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Old 21.05.2016, 02:04
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Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

I was wondering a couple of things about how gymnasium teachers get compensated in Switzerland. Maybe someone knows the answers.

1. How many hours per week do teachers teach a class per week for the 100% salary?
2. Does the number of hours or the pay depend on what subject they are teaching, e.g. are Maths and Music teacher earning the same?
3. Does the pay depend on the experience?
4. What is the education level needed to become a teacher in Gymnasium (bachelor/masters/something else?)
5. Are qualifications and/or salaries of Gymnasium teachers different to those of other types of high schools in Switzerland?

I am not a teacher and do not plan to become one, just am interested in knowing the system
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Old 21.05.2016, 09:32
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

1. 21 - 24 lessons, depending on canton
2. No, on the number of lessons.
3. Yes, or age, depending on canton
4. Minimum is masters
5. Sometimes.
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Old 21.05.2016, 10:12
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

I'll give you the answers for KV (vocational school) teachers:

1. 25 hours
2. No, on the number of lessons
3. It used to. Nowadays, qualifications and degrees have priority over experience. The more qualifications they have, the higher the salary. Once hired, the salary will rise slowly. Kantons have really cut back in annual salary increases and quite often, two or three years can go by without a rise in salary.
4. Teachers need to have a bachelors in at least two fields, e.g. sport and English, as well a teaching degree and a qualification to teach at a vocational school.
5. Yes, due to no. 4.
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Old 21.05.2016, 21:10
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

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I'll give you the answers for KV (vocational school) teachers:


4. Teachers need to have a bachelors in at least two fields, e.g. sport and English, as well a teaching degree and a qualification to teach at a vocational school.
I find this difficult to believe. Not many people would do two bachelors and other qualification to be just a teacher in my opinion.

I've found something like this but it is very weigh: https://swisseducation.educa.ch/en/t...n-and-training
So if I understand correctly they attand applied university for teacher. Though I would guess that if you have a standard uni degree and do some didactics you could still teach if you want to. (basing this on a guy who once mentioned his father having a different degree and later deciding to work as a German teacher in a Gymnasium/Lycheo in Lugano)
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Old 21.05.2016, 22:30
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

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I find this difficult to believe. Not many people would do two bachelors and other qualification to be just a teacher in my opinion.

I've found something like this but it is very weigh: https://swisseducation.educa.ch/en/t...n-and-training
So if I understand correctly they attand applied university for teacher. Though I would guess that if you have a standard uni degree and do some didactics you could still teach if you want to. (basing this on a guy who once mentioned his father having a different degree and later deciding to work as a German teacher in a Gymnasium/Lycheo in Lugano)

Don't you want the educators of children to have as much relevant education and training as possible? With the amount of knowledge and skills price are teachers need I'm surprised this doesn't happen more in more places!
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Old 22.05.2016, 13:29
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

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I find this difficult to believe. Not many people would do two bachelors and other qualification to be just a teacher in my opinion.

I've found something like this but it is very weigh: https://swisseducation.educa.ch/en/t...n-and-training
So if I understand correctly they attand applied university for teacher. Though I would guess that if you have a standard uni degree and do some didactics you could still teach if you want to. (basing this on a guy who once mentioned his father having a different degree and later deciding to work as a German teacher in a Gymnasium/Lycheo in Lugano)
It might have changed, but in my time, i.e. 20/25 years ago, teachers for Gymnasium - contrary to teachers for e.g. Bezirksschule, Realschule, Sekundarschule and of course primary school - absolutely had to have a university degree (Licentiate at the time, sort of equivalent to a Masters today). I would be very surprised if that had changed, but I don't know for sure. On top of the university degree, they had to have a specific teaching degree/education which may have been from another institution than an university. That certainly made sense given they were generally tasked with preparing students to enter university and as such academics, so having knowledge of what that actually meant was surely necessary.

A degree from a university of applied science (which includes PH) was definitely not enough to teach at Gymnasium and to my knowledge still is not. The two are not the same.

Edit, according to this http://www.berufsberatung.ch/dyn/601...?id_branch=250, the above still seems to be the case:
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Mittelschul- und Gymnasiallehrer/innen haben neben oder nach einem fachwissenschaftlichen Studium eine zusätzliche praktische und theoretische Ausbildung in Didaktik, Psychologie und Pädagogik abgeschlossen.
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Old 22.05.2016, 13:49
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

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I find this difficult to believe. Not many people would do two bachelors and other qualification to be just a teacher in my opinion.

