Real TEFL wages

Why ‘real’ TEFL wages? As I had previously only worked over the summer, September was my first opportunity to see what I would probably be making each month. My previous Money article was a true representation of summer pay expectations, but I think the rest of the year will be more profitable.

At BTL I worked 99 hours so earned €1,633.50. After taxes, transport and restaurant tickets (I need to pay for 40% of them) were taken into account, this ended up being €1,291.63 in my bank account.

Unfortunately I lost 19 hours of classes to early cancellations, so I had been expecting a little bit more. There are two types of cancellations at BTL – late and early. Late cancellations are made less than 48 hours before the class. Early cancellations are made at any point before the 48 hour mark. We get paid for late cancellations, but not for early ones. The theory is that late cancellations leave no time for a replacement class to be organised for the teacher, thus this policy protects our wages. The problem is that classes cancelled 60 hours in advance also don’t really allow enough time for a replacement class to be organised, so we do end up losing a bit of money.

So my 19 hours of cancellations were early, and although some classes were replaced, I probably lost about 12-15 hours of pay, which makes a difference since I’m taking a holiday at the end of the month (holiday leave doesn’t get reimbursed until the end of the school year/end of my contract, so I’ll just get paid for the three weeks I worked).

Having a private student eased the end-of-month strain, though. I had 9 lessons, or 13.5 hours, with Patrizio in September, for which he paid me €225 in cash, which really helped when my bank was being uncooperative, and without which it wouldn’t have been possible to do anything with my visiting friend last week.

So, in total I finished with €1516.63 for September, plus 19 restaurant tickets valued at €5.60 each. This is pretty good – from now on I’ll just accept cancellations as a part of the job and stop counting my chickens before they hatch.

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