School wind-down

Winding down to the school year’s end on June 30, the work is easy.

Basically, turn up on time, keep the students quiet and (pre)occupied, collect your pay.

Keeping them occupied can mean setting a simple written assignment,or showing them a movie. Both mostly void having to move or talk – perfect!

After today, there are only three more days at the school before summer break.


I just learned today that the school won’t be renewing my contract for the next school year, beginning early August.

Also, a couple of hours ago, I had another bike accident. My right ankle , and back, are fubarred.

I’ll survive. But for now, it’s all but certain I’ll be back in dear wet old NZ sometime in August.

New Kid on the Block

Monday morning and a pale new face belonging to a South African appears in the teachers’ room.

Chances are fair to middling that this isn’t good news for Yours Truly. That because the young and stick-thin chap is apparently a full-timer.

‘Apparently’ because he’s taken up a teachers’ room berth among the full-timers, who get their own dedicated work-stations. The lower ranks, such as myself, have to scramble for whatever berths are vacant.

To get full-time status, it’s almost certain that his contract runs into the new school term, beginning in early August. That makes him the fourth full-timer.

That’s the same complement as when I started. They covered most, but not all, English classes, but one of them didn’t return after January. Which all means that the Old Kid ( me ) might be for the ( chopping ) block.

You would think I could just ask directly about the arrangements for next term, but it’s not so simple.

Office politics mean other teachers’ employment details are a no-go zone. I learned this in Thailand after I was persuaded into revealing my wage to another English-speaking teacher, a native Italian. Turned out that I – as a native English speaker – was earning around 10% more than him, which didn’t go down well.

Also, teaching schedules are handed down from On High ( HR and principal ) , so it’s unlikely that anyone in the teachers’ room knows next term’s schedule.

I asked HR about work ongoing after the month-long July break, but they deflected with a promise to inform me as soon as there was news.

So, it’s time to brush up the CV, and start firing it out, just in case.

Meantime, I’ve almost recovered from the computer melt-down of a month ago, and more on that in another post. So time to brush off the cobwebs and start putting in some online teaching hours as insurance.