Teaching University Courses

What is considered a “normal” workload for a full time teacher at a university? I’ve been offered a position and have been told I’ll be teaching 14 credit hours which comes to about 7 classes. And the dean wants me to teach 2 to 4 hours of remedial English per week. It seems a bit much. I get the sense that they’re trying to dump as many classes on me as possible. I worked part-time last semester and the associate dean had me teach one of his classes in addition to my regular classes. Getting paid for that was a bit tricky, but eventually it did happen. Lots of behind the scenes shuffling of things around. Any insights?

Depends on your level. The number of credits taught falls as you become Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor. I’m just a Lecturer and I’m expected to teach 8 credits. I do an additional credit at an insulting overtime rate mainly as a favour. So, for me 18 teaching hours a week.

It really isn’t an onerous workload. I only work 3 days a week. And next week is end of semester and then 5 weeks holiday!

1 Like

It sounds a little heavy, but not excessive.

For a lecturer or an assistant professor, I believe the normal base workload is ten teaching hours per week. Lecturers in particular will often have overtime exceeding that - I think that 14 hours total is the maximum currently allowed, although perhaps that varies by the school.

Is the remedial English actually a separate course, or tutoring? Teaching 14 hours a week is for me a fairly full workload - if the remedial English is just one-on-one work, then the 18 hours would be fine, but if it’s more course planning and marking, then that’s going to be really busy.

Actual workload varies by the course. If you’re teaching the same course seven times a week, for example, there’s very little prep to worry about. Composition will have lots of grading - conversation won’t. If you’re just getting started, prep takes A LOT of time; things become much easier with more experience, and of course also easier if you’ve already taught the course and can just modify what you did the previous semester or year.

If you’re new, yes, they’ll be trying to dump less popular courses on you. There are a whole bunch of people higher than you on the seniority ladder, and they want to get rid of the courses they dislike. That’s where you come in.

Additional requirements vary widely by the school. Filling in a schedule that includes something like 30 total hours on-campus is normal - but while some universities care about whether or not you’re actually in your office during that time, other schools don’t. That’s one of the biggest things I’d worry about: how much time do they expect you to spend on campus, even if you’re not teaching?

1 Like

Yeah, the first academic year is going to be a bit hectic. After that, much easier.

1 Like

Would this university be connected to the plastics industry, by any chance?

Me too. Same deal. Instructor. 18 hours, paid extra for taking on extra hours because they don’t want to hire new people right now. The actual teaching isn’t the hard part. The prep is. People who transition from buxiban or public school teaching to uni teaching may not be prepared for how much preparation and grading is involved. Plus, you sometimes get roped into participating in various committees, collaborating on research, etc. Uni teaching can be rewarding, the classroom environment is much more manageable than public school classes, and the “no desk warming” and huge vacation perks are great, but I wouldn’t call it easy. A lot of people imagine it’s some kind of cakewalk. Those who don’t adapt are usually the ones who don’t get their contracts renewed after the first year.

@Pendulum I’d definitely take the job. Full-time Uni contracts aren’t that easy to come by these days, even with the required post-grad degree(s).

1 Like

Can I have your job please?

1 Like

edit: Nevermind

Do any of you tutor university students on the side?
What do you charge for 1 on 1 tutoring with university students and what do they usually want you to tutor them on?

If I get asked for private tutoring it’s usually for IELTS preparation because supposedly I’m good at that. I charge 1500 an hour, although I’m happy to teach 3 students at a time so they can split the cost.

I give a lot of free advice anyway during my two office hours a week because I do a lot of work for charity (but don’t like to talk about it). It also has a positive impact on my performance bonus if I can show that I’ve helped students achieve their goals of studying abroad.

I had thought any help from teachers at school are included in tuition, so free…

Do you think it is a fair price to charge $1000 an hour for general English tutoring for an adult?

A mate of mine works for TES and gets 4000 an hour. The market decides.

To a degree. I have 350 students. You missed off the second paragraph of my post, btw.

Damn. What does he tutor? Math and science?

It’s just basically English. You’ve got these rich Taiwanese parents who’ve bought their kid a Swaziland passport in order to get into TES, but of course they’re well off the pace. Money is no object.

In your case; what makes you better than a 600 an hour chat in a coffee shop? You need to figure out how to market yourself as a Conversational English specialist.

Ahh my good neighbours. Why does that get them into TES though, is it not just for Europeans?

That’s a logical point, but it would be a bit problematic PC wise if that were the case. Anyone with a passport other than ROC can enter.

1k NTD friend price, 1,500 NTD normal price.

They always just say conversation, but I do a mix of communication skills, grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.

How much are they paying for Swaziland passports? I don’t think eSwatini has an official CBI program…