A Week as a Foreign Trainer

Every day is a different and unique experience as a Foreign Trainer with Disney English. I’ll be walking you through what a typical work week looks like as a member of our team, and what each day entails for Foreign Trainers. From meetings and lesson planning to appreciations and of course teaching, here’s what you can expect as a Disney English Foreign Trainer!

Your workweek:
Here at Disney English, a Foreign Trainer workweek is stylized a little differently than a school teacher’s workweek. Disney English is a training center, which means as Foreign Trainers, we work a typical 40 hours per week with fluctuating start and end times as well as the occasional weekend.

For instance, there are two schedules you could end up having: A Monday/Thursday trainer or a Tuesday/Friday trainer. If you are a Monday/Thursday trainer, your work week will begin on Thursday and you will work through Monday, having your weekends as Tuesday and Wednesday. As a Tuesday/Friday trainer, your work week will be Friday to Tuesday and your weekend will be Wednesday and Thursday.

As a Foreign Trainer, our hours are evenly spread during the week. Monday, Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays you will usually work from 1:30 pm to 8:30 pm or 9 pm. For Saturdays and Sundays, these are a little different. On one of these days, you will have what we call a “long day” and the other day will be your “short day.” This means one day you will work roughly an eight hour day, and the other will be a 10-hour day.

This is me teaching my younger Scholars 1 class!

Your workday:
Now that I’ve explained the average workweek, let’s get into what each day looks like!

Mondays always begin with an Academic meeting in your learning center. This is a meeting for the Academic and Guest Services team. This meeting usually consists of any updates, training, appreciations and general communication between both teams and their leaders. After this, you’ll usually head to your classroom and use the time before classes start at 4:15 pm to plan and prep for your upcoming week.

Depending on schedules, only half of the cast members who work within your center will be working on these days; based on the Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday agenda. This means it’s a great day for you to use the computers and printers to prep everything you need for the day, or the week. Centers can be busy on Saturdays and Sundays so I try to get all my prep done during the week.

Fridays also start with a meeting. This is the learning center meeting where all cast members for each sector attend. Overall goals and communications/announcements for your center and the region are shared during this time. This is also the time when learning centers do cast appreciations, center appreciations, birthday celebrations, promotion announcements and more. After this meeting, classes don’t start until 4:15 pm so there is plenty of time to prep.

Saturdays and Sundays are very busy days in the learning center. On these days there are usually regular classes, demonstration classes, parent seminars and even events that take place. With so much going on, almost all of the classrooms are being used which means it can be hard to find a spare computer or empty classroom to prepare for your lessons.

These are Cast Recognition cards for teamwork and service.

My typical week:
As a Tuesday/Friday trainer, my work week starts on Friday and ends on Tuesday. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays I come in at 1:30 pm. On Mondays, I head to the academic meeting and once that is finished, I lesson plan and prep until my class starts at 5:15 pm. On Fridays, I head to meetings and then use my time before my classes start at 4:15 pm to prep. On Tuesdays, I start preparing for the day straight away. I also do PTCs (Parent Trainer Conferences), lesson planning and build an agenda for the upcoming weeks.

As for Saturdays and Sundays, Saturday is my “short day,” so I have three back-to-back classes. My first one starts at 9:15 am and finishes at 11:30 am. I get a 45-minute break period and I have more classes from 12:15 pm to 2:30 pm and from 2:45 pm to 5 pm. Sundays are my “long day” so I again have three classes, but with a longer break period. On Sundays, my classes go from 9:15 am to 11:30 am and then I get a three hour break period. At this time, I try and do PTCs or get End-of-Term presentation prep done if I can. Then, I am back in the classroom from 2:45 pm to 5 pm and from 5:15 pm to 7:30 pm.

Overall, I enjoy the Disney English schedule because in China, there is so much I can do on any day of the week. Even with my weekends being Wednesday and Thursday, there is still so much to explore in my off time!

Senior Foreign Trainer, Shanghai