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Vaughan Systems
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carolynne



Joined: 24 Sep 2005
Posts: 80
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:03 am    Post subject: Vaughan Systems Reply with quote

Hi all!

Anyone know what the deal is with this school- seen some stuff about them but nothing definitive... From my emails they seem incredibly disorganised, is that all, or should I be worried that there's a bigger problem?

Any advice would be great as they want me to start pretty soon.
tx carol
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jeanluclenormand



Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know a colleague who taught for them for about 8 months - till end of contract. According to him, you need to interview and train (2 weeks in Madrid and are subject to assignment anywhere in the country. At the end of the first week of trng. in Madrid, you get a formal offer or shown the door. If you are invited to stay on, the second week of training is then paid for. The first is always volunteer- kinda tough if you travel to Madrid, pay for your week's stay there and be not what they consider a fit. Nonetheless, for those lured by the high pay or new TEFL teachers, Vaughn prob. fills the pond with enough willing recruits. If you have some money saved up - 2,500 euros thereabouts, it may certainly be worthwhile. A plan B may be a good idea. Good luck to you! Let us know what you learn...
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booty



Joined: 22 Aug 2004
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:57 pm    Post subject: Do not WORK AT VAUGHAN Reply with quote

Vaughan Systems cannot be recommended to anyone. Although their method is good for students - lots of drilling and repetition, they treat their staff like dirt. It may say on their ads that you can ear 2500+, but do you realize that you will have to do almost impossible hours? Some people have to work 40 hours teaching to earn that money.
Here at Vaughan, you are not a teacher, but a droid. You donīt have the freedom to do your own stuff.
I know plenty of people who have worked at Vaughan who said they burnt out very quickly. They also dissedthe hostile management.
If anyone begs to differ, please tell me.
Vaughan may be seen as prestigious, but they have one of the worst reputations in Spain to work for Evil or Very Mad
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polijohn



Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 3
Location: Madrid, Spain

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:25 pm    Post subject: Work at Vaughan - It's actually quite good. I should know. Reply with quote

Vaughan Systems can be recommended but you just need to know what you are signing up to do before you start. I know this may shock some people but you do need to work full time (ie 40hours a week) to get paid a full time wage. In Spain 2500+ is in fact a stellar wage. Most people in quite respectable professions in the 20-30 year old range make between 900-1500 a month and they would be working full time.

There is the possibility in Vaughan to be working in multiple locations as far as an hour or so away my train/subway so that you can have a full schedule and it is true that this can mean you will be out of the house from 8am to 8pm and only actually be working 8hours. That is also the case in many English schools in Spain that cater to the corporate companies. It is one of the aspects of the job you have to be willing to accept. If you are fortunate you may be working quite locally and as with many things, the longer you work for the company the better chance your schedule will improve. (because of the nature of the job changes can occur quite frequently and it is possible to have improvement as quickly as 6 months into your stay)

The "Method" is quite rigid but I wouldn't say it is boring for the teacher. Admittedly if you like to add a lot of flare and generally adlib classes this might seem a very narrow range. However it also means your life as a teacher is easier. Preparation is cut down because you have your classes almost preplanned by the very nature of the method. That means that although the method might get repetitive for you, you won't spend hours coming up with ideas. To say your not a teacher is just silly. Your ability to interpret the English expressions and give the students better understandings of words and when to use expressions taught in this style is where the majority of your teaching comes in. The method is designed to make the classes the same no matter who teachers the class and Vaughan will not fire you if you are indeed using the Method and students complain about the Method. They will only look to fire you if you do your own thing. If you want to do your own thing then I agree this isn't for you, but it doesn't mean you can't incorporate your own ideas into the process.

I am in fact a Vaughan teacher and I also know many people who work for the company. I can completely understand how people could get burned out but you are asked to take up to 35hrs teaching a week, and that usually isn't too hard to handle. The first few months are the toughest, especially if, like me, you were getting accustomed to a new city and continent for that matter.

The management isn't hostile although it isn't warm and cuddly either. You have people to contact if you need to and people to ask for advice and help. It is a very driven company and like many other companies it is conscious about making money and retaining customers.

Vaughan is somewhat prestigious among students but I don't know of any schools that are prestigious among teachers, generally when you work for a company you always see its flaws. And this company, like most, definitely has some. But if you are looking for a job in Spain paying you a good wage (especially if you fit into the 20-30 year old category) teaching English, I see no reason why this company isn't an option.

So, yes, I guess I would beg to differ.
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workingnomad



Joined: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 97
Location: Wherever I lay my laptop

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No doubt that last poster is part of the Vaughn m'ment.

I have heard only bad things about them, especially the way they stitched up their partners about the English Town thing.


-----------------------------------
http://www.workingnomad.com
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El_Che



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 34
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

workingnomad wrote:
No doubt that last poster is part of the Vaughn m'ment.


probably, although he/she has really only reiterated the earlier posts. long hours equals good pay. 35 hours per week seems excessive.

can the poster confirm the hourly rate for teachers? are teachers employed by the company, or do they work as freelance (autonomo)?

also, what percentage of the class is pre-prepared with the material, and what percentage needs to be planned?
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polijohn



Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 3
Location: Madrid, Spain

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in fact working for them, as I said clearly in my last post. But regardless to answer El_Che the hourly starting pay is 19.30 euros an hour, and sadly it is as an autonomo, which means you lose about 180 euros a month to Social Security or a bit more if you are older than 35. As far as planning, once you get accustomed which isn't that long I would argue it is all planned by the material, but this really depends on you. I spend about 15 mins preparing classes for 4-5hours of class. Obviously as you get to know your classes you are able to better plan and also assign homework and the like.

