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How intensive are your after-school classes?
« on: July 13, 2012, 07:18:13 pm »
My (public) school used to have an independent, hagwon-run after-school program running in the afternoons, but decided to can it and have me and the other native teacher at my school teach it. Initially we were each supposed to teach 6 classes a week, but this has increased to 10 classes a week and the principal wants us to add more classes next semester. In addition, we have had to plan and structure the entire curriculum ourselves, choose the books, decide on level tests, and grade and write report cards. Our latest task is designing a flyer and paying for printing from our own pockets. We were initially promised that we would teach less classes, a maximum of 15 students per class (we've had as many as 23 students in one class) and that we would get all our usual vacation time... which we haven't - we were recently told we won't get any summer or winter vacation time, but managed to squeeze a week's vacation out of them.

I realize that this is what hagwon teachers face all the time, but I think they walk into a structured curriculum with books chosen, class sizes and levels decided on etc. and we've had to do all this ourselves.

I'm just curious - how many other public school teachers have after-school programs as intensive as this?

P.S. I know this is not part of my contract, but I signed up voluntarily, thinking it would be smaller and better organized, and am now obliged to fulfill my one-year commitment.


Re: How intensive are your after-school classes?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2012, 07:40:27 pm »
That seems like a pretty extreme workload. I guess the overtime pay will be really sweet but looking at the details you posted I probably would have said "no" if asked. I teach after school classes once a week and they are not intense at all. I teach with a university student as my aide and we mostly just play games or do easy activities.


  • livzy
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Re: How intensive are your after-school classes?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2012, 09:36:29 pm »
I've not heard of your level of activity being replicated outside of a hagwon, it seems really (insert adjective here; new, barking, interesting, daunting, lucrative, bizarre, tiring, exciting, unusual). The really odd thing is that you're (if I read your post correctly) only allowed a week for time off?? Did I read that correctly - only a week, in 52, allowed outside of the school? Do you have a coordinator to speak to, because that sounds way off that which is the usual practice in public schools here. I'm impressed that your school is utilizing valuable resources (you and the other NET) so it sounds good in theory. Maybe in practice, right now, it's not so good. If I were you I'd think hard about whether I want to really work the hours your school has set. A tired, stressed teacher is not going to be as effective in the long term.


  • lotte world
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Re: How intensive are your after-school classes?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2012, 09:50:55 pm »
My after school program is not at all intensive.

You are being taken for a ride.  Are you being paid for these extra hours?

Do not pay for materials from your own pocket.  You can if you want, but it should not be expected/demanded of you.  The nearest thing I have to this is I ask the students to buy their own copy of whatever book we are reading.

Do not forgo your vacation.  What did you sign for after-school class?  Did you read it?  How does reality differ from whatever it was you volunteered for?  If there was no description (or indeed nothing signed) then stop right now.  Work from 9-5 and go home.  If you work longer than that ask for overtime (as stipulated in your original contract).


  • bawaugh
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Re: How intensive are your after-school classes?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2012, 10:05:56 pm »
5 hours a week (of 40 minute hours) in Elementary School

2 hours with advanced students - Nice class enjoy teaching.
1 hour - with parents final class of semester had 2 students
2 hours 3/4th grade I don't like teaching this class too many boys and they miss behave and thus I am so pleased that I have one class left.
PV=nRT

Where
P is pressure
V is volume
n is number of moles
R is the gas constant
T is the temperature


  • Tpre022
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Re: How intensive are your after-school classes?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2012, 10:34:05 pm »
we were recently told we won't get any summer or winter vacation time, but managed to squeeze a week's vacation out of them.

Uh yeah, this in particular you really don't have to put up with. Time to bring in the contract! Someone who has actually done this can hopefully offer better advice, but I have heard before that the way to go is to not get angry, but not back down at all and just pretend to be confused if they persist. "But then how will I get the vacation time agreed on in my contract?"  "I don't understand when the school wants me to take my vacation time, then."

I also wouldn't put up with them expecting you to print the flyer with your money, or any unpaid overtime (It wasn't clear whether you're getting paid for all this or not). I guess you have to decide what's worth fighting over, but it sounds like they are way over the line here. Good luck, hope it all works out somehow!


Re: How intensive are your after-school classes?
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2012, 03:16:05 pm »
About your vacation time that is ridiculous. Your contract should state explicitly how many days of vacation you get and the split between summer and winter. Don't let your school take advantage of you. The best thing to do is act a little confused and perplexed like you are asking them for help. Don't be confrontational but also make sure to point out the relevant sections of your contract to your co-teacher. If that doesn't work contact your coordinator.


