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Do you teach privates?
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Do you currently teach privates?
Yes
8%
 8%  [ 4 ]
No
20%
 20%  [ 9 ]
yes, been here for more than 2 years
22%
 22%  [ 10 ]
no, been here for more than 2 years
28%
 28%  [ 13 ]
yes, been here for less than 2 years
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
no, been here for less than 2 years
17%
 17%  [ 8 ]
Total Votes : 45

Author Message
FierceInvalid



Joined: 16 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OP - don't do 'em. Same reasons as many others - I make enough money already, plus I teach and take a Korean class every day and don't want anything else on my plate.
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Gord



Joined: 25 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dutchman wrote:
Privates are illegal because hagwon owners have a very powerful lobbying voice. Immigration could easily allow foreigners with f-2 visas to teach privates just like Koreans and Kyopos are allowed to do. The Ministry of Education doesn't have a problem with it. It's Immigration using it's broad discretionary powers that prevent it. And who do you think has purchased the use of these discretionary powers? One guess.


*cough* 10% sales tax on services not being remitted to the government... *cough* income tax not being paid *cough*

It's not just a question of permission, but a whole stack of things that must be done. To suggest that hagwon owners are behind it is a work of fiction. Even if they were, it would be to allow them to charge more for lessons, not to shut someone out who charges upwards of ten times the rate a hogwan charges.
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dutchman



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Location: My backyard

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gord wrote:
dutchman wrote:
Privates are illegal because hagwon owners have a very powerful lobbying voice. Immigration could easily allow foreigners with f-2 visas to teach privates just like Koreans and Kyopos are allowed to do. The Ministry of Education doesn't have a problem with it. It's Immigration using it's broad discretionary powers that prevent it. And who do you think has purchased the use of these discretionary powers? One guess.


*cough* 10% sales tax on services not being remitted to the government... *cough* income tax not being paid *cough*

It's not just a question of permission, but a whole stack of things that must be done. To suggest that hagwon owners are behind it is a work of fiction. Even if they were, it would be to allow them to charge more for lessons, not to shut someone out who charges upwards of ten times the rate a hogwan charges.


You really ought to see someone about that cough. What exactly is your point? Privates aren't legal because people don't pay tax on the income? Interesting logic.

Gord, the system to do privates and pay taxes on the income already exists. It involves going to the Ministry of Education and getting a certificate of permission and then going to the tax office and declaring an average income. I know of a couple of foreigners with F-2 visas who have done both and then went to immigration to report their work and immigration said no. Why would they say no? You really don't think the owners of these major franchises don't have connections at immigration?

Ten times the rate a hagwon charges? Wow, you work for a really cheap hagwon. And it's not just losing the students, they don't want to lose the teacher.
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waterbaby



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Location: Baking Gord a Cheescake pie

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I value my free time too much. I've knocked back a number of lucrative offers because I really can't be bothered with the cloak and dagger secrecy and ... well, I just can't be bothered. And I guess I just don't enjoy teaching THAT much. Now, if it was my hobby...
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crazylemongirl



Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Location: almost there...

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

same reasons as the others plus the whole black mark deportation will make it harder for me to continue my travels.

CLG
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Canuck



Joined: 05 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2003 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would never do them. They are illegal, and I just dont want to mess up what I have going here right now. Im not gonna go back to Canada and be able to save over 2 grand a month. I also value my time. Whatever extra cash I would get, I dont need, first of all, and second of all its not worth the time with my wife which I would lose.
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The King of Kwangju



Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2003 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to speak out on behalf of the pro-private teachers, even tho I haven't lived in K for almost 2 years now (I didn't vote in the poll so as not to skew the results).

I lived there for 5 years and taught privates alongside my "real" job the whole time. I taught 24 hrs a week at EPIK and then did another 10 hrs a week or so privately.

I didn't have much of a chance to get to know many students well at EPIK, but I had some privates that I taught for 4 years that also became good friends. Professionally, it was rewarding to see them improve over time, and personally it was a great way to learn about Korean life. I also taught mini-classes in banks and companies, etc - even the KJ Board of Education! - and I learned a lot about white-collar Korea and Koreans. For a single guy, it was a great way to get out of the house, meet people, and excercise (I rode my bike everywhere).

Of course I also made a lot of money. I had plenty of time off from EPIK to travel, and enough money to go wherever I wanted. I visited every country in Asia - some 2 or 3 times - and spent a month on the trans-siberian railway btwn China and Russia. I travelled the OZ outback. I went to mt. Everest.

I also went out on the town a lot and never wanted for anything. I paid off all my student loans, and came back to Canada with enough money to re-educate myself and get started in another profession. I still have money left over.

There weren't a lot of long-timers like me who taught privates. A lot of them got bored with them, or wanted their free time. But for me, it greatly enriched my experience in Korea and in Asia and I wouldn't have done it any other way.

And I never thought privates were illegal because of taxes or of a hogwan director conspiracy. Korea is a tad xenophobic - they don't want foreigners making wons and then using them to buy US $,
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2003 4:19 pm    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

When I came back to Korea I took on some private students to fill my evenings up as I had little to do. I used to spend the whole evening with my students and the ammount I charged just covered my costs. I taught two young girls for four years once a week as privates. We are still in contact by phone after six years.
Immigration have always left me alone as I don't hide anything and it's clear that I'm not in Korea to send money home. This is my choice. Korea has always been anti against money going out of the country.
I see nothing wrong with teaching privates as it is the best way to learn about the people of the country that you are working in.
The money thing is up to the person giving the lessons. English teaching is a skill and to be here you need to have a degree so your time is of value.
In Sydney in Australia private English lessons cost between $12 and $50 Australian. Some charging $50 have waiting lists. I know one person in the States that charges $40 U.S. per student an hour for small groups. So it can be seen that reguardless of the law lesson costs don't change much in developed economies.
I haven't taught privates for two years now but I've just been asked to teach some teacher's kids in exchange for an evening meal and have said yes. I like teaching and get enjoyment from it.
Now the company Hansol have Korean English teachers going to private homes and teaching English for 30.000 won for twenty minutes so another example what Koreans charge Koreans for English lessons and why private lesson costs won't change untill the economy changes not the law.
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mokpochica



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2003 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've gotten asked to teach privates often by teachers at my junior high school--the same school that has given me a contract which says I cannot teach private lessons. Some of them are relentless about it too--asking several times a year--to the point that I feel bad for saying no when they ask me to teach their sons or daughters. And I've told Korean people that it's illegal for me to teach, but 90% have the attitude like 'everyone does it and you won't get caught'.

The funny thing is that the program I originally came to Korea on required a homestay situation and the same family took the homestay 2 years in a row. The idea of the homestay was that the teacher would tutor the kids a few times a week in exchange for living at the house, but most schools paid the homestay parents and tutoring only took place in some of the situations. I can sort of understand not wanting to have the responsibility of an extra person (foreigner) in your house, but it would be a great way for your kids to learn English so I'm surprised that these same teachers at my school didn't even seem to consider it.

My school pays for my apt. now, I think partly because they were having a hard time finding people to volunteer their houses as homestays.
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Circus Monkey



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: In my coconut tree

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somehow, I feel that the mere existence of private teaching is just another form of malais in the whole Korean educational system. That is, would private teaching really exist to the extend that it does if the public schools were doing there job? I realize there is private tutoring in Canada and America but I don't think it approaches the craziness level as it does here.

Anyhow, if privates were legal (and let's pretend that getting into a situation is equitable and accessible - just fill out an application form) then I'd do it.

CM
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The King of Kwangju



Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Circus Monkey wrote:
Somehow, I feel that the mere existence of private teaching is just another form of malais in the whole Korean educational system...

No "somehow" about it - I think it's the result of the K educational sys - what it teaches, how it teaches, and how it tests. But that's another thread.

To get a little more off track, Anda's thread reminds me of privates in Toronto. Some hacks charge Cdn$10 or Cdn$12 an hour, but serious students know that you get what you pay for.

If you're a good teacher, speak a little Korean, have some exp in Korea, and an education, you can charge K students btwn Cdn$30 and Cdn$40 or even higher. I have a few friends who have lived quite comfortably for short periods of time in Toronto teaching privates exclusively.
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The Bobster



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CM :
Quote:
That is, would private teaching really exist to the extend that it does if the public schools were doing there job?

