Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

critical, pls read, won't take long
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Hong Kong
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Dude Love Japan



Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:42 am    Post subject: critical, pls read, won't take long Reply with quote

Thanks everyone. I'm a 34 year-old Canadian male, B.A. in English, CELTA, been in Korea nearly 10 years, have a Korean wife and two very young daughters.
I've been to HK 3 times, love it and and have been trying to find work there from here in Seoul for about 7 years with no success. Now, lo and behold, I have two offers at the same time (got a provisional offer with the EDB as a PNET years ago which turned out to be worthless). I got a formal offer from VTC and all but a formal offer from a secondary school in the northwest New Territories. Any thoughts? I'd much rather teach adults and the starting salary with VTC is seemingly much better but with secondary I could have a very high salary in a few years after I complete my PGCE and VTC has mixed reviews; teacher satisfaction there apparently very much depends on which branch one works at. Housing is usually shared but seems otherwise great overall.
Another serious concern I have is if HK high school students are anything like their Korean counterparts (unresponsive and generally unteachable beyond belief, you have no idea if you've never taught them and ask anyone who has if you doubt) it would be much better for everyone if I didn't teach them. I don't expect perfection but teaching middle school or high school ESL in Korea is a nightmare if you consider meaningfulness important. I heard VTC students aren't the most academically inclined but as long as they're quiet when I'm talking and for the most part do as I say (pair work and pay attn.) we'll be fine. Thanks for any and all input.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
RiverMystic



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1455

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So your NET school is somewhere near Tin Shui Wai/Tuen Mun, I take it. I taught out that way some time ago. With student behaviour, a lot depends of the band of the school - 1,2 or 3. Usually band 1 kids are well behaved, and it goes downhill from there. But there are clear exceptions. Some band 3 schools are great. The one I tought in in east HK was mostly really nice. The one in tin Shui Wai could be horrible. It depends on the class, too, and whether you do team teaching. Usually team teaching is easier, as a local HK teacher will help discipline the kids - excpetion being if he/she is a newbie, in which case it could be a nightmare still. I taught one class in aband 3 school with two local, fresh graduate teachers. I just taught them once every 7 school days, but I tell you the kids were the worst i have taught anywhere, and I have been in some really, really rough schools in the west. Because the kids couldn't understand any English, they simply ignored EVERYTHING I did and said. The local teachers just wandered around the class in a daze, joking and laughing with the kids.The result was complete chaos every single time. The kids just talked and scramed to each other, walked around the classroom, threw things around, swore at me in cantonese and so on. It sometimes took 30 minutes to start the lesson. No learningn took place the entire year. But the admin didn't care. This class was considered a write off.

If you like adults, VTC might be a better option. Get your PGCE ASAP.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Joshua2006



Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 339

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paragraphs make life much easier....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
RiverMystic



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1455

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joshua2006 wrote:
Paragraphs make life much easier....


Nice to see that after a short time in HK you have adopted the local values of efficiency, structure and control. You have adapted well. However, a nice massage might make you feel less tense.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dude Love Japan



Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:13 pm    Post subject: thanks, RM Reply with quote

The school's near Tin Shui Wai. I don't know what band it is or about team teaching. BTW, why and how should I get my PGCE is if I teach at VTC? And how much do Uni. ESL teachers make in HK?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Charlie Bourque



Joined: 27 Dec 2010
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:25 pm    Post subject: Re: thanks, RM Reply with quote

Dude Love Japan wrote:
The school's near Tin Shui Wai. I don't know what band it is or about team teaching. BTW, why and how should I get my PGCE is if I teach at VTC? And how much do Uni. ESL teachers make in HK?


PGCE will open up a lot of options once you actually get to HK and start working. Also, when a job says "PGCE + Experience", they usually mean the experience you got AFTER your PGCE. Some companies consider any experience prior to PGCE as completely useless.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
HK_GURU



Joined: 17 Nov 2011
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:18 am    Post subject: Re: thanks, RM Reply with quote

Dude Love Japan wrote:
The school's near Tin Shui Wai. I don't know what band it is or about team teaching. BTW, why and how should I get my PGCE is if I teach at VTC? And how much do Uni. ESL teachers make in HK?
Dude PM me about VTC and I can answer all of your questions.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Joshua2006



Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 339

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RiverMystic wrote:
Joshua2006 wrote:
Paragraphs make life much easier....


Nice to see that after a short time in HK you have adopted the local values of efficiency, structure and control. You have adapted well. However, a nice massage might make you feel less tense.

Was happy to reply but got bored trying to follow the exact message. You know how it is - if people ask you something, you want it to be asked in a way that is easy and simple for you to follow so you can act accordingly....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Joshua2006



Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 339

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We must have had very different experiences of Korea as for the last 5 1/2 years I was there my high school students were absolutely awesome and even teaching them here in HK before moving to the NET scheme proved to be a fruitful and enjoyable experience. Teaching - 7 good years of high school....discipline, for the last 1 1/2 years, well, that a different story.

