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On my way over there....advice?

 
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Skarp



Joined: 22 Aug 2003

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 4:34 pm    Post subject: On my way over there....advice? Reply with quote

Hi folks,

I have decided to come over to Seoul with a view to staying long term - maybe forever....Yes there is a girl at the heart of all this.

I have been scrutinising the posts and there is a lot of priceless first hand knowledge on this board.

I will post several threads, covering different areas I'd like input on.

Jobwise -

I am a 'professional' EFL teacher I have 5 years experience and a TESOL diploma.

The kind of job I want is as follows


25 hours a week (ideally 5x50minutes a day but 6 would be just about OK)
Adults only - don't hate kids but know my limitations in patience
Good materials and curriculum. Well run school.


I'd like single accomodation, near the school and about 2 million a month.

I can pay may own airfare and subsist for a couple of months in Seoul, but in many ways would rather not.

A couple of questions ....

1] Is this a fair target to aim at?

2] And should I emphaise the experience/training I have to get more money, given that I don't want a high pressure working environment?

I've been looking at YBM/ELS and in many ways they seem good. Money is a bit low though cos you have to find/pay your own housing. They also seem to squeeze a lot of work out of you for not much money.

I have read somewhere that other non-chain schools pay more than YBM/ELS and provide housing, but do they have adequate resources/management? Does YBM/ELS have for that matter? Anybody at a YBM/ELS like to comment?


I'm not expecting a perfect landing in an ideal job, but the less stress I am under at work, the more of a success I can make of my life there and the better my chances long term.


Thanks for any input, even frivolous stuff


Skarp
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VanIslander



Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Location: Geoje, Hadong, Tongyeong,... now in a small coastal island town outside Gyeongsangnamdo!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are more than qualified for the 2.0 mill positions that are posted regularly, so you should be able to find a position with your specs.

I highly recommend that you check out what posters have already said about YBM. And about Seoul, what to bring, etcetera.

And, about your Dave's ESLCAFE plans: I think I speak for many when I say: PLEASE use the 'search' function before beginning a bunch of new threads when perfectly good old threads could be revived.
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BTM



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Location: Back in the saddle.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me just say that in theory what you're looking for is possible.

On the other hand, I'm looking for much the same (although I'm looking towards the university (which it's too late for, this season) or the corporate, rather than a hakwon). I've got 10 years teaching and training experience, glowing references, and a 3-semester year post-grad teacher cert as well, and I'm not finding much that's acceptable at the moment.

I am picky, I admit, and determined to wait for a good job, rather than just anything that comes down the pike.

Still, the pickings, at least as far as I can tell at the moment (and it's possible my job search skills suck - I've rarely had to do it), are mighty mighty thin if you're looking for something a few (or a lot of) notches above the Kindy Churn.

So good luck, but it may take time.
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Son Deureo!



Joined: 30 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VanIslander wrote:

And, about your Dave's ESLCAFE plans: I think I speak for many when I say: PLEASE use the 'search' function before beginning a bunch of new threads when perfectly good old threads could be revived.


I don't think there's anything wrong with the OP's starting a new thread here. His questions are specific to his own situation.

Back to the OP. What you are asking for is very reasonable, especially with your qualifications, but the adult only hogwons tend not to offer as good conditions as the ones for kids. Simply put, everyone would rather work at the adult hogwons, so they don't have to try as hard to recruit teachers. Also adult hogwons usually will make you work a split shift (e.g. 6 AM-10AM plus 6 PM-9PM), as their students are generally only available for classes before and after the business day. YBM on Jongro is the only exception that I know of to this, by virtue of their size they can usually schedule their teachers for much more reasonable hours. On the whole, hours are much better at kiddie hogwons.

In your shoes and with your qualifications, I think you should be thinking uni. I understand these jobs are hard secure from outside of Korea, but since you have an eye on the long term anyway, get the best job you can for your first year, and apply for a uni for year two.
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BTM



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Location: Back in the saddle.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Son Deureo! wrote:
I understand these jobs are hard secure from outside of Korea, but since you have an eye on the long term anyway, get the best job you can for your first year, and apply for a uni for year two.


But be aware if you are looking at a university, that there are two main hiring seasons for them, and generally not a whole lot of positions available outside those seasons.

Roughly : June/July and Jan/Feb, with some overspill in either direction.
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Skarp



Joined: 22 Aug 2003

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the prompt replies.

I wondered too about University posts - are they low stress, well organised places to work? Poorly motivated students? Big classes?

I have issues with organisation and management of education. For my own happiness, I need to stand back and not feel responsible for a school's shortcomings, even when they effect my work. But I also need to avoid the worst places - students in the wrong level, bad materials, unreasonable hours etc etc.... Some people can hack this. I know I should steer clear of it as far as possible.

Basically, I have fought a guerilla war against the management in all my UK jobs bar one....I can't take that attitude into a Korean workplace. But to give me a chance, I have made a good, well organised school and low hours take priority over money in my requirements.

If YBM/ELS is better run than the average hakwan, then the pay may not be a problem. I'd want lower hours and no splits too though........

I want to enjoy being in Korea, have time to learn korean and spend time with my girlfriend. Too much to ask?


I have searched through for YBM/ELS posts and much seems positive. If anybody has recent experience (direct or from the grapevine) I would be very keen to hear about it.

Thanks again....