What you say here is pretty much what I thought when I first arrived here several years ago and looked around - but what I was looking at then was not private teaching but rather the zillions of hagwons all around and the fact that it is big enough business for entrepreneurs want to deal with the hassles around airfare, apartments and visas for the gobs of us who get off the plane to do this virtually every day ... as a phenomenon, private teaching is just gravy on top of that.

I've noticed things resembling hagwons creeping into the neighborhoods in San Francisco, i.e., after-school centers where parents who can pay for it send their kids for extra study-time, not for English specifically, but also math, writing skills, computer literacy. In SF, the added bonus is that maybe it keeps the kids out of the gangs ... and it might have a lot to do also with the large Asian makeup of that city, over 51% at the last census.

By the way, what KoK said about Toronto applies as well for SF. I went through a rough patch between teaching jobs there and found I was able to live adequately well by teaching private students to supplement an unemployment check. I advertised on bulletin boards in coffee shops and laundromats, professional-looking flyers and business cards made at Kinko's.

That was technically illegal because you're not supposed to have any income without having it deducted from the monthly pittance - but hey, it's not welfare, you have to pay INTO it when you're employed, and in a city like SF it just don't go all the way to the end of the month. After I started working again, I declared it on along with my salary on my 1040, paid taxes on it - something I would not be able to do here, by the way - so no guilt here, I figure I'm a good citizen.

It was a fascinating way to meet people from the large immigrant community in that city, an opportunity not so easily granted a lot of blue-eyed white boys from the 'burbs because a lot of ethnic groups in big city America tend to be rather inward-looking. One guy a was a medical student from Macao finishing up his degree before going home, another was a Yemeni fella with big dreams in the business world ... and yet another was a Korean lady applying to film schools in the US. We still keep in touch and from what I hear she's putting the finishing touches on her first movie, might be out this summer ... I'll let you know.

I sort of alluded to it in an earlier post, but there are a lot of reasons besides big bucks to try private teaching - among them is the fact you can tailor lessons around your own curriculum specifically designed by you for the needs of one particular student, depending on what their defficiencies might be, and if you are lucky and have the ability to choose your students according to how dedicated they are to the project of learning, then you get the wonderful gift few teachers ever get, which is to see someone make terrific progress very quickly and to know for a fact that it is because of you ...

But I'm defintiely not recommending doing it here, in this country, because the penalties are basically a BIG disruption in your life if you are caught.

By the way, what the mokpochicstress said about being pressured to do them by people at your main place of employment coincides with things I've heard elsewhere, even a about school's academic director making referrals and introductions between parents and foreign teachers. The rationale in that case was that if a parent is a customer, you keep them happy and this is one way to do it, and far better than having them go around the neighborhood saying bad things about the school when there are others competing with you in the area.

That kind of thing is very rare, though, so I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for your boss to drop some privates in your lap. It's the sort of thing one hears as a rumor, but seldom is one likely to see it for a fact.

What I have seen happen is the other exreme. One school I worked at here in Seoul included the pictures of all the foreign staff on a flyer inserted in the local paper, without mentioning it to us. When we saw it, we though it was a regular advertisement for the hagwon ... but no, it was a little more than that.

A Korean acquaintance translated the ad, which said words to the effect that "These are the foreign staff at our school. We oppose illegal teaching, and if you have any reason to think any foreigner is teaching outside of their contract, please call this number." Then it listed a number for the immigration office in our district ... yeah, they spread our pictures around the neighborhood and told people to keep an eye on us, even rat on us ... as if foreigners are not conspicuous enough in Korea.

A couple of teachers, romantically involved and with plenty of other good reasons, decided to take a night flight a week and a half later. Pretty sure that was the proverbial straw on the proverbial camel ... kept in touch by email and the guy told me the teaching's good in Ho Chi Minh City, I should give it a shot.

You wanna teach privates, hey, it's your call. You want any advice, though, don't do it for the money, the risks are too high to justify it for that alone.
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