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After School Teaching Positions....good idea or no?
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dowdlecl



Joined: 31 Jan 2013

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:22 pm    Post subject: After School Teaching Positions....good idea or no? Reply with quote

Hi,

I'm in the process of setting up interviews and reviewing contracts for open positions in South Korea. I have done a ton of reading on this forum, but I'm sure I've missed a lot of information as well. I'm applying for public schools or after school teaching jobs. I'm looking for advice - any advice!

For example - preferences on public or after school? Are after school positions really only around 25 hours a week? One contract I'm looking at says doing the program at two different schools. Is this typical for that type of position? I'm really just trying to get a feel for what to stay away from and what to look for when it gets to the contract type.

As an aside - I'm looking in and around the Busan area. I am trying to avoid Seoul and being directly in a huge city because I have a dog. Any advice related to that would be great too.

Thanks!
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Otherside



Joined: 06 Sep 2007

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Busan is only a city of 3.5m with a population density comparable to Chicago.. so practically rural Very Happy

That being said, Afterschool programs are a pretty mixed bag, in most cases they don't hire from out-of-country.

While the working hours are advertised as very attractive (25 teaching hours), the reality is often somewhat different. It's often 20-25 teaching hours with another 5-10 hours at the school "preparation" time. You can expect to be at the school for 30-35 hours (vs 40 on a regular PS job).

Secondly, don't be fooled, the vast majority of After-School jobs have no real affiliation with the government. So if your reasons for choosing a PS / Afterschool is because of the greater security vs a Hagwon... don't fool yourself.

Afterschool's are often pretty shady, in many cases (and in my personal experience) there will be some "law breaking". Sometimes they get someone else to sponsor your visa, while you're working at a different school. Sometimes (as looks to be the case with you) they will work you at multiple locations... but won't report that to immigration (illegal). There was also a famous bankbook scam going on a few years ago (simply put, they'd make you open a second bank account, with access to it, the school would pay into the bank account, and they would transfer the money from "your" second account to their account, and then pay you. End result being, they avoided the taxes, and potentially left the teacher on the hook for a chunk of unpaid taxes.) I've also heard stories of medical/pension not being paid, unpaid salaries, etc. Things which are unheard of in Public Schools.

Lastly, Afterschool's, unlike Public school's, are businesses. They are a private company with a contract with a public school to run an afterschool program. If recruitment is down, it's going to affect their bottom line..and perhaps you. If the School/Principal is unhappy with the program, the program may be terminated, and you'll be out of a job.

While many people have had positive experiences with Afterschool's, my personal opinion is that they are better left to the experienced teachers in-country, and even better to the F visa teachers. They'll be in a better position to make the most of what an AS position has to offer and be better protected if things go pear-shaped. As a rookie teacher coming from abroad, going AS is asking to be burned.
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thebearofbundang



Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Location: Bundang

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can get a good Afterschool position they are pretty well the best job you can have teaching ESL to children in Korea. I have worked as a public school teacher, hogwan teacher and at an Afterschool program. The Afterschool position blew the other jobs out of the water.

Positives from my experience.
-I was paid around 3.2 a month with no housing or flight.
-Always paid on time.
-My working hours were 12:30-5 Monday to Friday.
-My first class would start at 1 and I would be out the door by 5:05.
-Had my own classroom.
-There was a Korean English teacher who had her own classroom next to mine. She worked the progam with me. I could ask her for help when I needed it.
-Was left to do as I pleased as long as enrollment stayed up (basically, do a good job teaching and you won't have any problem at all).
-No one to check and see if you're 'on time' or 10 minutes late. Show up before class started and it was no problem. I was told by the Korean teacher that the 12:30 time in the contract was a 'suggestion'.
- My class was never observed once by a supervisor from the company I worked for or any teacher at the school.
- No report cards
- Small class sizes (Max of 12)
- Zero Lesson PLans
- Pick your own books.
- No school dinners/weekend trips/training. I was a new dad at the time, so this was a good thing for me. If you don't know many people and are looking to make friends with some of the teachers in the school it could be looked at as a negative.

Negatives about my position:
-Open Class twice a year where parents would watch a 30 minute Lesson. These were the worst part for sure, but better than being evaluated by other teachers because all of the parents would just check the 'perfect box' as long as you looked presentable and gave their child a chance to speak at least once. In the 4 I did, not once did I have a negative comment/mark from any parent.

-Not much support if you have a bad student. You can't send them to the principal, because he likely doesn't even know who you are. This is the bad part about being on your own.

-Limited Materials (I had a 30,000 Won Budget a month for paper/markers etc..)
-Had to clean my own classroom.

Basically, if the students like you (and parents) then they are the easiest job you could imagine. Wake up at noon everyday and be home by 5:30 if you want. We paid 800,000 a month (plus 50 million key money) for a nice 3 bedroom apt. in Bundang. Taking that 800k off the salary meant I was only taking in 2.4 a month, but the apartment was worth it. Obviously if you have an F class Visa it leaves plenty of time to make some extra cash as well. If kids start to drop out I have heard the pressure increases however. Basically, if you are confident that you are a good teacher, who will do a good job, then you have nothing to worry about. I did have an F Visa, was in country and an education degree when I got the job. I believe the good ones (low hours+high pay) are hard to get.
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watergirl



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Location: Ansan, south korea

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I second his experience, although his pay of 3.2 is really only offered to the F visa people (that's not you and is just foreigners with Korean ethnicity or foreigners married to Koreans)
Really, most only hire people within the country.
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Dodge7



Joined: 21 Oct 2011

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They mostly want F visa people, and I have to say after teaching at an after school, the kids two times MORE mischievous than hagwon kids. Good luck with classroom management if you get an after school job.
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dowdlecl



Joined: 31 Jan 2013

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the detailed responses. They sound like two very different types of experiences.

I have just been offered a contract by the after school program, Education and Vision Co Ltd. This is the after school program I mentioned. The salary is 2.2 M KRW, which is fine with me as I teach classes online as well and will probably continue to do so in Korea. The position involves switching schools though, and I understand this can be challenging. I have the contact number of a teacher working there.

Any tips on the types of things I should ask the current teacher??

I don't have an F visa.

I just want to make sure I choose a good position before committing an entire year (as I'm sure most teachers do)

Again, the advice is great! Thank you!
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Otherside



Joined: 06 Sep 2007

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thebearofbundang wrote:
I did have an F Visa, was in country and an education degree when I got the job. I believe the good ones (low hours+high pay) are hard to get.


Yes, your job is/was the dream A/S gig.

The ultra-short hours appears to fast becoming a thing of the past, with hours looking more like 12-6 or longer (a 6 hour day still isn't too bad, but compared to your 4.5hour day...)

As you re-iterated, and I mentioned, relative to the OP's, the salaries of 3m+ are almost exclusive to F-visas. For E's, the OP's deal of 2.2 + housing (or 400k) seems standard.

You seemed to be dealing with a very good program (from a teacher's perspective). I've heard plenty of stories of AS programs who micromanage heavily, like to parade their teacher in Open Classes, and often like to fill up their schedules with busy work. (making report cards, marking journals, lesson plans* etc.)

*By lesson plans, I don't mean prepared lessons, rather perfectly type-set word/HWP docs that they can show to parents in the same vein as open classes.
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watergirl



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Location: Ansan, south korea

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you're very lucky to get an after school pos from overseas, and actually, I wouldn't jeopardize that by asking for a reference from another teacher actually.
I'm surprised that some people are negative about after school programs.
Myself and my friends that do a similar position find that it's one of the better jobs. I don't know of anyone who gets micromanaged as you would in a Hakwon or even a public school, as usually the AS companies have many schools, and honestly can't visit your school all the time.
Personally, I found the kids to be quite good although this will depend on your coteacher (how good she is at managing things) and your teaching style as well I guess. The classes are much smaller than in public schools so this makes it easier.
It's true that kids have to be happy there (meaning you need to have a bit of fun class but I still teach them because the parents know what's going on generally).
Everyone's different in their teaching styles but I generally try and make things fun but am still strict in that i won't let kids talk while I'm talking and don't have kids running around the class
I think you should just take the job, and even if it doesn't work out, it will be easier to switch to another job (Afterschools tend to not be difficult in giving letters of releases unlike Hakwons who have difficulty getting teachers there I guess) and so there isn't a lot of risk for you.
As you're new to teaching in Korea, some things that might help you.
try to make the report cards positive and even with bad kids, don't be too negative. This is the norm even in Canada. So, you can say 'at times, ' ' can tend to be distracted in class, but...
-made a positive reinforcement system of giving stickers and after so many stickers, the kids got a little prize (in a big box they picked from so its kinda exciting)
-if a kid cries, tell your co-teacher or have them talk to the kids. This is incase you don't know what happened (which you won't always) and then, the parent knows that you at least cared about the kids.
-don't be too strict . I personally don't get the kids to put their hands up (although some Korean T;s do) but mainly rely on the sticker system which is very important to them
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John Stamos jr.



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Location: Namsan

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm about to start my third AS gig next month at one of the biggest elementary schools in Seoul. I'm on an E2 but the reason the company is transferring me to a new school is because, for some reason I don't understand, they want someone with an F visa. I say I don't understand, because they sponsored my visa last year knowing I was on an E2... so why this all of a sudden mid-contract? No one will give me a straight answer, they just childishly call the other stupid.

I can only hope this new job is half as good as this one and the last. The first one was 11-5/12-6, but no one cared when I showed up and my CT was cool so she handled business for me. This job I have now is insanely easy and I only teach 2-3 classes a day. My first class today doesn't start until 2:40 and I'm off at 5:30. I don't know why I even showed up so early.

Most programs are 11-5/12-6 or something like that, but it's really hard to complain, I've found my last two jobs to be easy as cake. Even if you do have to come in two hours before you start, you usually don't have to do very much. Monthly/semesterly lesson plans and the open class, yeah, it stinks, but it's not a regular burden. You can basically do whatever you want since you're in a room alone. There is no way I would be in this country if I didn't continue to have AS jobs handed to me, as these last two have been, no job searching required. I know some suck, I have friends that have had bad gigs, usually because of the co teacher, but I don't really see how you can beat it. You have a lot of control and don't have to bother with a lot of the BS your average Joe schmoe does here having to interact and be around Korean people all day. None of that nonsense, just in and out. Flying solo with no real boss is a luxurious situation to be in, I'm loving the free time I have these days.

I doubt my school is the only one with 2-3 hours teaching per day, so I think it can vary a lot school to school. It's hard to beat this schedule and with side work and the ladies it's enough to keep me here a little longer. I'm sure the new job won't be as easy as this one hours-wise, but I spent a few hours with the Korean teacher and she's awesome, so hopefully it will work out. If I end up with some possessed director I'll just get out of there after a few pay checks anyway. I need to stop messing around and get my ass back in school.

After school programs get my approval. Even if they suck they beat the hell out of any positive hagwon story I've ever heard. You're on your own and can actually flip the punks. But, the OP sounds like they aren't even in Korea, so there's essentially zero chance they'll be getting an after school job in the first place.
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happiness



Joined: 04 Sep 2010

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like mine, but I had to insist on everything. I know they tried to cut corners (the excuse was im the first e2, they had a f2 before), and maybe sligtly on the unlawful tip, but i insisted on the pension and the insurance). As long as I have pay receipts and my contracts, and am paid on time, I dont care. Im covered.

and any extra cost makes up for the free time. Lowered my BP in droves.
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Dodge7



Joined: 21 Oct 2011

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys are dumb talking up these AF gigs. Why do you want to entice others to go after these jobs and create competition?
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watergirl



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Location: Ansan, south korea

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

haha..that's a good point!
John Stamos Jr (no idea if that's your real name), why does your company make you come in at 11? Do you actually have to come in at !!?
Because I've seen ads lately from some cos asking for those hours.


