Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Dec 2014
    • Posts: 5
    #1

    Payment for Teaching English

    Dear All - I'd appreciate the advice of people who have been teaching for some time, if possible (in France - better still!). I live in France and my main (almost ex) career is in publishing, as an editor - so I work with words. Before we moved here I knew it would be harder to earn a living, so took a short, weekend TEFL course. I have some previous teaching experience in horticulture, mostly with adults but I had teenagers too - some said I was quite good at it.
    I like quite like teaching, although I find it very stressful, and recently found myself wishing I had trained properly as a teacher (perhaps primary). But now I am in a little bit of a pickle. In August I advertised for work, mainly to help us to eat, not to find something 'to do'! I now have one private pupil for English (!!). The teacher in our own (this is important - it's where we live) village school rang me up and asked if I'd like to teach there - I had never really envisaged standing in front of a class of 7-10 year olds, but I said 'yes'. I was told it would be voluntary; wasn't really happy about that, but said nothing. Then they added the affiliated kindergarten into the equation. So on Mondays I do two schools - only 3/4 hour each, but there's an awful lot of preparation as I am not an experienced teacher of English and I have the added difficulty of having absolutely no control over how the classroom is laid out - have to drag my own laptop in, with the technical difficulties of internet connection, electrics getting in the way and causing additional stress.
    So it works out to be about 5 hours a week (plus, sometimes) with the teaching, preparation, travelling time. Certainly it occupies virtually the whole of my Monday.
    This was ok, and then on about week 7 a small change occurred - two/three of the children started causing problems/getting a bit rude. I take on board the fact that I am partly responsible for this because I was probably too friendly to start with and haven't really worked on building up the respect side of the relationship! But it made an already stressful (unpaid) situation even more stressful. I'm not working with the schools this week, and to be honest wish I didn't ever have to go back again! (Should have mentioned that it's even more stressful because I'm doing it mostly in French.)
    I've checked with French friends unrelated to the village and the response has been anything from a rolling of the eyes when I say I'm not being paid, to another woman (a singer, teaching singing) who says never, never do it for nothing. They need to know that they have to pay.
    Now I'm in a dilemma - part of me wants to go back next week and slay the dragon (that's what it feels like!!!), just for me. The other part of me wants not to go near it again and say I just have too much work (which actually, this week anyway, I do).
    Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to be honest about all the facts so that I could get an honest opinion from experienced teachers. It is hard enough to be on the receiving end of children's rudeness when it really is a job - but when it's not, what do you do? And then there's the cost of printer cartridges etc. to prepare for lessons ...

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,903
    #2

    Re: Payment for Teaching English

    I haven't taught children for twenty years, but when I did I was paid. I wouldn't do anything as a volunteer that involved real costs and had no benefits.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,857
    #3

    Re: Payment for Teaching English

    I'd bite the bullet and tell the school that while you were happy to do a bit of volunteer work in the first instance, the "job" has now become far too time-consuming and costly for you to continue to do it for nothing. Tell them (if it's true) that you enjoy the work but that if you are going to continue with it, you will need to be paid from now on. They need to understand that you could be doing other paid work in the time that you are spending preparing and doing your free classes. If you're considering ditching it anyway, the result will be the same if they decide they don't want to pay you and let you go.

    Best case scenario - they realise that you're doing a good job and agree to pay you. You might find that you enjoy it more and find it less stressful once you're getting paid for it!
    Worst case scenario - they say they don't have any money for it and you part ways.

    Whichever result, you won't still be doing what should be a paid job for free. I agree mostly with the singing teacher - when I taught in Spain, I occasionally offered a free 30-minute class to private students so they could get an idea of what my classes were like and so I could do an informal level test. After that, they paid full price, no concessions, no discounts.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,903
    #4

    Re: Payment for Teaching English

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I haven't taught children for twenty years, but when I did I was paid. I wouldn't do anything as a volunteer that involved real costs and had no benefits.
    PS I mean professionally- charity and volunteer work are great, but professional work is separate and should be treated as such.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Dec 2014
    • Posts: 5
    #5

    Re: Payment for Teaching English

    This is very sensible advice - both of you actually, and thanks so much for taking the time to think about this! My singing friend (who sings opera, and did so professionally) has also told me that when she recently ditched three schools because they were not prepared to pay her, the people in the villages and the mayor signed a little petition requesting that the school pay her. But I know my friend - she is SO GOOD (she is also French, so although she cares deeply about the kids she is teaching, she also knows she will not be vilified as a foreigner for refusing to 'help out'). I do my best, but what I offer is not 'all that'. Still. You are both right - and it is what my singing friend advised. I think I will carry on for another class and try to have a discussion with the teacher in the school about how much I am prepared to give, charitably.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 11,073
    #6

    Re: Payment for Teaching English

    I suggest that you make it clear that anyone who misbehaves gets thrown out of class. (Not literally, of course.) I also suggest that you space between paragraphs. (Make paragraph breaks.) Other than that you are nearly perfect.


    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Dec 2014
    • Posts: 5
    #7

    Re: Payment for Teaching English

    Sometimes us copyeditors need to break free, otherwise life is just toooo boring!

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Dec 2014
    • Posts: 5
    #8

    Re: Payment for Teaching English

    I have a final comment on this - I told the teacher tonight that I couldn't carry on - I didn't say I wanted to be paid, but indicated that I had too much paying work at the moment and that the preparation time for Châtillon and the additional costs were too much.
    And he told me that it didn't matter ... so clearly I wasn't doing a very good job anyway, and all my worry was for nothing!

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,857
    #9

    Re: Payment for Teaching English

    Thanks for the update. Well, you're no worse off than you were before you took on the work and now you have more time. I don't think that his saying it didn't matter is indicative of how well or otherwise you were doing. I would only take from that they really don't have any money available to pay you! (I'm sure he got the hint when you mentioned having too much paying work.)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. Tarheel's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 11,073
    #10

    Re: Payment for Teaching English

    Quote Originally Posted by Cathy Thompson View Post
    Sometimes we copyeditors need to break free, otherwise life is just toooo boring!
    Who are the copyeditors -- you and me? (I had the title once.) Anyhow, I am not a copyeditor. I am an obsessive compulsive proofreader.




Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-Mar-2013, 12:26
  2. [Tdol's Blog] English Teacher X Guide To Teaching English Abroad
    By Tdol in forum UsingEnglish.com Content
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 17-Oct-2012, 16:20
  3. do a payment, make a payment
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 20-Aug-2009, 09:14
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 27-Jan-2009, 14:17
  5. English teachers' beliefs about teaching english idioms?
    By yuhan shieh in forum Teaching English
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-Jul-2007, 04:56

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •