We all dream of being allowed to teach what we want and how we want it but sometimes it can be a bit too much.

I recently read a fantastic article in TESOL France Teaching Times about how to survive as a freelancer. It mentioned some situations I am all too familiar with. These included:

1)Being recruited to teach a course but finding there’s no syllabus, materials or anything, just a vague topic

2)Being promised handouts but being told 5 seconds before the class that there aren’t any

3)Being given a course but then it gets cancelled the day before

4)Walking into a class not knowing the levels, names of students or anything a bout them

5)Being given completely wrong information about the class

As you can see, things can range from no organisation to some bad organistion.

Personally, I am all for changing/adapting a course for my class but as a freelancer is it my job to assess levels, change students, create a syllabus, course, exams and basically manage the whole thing? What are the full-time heads of dept doing then if all the courses are like this? After all, I am only paid from the second the class begins and to when it finishes.

Can you imagine what an entire degree course would/is like if every class was like this? Or is it just the English ones as some teachers argue they are “at the bottom of the pile” and so have to be squeezed in? This is the reason why some classes are generally late in the evening so students are nacked after 6/7 hours of classes.


1)Should we just accept the situations above?

2)If so, is the best approach just to prepare our own classes/ideas and just take things as they go?

3)Should we try to get more involved even if we are only paid for teaching?

4)Is complete freedom actually better for us so we can just do our own thing?


2 thoughts on “FREEDOM

  1. Once got told while teaching in Spain that I’d have a 1-2-1 with a banking head honcho type, who needed to be taught in ‘a particular way’. Needless to say, I was never told what this particular way was, and he kept on cancelling classes. Go figure!

    • Hahaha. Yes, I’m back in 121 corporate again and things don’t seem to have changed ie you just give them what you want. In that case why bother with all the planning and suggested materials, copies, syllabus, online components etc? Like Anthony used to do, just stick in the teacher and get them to ask what the student wants. Done!! I ended up talking Monty Python and Fawlty Towers with one in London for 2 weeks every day. It was fun and he loved it so I got good FB. I felt like a joke but everyone was happy.

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