How much can you do and stay sane? ( Why I Haven't Been Here Lately )

What is the busiest schedule you have ever had in school? To be more clear, I am asking how many classes you have ever taken or taught on a weekly basis?

I love teaching English, but I have been teaching 43 classes a week! That is 23 classes in the mornings and 20 classes at night, each week.

I admit that I haven't been able to prepare for classes the way I would like to.  I also admit that I have been very poor at keeping in touch with my English Club friends since I arrived in Saudi Arabia last year.

I would really love to hear from all of my friends that are teachers and see if you have matched or exceeded this class load.  I think I may be close to setting a record for the number of classes taught while still maintaining some little bit of mental and physical health.

The good news is, that this may be changing very soon.  I will probably still have four one hour classes each night, but it looks like I will be working with older students in the mornings and maybe have 3 less classes per week.  That would still be 40 classes per week (8 per day) and really a bit too much, since part of teaching should include preparation time and office hours.

Again, I must apologize to my friends here for rarely visiting, but maybe you can see why I have been absent so much.  At home, my job was from 8:00 to 5:00. 

Our new winter schedule here has me teaching from 9:30 to 1:30 and again from 5:00 to 9:00.  Technically that is an eight hour day with a 3 1/2 hour lunch break.  Eight hours isn't bad if you have some office time to organize your classes.  Also this is much better than the beginning of the semester when the principal insisted that I arrive at 6:30 AM to sign in and then had all my classes scattered through the early part of the morning.

My contract here is over at the end of this month, so if things don't improve, I am not required to stay for another year.  I think that I can now negotiate a better situation and get the contract reworded to clarify any of the points that have been a problem over the past year.

Please let me know what your heaviest ever class schedule was, either as a teacher or as a student. I am very curious to see how 43 classes a week compares to your most difficult schedule.

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Comment by Robbie on November 22, 2011 at 11:14

Great blog Mr. Bob! Well I'm not a teacher but I would like to tell something. I hope you don't mind this. There are a lot of competent teachers in my country, some of them are not well-compensated but they stick to their professions because nothing more precious than serving your own people. 

  I understand that you're working too hard and I hope your students would take advantage that opportunity to make them a better citizen of their country. Wishing you the best! : )

Comment by nida on November 20, 2011 at 22:13

So many comments here and many of them from TEACHERS! So all I can say is my best wishes for your new contract, Sir..


Comment by Mr. Bob on November 20, 2011 at 13:41

Thank you Selma,

I think that teaching these students is important.  I also want them to have a more realistic view of other countries including the West. We are all brothers and sisters in this world.  It is a small place and some countries can destabalize it which will affect all of us.  

I hope the boys I teach will leave with the view that there are good and bad people everywhere, mostly good though.  Where countries have difficulties it is mainly due to governments and not the people.  Some day with enough understanding the world may become a wonderful place for all people.

I also love traveling and learning about other cultures. A major reason for coming here was to see more of the Arab world and learn more about the culture.  Maybe some day i can get a job that pays pretty well and also gives lots of time off for travel.  That would be the best of both:)

Comment by selma on November 20, 2011 at 8:56



In these days that some events take place in the middle east, the job what you did is commendable,

You should keep negotiations to make your conditions more clear. ( I am not a advisor but I used to work in a company which is overloading me with extra authorization)

I hope to find a good assistant to help you as soon as possible, delegation is very important as you've mentioned below.

I wish you that all your students want to learn english eagerly which means to a gift for you as a teacher, hopefully your efforts not to waste. If there is a something to help you, it's enough to tell us, I think EC members will do the best.

Be careful and keep your safety,



Comment by Mr. Bob on November 19, 2011 at 9:42

I am now working with the High School seniors.  We are making a library of English materials and meeting in a conference room for extended conversations.  I am inviting all of the better boys and some teachers to join this club.  I hope many will join and we may increase our activities to include MyEC.

Comment by Nadira on November 18, 2011 at 2:27

Woah   must  be  hectic  for  you Bob and  welcome  back  your  really missed  over here  at EC. 

I do hope  your  schedule  will be  less, so that  you can  bereathe  freely.

Time flies as  I  remember  very  well your   anticiapation  on  your  new  job  some  time  ago .

Wish you all suiccess and  take  care of yoru  health Bob

God  Be  With  You 



Comment by Sono on November 17, 2011 at 10:21

Inspiring words, you all have used. It's can be say teachers blog also. All are activities are too inspiring except one thing, Bob! feels hard time in his School life. I hope so, you will have been earn sufficient salary, ha? I listened most of time " No pain no gain".

So, Bob Best of luck. God Bless you  in every moments, and make your hard to soft and easy! Ameen=( Please God accept my pray).

Comment by selma on November 17, 2011 at 6:43


Welcome back Bob, I heard from Tara why you was silent.

I'll come back to read "asap",

See you,


Comment by Mr. Bob on November 16, 2011 at 15:52

Thank you Nadiyah. I agree that 25 classes a week is too much.  Here the maximum allowed by the ministry of Education is 24 classes a week at a school.  There is a loophole which may be legal because the other 20 classes are at another place and not the same school.

Anele, You seem to hold second place for "SCHEDULE * " if mine is 1st place. I am so happy that you are now down to 30 classes.

Thanks also; Ms. Sara, Expector, Jenny, Tara and jenny.  I loved your comments and you all make me feel better just hearing from you.

Comment by Nadiyah on November 16, 2011 at 15:35

Ohh you're overloaded, Mr. Bob. Take time for coffee :) Before I had more 25 classes a week, and it has made my life uneffective. Teaching should ideally be done in 18 or 20 hours a week. teachers are human, they also need adequate rest and comfort. unless you did it in a teleconference, It means in an activity you will be able to teach more than five classes.

keep your health, good luck!

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