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Thread: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

  1. #1
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    Default 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    Hi,
    I visit one school where i get no prep time and i teach all 6 classes myself, plus a class before of.15 min as a intro to English.

    What should i / can i say to my dispatch company? The next day i teach 5 classes at ES, and i have done one week and feel pretty tired already and a bit depressed.
    I have to repeat have to eat with students, its on my schedules time, and i must clean, Kocho sensei comes around to clean near me and i cant be just sitting there.

    Thank you

  2. #2

    Default Re: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    What company are you working for? Also make sure you check your contract. Sometimes individual schools don't know what the contracts contain if you're hired out. IANAJL, but I have a feeling that working 6 hours plus spending lunch time with students without a break is illegal.

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    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    It's against the Jet contract anyway. I teach five classes a day often once in a while and I quite like it, but six plus eating lunch with the students sounds pretty hard.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    It's against the Jet contract anyway. I teach five classes a day often once in a while and I quite like it, but six plus eating lunch with the students sounds pretty hard.
    On JET specifically it's not allowed.

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    Default Re: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    It's not having a lunch break that would make it killer for me. God bless the HRT's. How do they find the energy?

  6. #6

    Default Re: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    Quote Originally Posted by antilles43 View Post
    Hi,
    I visit one school where i get no prep time and i teach all 6 classes myself, plus a class before of.15 min as a intro to English.

    What should i / can i say to my dispatch company? The next day i teach 5 classes at ES, and i have done one week and feel pretty tired already and a bit depressed.
    I have to repeat have to eat with students, its on my schedules time, and i must clean, Kocho sensei comes around to clean near me and i cant be just sitting there.

    Thank you
    Do you teach at this school just once a week? They're probably just trying to max their ALT time without considering your position. How many weeks has this been going on?

    Approach someone at that school first, if you haven't already. Explain to them why you're having troubles with it and try to paint it in a sympathetic light rather than a "this is illegal" accusative way. Teachers of individual grades may not even be aware of your schedule (not sure how ES works but that's true at HS). It's extremely unlikely that any Japanese teachers have that kind of schedule and they may well realise how unreasonable it is if you simply point it out.

    As for what to tell your company, it's kind of tricky without knowing who you're working for. Most of us are with JET, and we have different chains of command.

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    Default Re: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    On JET specifically it's not allowed.
    wait, which part specifically is this? i don't ever remember seeing this kind of clause in my contract. is this just like the general jet terms?
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  8. #8

    Default Re: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_Simmons View Post
    wait, which part specifically is this? i don't ever remember seeing this kind of clause in my contract. is this just like the general jet terms?
    Nah its cause jets are public employees technically. Same rules apply to us as to regular teachers.

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    Default Re: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    How big are the individual classes? Could they combine 1st and 2nd grade, for example?

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    Default Re: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_Simmons View Post
    wait, which part specifically is this? i don't ever remember seeing this kind of clause in my contract. is this just like the general jet terms?
    At the very least, we get one hour per lunch in our contracts if I am not mistaken.

  11. #11

    Default Re: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    At the very least, we get one hour per lunch in our contracts if I am not mistaken.
    I thought it was 45 minutes...
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  12. #12
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    I pulled that number out of my ass TBH. I know we get a lunch break. I forget what my contract actually says. 45 or 50 minutes does sound accurate though.
    Last edited by johnny; April 18th, 2015 at 00:11.

  13. #13

    Default Re: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    Oh, my supe is pretty adamant that it's an hour long break. During BOE days everyone gets 12:00 to 1:00 off. And on half BOE days supe lets me take an hour break from when I leave my Wednesday school before I go to BOE.

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    Default Re: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    I get from 12:40-1:40 at least. They'll ask me to do stuff during lunch once in a while, but it's pretty damn rare.

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    Default 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    On days during breaks, everyone just leaves whenever and comes back whenever. I took a 90 minute lunch here and there. On school days usually I just get off whatever time the cleaning is, so anywhere from 10-45 minutes. That's not including the actual lunch half hour that I always spend with a class though.

    Do most people not eat with their kids?

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    Default Re: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    I work for Interac.
    They have said they will try to talk to the school but not to get my hopes up for any kind of result. I am on the non communication contract, gsomething itaku.

  17. #17

    Default Re: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    Jiggit said it best.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    Explain to them why you're having troubles with it and try to paint it in a sympathetic light rather than a "this is illegal" accusative way. Teachers of individual grades may not even be aware of your schedule (not sure how ES works but that's true at HS).
    If you go to your handler at that school (teacher, vice principal, whoever it is) and explain that its too much, something will usually be changed. Your Japanese level doesn't matter either. In fact, for some ALTs its more effective when they don't speak Japanese since it maybe makes the situation seem more desperate? I don't know. But explain in however way you can that you are having a tough time, and 99% of the time something will change.