I wouldn't say I'm brainwashed but I appreciate a company that pays on time, and as they state, and I don't consider 35hours a lot. I worked in the service industry before in Canada and worked about 30-40hours a week but between split shifts and everything I made less than I do now and now I work physically less hard.

In response to workingnomad I am aware that there was some bad blood between Vaughan and another faction which I believe now is Pueblo Ingles. From a current teachers point of view this doesnt affect me. If you can find better hours, pay and everything with someone else feel free, more power to you. For myself with limited teaching experience and little paper in terms of TEFL or CELTA it has worked very well.

At this point all I do is show up for my scheduled classes and get paid what I consider a fair wage, and take in about 2500-3000 euros a month before all taxes. At my age and experience I have little to complain about. If you disagree please tell me about alternatives. If I am misled please someone correct me.
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El_Che



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 34
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for your reply polijohn, and apologies for doubting that you were anything other than a teacher of VS.

certainly, the hourly rate seems reasonable and your monthly take home pay is indeed a good salary, even with the autonomo deduction.

a 35 hour week still seems excessive though, especially as you stated in your original post that you're often out of your house for 12 hours at time. i can't imagine that this leaves much time for a social life!
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polijohn



Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 3
Location: Madrid, Spain

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't mean to come off strong about the "clearly stated" business must have been late and I was writing a little to formally.
Either way the 35hrs for me is fine, but I am lucky I have a decently compact schedule. It's a lot of luck of the draw really with schedules.
Any questions by anyone feel free to PM me, at least for the next year or so I plan on sticking around Madrid. If nothing else Madrid is a pretty nice city.
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s0436



Joined: 27 Apr 2008
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am thinking about applying to this firm, but it does seem a little 'easy' considering you don't need any teaching qualifications and the pay is decent.
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kronos



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, having worked at several academies in Madrid and spoken to teachers from several more, I think you can do a lot better than Vaughn.

So they pay 2500+ for 40 hours/week? You can go to another academy that gives you more flexibility in your teaching and hours, and if you take on 35-40 hours/week, you'll get the same amount. Or, you can go to another academy, take on 15-20 hours/week at their rate and then fill up the other 15-20 hours with private classes (which should always pay more than your academy classes).

Two years ago, I was making about 2800/month working 30 hours/week. My academies gave me access to a huge range of teaching materials that I could use in both my academy classes and my private classes. Of course, finding private classes is not always easy, but the more you network, the more you'll find. Most of mine came through academy students (teaching their kids, friends, etc.) and language exchange partners (teaching their friends).
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solesalsa



Joined: 09 Sep 2007
Posts: 6
Location: Kent, Ohio (Spain soon!)

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 5:49 am    Post subject: I've applied for a position with Vaughan Systems Reply with quote

Hola!

I'm hoping that someone can answer some of my questions.

I applied for a position with Vaughan Systems. The position I've applied for is what their website refers to "Option 2" (http://www.vaughanteacher.com/thejob.htm). The Vaughan website states that it can take up to a week to receive a reply. It's been almost 2 weeks and I haven't heard anything. Is this normal? Should I call?

Also, I've been reading some of the discussions on this forum and one poster states that it's not even worth it to apply for jobs while overseas. Is this true? If so, I'd be willing to come jobless. By the way, I'm currently living in the U.S. but I'm planning to relocate to Valencia by July. I have dual citizenship, a TEFL certificate, a BA (college degree) in Spanish, and teaching experience with all ages, especially with children.

Finally, are there any other companies that I should apply with? Wall Street Institute is another that I'm thinking about. I'm sure that I can find work at an academy after I arrive (I visited a couple over spring break who would have hired me on the spot), however, I'd like to find something with a good wage and decent hours because I'm bringing my teenage daughter with me.

Almost forgot, I read a discussion regarding the difference between a CV and a resume (one major difference being the photo). I sent my resume, not a CV, to Vaughan. Should I resend my resume with a photo attached? How important is this?

Looking forward to your help!
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rob01



Joined: 16 Mar 2008
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The following is based upon actual personal experience and not any subjective bias for or against Vaughan.

A friend had suceeded in getting a position with Vaughan, terms had been agreed in that there would be a pay for the period of training (excluding the first week which is a trial week). Three weeks before the start date (note that the original terms of payment -i believe something in the region of 50 euros per day of training- had been agreed months in advance via email), but three weeks before the start date my friend had received notice by email that they would be withdrawing this 50 euro per day stipand. I consider this horrendous business practice, and personally would never deal with any company acting in such an unethical way. My friend ultimately decided not to work for Vaughan due to this, as this demonstrates only the bad faith of that company (if they were willing to change contractual terms so close to the start date, then what else will they change if they believe they can do so)

However another mutual friend did take the plunge and take up a position with Vaughan. The hours are very long; out of the house from 9am until 6 or 7pm, and then up until 1am doing homework set.. all this, and at the end of the course you will have no qualification to work for anyone else but Vaughan.

From this, I deduct that there are better companies to work for than Vaughan, there are good companies out there so why settle for the bad?
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workingnomad



Joined: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 97
Location: Wherever I lay my laptop

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any company with a shady history should be avoided. Simple as that.
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solesalsa



Joined: 09 Sep 2007
Posts: 6
Location: Kent, Ohio (Spain soon!)

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, thank you. I appreciate the feedback.

Well, again, any suggestions would be greatly appreciate. Do either of you have any info on Wall Street Institute in Valencia?

Thanks,

Marisol
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