I've found something like this but it is very weigh: https://swisseducation.educa.ch/en/t...n-and-training
So if I understand correctly they attand applied university for teacher. Though I would guess that if you have a standard uni degree and do some didactics you could still teach if you want to. (basing this on a guy who once mentioned his father having a different degree and later deciding to work as a German teacher in a Gymnasium/Lycheo in Lugano)
In my home country most teachers would be able to teach two subjects. There are degrees where you can study two subjects at the same time.
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Old 22.05.2016, 14:03
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

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There are degrees where you can study two subjects at the same time.
Same here.
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Old 22.05.2016, 15:39
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

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I was wondering a couple of things about how gymnasium teachers get compensated in Switzerland. Maybe someone knows the answers.

1. How many hours per week do teachers teach a class per week for the 100% salary?
2. Does the number of hours or the pay depend on what subject they are teaching, e.g. are Maths and Music teacher earning the same?
3. Does the pay depend on the experience?
4. What is the education level needed to become a teacher in Gymnasium (bachelor/masters/something else?)
5. Are qualifications and/or salaries of Gymnasium teachers different to those of other types of high schools in Switzerland?

I am not a teacher and do not plan to become one, just am interested in knowing the system
In Vaud:
1. 22
2. No
3. Yes
4. Master. Bachelor is enough for sec. I
5. Yes. Specific teaching diploma.

Believe it or not, post-MA (and some years of university teaching) I got my MAS to teach Gymnasium level. I didn't get a job, as the field is completely saturated. I'm now teaching sec.I, but can't have a permanent contract because I'm not qualified for it. I'm technically over_qualified, and it's not recognized for a lower level
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Old 22.05.2016, 15:48
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

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Don't you want the educators of children to have as much relevant education and training as possible? With the amount of knowledge and skills price are teachers need I'm surprised this doesn't happen more in more places!
Relevant - yes. Overall well-educated - yes.

But if I understand correctly their salaries don't go much above 100k, so I guess there is some max amount of effort one would put in for such a salary (there may be always be exceptions like someone really wants to work with children, etc.)
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Old 22.05.2016, 15:51
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

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But if I understand correctly their salaries don't go much above 100k
You understand incorrectly.
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Old 22.05.2016, 16:10
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

Senior high school teachers can make 110k, then if they have directive responsabilities even more I guess.

Anyway teacher qualifications are a jungle in switzerland, there are some tentative harmonizations but we're not there yet, especially with high school teacheres (it doesn't mean cantons won't recognise each other qualifications, but it's quite difficult to navigate).

1. dunno
2. no difference between teaching subjects
3. depends on the canton, in ticino it goes with how many years you have been working there, has been blocked in the last years because of cantonal financial problems
4. master + 1/2 years of teacher school
5. yes, subjects like electronics or interior decoration will probably require more a bachelor in a university of applied sciences or recognised experience + a teaching diploma
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Old 22.05.2016, 16:14
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

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I find this difficult to believe. Not many people would do two bachelors and other qualification to be just a teacher in my opinion.

I've found something like this but it is very weigh: https://swisseducation.educa.ch/en/t...n-and-training
So if I understand correctly they attand applied university for teacher. Though I would guess that if you have a standard uni degree and do some didactics you could still teach if you want to. (basing this on a guy who once mentioned his father having a different degree and later deciding to work as a German teacher in a Gymnasium/Lycheo in Lugano)
Well it is more like two "half" degrees, i.e. a "sports" degree and an "English" degree.

As you already mentioned someone with a degree in physics and a degree in engineering, is not going to be a teacher.
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Old 22.05.2016, 16:17
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

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Don't you want the educators of children to have as much relevant education and training as possible? With the amount of knowledge and skills price are teachers need I'm surprised this doesn't happen more in more places!
No, qualification(s) do not mean that person has a clue.

A relevant qualification plus relevant experience is what counts.

Those who can't do, teach.

Every teacher, when their inhibitations are removed, will briefly stop hiding behind the "I do it for the love of education" and admit they are in the education machine for the huge number of days off with pay.
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Old 22.05.2016, 16:45
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

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Every teacher, when their inhibitations are removed, will briefly stop hiding behind the "I do it for the love of education" and admit they are in the education machine for the huge number of days off with pay.
Depending on the school and the teacher's specific contract, those "huge numbers of day off with pay" may vary from "huge" to "actually about the same as everybody else, really". I happen to be one of the lucky ones - most of the time.

