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Mixed reviews about potential Hagwon, help?!

 
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cgirl



Joined: 28 Jan 2013

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:40 pm    Post subject: Mixed reviews about potential Hagwon, help?! Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

The link below has the site with the mixed reviews for JM english academy. It is located in Songpa-gu which is an area that I would be really interested in living in! However, as the website shows there are some bad reviews. I asked the director about them and she said that last year the teachers didn't get along with the system and banded together to ask for their flights back in cash which is against the rules so they made up the bad reviews. Sounds sketchy to me, but I've been in contact with a current teacher and she says that she has had a positive experience! She even sent me pictures of one of the current apartments and added that yes the director is a little intense about the classes but as long as you meet them half way you should be fine! She also mentioned that only one person out of seven has renewed their contract...

I'm just concerned that if I don't take the position I won't find a job that it is in such a good location and what not since I don't have my documents ready for March. Any advice or thoughts on any of this would be very much appreciated!! This is my first contract so I'm a little confused as to what I should do!!

http://hagwon.reliableteacher.com/j-m-english-school-seokchon-dong-seoul/
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Lucas



Joined: 11 Sep 2012

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say this place sounds ok - as long as you have confidence in dealing with 'Korean' situations.

All the information is given by fair reviews of the place and the people.....

Can you deal with it? Only you know that!

BUT they say that they got paid on time and had a good apt's in a good location and that they got their hols during Dec and got to go home for X-mas......

This place sounds like heaven compared to some H/W's that people complain about....
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John Stamos jr.



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Location: Namsan

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Understand that I'm saying this as a person who lives in Itaewon and would refuse to live anywhere else, but I know if this is a risk you want to take strictly because of the location and apartment size. I read most of those reviews and they were all very negative, aside from the positive one that sounded like it was being written by someone who had a gun to their head by this psycho Ms. Lee. 10-7 sounds rough to me but I guess that's pretty standard these days. And, they force you to eat Korean food at lunch? Have you eaten Korean food before? Some people like myself can't eat it.

Once person had an eleven month firing on there and a few of them said the director basically steals money from your bonus even if you do finish the contract. Are you that desperate for a job? My hagwon experience was very, very brief, but I'd never go through that experience again. I assume you're a white girl so, unless you're hideous, I'd bet on something better coming along. The people in those reviews sound absolutely miserable, and I might question the motives of the girl you're speaking to now. Are you going to be replacing her?
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Allthechildrenareinsane



Joined: 23 Jun 2011
Location: Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Mixed reviews about potential Hagwon, help?! Reply with quote

cgirl wrote:
Hi everyone,

The link below has the site with the mixed reviews for JM english academy. It is located in Songpa-gu which is an area that I would be really interested in living in! However, as the website shows there are some bad reviews. I asked the director about them and she said that last year the teachers didn't get along with the system and banded together to ask for their flights back in cash which is against the rules so they made up the bad reviews. Sounds sketchy to me, but I've been in contact with a current teacher and she says that she has had a positive experience! She even sent me pictures of one of the current apartments and added that yes the director is a little intense about the classes but as long as you meet them half way you should be fine! She also mentioned that only one person out of seven has renewed their contract...

I'm just concerned that if I don't take the position I won't find a job that it is in such a good location and what not since I don't have my documents ready for March. Any advice or thoughts on any of this would be very much appreciated!! This is my first contract so I'm a little confused as to what I should do!!

http://hagwon.reliableteacher.com/j-m-english-school-seokchon-dong-seoul/


Taking a job simply for the location is generally not a good idea. "Hey, my boss is a psycho, the kids are horrible, I feel like a performing circus monkey most days, I'm getting fired in my 11th month. . .but man, the location is FANTASTIC!"

After reading the reviews from that link, it sounds like you can expect pretty typical hagwon BS: constantly changing schedules, little to no notice about said changes, draconian management, little to no curricular control for the teachers, being asked to work for free and on your days off, lots of "misunderstandings" between the foreign teachers and the Korean staff/management, 11 month firings for teachers who management doesn't care for, and little opportunity to actually teach rather than simply entertain or engage in glorified baby-sitting. Welcome to the wonderful world of hagwons. At the very least, they do seem to pay on time and provide decent accommodation.

Unless you're desperate for a job, I think you could probably find something better than this. It may not be in your ideal location, but some of the above BS would probably be significantly decreased or nonexistent at another hagwon.
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cgirl



Joined: 28 Jan 2013

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It wouldn't be so much for the location. I'm just worried that if I move along from this job I'm going to find the exact same problems with another school AND be stuck in a not so ideal location. I figure I can deal with the regular BS but if this school seems to be a lot worse than most of the others maybe I will move on...
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Allthechildrenareinsane



Joined: 23 Jun 2011
Location: Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cgirl wrote:
It wouldn't be so much for the location. I'm just worried that if I move along from this job I'm going to find the exact same problems with another school AND be stuck in a not so ideal location. I figure I can deal with the regular BS but if this school seems to be a lot worse than most of the others maybe I will move on...


You can do better, trust me. There's THOUSANDS of hagwons out there, and not all of them are crappy. Just take the things I suggested into consideration, especially the point about communicating w/ a current or former teacher, and you should be fine.

Also, you really shouldn't get too hung up on location when looking for jobs in Korea. Even if you just expanded your search a bit to include Gyeonggi-do instead of just Seoul proper, you'll greatly increase your chances of finding a decent school in a location that also allows you a decent social life.
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wonkavite62



Joined: 17 Dec 2007
Location: Jeollanamdo, South Korea.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:59 am    Post subject: About The School Reply with quote

I am an experienced teacher, and having read the bad reviews about the Songpa-gu school, I wouldn't want to go there. But as you say, the area is really cool. I've been to Seoul before and I agree with you. But would it be okay for you personally to run the risk of difficult working conditions and then be fired after 6 months and pay back your flight to Korea, and look for another job? This is fairly likely, judging from the reviews. And emotionally, it can be quite draining, and you might end u wondering what you did wrong and wish you could change the past.
But if you wouldn't mind if all of this happened to you, and basically just want to sample Seoul for a little while, then maybe you could try it.

By the way, when you spoke to the other western teacher at the school, was the boss listening? Could you ask to talk to them again, in their free time, away from school?
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Dodge7



Joined: 21 Oct 2011

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would not call it "mixed reviews." It seems tilted to the negative side. I wouldn't work there, no way no how.
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