Drawing up a contract

With all the talk recently in the Teaching forum of contract disputes and breaking a "leagal contract at an illegal job…and such…

I was wondering what your Foreign/Chinese English Teacher’s contracts contain, aside from starting and finishing times, salary…

do you have a break the contract policy…and what is it?
drug/alcohol policy…and what is it?
Teaching quality…ditto
anything else that might be necessary to make clrear up front??

I’m trying to get enough background information so we can design a fair and legal contract that will weed out the less desirable types and at the same time not scare away the good teachers.

Trying to fair and keep my school quality high

John “Walenda”

Hello John,

At my school, we do not have contracts. The reason for this, to my understanding, is contracts written and signed in English are not even worth the paper they are written on. A legally binding contract, written in Chinese and signed with name chops, is impossible for most foreigners to read. Plus, many new teachers do not have a name chop. The English contract is simply a nice piece of paper to have in case something happens in the future. Please correct me if I am wrong.

I signed the contract that I now work under without even reading it. As has been said, it’s pretty much worthless and I have a good relationship with the laoban. So the contract is to get a work permit, and we have our own agreement to govern the actual work.

Before coming to Taiwan I don’t think I’ve ever had an employment contract. A bit of common sense, and a lecture from the boss on the first day about how we do things has always been sufficient.

But, given the apparent inaccuracy of ‘common’ when referring to common sense with regard to English teachers, I would suggest drawing up a ‘staff handbook’ that can be revised as you go along. There was a thread a while back (18 months or so) about things to consider in advance, but I don’t have time to dig it out right now.

Maybe this would be a good topic for a wiki entry?

School handbook sounds like a good idea.

I would appreciate greatly with much praise anyone who knows where to find the other thread if you have time: “There was a thread a while back (18 months or so) about things to consider in advance”

Sounds like a good place to start.

[quote]Here’s my list, from the point of view of teaching at a high school but should be mostly applicable for everyone:

what days and hours?
-start\finish times - ie when are we expected to be at school?
-block hours - 6hrs back to back or 6 hours out of 10?
-max per week\month - ie when does overtime kick in? I had a job a while back that specified 100hrs/month - great until Chinese new year, then I was sched. 35 hrs a week to get the 100 out of me…

LEARNING OBJECTIVES - this is really important. What do they expect from us?
-role\school expectations - are we supposed to teach grammar, practise what they know, or what?
-lesson plans - who prepares
-material & props - where from?
-class sizes, TA

office hours - some schools specify that you have to do some ‘office work’
-what day\time
-doing what?

paperwork - how much extra stuff is there going to be aside from the actual teaching?
-homework - do we have to set hmwk? mark it?
-weekly tests - necessary in some schools
-student grades - do we have to give grades/assessments?
-exams - who sets exams/tests?

holidays - salary = paid monthly, regardlesss of whether the school is actually open. Can you clarify what happens in the event of:

  • public hols eg 10-10 day
  • CNY
  • summer & winter breaks
  • typhoon, sars etc

exam time - how often and what do we do?

special events - are these held, do we have to be there, etc
-sports days
-parents days
-plays\shows etc

absence - what are the rules?
-casual leave

contract - what happens if…
-chain of command - who are we working for?

-partial months pro rata or hourly?
-tax - receipt required
-o\t rate

-area, desk, cupboard, spare classroom (English corner) - is there some place will be set aside for us?
-dress code
-travel costs\accomodation
-who are your students?[/quote]