However, to reduce a job as complex and challenging as teaching to something that one does just for the long holidays is a bit silly. There are all kinds of reasons people become teachers, and all kinds of reasons that they stay in teaching despite having to listen to this kind of nonsense at every party they attend.

Me? I like it because it pays quite well and is never, ever boring. I've often considered leaving and doing something else, but I can't imagine any other job being quite as varied and interesting as teaching, even if it is a bit frustrating and stressful at times (like, most of the time). The sheer joy at seeing a child's eyes light up when they understand some difficult concept for the first time, especially if they've had a struggle to get there - that beats anything I've experienced in any other job.

As for qualifications and experience, I've got a bachelor's degree and a couple of post-graduate qualifications, and plenty of experience both inside and outside teaching.

You ought to try it! Education needs people with different life experiences and skillsets. I'm sure you've got something you could pass on to the next generation!
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Old 22.05.2016, 16:49
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

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Those who can't do, teach.
You should teach how to argue, then.
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Old 22.05.2016, 17:37
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

That is exactly why I went back to teaching Kindergarten after studying music, working as a journalist at a big publishing company and writing for TV.

The great thing about teaching is that you can use almost all of what you learnt.

Dougal, thanks for putting that to internet-paper.

I'm not as well paid as a Gymnasium teacher, but it is well paid and I have quite some freedom how I want to teach the curriculum, depending on the class I teach. School pays me better than journalism or teaching music, but I have to say that I just like to teach classes, even if they are not always easy to handle. I love a challenge.

And when parents tell me that their kids asked them if I could move in with them, they would tidy up their bedroom to make space for me, because hey want me close after school, too, because it was so much fun ... I had to decline because my husband just wouldn't let me :-)
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Old 22.05.2016, 17:41
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

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Well it is more like two "half" degrees, i.e. a "sports" degree and an "English" degree.

As you already mentioned someone with a degree in physics and a degree in engineering, is not going to be a teacher.



Why on Earth not? How do you think you get more Physicists and more Engineers? You need enthusiastic, knowledgeable, energetic experts to enthuse and steer the next generations. Or would you be happy if your next doctor admitted he had been trained by people with no relevant skills whatsoever?


I have a combined honours degree, a post grad degree and a teaching qualification plus lots of experience. I also have two other roles connected to, but not in, direct classroom teaching. Teaching is not my first job, but it's the best I've ever had. It's fun, you should give it a go.

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No, qualification(s) do not mean that person has a clue.

A relevant qualification plus relevant experience is what counts.

Those who can't do, teach.

Every teacher, when their inhibitations are removed, will briefly stop hiding behind the "I do it for the love of education" and admit they are in the education machine for the huge number of days off with pay.


Is that really the best you can do? You forgot the "short" days.


My inhibitions are permanently removed - I'm an English teacher, with extra arrows in my quiver - it's practically a job requirement. The overly inhibited ones don't last you see. It's not the job they thought it was... You should see the long list of topics I've covered with teenagers over the years. I'll wager you'll blush first!


I truly hope that you're as passionate about your career as I am about mine. I hope that you make a positive difference, on some level, in some way, every time you step into your place of work.


As for the money question, which I believe started all of this, no. No teacher gets paid "well". We get paid what non-teachers think we deserve. However, it's not bad either. And if/when I resume my career in the UK, I'll do pretty well, all things considered. And I always get Christmas, Easter and the Summer off. Sweet.


I'm reminded of something I was told by a colleague in my first school, when I was just starting out. When faced with the question "What do you do?" from, often, the "professional" colleagues of her other half, she would answer, "I teach Science". She often got a rather sneery, down-the-nose response. So she would offer a cheerful addendum: that she pissed in the wind professionally.


When I read comments like yours, encounter reactions like this, then I think of her. And sometimes she's right. Sometimes she's not. But by God she was a wonderful teacher. And a successful scientist who "did" before she decided to teach too.


I'll leave you with Taylor Mali and his eloquent response to the question "What do teacher's make?":


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxsOVK4syxU



Last edited by RufusB; 22.05.2016 at 18:20. Reason: link
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Old 23.05.2016, 09:31
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

In Kt. ZH the ceiling for a teacher at a gymnasium seems to be 178k. Just don't ask me what the requirements are.
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Old 23.05.2016, 09:38
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Re: Gymnasium teachers in Switzerland

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In Kt. ZH the ceiling for a teacher at a gymnasium seems to be 178k. Just don't ask me what the requirements are.
178k, 20 weeks holiday and a 30 hour working week.
it would be the perfect job if you wouldn't need to deal with teenagers
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