Thursday, February 01, 2007

Warning: Extreme Complaining Ahead

Working multiple part-time jobs has some definite positives. The main one would have to be variety. My students range in age from 17 to 83. Some speak English fluently and want only to develop a more formal style of writing. Others struggle to form letters or utter a whole sentence. I love what I do and I never get bored.

At the moment, however, I'm preoccupied with the negatives of my working situation.

Judging by the number of hours I teach and the amount of money I earn, my two jobs do not add up to full-time employment. Recently I've had a couple of offers of additional work but I'm not sure how much more I will be able to fit in.

Working in such a variety of contexts means I spend hours at home preparing material which I have little opportunity to reuse. On top of that, there is the expense and time of travel around London. And each job I have comes with its own set of admin, meetings and communications.

And from a professional point of view, I have another big frustration. The maximum amount of time I spend with any class is two hours per week. This severely limits the amount of progress that I am able to see students make.

That is frustrating in itself but what makes it really annoying is that I am expected to use complex planning, goal setting and assessment systems designed for teachers who have many more contact hours with their learners.

Unfortunately, this is the nature of the work that I am doing. Permanent full-time work in this field is very hard to come by. Things only seem to be getting worse in the UK with the government continually making cuts to the provision of English lessons for migrants.

I'm going to give it a couple more months, see how my new job offers work out. If things don't improve before the summer holidays (when I will have a couple of months without income) I'll need to seek some kind of extreme solution.


mim said...

how about taking up knitting and selling dinosaur beanies on your way to and from work.... you never know - you may have already made the dinosaur beanie a must have item.

jase said...

All this time in London is finally rubbing off. Good to see all the money talk of us Accountants and Lawyers is poisoning your mind well.

Suddenly making money is important is it??

I think its too easy a trap to fall into here!!

Earning lots but hating your job is the next step mate - please avoid...

Joe said...

I've watched you and mum knitting long enough to know that it is an extremely slow process!

Don't worry Jason, I'm only aspiring to minimum wage. Actually it's more about pride that money. It's not a nice thing to feel underemployed.

Cal said...

In all seriousness, log your time. Make a note of how long you spend preparing, how long travelling, how long in extraneous meetings, how long on emails/calls out of your 'work hours'. Keep a really detailed record and then take it to the relevant employers (do you have formal appraisal/review) so they can truly understand the resources required for the job.

They may not have the budgets to be able to pay any more - but if they don't really know in a quantifiable manner then they won't be able to apply for funding properly.

Joe said...

Thanks - that is a really, really good idea. I think I need to know that stuff for myself as well.

If not for more money, then at least I could make a case for changes like having my shifts on the same day.