Here, you will be dealing with very low motivation if your school is a lower banding, especially CMI. (feel free to shoot me down any of you with more experience.) My school is band 3 CMI and, like your Korean experience, it is more about crowd control than anything else and with one of my classes, I know I will be finishing the year with them having achieved, well, nothing. All that has been asked for by the management is 'some improvement'...that's the standard.

Whilst the overall level of English is much higher in HK than it is in Korea, the overall motivation is much lower and the students are a lot more 'streetwise' and lack that naivity that the Koreans I experienced in Korea had. It's a very different ball game.

Moving from Korea you will have a certain culture shock when you teach in HK - I know I certainly did / do and it is that lack of motivation, or ambition, that is unbelievable in this 'international metropolis'. It may well be different in a band 1 school in a better area.

Band 1 - a lot more work and expectations but as I understand the students are a lot better.

Band 3 - good luck.

If you have been trying to get into HK and now have two offers, I would go with the NET scheme and suffer it for a year if you end up in a bad school. Once in the NET scheme you have much more opportunity to move between contracts without having to go through the whole process again and at the peak of your NET life you should be close to $60 - 65k a month which I would be surprised if you get close to with VTC - I may well be wrong. I also think that it will be easier to move from NET to VTC rather than the other way round, but again I could be wrong.

The curriculum for the NET scheme is a million times better than that which you will have been using in a Korean school and the staff will also be a million times more friendly in NET school than they will have been in your Korean school. Your whole life will be much easier than your life in a Korean school - apart from the language which I find annoying having been able to understand 90% of what they were talking about to now, well, zero.

You have been trying for 7 years. Get the name of the school and let us know, but sign with one of them soon to seal your place here - it seems that it is getting harder and harder to come into HK now so any way is a good way and the transfer of visa is a simple process if you change half way through like I did with the Korean school.

Once here and with a visa, you will become instantly more employable by many more places and if you have done schools in Korea, then quintessentially, schools here are no different....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dude Love Japan



Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:04 pm    Post subject: reply Reply with quote

-Joshua, you had 7 good years teaching Korean HS students? That blows my mind and I'd love to hear more about it. What's CMI, btw? And it seems we have different priorities (which is perfectly valid). Now, you said your experience was more about crowd control than anything else and you fully expect to have accomplished nothing after a year with one of your classes. It's your right to be happy with that but I most certainly wouldn't be. Maybe your exp. with K students was more enjoyable than mine because I value meaningfulness more than you. I hope I'm choosing my words as politely as possible.
-Meanwhile, you mention how overall motivation is lower than in Korea. Holy crap! I can't imagine that and cerainly don't want any part of it. Maybe I'm too idealistic, maybe I should give up, maybe I care too much, but that really sounds like a nightmare to me. Last year I taught at a third-tier Mickey Mouse provincial university in Korea and holy crap I hated it, it was the worst year of my life. I don't mind if their ESL ability is low but it would have been great if everyone could have actually shut up when I was talking and done the pair work I asked of them. Do you still think I should take the NET offer?
-As for what I can get, with VTC it's a tad over 20,000 plus a free apt., and a good one in a nice area at that, which I think is a pretty good offer. And why do you think NET to VTC would be easier than the other way around? Anyhow, I flew all the way to HK just to be interviewed by VTC, we corresponded plenty and now I have a formal offer from them. I'm quite sure that if I turned it down at this point I'd never have a chance with them again. And VTC does have higher grades of teachers who get paid about double, although those positions may very well be few and far between. And BTW, why can no one tell me how much Uni. ESL teachers make in HK? And what's the highest paying teaching gig in HK? Category 1 NET?
"You have been trying for 7 years. Get the name of the school and let us know"
-I'd rather not say here. It's a Chrisitian secondary school in Tin Shui Wai. I don't know what band it is. Another weird thing is that they might not be able to make a formal offer before I must give VTC a final answer, so that might be a reason right there to go with VTC. As for salary, they said PROBABLY 20,000 and change and MAYBE a 16,000 living allowance. Sounds a little too good to be true and about the same as VTC's salary plus free apt. Anyhow, thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
therock



Joined: 31 Jul 2005
Posts: 1266
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like your heart is with the VTC offer, in addition that offer is concrete. So why not take that job, do your PGCE in Hong Kong and then apply at a later date to the NET scheme if you wish.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Joshua2006



Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 339

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:49 pm    Post subject: Re: reply Reply with quote

