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  • The pros and cons of working as an English teacher

    Posted on March 3rd, 2009 Mairo Vergara 9 comments

    teacher_appleI have been working as an English teacher for about 2 months now. I really like my job. It’s amazing to see how the students are pleased with their progress. Students start with no knowledge whatsoever and in just one month they can follow the English-only classes without many problems. Working with a group, teaching them how to understand and using this strange language is just awesome. I really like the classes and my students. I am working like crazy, learning a lot and doing what I have always wanted to do.

    But of course there are some problems. We are really, REALLY poorly paid. I get paid 6,44 reais (“reais” is the Brazilian currency) per hour (“class hour”, which is 50 minutes). It means I get 12 reais for each class (the classes have duration of an hour and a half). Working 21 hours inside the classroom (plus 10 or more hours preparing classes, correcting tests, and so on) I end up with a salary of 680 reais (around 280 dolars). Just to let you know, a cheap rent here in Brazil is about 550 reais…

    Besides being absolutely poorly paid, another thing bugs me a lot. The school treats the teachers like robots that areinto the students head. It’s all about the money! If there are fewer students in a class, they just move the students to a different class, hindering both the students’ progress and the teachers’ work. It’s funny how the classes/students’ organization is made by non-teachers, who absolutely don’t understand what happens inside a classroom.

    I dream about a school made by teachers for teachers, a place where they care first about the students, second about the teachers and after that about the money. Finally, I understood what people mean by “transforming education in marketing” able to magically insert the English language


    9 responses to “The pros and cons of working as an English teacher” RSS icon

    • Aha, don’t restrain your imagination.
      What about a school made by students for students?

    • That would be awesome! When I said made by teachers for teachers I meant “a school made by teachers who care more about their students than about their salaries”.

    • It sounds like you are working for a business, not a school. There are many businesses here in Japan too that claim to be English conversation schools. Glad to hear you are doing something you like and enjoying it.

    • Hi,

      I’m from Rio, and I would like to know in which city you are giving classes, and (if possible) what’s the course. It’s so sad that teachers aren’t well recognized here…

    • I came to Florianópolis in search of an ESL teaching job. At least I´m now understanding the complexity of the business. Is it standard for a teacher to make a wage of 6 to 12 reais per hour? Is there any difference of wages between states of Brasil?

    • i understand your problem. but try to get an online job working as a freelance teacher. teaching portugese or even english. this is the trend of the future and i know there are opportunities to get such jobs.

    • Procure escolas que remunerem melhor os seus professores. Onde trabalho um professor recem contrado tem salário fixo de 348 reais (12 horas semanais — o máximo são 24 horas R$ 697,00). Além disso temos carteira assinada e benefícios (plano de saúde e vale transporte). Sem contar que as aulas dadas fora do horário fixo são no mínimo 15 reais a hora. Tenho certeza que há melhores opções para você.

    • This issue is actually going on to a lot of countries as well.. it’s a good thing you brought this topic out. Im sure its hard being a teacher because you also need to study for your next lesson and even if your good in what you are doing but if your salary is not enough, its really frustrating. Try working online, you will help a lot of people who wants to learn.

      Learn English with mary

    • At the end of the day I believe that a teacher has one of the most difficult and yet important occupations in the world.

      Teachers are who aid in molding and developing our children, every day, year after year.

      Keep up the good work.