BTW If I inadvertantly reopen an old thread, feel free to direct me to the old one.
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VanIslander



Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Location: Geoje, Hadong, Tongyeong,... now in a small coastal island town outside Gyeongsangnamdo!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suggested he consider revising some good old threads. He had said: "I will post several threads, covering different areas I'd like input on."

Other posters have advised that we encourage discussion that goes somewhere, rather than eternally looping. Seems like a good tact.
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Skarp



Joined: 22 Aug 2003

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will be very careful not to duplicate anything I have found - I searched every page of the list....

If I do seem to duplicate - I will be asking for clarification or an update.

it must get annoying to be going in circles all the time.

Skarp
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eamo



Joined: 08 Mar 2003
Location: Shepherd's Bush, 1964.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have adequate qualifications for university or corporate work so you should think carefully before 'selling yourself short' and taking a hagwon job like YBM.

Also, with teaching adults (at YBM anyway), you will almost always be expected to start work at around 6:30am. Does a 5:30 wake up time sound OK to you?

You could look at middle or high school jobs. Better conditions than hagwons and a normal 9-5 schedule.
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Skarp



Joined: 22 Aug 2003

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will have to approach YBM/ELS directly to find out about how flexible they will be (I gather not very)

Early starts are OK - but late finishes at the same time are the killer IMO.

Is University work well organised, with small classes and motivated students? I gather not.

Does corporate work involve you tarvelling to their offices? Done that, can be OK but not for me.

Maybe nowhere has the combination of small classes, motivated students, well set up and properly resourced curricula I'm looking for.

But if I find it I'll happily sacrifice a proportion of theoretical earnings.


Skarp
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chronicpride



Joined: 16 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly, just come over on your own airfare, do your own school shopping, where you'll be able judge your director, school, and accomodations first-hand.

As for whether YBM is better than the avg hagwon? You can't judge a school by it's name, as many people using the search function will tend to do.

The work environment is predicated by the director/manager of the specific hagwon, not necessarily the parent company that he bought the franchise rights from or was appointed by.

I've heard numerous success stories of great contracts and experiences from teachers working at a small hagwon, with no chain affiliation and also heard about people having a great time with YBM/ECC, Wonderland, Kid's Herald, etc...

Also, I know it's healthy to always aim high and you deserve to give it a shot, but, as mentioned earlier, getting into a uni in your 2nd year tends to be more realistic for everybody, regardless of one's qualifications. After a year of networking and making contacts, you'll be in good shape for your 2nd year, just in case you didn't get all of what you wanted in the 1st.
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thegadfly



Joined: 01 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of your requirements are easier than others, I think...and one thing I have noticed is that schools that have successful programs in place require more from the teachers than schools that are "low stress."

If you want to teach mainly adults, you will probably either have a split shift at an adult hakwan, or have to take a job with a company (which means 40 hours a week in an office, whether you need to work or not). either of those situations, however, should pay substantially more than 2 million a month...I wouldn't suggest taking anything under 2.5 -2.6 million plus housing and other perks...POSCO steel is offering such a position (9-5, 5 days a week) though I do not know the actual salary offered...check the Korean Job vacancies board.

If you want to teach only 25 hours or so...you may have to work with children, and young children at that...but if you WERE willing to work with little ones in order to have a short teaching week, I think you could easily find a position that gives you a blocked schedule and 25 hours or so a week...but perhaps not at 2 million a month...your experience and certifications would matter a bit less if you are teaching kindergarten....

Single accomodation should be doable no matter what...some schools still try to double or triple folks up, but even chain schools are now giving single housing in a lot of cases....

It is possible to get jobs such as you describe...I have found positions that provide for all of my requirements and most of the extras for which I have asked...I simply had to wait and search to find the right position. If you have the time, you should be able to find nearly exactly what you want...and if you find something close, keep up negotiations...what they won't give you this month, they might decide to give you next month....
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chronicpride



Joined: 16 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skarp wrote:


Is University work well organised, with small classes and motivated students? I gather not.



Maybe nowhere has the combination of small classes, motivated students, well set up and properly resourced curricula I'm looking for.



Skarp


Seriously, don't start discounting your chances before you have a chance to come here and make assessments for yourself. Remember there are thousands of schools in Korea, and there are thousands of teachers that don't post here. ESLCafe is often not an accurate barometer of the job market over here. You're hearing people's opinions and advice that have been developed from their experiences and everyone has different experiences and advice to give. Leave the final assessment up to you.
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Skarp



Joined: 22 Aug 2003

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am planning to come over uncommitted (committed to finding something and staying at least 6 months come what may) and clarifying issues on the spot.

I would like to get airfare and accommodation up front, but in some ways I think it involves too many risks. I'll want a week or so to settle into the place and rekindle things on the romantic front, and a signed contract will I fear mean starting teaching within 24 hours of landing....

Thanks for response/advice

Skarp
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Skarp



Joined: 22 Aug 2003

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Low stress is a vague term for what I meant.

I don't mind being professional, planning lessons, doing a good job generally. I would like to do that kind of job.

To reduce stress (personally) I need reasonable working hours (25 a week is fine. 30 just about OK.), a pleasant place to live close to the school and enough money to pay the bills, enjoy myself and save a bit.

Split shifts are my biggest worry, and kids schools avoid that. But I have no experience/training/interest in YL EFL (let alone VYL), so I think that might be more stressful in the end.

I am in this for the long haul, so I don't have to get everything in the first year.

Thanks for taking time to respond

Skarp
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