If you’re not teaching at EF – known as English First in China – then let me enlighten you.
When you choose to work at an English training center in China during the summer you’ll have a very busy schedule. While most teachers around the world get summers off, those working in private settings typically have to work. After all, students aren’t in school so have more free time. And that free time equals money for those training centers.
Of course you won’t be getting paid anymore, but you will be expected to forgo one of your days off each week while seeing your workload double, or at least go up by 10 hours.
This is what EF teachers have to put up with for June and July, and maybe a week or so into August.
After that summer schedules end. And believe me, when that summer teaching schedule ends you go out and get crazy!
So what did my summer EF teaching schedule in China look like? Something like this:
- 9-12 – Small Stars class
- 12-1:30 – Lunch
- 1:30 – 5:00 – Trailblazers class
That’s the schedule you’d have everyday except Wednesday (your day off) and the weekend. Small Stars are what they call kindergarten kids and Trailblazers would be teens or sometimes younger kids.
You might have to do some 1-hour Small Stars classes in the evenings on some of those days depending on your school. On the weekends you’ll have your regular schedule, which is three 2-hour blocks of classes from 9 to 6:30.
Did I mention you don’t get paid any extra for that? You are supposed to stay under 40 hours a week, which is in your contract. But trust me…you’re going to be burned-out big time!
That’s why it’s so good that many teachers in China aren’t going to have to do this schedule anymore now that it’s August. In Russia the EF schools don’t do summer classes as…go figure…students don’t have school in summer, it’s just not in their culture.
Guess I picked the wrong country to do my ESL career in, huh?
So if you’re an EF teacher…congratulations! I made it through three summers with them, and boy was it a lot of work and a boatload of headaches. Enjoy your next few weeks and trust me, your regular schedule will now be a cakewalk.