Dude Love Japan wrote:
-Joshua, you had 7 good years teaching Korean HS students? That blows my mind and I'd love to hear more about it.
Yep. 7 great years teaching and was sad to leave two of those schools.
Quote:
What's CMI, btw?
Chinese method of Instruction - the majority of their classes are taught in Chinese. EMI - most are in English.
Quote:
And it seems we have different priorities (which is perfectly valid).
Not sure how you have managed that conclusion.
Quote:
Now, you said your experience was more about crowd control than anything else and you fully expect to have accomplished nothing after a year with one of your classes. It's your right to be happy with that but I most certainly wouldn't be.
I never at any point said I was happy with that...not at all.
Quote:
Maybe your exp. with K students was more enjoyable than mine because I value meaningfulness more than you.
My experience with K students was enjoyable because I had a great working environment with highly motivated students and great colleagues. How does one measure 'meaningfulness?
Quote:
I hope I'm choosing my words as politely as possible.
. Honestly, you're not.
Quote:
-Meanwhile, you mention how overall motivation is lower than in Korea. Holy crap! I can't imagine that and certainly don't want any part of it.
Read carefully - an EMI may well be very different to my situation.
Quote:
Maybe I'm too idealistic, maybe I should give up, maybe I care too much, but that really sounds like a nightmare to me.
Again, at no point have I said 'I don't care' and at no point have I said that I actually enjoy my current job, or vice versa.
Quote:
Last year I taught at a third-tier Mickey Mouse provincial university in Korea and holy crap I hated it, it was the worst year of my life. I don't mind if their ESL ability is low but it would have been great if everyone could have actually shut up when I was talking and done the pair work I asked of them. Do you still think I should take the NET offer?
If your school is a lower level CMI, then is something you may well be facing again.
Quote:
-As for what I can get, with VTC it's a tad over 20,000 plus a free apt., and a good one in a nice area at that, which I think is a pretty good offer.
20k? That's bottom end NET, plus the 16k for housing you will get...
Quote:
And why do you think NET to VTC would be easier than the other way around?
Because the EdB are not consistent at all about how they hire and what qualifications they look for, but if you are accepted by a school then you don't need to go through that whole hiring process with the EdB which saves much time and effort. I know several people here at various places who are qualified but can't get accepted by the EdB..
Quote:
Anyhow, I flew all the way to HK just to be interviewed by VTC, we corresponded plenty and now I have a formal offer from them. I'm quite sure that if I turned it down at this point I'd never have a chance with them again.
That may be true - I don't know.
Quote:
And VTC does have higher grades of teachers who get paid about double, although those positions may very well be few and far between.
40k base? That's not unusual for a NET at all...
Quote:
And BTW, why can no one tell me how much Uni. ESL teachers make in HK?
A friend at Poly U is on about 35k total.
Quote:
And what's the highest paying teaching gig in HK? Category 1 NET?
For our skill set - probably yes.
Quote:
"You have been trying for 7 years. Get the name of the school and let us know"
-I'd rather not say here. It's a Chrisitian secondary school in Tin Shui Wai. I don't know what band it is. Another weird thing is that they might not be able to make a formal offer before I must give VTC a final answer, so that might be a reason right there to go with VTC.
Got your PM and am now looking in to it for you.
Quote:
As for salary, they said PROBABLY 20,000 and change and MAYBE a 16,000 living allowance. Sounds a little too good to be true
No, that's right. And if your Korean experience counts towards the total it will be more than that. That's still pretty low for the NET scheme though - you should be much higher.
Quote:
and about the same as VTC's salary plus free apt.
16k in the NT will go a long way in some areas....
Quote:
Anyhow, thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
Consider it done...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
RiverMystic



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1455

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some nice tips there from Joshua. Great paragraphing, too.

If you are intuitive, trust your gut instincts when you are being interviewed. I chose my last school that way, and turned down offers for the same "reason". I made a great choice, and the school was great.

Tin Shui Wai is a bit of a hole. You might like to consider living in the Harbour Plaza hotel in TSW for a while. But as you have family, it might be too restrictive for a long stay. It's important to make social connections in a city like HK, or it can be very alienating.

I did suffer for two years at a school I hated. But, as the prose-meister Josh suggests, you will have greater choice after finishing your first contract.

Generally, teaching colleagues in HK are friendly. Most are great. But much depends on the culture of the school. Don't take it personally if some pretend you don't exist.

Avoid references to the colonial era. Or just do what I do, and refer to it as "The Peaceful Liberation of Hong Kong."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 783
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reading between the lines I'd be tempted to go with the VTC offer. As RM says Tin Shui Wai is not the best place to be (remote, disadvantaged, etc) and if you get good accomodation with VTC that's a bonus. Moving from VTC to NET (or elsewhere) after your first contract should be possible if it doesn't work out.

Re uni pay in HK, it varies enormously depending on when you were recruited and whether you work for a proper faculty or the ubiquitous English language centre. Worldwide, uni pay and conditions for TEFLers have been generally going downhill in recent years and the trend is continuing ...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Veek



Joined: 15 Feb 2011
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually living in Tin Shui Wai isn't that bad and even though distances are far, the commuting time is acceptable (approx. 40 mins to TST). Yes, it can feel abit different from urban HK, but does provide you with the chance to live like a local. (if that's your thing)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Hong Kong All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 1 of 5

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC