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A Practical Guide to Teaching English Abroad

 
Frank and Friendly Advice written by a Retired Teacher-Trainer, Experienced EFL Teacher
& Former Peace Corps Volunteer Living & Working Abroad since 1989

What about split shifts & weekends
when Teaching English Abroad?

Should I accept it?

It's up to you.  Some people say, "No!  Never!" and are able to find good jobs without such sacrifices.  Most of the time I would recommend "No".  But not always.

Teaching Adults

The very nature of teaching adults often means you need to teach around their work schedule and this can mean early morning classes and late evening classes.  And nothing to do in the middle of the day, thus split shifts.  I did this once and it was terrible.  I got about five hours sleep each night.   If you really want to teach adults - or if Business English is your specialty - you may well end up working a split shift, but it is not always necessary.

Weekend Work

Unless you receive substantially more money - don't take it.  But . . . this is my experience in Asia - and there may well be some countries where it is the norm.  As always, ask!

Hard Work and Rest

Teaching, especially at first, can be hard work.  Split shits and weekend work keep you from getting the rest you might need to do your best.  Weekends, in particular, will be a social time and/or the time you get to travel around the country.

Don't accept such schedules easily, they can and will wear you down over time.  Okay for your first job maybe, but then move on.

Periodic Oddities

You can expect that sometimes events will conspire such that you will need to attend special functions or do special things for your school on a weekend or at an inconvenient time.  Give in, do it, usually it is no big deal. 

Even my university jobs had me showing up for a special event from time to time.  Usually, you will create good will by not being difficult about it.  After all, you might need a favor some time. 

Give a little, so you can get a little when you need it.

 

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