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Is Avalon a good wagwon to go with for a newbie?
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kvonnegut



Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The person above me also has it spot on. Exactly.
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supermouse



Joined: 19 Apr 2011

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nero wrote:
Modernist wrote:
A useful thing to remember about this forum is, when you dig up a thread that hasn't had any posts in 10+ months--this is called a 'zombie thread'--with the goal of hearing what happened with posters who themselves haven't posted anything for at least 6 months, it is unlikely you will get the answers you seek.

There are many 'fire and forget' types who post here in a frenzy for a while, and then vanish. Most likely they never even got to Korea and they rarely offer insights such as 'I ended up working at Avalon and here's what happened.'

My advice would be to avoid Avalon or any chain hagwon when you are just starting out. Public schools have many issues, absolutely, but they are GENERALLY less likely to take advantage of you and overwork you to death compared to what big hagwons will often try to get away with doing.


The main problem with Avalon is that the students evaluate you, so if you have shitty classes, you will get a low score.
If you are a serious teacher trying to actually teach, you will get a low score. If you like to give candy and choco pies and dance around playing games you will get a high score. If you get a low score, you get fired. Your employment is based on the whims of 8-15 year olds.
Never again.


Yup this is true, Avalon has turned to this in desperation. Yet they would not provide me with training and now they want teachers to work Saturdays.
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kvonnegut



Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't been asked to work Saturdays yet but most of the other teachers have, even though they agreed to not work them before they started. Students left recently and I was blamed because of my accent not being understandable, even though the kids have no problem understanding me. They refused to accept that a bunch of students from different classes and teachers all left on the same day because the next lesson they were due a big test, and simply didn't want to take it. Guess who's fault that is.
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young_clinton



Joined: 09 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

climber159 wrote:

The bad:
-They have recently been imposing stupid rules on the teachers of the H1N1 flu scare. Things such as taking your temperature everyday using the same thermometer, telling teachers to hand over their passports (illegal), and tell teachers not to go to Itaewon, Hongdae, or other public places.
-They have a set curriculum in place.
-Dresscode.


Those are mostly annoyances, but they don't make the Hogwan particularly bad. I have to admit I would be looking for another decent place to work though after finishing the contract. The hogwan could be a good stepping stone.
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bueblo



Joined: 04 Nov 2011

PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm working at a franchise branch, and at this point it's too early to say what will happen. Reading this thread, it seems I should be prepared for hell. So far though, all my co-workers, Korean and foreign, have been great. My director has also been very kind. They do spring last minute things on you like subbing classes, but other than that, no serious complaints.

Either way, I don't want to later regret my words, so I'll report back to this or a similar thread in the future on whether or not I feel the need to vent and spew vitriol about Avalon. Laughing
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Izzygraze



Joined: 12 Oct 2012

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have any information on the branch in Gwangju? I think it's a franchise. I just did an interview for them and I'm looking for more information.
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jammo



Joined: 12 Dec 2008

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How many spellings of 학원 can you spot?
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delirium



Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Izzygraze:

The best thing that you can do is talk to current employees either via Skype or email, and preferably when they are not working. (It is not uncommon for directors to breathe down the necks of employees speaking to potential new hires.)

Avalon has some pros: They are a large and well established chain in SoKo. You generally are paid on time, and for a new teacher it's as good a place to start as any, and a little better than many. You will have other expats working with you, so this can be a big plus for someone first arriving in Korea.

With that said, there are also negatives. Depending on your branch, the work load can get really crazy. I started at a branch and worked for 15 months. We originally had three campuses and twelve teachers. By the end, they had merged two campuses and we were down by three teachers. I started my day teaching Langcon (young elementary) and ended with Ivy (older middle school.) There were very few breaks. Also, while I never had to worry about monthly pay, I had to fight for everything owed at the end. The same has happened to many of my former co-workers.

Definitely take the time to speak with actual employees, and ask for the good and the bad.

Good Luck!
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jammo wrote:
How many spellings of 학원 can you spot?


7 are pretty common:
hagwan
hagwon
hakwan
hakwon
hogwan
hogwon
hell on earth

.
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crivest



Joined: 18 Feb 2012

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:39 pm    Post subject: Avalon at Gimpo Reply with quote

So to further resuscitate this, "zombie" thread, I'm curious if anyone has any specific knowledge of the Avalon in Gimpo. It'd be my first gig and like everyone else here I'm nervous as hell based on everything I'm reading. Much obliged.
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Porksta



Joined: 05 May 2011

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it actually in Gimpo or in an area near Gimpo?
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PREEST



Joined: 20 Jan 2013

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked at Avalon, and I have to say that while I enjoyed it,it was frustrating at times. As mentioned in other posts, they have a set curriculum. This can be good, however we were not given any creative ability. You have to do everything according to the book and its not allowed to be fun (or the parents complain) as we were constantly told.

Avalon is a big business anc cares more for money than quality education. Basically, when a parent complained, we were told to do whatever they want. If our classes were too fun we were told to make them more serious. If a parent complained that a child said our classes were too boring, we were told to play games and not focus on the book so much. There was no consistency and everything was about apeasing the parents of the students.

However, I never had trouble with pay.

Accomodation was below standard but I was soon moved to a modern apartment.

Do your research on your particular Avalon, because each branch is probably different in it's own way. These were just my experiences with Avalon.
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crivest



Joined: 18 Feb 2012

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually good call Porksta, looks like it might be closer to Bucheon. Recruiter said Gimpo but near the Gyeyang subway... which doesn't actually look like it's in Gimpo. Guess it's a good sign that I'm not even sure where the place is. Wink
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barca2121



Joined: 29 Jan 2013
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have any experience with the Ilsan branch?
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comm



Joined: 22 Jun 2010

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:52 am    Post subject: Re: Avalon at Gimpo Reply with quote

crivest wrote:
It'd be my first gig and like everyone else here I'm nervous as hell based on everything I'm reading. Much obliged.

Avalon is the most consistently good franchise I'm aware of. You'll be fine.
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