How many hours do you work at your Buxiban?

And how many hours are paid vs unpaid where you are at?
I’m looking for a decent Buxiban job where I can work the hours stated in the contract then be done for the day. Is this realistic or do you have to expect to come in early/leave late in order to finish all of your work?

I’m gonna be honest with you. With my experience, bosses love to shove all sorts of unpaid labour into your ‘hours’. They only wanna pay ‘teaching hours’.

I could not stand that their mandated ‘preparation’ required being there for more than 90 minutes a day unpaid sitting like some schmuck doin nothing cause my prep took 5 minutes


I do 14 hours, and on three of the days I have gaps in between two blocks of classes (45min/45min/30min) where I can do any out-of-class stuff I need to do. I get paid for those office hours too.


I get paid for teaching hours only but office hours are not required. There are about 1-3 meetings a month which require me to come in about 30 minutes early.

So no unpaid work then?
Sounds like a good gig.

Dam that seems like a lot.
So do buxiban contracts generally state that additional office hours are needed, or is this more of an unwritten rule at most places?

They obviously don’t like the fact that I don’t put in any extra time in the office. The staff would probably prefer I come early and stay late like they are required to. Since I’m leaving I don’t really care but people who want to be considered a “team player” should spend more time in the office. I still have to grade papers and make lesson plans on my own time so that is unpaid work but I can do it from home.

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But they don’t give you health insurance either I guess .

I get paid for the hours I teach. No prep required, no meetings, no grading.
But then again, I have been there for nearly 20 years.

Thanks jimipresley. Sounds like you have a good gig.
So is this unusual to not work outside of your paid hours? This is what I’m looking for, a buxiban where I leave when my paid time ends for the day. Seems reasonable but from what I’ve gathered it is not how it generally works.

I don’t have a relative perspective on the matter. I’ve only ever been at the one place, as I said. It seems, however, that most places are going to fuck with you, especially if you’re a FOB.
Perchance someone with a wider range of experience will chime in.

My memory of hourly paid buxiban work is the prep time was factored into the hourly rate. I think the rule of thumb was a third of your hourly rate was supposed to cover your prep time.

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I had some problems in the past at a buxiban I worked. I started as part time teaching between 20 and 30 hours a week and then switched to full time when the owner said he was going to split my hours with another branch if I didn’t go full time. As part time I only got paid for teaching hours and had to do a shit ton of grading and communication books to parents in my free time, unpaid of course. There were also meetings I would have to attend that were unpaid as well.

I spoke to a couple different lawyers regarding unpaid work and benefits at a buxiban, and all of them said unpaid work is illegal. You should be getting paid for all the work you do. If you clock in and clock out, like you should be doing, then you should be getting paid for all hours at the school. As far as meetings go, I was told two different stories. One said that only administration meetings should be paid, where as training should not be. The other said all meeting should be paid.

You should also be getting paid time off, like vacation days, no matter if your full time or part time. If part time though then it is based off the hours you work and there is a formula for it.


I quit my first job in Taiwan (a quite famous kindergarten, but run like a business, which went against all of my Early Childhood Education training and experience). Took the first job I could find (cram school in Tainan). This was about 15 years ago.

  • 4 pm to 9 pm (Monday to Friday) = 25 hrs/week
  • about 10 teaching hours, the rest prep/tutoring
  • 40k/month = 400 NT/hour in total (prepping took me very little time and no computer or smartphone, so a lot of boredom)
  • 2 year contact, no summer holiday, contact breaking fee (illegal)
  • great kids, bitchy manager, nice but clueless owner, high turnover of local staff
  • no sicks days allowed, pay docked if no classes (including public holidays and typhoon days!!)
  • managed to find a sub so I could visit home for two weeks, manager worried she might be black and said “you know that the blacker they are, the worse they are…” (yes, seriously!)
  • gradually haggled to get off two hours early once a week to attend a required Master’s class.
  • had to work “off the books” at a kindergarten from 8 am to 3 pm to survive
  • wanted to quit so bad as the manager treated me and the kids and local staff very ruthlessly (no praise, only continual criticism and micromanagement)
  • finally got my freedom when the owner sold the branch. Missed the kids a lot though.

Clueless owner and dickhead director… endless desk warming that serves no purpose…have to come into teach even when sick or there’s extreme weather… casual racism spouted against potential black applicants during meetings… That all reminds me of my first cram school in Korea when I was 25. It was awful, and yet I’m somehow a little nostalgic for it. Maybe I’m just nostalgic for being 25. :smirk:


There is that too! :blush: Honestly, my Chinese improved a lot, relatively, at that school. Students (elementary level) were great and eager to chat with me, so they taught me quite a bit of basic Chinese/Taiwanese. Actually the work was great, apart from the c@&% supervisor. Just a nasty human being!

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Didn’t know that, thanks. It still seems difficult to know for sure what your hours will look like if you sign on with a buxiban which I don’t like. I figured it might be possible to have a contract get rid of any clauses that state extra hours outside of paid time before I signed but maybe it doesn’t work that way. Also I’m sure there are plenty of cases where the contracts are irrelevant once you’ve signed it and the buxiban will just work you as they see fit.