teaching prep - what to charge?


I'm a second year PhD student. Recently I did some hourly paid teaching of undergraduates at one of my old universities to cover a couple of lectures and seminars for my old tutor who has taken up a new job at short notice.
I know the hourly rate the university pays for teaching face-to-face time. But they also say they're willing to pay for some prep time as well. Thing is, I don't know how much prep time to claim for.

Because it was my first time teaching at university level, I took a really long time to prepare for each lecture and seminar. Total lecture and seminar time on each occasion was 3 hours in all, yet to prepare for both altogether I took probably 1.5 or 2 days. This is absurdly long, especially as with the lecture I already had the skeleton from someone else's slides. But when I start something I get a bit too thorough. So given that I'm not going to claim for 12 or more hours' prep time for 3 hours' face time, how much prep time to charge for?

My friend who works for another university says that they pay for 2 hours' prep for each hour teaching.

What do others think?



Hi. some Universities pay-- some do not as they argue it is with the teaching rate paid. Others pay same as teaching rate which is better as I agree, prep takes a long time even for an experienced lecturer. Your hourly rate also varies re your grade and experience. You really need a contract specifying rates etc. Also- sessions if you are just covering, should be already fully prepared but I know you always have additional prep to do-- which is not usually paid for or acknowledged.


I'm exactly the same - always take ages to prepare teaching!

Unfortunately my university says that the hourly teaching rate for external/part time staff (which is what I'm paid as) includes preparation time. For experienced staff this is less of an issue, but when you've wasted a day or two on prep (well, not wasted, but it's time you're not spending PhDing, so...) it doesn't seem very fair.

A couple of times the lecturer I was doing the work for has said it's okay to add a bit of time on to the timesheet, just as a sort of goodwill gesture, but it's a difficult one.

If you can't contact a finance person at the uni to find out, I would do a search on the uni website for information for external or part time staff, in case they have their guidelines available (as mine does), which should give you an idea. Otherwise ask the head of department, or another member of staff there. You were doing them a favour so I'm sure (or at least I hope) they won't want you to be out of pocket. (But also, keep them sweet - there might be a job there in a year or two!)



Thanks both - I'm finding nothing on the uni website about prep time rates. The individual I've been put in touch with did explicitly say she'd happily pay for prep time as well... but no idea how many hours she has in mind. I am now asking the chap I covered for in the first place what a reasonable request is.

I should count myself lucky that I am being offered some pay for prep time at least, because it sounds like a lot of others don't get this.