Just wondering. TKS
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John Stamos jr.



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Location: Namsan

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dodge7 wrote:
You guys are dumb talking up these AF gigs. Why do you want to entice others to go after these jobs and create competition?


Ah... so, Dodge the disciple is calling people dumb for sharing information and trying to help people? That's a tad ironic. Few people read this site anyway, I don't think it really matters.

Quote:
John Stamos Jr (no idea if that's your real name), why does your company make you come in at 11? Do you actually have to come in at !!?


Never watched Full House, huh?

I showed up at 11:30 today. The vacation hours just changed and I obviously didn't have come in to work three hours early, but I wasn't sure about the TTh schedule. During the vacation, I was usually teaching 10/11-1 and would just show up around 9. Now I show up between 11:30-12:00. No one really cares unless you have a co teacher who is bitchy about it. MWF I'm off at 3:30 with the new schedule. I usually just catch the tail end of basketball games on the computer when I arrive anyway.

But, 11-5/12-6 is the standard, from my experience. That's how it was at my last after school, and I had to send an email when I arrived and when I left. At this school, there's just a woman who comes around once a month or so. I schmoozed her at the beginning, I'm pretty good with kids, and just signed the new contract with her this week, so they like me. Not sure about the new hours, but I'm expecting it to be 11-5/12-6. Most companies state in the contract that the first hour is prep, then an hour for lunch, followed by 4 hours of teaching, usually with five minute breaks (than can easily be extended since no one really knows your schedule). They're generally cake jobs.
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watergirl



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Location: Ansan, south korea

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

actually most As cos aren't 11 - 5. But I'm seeing a trend in the ads over the last 2 weeks for people to start earlier. It could be just a few cos though that haven't gotten people because they have the worst hours.

I also think 1 person above might have exaggerated the ease of after schools. Well, he said no parent ever wrote anything other than perfect in all of his 4 open classes, which wasn't my experience. you will have a few complaints in a year, which usually means the parent complains about something to your coteacher. The parents, I've found, have been generally good, but not every parent in my open class forms (I think I've done 6?) gave me all perfects. Overall, they're good but you'll get the odd 3/5 which is not that good.
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John Stamos jr.



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Location: Namsan

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

watergirl wrote:
actually most As cos aren't 11 - 5. But I'm seeing a trend in the ads over the last 2 weeks for people to start earlier. It could be just a few cos though that haven't gotten people because they have the worst hours.


I think you're wrong, I know multiple people, most of them with F visas, yes, who work AS jobs. What does "start earlier" mean? I have yet to meet a person working an after school job who was on site for more than six hours a day.

Quote:
I also think 1 person above might have exaggerated the ease of after schools. Well, he said no parent ever wrote anything other than perfect in all of his 4 open classes, which wasn't my experience.


After school jobs are easy, sorry. Sure, you may have some director breathing down your neck occasionally (never had it myself), but that is nothing compared to 99% of hagwon jobs. I don't know if you're referring to me, but my worst open class happened to be my best regular class... eight fourth grade girls. Perfect little ladies, but they were nervous and put it all on me for the open class, and I got a few negative reviews. But, still, my co teacher threw the negative reviews away. I aced the rest.

I don't know if you're giving me some funk or what, but, overall, you couldn't ask for an easier job anywhere else in the world with a BA/BS degree. Sorry, watergirl, but this is a cake job. Four hours a day, take ten of that checking homework and giving stamps, five explaining the date and weather, five minutes lining up at the end, and then you're out. It's a joke. Just be funny, get through the lesson, and play games and they'll like you. If the kids like you, they won't complain to their parents; if they don't complain to their parents, then their parents will like you. If their parents like you, they might also pay you to tutor their kids... and that's how it goes. Korea is a big charade, it's a joke of a country. Pretend to be something, and it's accepted. Play along, make some money, then get the *beep* out.
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