The ABC of ELT

The Ideal Timetable (Does It Exists?)

I’m fairly convinced that the ideal timetable doesn’t exist. One of the aspects I initially loved about English Language Teaching in Private schools was the fact that I could wake up later and stay up late. That soon changed when I picked up an early morning Business class and found that I then had to stay up late…and get up early but had little to do during the day when no one else was free.

Font loading your week

Since then, I’ve taught various different groups in different situations which have all had their own advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes I’ve managed to “front load my week” whereby I sought to put as much of my teaching at the beginning of the week as that the end of the week was freer to focus on the bigger picture. This was nice and motivating when I got to a point early on in the week and could see that I had done most of my teaching. BUT it lead to me HATING Monday’s and running round like a frantic maniac, sometimes with barely enough time to use the loo.

Late Classes

Late classes are great when you are younger, can still go out after work and don’t have a partner (or kids) at home waiting for you. But as time goes on, and you might end up living further away from a city centre meaning you have to also factor in travel time, the idea of going to bed early in the morning seems less and less appealing.

Off-site classes

Off-site classes can be great as they may well be earlier in the day (business or primary groups). But then you have to travel over to these classes (with little or no compensation). You may then need to dash off to another group (especially with cover).

Every Pro has a con.

Maybe i’m wrong, but I have yet to come across a pro that didn’t have a con as well when it comes to timetables. There can be practical reasons for these constraints but the summary is that it often feels like when I try to correct one negative of my timetable, I run headfirst into another downside.

Maybe this is just part and parcel of this job, maybe it’s part and parcel of any job (When you work 9 to 5, it’s harder to spend time with kids, when you are a freelancer, you can work anytime but may end up working non of the time or all of the time!)

Still having said that, this year is looking like it may be my best timetable yet…let’s see if I still say that in a few weeks time!

About Chris Wilson

I'm an English Language teacher based in Krakow, Poland. I enjoy writing, using technology and playing the Ukulele.

Leave a Reply

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This