    If the 1% happens, you usually can talk to the person in charge of you (person that makes your schedule, or observes you sometimes) at Interac to attempt to change things as well. Of course this depends on if this person is PRO-ALT or PRO-school, as you'll find both types.

    At the very least, you should be able to combine 2 classes into one to give you one open period, which is a huge step up from that wall of classes you are currently dealing with when you look at your schedule for that school.

    Good Luck.
    Last edited by ALTInsiderFY; April 19th, 2015 at 09:47. Reason: Quote fail
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  18. #18

    Default Re: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    Quote Originally Posted by antilles43 View Post
    I work for Interac.
    They have said they will try to talk to the school but not to get my hopes up for any kind of result. I am on the non communication contract, gsomething itaku.
    Since you're with Interac, it's really up to what Interac and your school has agreed upon. Most people here are talking about JET, but it doesn't apply to you.

    I was looking online at the Interac contract terms, and it does say you have up to 29.5 hours of lessons per week. If you divide that by 5, it's about 6 hours of lessons per day, with 1 day at 5.5 hours. So according to your terms, your school is actually not doing anything wrong. You should not need to do that morning lesson before school though, since it's in violation of your contract. If it's required, they must take off one class for the day. For JET, we only teach up to 20 hours per week, or 4 lessons per day.

    Interac is the UTMOST LAST option if you couldn't get into JET. Obviously different offices handle their ALTs differently, but I've read many negative things about it. I also just read that Interac ALTs must wear business attire every day! For an ALT on JET, we can wear whatever the other teachers wear, like jeans and a polo or collared shirt (for a guy).

    Since you probably can't change the number of classes unless your school says it's OK, you shouldn't need to clean. Even if you think they'll look badly upon you, it's OK to just sit at your desk and relax for a good several minutes. Just act like you're preparing for your next class or something, and not just sitting there doing nothing. Drink some tea, or talk with other teachers and staff if they're around. I always say in my mind that I have the "gaijin-pass". Meaning since I'm a foreigner, I don't necessarily have the same responsibilities of a Japanese teacher at school or as a person in Japan.

    Unfortunately for Interac, you are disposable. This means that it's cheap to replace you if you decide to quit early or only after a year since most expenses are born by you. It may inconvenience the school for a little bit, but Interac will probably find a replacement within a month or two. I'd say continue your job for a while longer, and if you really can't handle it, then make the decision to really stay or not.

    You can argue that eating with the student = 1 hour of conversation lesson with the students, so maybe they'll allow you to have 1 less class. I know that for us spoiled JETs, some people do include that 50 minutes eating with students as work and not a break, so end up leaving home about 50 minutes early.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by richief_611; April 19th, 2015 at 12:45.

  19. #19

    Default Re: 6 classes a day at elementary school, plus before school class.

    Good points. You need to talk to Interac immediately and let them know your schedule. They will probably either have to pay you overtime or, more likely, they will talk to the school and get your schedule changed. It's possible that they have no idea that you are working so much. Let us know if it helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by richief_611 View Post
    Since you're with Interac, it's really up to what Interac and your school has agreed upon. Most people here are talking about JET, but it doesn't apply to you.

    I was looking online at the Interac contract terms, and it does say you have up to 29.5 hours of lessons per week. If you divide that by 5, it's about 6 hours of lessons per day, with 1 day at 5.5 hours. So according to your terms, your school is actually not doing anything wrong. You should not need to do that morning lesson before school though, since it's in violation of your contract. If it's required, they must take off one class for the day. For JET, we only teach up to 20 hours per week, or 4 lessons per day.

    Interac is the UTMOST LAST option if you couldn't get into JET. Obviously different offices handle their ALTs differently, but I've read many negative things about it. I also just read that Interac ALTs must wear business attire every day! For an ALT on JET, we can wear whatever the other teachers wear, like jeans and a polo or collared shirt (for a guy).

    Since you probably can't change the number of classes unless your school says it's OK, you shouldn't need to clean. Even if you think they'll look badly upon you, it's OK to just sit at your desk and relax for a good several minutes. Just act like you're preparing for your next class or something, and not just sitting there doing nothing. Drink some tea, or talk with other teachers and staff if they're around. I always say in my mind that I have the "gaijin-pass". Meaning since I'm a foreigner, I don't necessarily have the same responsibilities of a Japanese teacher at school or as a person in Japan.

    Unfortunately for Interac, you are disposable. This means that it's cheap to replace you if you decide to quit early or only after a year since most expenses are born by you. It may inconvenience the school for a little bit, but Interac will probably find a replacement within a month or two. I'd say continue your job for a while longer, and if you really can't handle it, then make the decision to really stay or not.

    You can argue that eating with the student = 1 hour of conversation lesson with the students, so maybe they'll allow you to have 1 less class. I know that for us spoiled JETs, some people do include that 50 minutes eating with students as work and not a break, so end up leaving home about 50 minutes early.

    Good luck.

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