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Opened your OWN school or plan to? ...or tutored 1-to-many?
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1838

PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
Teacher visas are only issued to companies having education licences. To qualify as an educational establishment, God knows what hoops have to be jumped, or palms greased. I'd imagine you'd know more about this than most. Most smaller schools are not officially schools at all for this reason, and so normal work visas are the only other option. Teachers are not officially teachers though. 'Consultant' is the favoured term in its stead.

Badmash as my employer is, there is not much one can do about it. The school would in all certainty shut down were all the required payments made. Have you not noticed this almost desired side-effect of over-taxation at work here?

Sorry, your point about educational licences is just the kind of cynicism I'm against. Our school has obtained a licence without having any clout except hard work and openness (things like registering for tax, I guess). There were indeed a lot of hoops, but more for us as an Anglo-Russian concern than for people like your boss (assuming he or she is Russian). And as I have already said, no palms were greased in this production. And over-taxation is just an excuse.

We are a small school (we started with two full-time teachers using two rooms). I was in fact a consultant and that was my genuine job. 'Consultants' with a teaching timetable are illegal.

There are licensed establishments in Russia. You should get work at one.

Returning to the point about teachers doing some one-to-one to supplement their lousy wages: yes I understand and sympathise and would un-Robespierre myself enough to condone not declaring for tax given the likely consequences. However, when it gets to the ideas being banded about of actually forming classes and calling yourself a school, then that is different. You are no longer surviving, you are aiming to make a profit. Then, not paying tax is surely fraudulent.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

back to the OP. I seriously considered starting my own school and had the legal right to do so in Peru. I decided against it due to the paperwork and possibly bribes that I would have had to pay.

I did privates for years though and it can be stressful, especially with kids since you're a middleman. The parents really pressure their kids to study and the kids don't want to, so often don't,. YOu give homework at their parents bidding and then they}, the parents, complain that it's too much. So you give less homework and they complain that it's not enough. It's hard to find a happy medium.

Start up costs can be high as well depending on rent.

If I were to start my own school, I'd start with small group classes at my house and then branch out.

Though I have a couple friends who managed schools, both their own and other people's, and they said the stress isn't worth it. I'd think they'd make lots of money, but they also have a lot of overhead and have said there are better ways to earn money.

That being said, I think if you planned well in advance and started small it could go well. For example, if each student paid say $10 per class and you have 5 students enrolled in your home, that's 50 in your pocket. You could then hire a teacher and pay them 10 an hour and pocket the rest. Work smart, not hard.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1838

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done for getting us back on track, Naturegirl. I agree with everything you say. Re one-to-one: one temptation is to do business clients. Yes, they may pay more, but you have to be careful as they tend to cancel with just enough time to get a refund but not enough time to give you a chance to arrange an alternative session. Because of business travel, this tends to happen a lot. Groups are more cost effective, but overheads do build up, as you say.
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LongShiKong



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 1082
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The biggest challenge (at least in China) is getting a(n invitation letter to secure an F) visa.

... or is it? I saw this ad posted May 6 on
[url]thebeijinger.com/forum/Practical-Advice/Visa-Issues[/url]
:

Quote:
1 year multiple entry F visas available. No invitation letter needed. 1 night to process. Applies to most countries.
[email protected]
www.ilaowai.net


...in response to:

Quote:
Draft law to crack down on illegal working in China ...
The standing committee of the National People's Congress screened a draft entry-exit law on April 26. The draft law stipulates that foreign nationals should obtain a work permit and residential certificate in order to work in China. Illegal foreign workers, the people who bring them in and their employers will also be subject to penalties.

The draft law defines illegal employment as foreign nationals undertaking paid activities without a work permit or residential certificate, or work that exceeds the scope of the work permit. Foreign students who work beyond the scope or time limit of their permit will also be considered offenders.

Foreign nationals found guilty of illegal entry, illegal residence and illegal work may be repatriated and will not be allowed to re-enter China for a five-year period, according to the draft law.


I'm trying to dig up more data on iLaowai.net
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artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 875
Location: the world

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe figures are being played with in a fast 'n loose way here, but I can't imagine any teacher worth his or her salt taking on a language class in someone else's home for 10 bucks an hour. Why would you do it for someone else when you could just as easily do that for yourself?

I value whatever free time I have too much to take on private students. I have done so from time to time in the past, but think it would be hard to have to depend on it as your sole source of income.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11496
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I value whatever free time I have too much to take on private students. I have done so from time to time in the past, but think it would be hard to have to depend on it as your sole source of income.


