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ACE
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drpangloss



Joined: 21 Mar 2012
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I currently work at ACE and can honestly say it's one of the best-run schools I've ever worked for. I'll be there for another few months before I move on cause I'm the rambling sort, but I'd recommend ACE to anyone. They've treated me great, the resources are the best I've seen, and administration almost never harasses you. Hours can be tough--Tuesday and Thursday I'm there from 8 to 8, but MWF I only work an hour and a half a day. We all get health insurance now as of two weeks ago, I'd imagine because our DoS got meningitis. But yeah, free health insurance for everyone now. Go figure.

Anyone who's got questions, I'll answer 'em.
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frankly



Joined: 22 Oct 2004
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:02 am    Post subject: Lowlander correct Reply with quote

I worked for ACE: never again. The way they treat teachers and staff is abusive. The hours are horrendous. everything Lowlander says is accurate in my experience. The reason they get away with it all is that they have no real competition in Cambodia.
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drpangloss



Joined: 21 Mar 2012
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This post has been edited by me.

Last edited by drpangloss on Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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drpangloss



Joined: 21 Mar 2012
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So has this one.

Last edited by drpangloss on Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 393
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The positions on a salary at ACE are good for those with the right quals and experience. The contract I was offered for the Siem Reap campus - a bit of a backwater, was an insult and I kindly rejected the feeble offer I was given. Imagine teaching mainly young learners with several likely starts at 6 am and a possible finish after 8 pm and no holiday pay for less than 20/ hour; a backpacker only contract. Didn't see the PP contract but find it hard to imagine it was much better.

I heard from a reliable source that the Khmer management simply loathe the teachers and see them as worse than dogs. Sounds like a charming place to work, doesn't it?

Cambodia is good for backpacker TEFELers, tourists, burnouts and not much else.
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Filmstar



Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 18
Location: Cambodia

PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:10 am    Post subject: ACE Reply with quote

Simply loathe? Who is this 'reliable source' ?

I've experienced nothing but utmost respect from all management and staff at ACE.

And 'worse than dogs'?

Considering dogs are loving, protective and fiercely loyal, I don't doubt some human beings are lacking in such qualities.

If anyone is thinking of applying to ACE, I can assure you most of the teachers are extremely happy here.

And that's straight from the horses....sorry....dog's mouth.

Laughing
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 393
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:00 am    Post subject: Re: ACE Reply with quote

Filmstar wrote:
Simply loathe? Who is this 'reliable source' ?

I've experienced nothing but utmost respect from all management and staff at ACE.

And 'worse than dogs'?

Considering dogs are loving, protective and fiercely loyal, I don't doubt some human beings are lacking in such qualities.

If anyone is thinking of applying to ACE, I can assure you most of the teachers are extremely happy here.

And that's straight from the horses....sorry....dog's mouth.

Laughing



My source doesn’t need to be exposed, and shame on you for wanting him or her called out on a public forum. With that sort of behavior, perhaps ACE Cambodia is a good fit for you. Feel free to call BS if you want, or should that be DS?

I hope you get inundated with teachers wanting a brilliant, rewarding, and well-paid career at ACE. However, those who work for ACE, which might be “top dog” in Cambodia, might find themselves “dog tired” from the schedule. As a side note, I find it interesting that the poster “drpangloss” has very recently deleted his comments on the crap schedule, I wonder why…………maybe a Khmer manager found him out.

Let me state that I have never worked for ACE, and thus have no personal vendetta against them. However, for moderately qualified teachers (degree, CELTA) with a several years’ of experience up their sleeve, they offer a “dog of a contract” and seemed quite desperate for teachers, always a bad sign. For backpackers, scoundrels and the like; you may very well have found your Shargri-La; $20/hour is a lot of beer money in Cambodia.

I enjoyed re-reading your comments in this thread, as I did the Lowlander’s; I’ll leave it up to the gallery to decide on who has the most realistic view of working for ACE and its benefits, whatever they are. An interview in which the candidate asks right questions and a look at the contract tells all.

