon classes.  I also participate in a few clubs and tutor a student once a week pro bono.  Granted, I've been at this for a while, but I still have some time to watch the Daily Show most days.  I'm not saying this to pound my chest, but with all due respect SMOE is paying you to work 8 hours/day and even if you're busy that's what they'll expect you to do.  Some people, like me at my first school, have it exceptionally easy (and boring) but some of us have to hustle a bit more.  Trust me, it's nice not to have to drone on the same exact lesson 11 times over 3 days even if it means a bit more work.  But if it's still too much work then I'd suggest you try out the hogwan market.  Or a job back home.  You'll be laughing about 22 hours. 

So, anyway, I guess my advice would be to find a book for those extra classes.  I was in the same position and took the initiative to go down to the bookstore, find something I liked and had my CT explain to the kids they had to buy it (we actually bought it online cheaper and then the kids gave me money).  I still make supplementary materials, but it's nice to have the foundation.  This is my biggest suggestion, it really does simplify things.  Again, going to complain is a bit immature and lazy.  This sounds like the beginning of what happened to our unofficial vacations years ago.  Some people complained and then everyone got screwed over.  If people now complain about minimum hours expect to see them in the new contracts.  And they won't be pretty to anyone.  Yes, your contract doesn't specify minimum hours.  But should it have to?