Wed 23 Jan 2008
There are numerous advantages to working either part-time or full-time and you obviously need to decide which suits your lifestyle best. If you are full-time, you will most likely have a guaranteed salary each month - whether you work the specified number of contact hours or not, you will receive X baht. You will most likely get a work permit and there may be other benefits such as medical insurance. You will also get paid for public holidays when the school is closed! The disadvantages are that you may be required to go into work each day whether or not you are scheduled to teach and you will get less choice when it comes to courses that you are required to teach. As a contracted teacher, you MUST teach the courses that you are told to teach - you can try and work things out with your boss but ultimately, you cannot refuse.
As a part-timer, the major advantages are that you can choose when you want to work and what courses you want to teach* e.g. you may select not to teach children. You aren’t required to go into the school if you are not teaching on any particular day. The major disadvantages are that you have no guaranteed income - and this may be a biggy. Schools may make all sorts of promises about the number of hours they will give you but don’t expect what they say to always correspond with what happens! You will not get paid for public holidays and there are a stack of them! Basically, if you want/need to earn a certain amount of money each month, then working part-time isn’t really appropriate. However, if you want a flexible schedule and / or have money / another source of income and teaching isn’t your first priority, then part-time is probably best for you. While as a part-timer, it is true that you ultimately decide whether you want to teach a course or not, don’t muck your employer around too much. If you do get too choosy, they might simply overlook you and gradually phase you out. There has got to be a bit of give and take.
If you do decide to be part-time, try and strike up some sort of gentleman’s agreement between you and your boss so that you have a minimum number of hours each month. If the number dips below this, have a word with your boss. If they subsequently increase your hours then everything is ok. However, if they don’t, politely but firmly let them know that that is not what was agreed to and that if they expect your loyalty, you also expect theirs.
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