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Cornerstone?

 
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drpangloss



Joined: 21 Mar 2012
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:13 am    Post subject: Cornerstone? Reply with quote

Hey everybody,

Does anyone have any info on what it's like to work at Cornerstone in HCMC? I'm currently in Cambodia and they're talking about having me come there for a face-to-face interview and possibly moving there to start work as soon as the 16th next month.

It feels pretty rushed but the money and working hours, from the way they've described it, sound good. Just wanted to check and see if there were any known horror stories (or the opposite, I suppose.)
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scottydu



Joined: 19 Nov 2013
Posts: 3
Location: HCMC, Vietnam

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:23 am    Post subject: Re: Cornerstone? Reply with quote

drpangloss wrote:
Hey everybody,

Does anyone have any info on what it's like to work at Cornerstone in HCMC? I'm currently in Cambodia and they're talking about having me come there for a face-to-face interview and possibly moving there to start work as soon as the 16th next month.

It feels pretty rushed but the money and working hours, from the way they've described it, sound good. Just wanted to check and see if there were any known horror stories (or the opposite, I suppose.)


Hey bud, you're in luck. I'm the only foreign teacher who currently works there. It's a fairly new institute (started in January 2013), so there won't be much info about it on the web. It's small, but markets itself to the highest income families. They're definitely doing okay.

Basically, it's a Korean learning center in district 7, which is a very nice district in HCMC. I'd say D2 is the nicest, D7 the 2nd nicest. You'll be teaching Koreans who go to prominent international schools here. Class sizes are 8 max (woo hoo!) and you get access to excellent tools such as an ipad, projector, etc.

The pay is on the higher end for a language institute here for sure. Full time is $2400 / mo tax free and that's for 25 teaching hours per week with 5 hour paid prep. It's done on an hour bank basis, so you get the same salary each month and at the end of the contract either you pay pack with your last paycheck or they pay you.

Regular working hours are prep from 3:30 - 4:30 (although I'd say you definitely spend more time than an hour prepping / grading for 2 - 2 1/2 hour classes) and then you teach straight 4:30 - 9:30 (2 - 2 1/2 hour classes) with a couple five minute breaks. During the Winter Intensives (when they'll take you on board potentially) you'll teach morning / afternoon for a couple weeks.

Subjects you'll teach for the 2 1/2 hour block classes will either be TOEFL Prep, SAT Prep, Reading (Novels / Reading Strategies), or Writing for the most part... I get random privates here and there for Speaking and Math, and then they have some part time teachers teach odd requests like Organic Chemistry, Psychology, History, etc.

The owners are pretty fair about things and are open to talking about improving the program. You won't be yelled at, but you do need to be on your game. The kids are really smart and quite fluent, so if you don't know your stuff during class they'll find out and tell their parents. Had a small issue first time I taught there, but now I really make sure I know my stuff... takes extra time that you're not paid for since there's A LOT of workbook / exercise reading passages, vocab, etc. to be on top of, but for the pay, environment, and access to technology it definitely beats the heck out of other institutes I've worked for here. Only way I'd leave is if an international school opportunity came through.

Hope that helps. You can live VERY good here for less than $1000 / mo, so $1400 or so savings each month adds up quickly. Only thing you might be careful of is going all in with a small institute that is still figuring out demand for classes and trying to juggle faculty to match it. They must be expecting a big winter group to hire another full time. Either way, still easy to find good work in HCMC if it doesn't work out long term.

Cheers,

Scott
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