Ditto. I've accepted private students on a very occasional special-need basis over the years, but I'm allergic to doing it on a regular basis. And, as artemesia points out, it's rarely 'regular' anyway.
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LongShiKong



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 1082
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm looking at working evenings and weekends, essentially what I'm doing now. The school I'm at charges $17/hr ($613.00/6 mo. course) for kids and $22/hr ($790/ 4.5 mo course) for adults. My take home is $1,900/mo with free accommodation (worth about $600/mo in Beijing). To gross $2,500/mo would require about 25 students. The clincher will be how well I market what I'm doing so that it doesn't just end up as a tutoring service and also foreseen and unforeseen overhead costs. I've got a fair amount of savings but I don't want to be left in the unfortunate circumstance I was in 6 years ago in Beijing where I worked for a small school with a great curriculum and a well-laid out school but not enough students to make a go of it.
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The Great Wall of Whiner



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 4946
Location: Blabbing

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My wife and I started our own school. It was not easy, but doable. Not going to give you all a play-by-play (might as well ask KFC their secret recipe) but all I will suggest is make sure you cross your t's and dot your eyes because the very moment you start making a lot of money, jealous Chinese teachers who have their own schools turn their knives on you. They find whatever means needed to keep their students and steal yours. Here are some things my students' parents have heard from other English teachers in the neighbourhood:

1. Foreigners can't teach English as well as we can.

2. They can't explain the concepts and the kids won't understand.

3. They might take the money and run off one day.

4. Can you trust a foreigner with your child?

5. They only come here for money and don't care about your child's education.

6. Foreigners don't know grammar.

7. They don't know how to prepare for exams.

My easy answer is that I prepare kids' oral English for going abroad. No native Chinese-speaking teacher can provide that service. As for the other "reasons"... students' parents seem to think I have all those bases covered reasonably.

Your best bet is to get the Chinese green card, no matter what. It's your only sure-fire ticket of being legal and left alone.

As for private tutoring, I did that until I had too many students so I had no choice but to turn them into classes.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1838

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

artemisia wrote:
I value whatever free time I have too much to take on private students.

Me too. I also think that for many students, group lessons are more effective than individual sessions (perhaps rather non-intuitively).
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1838

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Great Wall of Whiner wrote:
My wife and I started our own school. It was not easy, but doable. Not going to give you all a play-by-play (might as well ask KFC their secret recipe) but all I will suggest is make sure you cross your t's and dot your eyes because the very moment you start making a lot of money, jealous Chinese teachers who have their own schools turn their knives on you. They find whatever means needed to keep their students and steal yours. Here are some things my students' parents have heard from other English teachers in the neighbourhood:

1. Foreigners can't teach English as well as we can.

2. They can't explain the concepts and the kids won't understand.

3. They might take the money and run off one day.

4. Can you trust a foreigner with your child?

5. They only come here for money and don't care about your child's education.

6. Foreigners don't know grammar.

7. They don't know how to prepare for exams.

My easy answer is that I prepare kids' oral English for going abroad. No native Chinese-speaking teacher can provide that service. As for the other "reasons"... students' parents seem to think I have all those bases covered reasonably.

Your best bet is to get the Chinese green card, no matter what. It's your only sure-fire ticket of being legal and left alone.

As for private tutoring, I did that until I had too many students so I had no choice but to turn them into classes.


Russian teachers do the same, although I haven't heard number 3 yet.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 11061
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are fairly universal comments made by some local teachers - good list, by the way. An easy retort is also made about pronunciation, which, certainly in Russia, carries a lot of weight.
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LongShiKong



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 1082
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Great Wall of Whiner wrote:
Your best bet is to get the Chinese green card, no matter what. It's your only sure-fire ticket of being legal and left alone.


The equivalent of an American green card? Never heard of it? Do you know what it's called in Chinese?

The Great Wall of Whiner wrote:
As for private tutoring, I did that until I had too many students so I had no choice but to turn them into classes.


I don't expect to start off with >25 students especially if I haven't forked over 10s of 1,000s for a rented space. That takes time and effective marketing.
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The Great Wall of Whiner



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 4946
Location: Blabbing

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LongShiKong wrote:

The equivalent of an American green card? Never heard of it? Do you know what it's called in Chinese?


All about it here:

http://www.china.org.cn/english/LivinginChina/184128.htm

If I wanted to, I could in theory work at the local KFC. Wouldn't want to but... nice to know I could all the same.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1286

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If I wanted to, I could in theory work at the local KFC. Wouldn't want to but... nice to know I could all the same.


Always good to have a back-up plan!
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Teacher in Rome,

A back-up plan??? Wouldn't that fall more under the heading of career advancement? Very Happy

Regards,
John
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