Lastly, not to nitpick, but on the first page you said “I worked at ACE for 2 years” which implies you no longer work there. However, on your most recent post, you said “I have experienced the utmost respect……” and “…. most of the teachers are extremely happy here”. Seems you’re either getting your tenses mixed up, or you have an agenda in terms of keeping the name ACE firmly in the good books, a place you currently work at.
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Filmstar



Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 18
Location: Cambodia

PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:05 pm    Post subject: ACE Reply with quote

ACE is a great place to work if you've got yourself together and enjoy teaching high-calibre students who are mostly super-motivated and enjoy learning.

And you're right, your tense sleuthing busted me. I do still work at ACE and thoroughly enjoy it. I hope you enjoy your job, too, wherever that is.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 393
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Civility on the internet, who would have thought.

I thoroughly enjoy my current job, and I am glad ACE is tickling your fancy, too.

Have a nice day, sir.
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T-Bone



Joined: 21 May 2004
Posts: 31
Location: Phnom Penh

PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread has gotten a little cold, but I just wanted to throw in my perspective and experience about ACE.

Among the expat community in Phnom Penh, there's a general consensus that ACE is the best school in town to work for. It offers the best in terms of pay, conditions, etc. When I got into town, based on this general advice, ACE was the first place I applied to, and it's the first place that got back to me. I therefore have only worked at ACE in this town, so I don't have firsthand experience about what conditions are like at other schools.

I have met a couple people in PP that worked at ACE who didn't have a good experience. Not everyone is happy everywhere. I reread through thelowlander's posts, and many of his criticisms are valid. But despite some of those issues he mentioned, I have had a really positive experience while working there.

My students are an absolute joy. They are very motivated and fun to teach. Both children and adults. They are frequently late, and sometimes they take some prodding to get talking, but other than that they are fantastic.

The staff has been great. Any issues I've had, they always respond to in a timely and upfront way. I've never had any issues with pay -- we always get paid on time, and in some cases early.

Class structure is extremely flexible. You are given a book and you need to cover 4 chapters in it a term. What you do with it is up to you -- there's no syllabus. You just cover the material how you see fit in preparation for the final exams. There's no rigid oversight -- you're observed once, and then you're good to go. If your lessons suck, I imagine you'd get a talking to, but my lessons don't suck.

Scheduling can be a hassle. I typically have at least 3 split shifts in a week, with an awkward 3 hour break in between mornings and evenings. I try to use that break time efficiently (planning, running personal errands, etc.), but it is the one aspect of this job I would most want to change. If that's a dealbreaker, you might not want to work there.

I'm in Cambodia because I love my life here, and my job at ACE is a relatively flexible, pleasant way to spend 22 hours of my week. It's not a career gig, and not something I expect to rely on for pension, salary growth, or long-term career advancement -- but then, nothing ESL in Cambodia is.

I don't know if ACE is the best school to work for in Phnom Penh. But I've worked at 5 language schools in 4 countries, and working at ACE has been by far the best work experience I have had in this industry. I really love my job there, and I know a lot of the other teachers do too.
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AlwaysBeClosing



Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the lowlander wrote:
"Tax is about 8%"

The relevant income tax rate for IDP/ACE teachers is 10% to 15% depending on gross salary.

http://www.retirecambodia.com/income-tax/


"I've heard that the lowest level salary rate for ex-pat teachers for 2013 is $20 per hour"

If IDP/ACE really are putting the lowest salary up to $20 (gross) per hour, then I'd like to see them clearly state that fact in their next recruitment advertisment.


"Medical care is half paid by the school. Opting in is optional."

Meaning, if you don't fork out a load of dough yourself, then you're not covered.


"Re. hours, I don't know any one who has started at 6am and been made to work the evening shift finishing at 8pm.

Starting at sunrise and finishing at sunset is noway a common occurrence. I would say that was very, very rare. I've never heard of it unless a teacher has been called in to cover a sick teacher, in which case they have a choice to accept or decline.


If you start at 6am you work no later than 3pm.

If you start in the afternoon you may finish at 7.30 or 8 pm."



Sorry to disagree with you, but when I worked at IDP/ACE I started early in the morning and finished in the evening for the duration of my contract. I was totally without any choice in the matter.



"I would recommend ACE to anyone looking to work in Cambodia or looking for a cross-cultural experience in Asia."


I would say give IDP/ACE a go if you're in PP with nothing better to do, but don't travel to Cambodia specially to take up a contract with them. As for cross-cultural experiences in Asia, you can get them anywhere. IDP/ACE does not have a monopoly on them!


Tax has always been around 8%, not whatever nonsense link you posted. Your vendetta is weird.

They don't have to prove their pay, but they do pay $20 an hour - it was $19 when I was there (and due to go up a dollar an hour).

The criticism of not paying breaks is one of the most ridiculous I've ever heard - they don't dock pay for breaks, they just don't pay for the time you don't actually teach. In non-salary ESL positions this is entirely normal.

ACE cover (or used to, if the news is to be believed) half of the medical insurance, how is this a bad thing? It's very good cover considering what I've heard (one teacher broke a bone and was entirely covered, never had to fork out for anything nor prove anything).

There is always a choice with the schedules, your attitude may have been your downfall. You should have gone to the admin office and asked for the hours you wanted. That you got a crap timetable is entirely on you - I was working Tu/Th/Sat and that worked perfectly for me.

kurtz - there's nothing up with the Khmer management, nor the foreign management for that matter. I can only speak for Samdech Pan however.

Your attitude towards a place like Siem Reap confuses me - what do you expect of a much smaller and poorer area? As far as I know they don't finish after 8pm. What's wrong with young learners?

Cambodia is gerat, just not for arrogant people like yourself who find yourselves above the pay of a third world country.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 393
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello alwaysbeclosing,

I am sorry if my comments made you upset. However, I didn't do a degree and gain several years of teaching experience to work for peanuts in a shitehole like Cambodia. Furthermore, I don't give a damn if Siem Reap is less developed; I still would have been working for ACE and thus would have expected a good hourly rate.

If ACE suits your obviously basic needs, go for it; however, I don't want to be living in abject poverty upon retirement so I have found work more in line with my experience and skill level.

Have a nice day.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 533
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never worked at ACE, but I know four teachers extremely well who have and they all had positive experiences there. They were all able to have fun and support nice lifestyles without working too hard. If you really want a career or to make a sizable nest egg then ACE or Cambodia, quite simply, is probably not for you. Personally, if I was going to work in Cambodia (something that I was seriously considering a while ago), to be honest, ACE would be the only school I'd consider working for.

In regards to Siem Reap and the "shitehole" that is Cambodia, hey, horses for courses I guess. I personally love Cambodia and Siem Reap! For people who want to experience Cambodia then, IMHO, they could do a lot worse than apply for ACE. Anyway, that's just my two cents, but, like I said, I've never worked there.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 393
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cambodia as a holiday destination, fine. Cambodia to live on USD$1000-1500/month, you've got to be joking. Let's keep the goalposts in line. Experienced teacher and aforementioned wage with no sick pay or holiday pay with a realistic schedule of 6am to 8 pm; only for backpackers.

Pass.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 533
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kurtz wrote:
Cambodia as a holiday destination, fine. Cambodia to live on USD$1000-1500/month, you've got to be joking. Let's keep the goalposts in line. Experienced teacher and aforementioned wage with no sick pay or holiday pay with a realistic schedule of 6am to 8 pm; only for backpackers.

Pass.


In regards to the hours, my friends who worked there did say that splits came up, but, from memory, it was not that brutal. Personally, I hate split-shifts, but, alas, it's common in TEFL and I had to do them when I was working at ACET in Saigon Sad. We would have a 7:45am class for 4 hours then a two-hour lesson at 6:15 p.m. However, I didn't have to do them all the time and management spread the hours out as fairly as they could. In regards to the pay, I could support myself easily in Cambodia on $1500 a month. I doubt I would save that much though.

If you don't think Cambodia is a viable option for a teacher then no one is trying to convince you. You don't even like the country. However, for those who like/love Cambodia and want to experience living there, the fact remains that ACE is the best school to work for. If someone wants to spend a year or two experiencing a beautiful, welcoming country with a fascinating history then I can understand that. If it is not your cup of tea, then fine.
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