Re: How intensive are your after-school classes?
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2012, 07:44:16 am »
When you're asked and agree to do A in Korea, you can sure enough expect that B, C and D will all be coming. In my four years here, it has never, ever been just A. A is how they get you to agree, because it doesn't sound that bad. But you can trust that it will always end up being far more than what you agreed to, and will slowly increase as time goes on.

You agreed to the program, and now they've got your back against the wall, because they will say that the kids have to take the classes, and you agreed to teach them, so what are they supposed to do if you don't? However, vacation time should be a non-negotiable. Keep asking when your vacation time is (don't argue, just repeatedly ask, even though it should be obvious they've told you 'no') and if that doesn't work, get in touch with your coordinator. What they've done is suckered you into working an entire extra job (the after school program is usual a native teacher's full time gig). Now you know better for next time.


Re: How intensive are your after-school classes?
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2012, 08:35:22 am »
Thanks for all the input, everyone :)

deanitsin, you've hit the nail on the head. I do feel like I have my back against the wall because I've committed to it, so pulling out of the program doesn't really seem like an option. I do get paid very well for it, but feel like it's not worth the stress and drama.

Reading everyone' comments, I think the best thing to do is stick with the program but say I'm not prepared to do X,Y and Z, which weren't part of the original agreement.


  • Andyroo
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    • February 09, 2011, 12:49:41 pm
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Re: How intensive are your after-school classes?
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2012, 10:38:10 am »
I have also been victim of the "well that doesn't sound so bad" only for what I really signed up for being apparent much later.

This year I tried to ask a lot of questions before agreeing to anything with my plan being to pull the plug if anything isn't what I agreed to.

Hasn't really worked out for me as things still get changed but they just blame "dark forces" or whatever and once the kids are in the class room it's pretty hard to cancel.
I once had agreed to do a second lot of "free talking club" but was clear I wanted it in the afternoon and I didn't want it to start until the 2nd semester. I was told the principal agreed to that.

Come the following Monday morning and I am welcomed with "the students are waiting for you!"
When I told them this wasn't what was agreed to I got told "the principal asked how the grade 1 free talking club was going, so we had to hurry." Overall I am on a pretty good wicket otherwise I probably would/should have put the foot down there.

So my next plan is the "NO, sorry I have prior commitments" to everything that is before 8:30 or after 4:30. Still don't expect it to work.

« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 10:43:07 am by Andyroo »


  • echo
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Re: How intensive are your after-school classes?
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2012, 01:51:42 pm »
I'm in the same situation. Except I was never able to volunteer for the extra classes, it was mandatory overtime.

Last year there was a private hagwon that came into the school. This year to save money (really the parents money. School subsidizes the rest.), the principal decided to use the NET and a contracted Korean instructor. (We've gone through 3 of these teachers in 9 months.) It costs 30k a month for each student and we have have 30-40 kids in each grade on a waiting list to get into the class. The principal is patting himself on the back thinking his program is just plain awesome. In all actuality it's simply the cheapest extra-curricular activity (babysitter) any parent will find in the area.
Meanwhile I'm left to deal with 15-17 kids that are of varying levels and most who just don't care, all on my own 6x a week. 1 class for each grade.

It's simply not worth the extra money!

I'm sorry that was a complete rant, but I had to let it out. :D


Re: How intensive are your after-school classes?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2012, 08:00:16 am »
I have also been victim of the "well that doesn't sound so bad" only for what I really signed up for being apparent much later.

This year I tried to ask a lot of questions before agreeing to anything with my plan being to pull the plug if anything isn't what I agreed to.

Hasn't really worked out for me as things still get changed but they just blame "dark forces" or whatever and once the kids are in the class room it's pretty hard to cancel.
I once had agreed to do a second lot of "free talking club" but was clear I wanted it in the afternoon and I didn't want it to start until the 2nd semester. I was told the principal agreed to that.

Come the following Monday morning and I am welcomed with "the students are waiting for you!"
When I told them this wasn't what was agreed to I got told "the principal asked how the grade 1 free talking club was going, so we had to hurry." Overall I am on a pretty good wicket otherwise I probably would/should have put the foot down there.

So my next plan is the "NO, sorry I have prior commitments" to everything that is before 8:30 or after 4:30. Still don't expect it to work.

Yup. Even being specific about your questions and limitations won't save you. More times than not when I've tried this method, I've ended up hearing, "Okay no problem!" And then being told in the eleventh hour that, actually, everything I had specified had just been ignored, without even any acknowledgement that I had made limitations in the first place.

Let's just say the Korean method of dealing with conflict is very different from the Western method, and you should never take passive agreement at face value. If you don't want to deal with the BS, it's best to just give extra work a flat-out and firm "no".


Re: How intensive are your after-school classes?
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2012, 09:53:45 am »
ugh....I can relate to this whole-heartily.