Thursday, January 18, 2018

Life is Rough

Today is my first day of my six week vacation. SIX WEEKS! It's time to party.

I get these unplanned (but fortunately paid) breaks quite often due to the nature of my job. I am an English teacher in Beijing, but not the same kind of teacher as the local teachers. I am the "native English-speaking oral teacher" at my school. I have over 700 students spread out across 20 different classes in third through fifth grade. I meet with each class once a week for 40 minutes.

This means that I am not their actual English teacher. They have Chinese English teachers all week and I pop in once a week to play English-speaking games. I don't do typical English lessons. I just design my classes to get my students to talk. It gives them a chance to practice the language they have been learning without getting caught up in structure, grammar, and syntax. Those things are important, but it is not the purpose of my being there. Plus, they get exposure to a native English-speaker.

This makes my job different from the regular teachers in several ways:
  • I don't give homework
  • I don't grade papers
  • I don't give tests
  • I don't have progress reports
  • I don't assign grades
  • I am not responsible for any paperwork
Because of this, I also don't go to staff meetings, teacher's workshops, field trips, extra-curricular activities, after-school programs, etc. I don't even stay at school for the entire day. I show up in time to teach the first class I have for the day and leave as soon as I finish my last class. While the other teachers are there Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., I put in just under five hours and I only work four days a week. Take all these "perks" and add in that as the "professional expert" in my field, I get paid more than them. So you can imagine how popular I am with the rest of the staff.

Me being off work right now is one of those perks. School is still in session, but my services are not needed. This week is the semi-yearly progress test for all Chinese students. Because all students are taking this test, there are no classes for me to teach. So I get to stay home.

All next week, the students are out of school, but the teachers have meetings and training all week. However, it is all in Chinese and most of it doesn't apply to what I do. So I don't have to go in for that either. After that is the start of the Chinese Spring Festival which kicks off Chinese New Year. It lasts four weeks and everyone does get off for that. I just got to leave two weeks early. It's a pretty sweet gig. If I could just find a way to not have to deal with children, it would be the perfect job.

Now that I've got all this time off, I need to figure out what to do.


  1. First world problems in a second world country, we should all be so lucky.

    1. Yeah. I have my gripes about my job, but then I snap back to reality and realize that I can't really complain.

  2. You wouldn't know what to do in a regular school in the States!


PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT! I wrote this for you.

If you would like to leave a comment, but do not have a Google account just click on the COMMENT AS: dropdown box and choose Name/URL or Anonymous.

But if you choose Anonymous, please let me know who you are unless you really do not want me to know.