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Which is better; New School or Established School?
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New Hagwon or established?
New can be great!!
43%
 43%  [ 7 ]
I only rate established schools
25%
 25%  [ 4 ]
It all depends.........
31%
 31%  [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 16

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eamo



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

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 5:26 am    Post subject: Which is better; New School or Established School? Reply with quote

I've been offered a position at a brand new school. Not even any students yet. It seems the first couple of months will be spent teaching very few students and just doing a lot of organizing and training. (full pay of course)

Would you agree with the conventional wisdom that new hagwons are too choatic and should be avoided like the plauge?

Or do you like the idea of starting in a pristine enviroment with the distinct possibility of very little teaching hours?

Anyone any experience/stories on the subject?
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humanuspneumos



Joined: 08 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 10:57 am    Post subject: I personally wouldn't do new schools. Reply with quote

The reasons I wouldn't do new schools are:

1. You are creating/making/measuring/thinking about the new program 24/7. Even if it's a franchise- setting it all up can be a pain.

2. You have extra pressure to treat each student like a piece of gold. Losing 1 when you only have 20 can put everybody under tons of pressure.

3. It's easy to fall prey to the "It's my school" when things are finally on track and someone does something you don't like. It's not the roll you want to play. Better to be detached to a certain degree.

4. Interviews- Supposing the school should grow you could find yourself doing hundreds and hundreds of interviews between classes or getting pulled out to do them when you are teaching. I used to be the primary interviewer and it put stress on me and my students whom I had to leave to do my interviews.

5. It's more fun being at a school that has lots of cash flow- that seems to produce more smiles.
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kimcheeking
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 3:01 pm    Post subject: Re: I personally wouldn't do new schools. Reply with quote

humanuspneumos wrote:
The reasons I wouldn't do new schools are:

1. You are creating/making/measuring/thinking about the new program 24/7. Even if it's a franchise- setting it all up can be a pain.


this is the reason I would do it. this way I could be assured that the program would be good.
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humanuspneumos



Joined: 08 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 11:26 pm    Post subject: Kimcheeking Reply with quote

I'm curious as to whether or not you have. Honestly- there are 100's of hours of donation time that doesn't get paid for, eventually teachers coming who say- "who put this together- it's crap"- and finally all the nicely tied shoe-strings being eventually untied.

I admit that altering/creating/making programs is fun. However, throwing it all into the time/social mix can be extremely tough. I heard of someone with an MA taking it all so personal- his program- that it eventually led to him quitting when someone tried to change several parts of his "good ideas." Doesn't that strike you as "Welcome to the Jungle.......?"

I do admit that being paid to do that and that alone- program designer would be a thrill- however it's never that simple.
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William Beckerson
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New school Pros:
Boss will be desperate to keep you in order to keep costs down, so you can suck at your job.

They'll probably turn the airconditioner on when it gets hot.

New school cons:
You'll be worked like a dog.

You'll get the blame when things dont go right.

New mothers, new crap.

Old school pros:
Good chance for you to find out if they can be trusted to pay you.
ie: You can research them.

Possibility of materials already being there instead of you having to rely on internet printups.

Cons:
Probably about to go out of business.

Better at lying to you.

If something goes wrong, they'll probably blame you.

Prognosis: Pray for the best.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dude, working at a new hogwon can kick ass. I'm the first foreign teacher at my hogwon and it had only been open 6 months before I arrived.

Why does it kick ass?

1. I started out working 14-15 hours. I had Thursdays off. Unfortunately I now have 23 classes and work every day but the first few months were great. My wage worked out to be like 50,000/class the first month. Not bad for a hogwon huh?
2. The boss thinks you're a kick ass teacher. I'm not, but the enrollment jumped up 25-30% in the first couple months after I arrived. Because of me? Uh maybe, but because I'm a weigook-in, not because of my teaching skills. Enrollment is still going up, but has slowed down a bit the last couple months. Anyway, thanks to that jump, my boss hasn't said a word to me about my teaching except for, "you're doing a good job" a couple times.
3.Haven't had some slack foreign teacher screw things up discipline wise. The students generally think you are there to actually teach.
4. Boss doesn't want you to be unhappy or sick. He knows you're crucial to his business.
5. I can turn on the air-con whenever the heck i want- even in winter Smile.

I don't really work my butt off, but I do have to create a lot of worksheets. That does suck. WHoever replaces me will have a fair amount of less prep time.

Finally, if I had not met my boss in person, I might not have taken the job. I looked at a number of new hogwons and chose the one i'm at now simply because the owner seemed like a decent guy and not some slick sleeze-ball.
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William Beckerson
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bucheon bum wrote:
I looked at a number of new hogwons and chose the one i'm at now simply because the owner seemed like a decent guy and not some slick sleeze-ball.


I also chose the last hagown I had in Incheon because the boss seemed like a decent, regular guy.

He still owes me 3 million and if I ever find him...
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, well i'll add something else: my boss had been running a hogwon for years (first was a cram school, then only english) and was a teacher before that. I figured he must have some business sense...

But you're right, never know.
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eamo



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

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going off the New School job. They won't answer my questions as to if I will be expected to do Kindergarten or split-shifts.

I think this is because they simply don't know. If the market presents itself they might run Kindy classes or very early-morning/late night adult classes.

I'm not going to sign for a job that might one day ask me to start work at 6:30 am.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

smart move there eamo.

my hogwon is so small there is no way it could start up a kindegarten program.
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bap



Joined: 10 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

do not work at a new hagwon. i am the first foreign teacher to work at my hagwon which opened two days after i arrived. yes i was and am working less than 25hrs/week but somehow i'm still at the school ten hours a day. most of my classes have two or three students and amazingly we manage to lose about one student a week still. i have no supplements, few teachers guides, five crayons, and no more patience. my boss has never taught a day in his life and has also never dealt with foreigners before so everythings a huge mess. right now i've been told that for the next three months i get to review the whole course that was completed in the first three months i was here. i don't know why, my boss seems to think (because he has sooo much experience) that review is good. so good that all of my students (ages 4-14) have to sit through an hour and a half classes that they've already done and written the exams for. i try to make suggestions for course schedules and programs but it all comes down to my directors opinion. also, i don't have workbooks for half of my preschool kids (i've been waiting almost three weeks for them) because everything is done last minute. who would've thought that we might need new books to go with the new schedules? the workbooks weren't ordered until a week after the schedule was made.
anyways, new hagwons are very disorganized and completely unstable. i will never never never work for a new hagwon again.
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long-term-player



Joined: 10 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 5:47 am    Post subject: Back a winner Reply with quote

Surely the answer is obvious. A new school will face massive start up costs and will need 120 students to make a profit - given that most people say 60-70 is break even- (I doubt that) I would never advise any one to go with a new school - I have heard way too many disaster stories of colleagues in new schools who either closed just before the crucial 6 month mark, or got rid of the teacher close the magical 11 month mark. Go with the established and you can't go wrong!
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

120 students? not quite.

My hogwon now has 100 or so students. 100*150,000=15,000,000 won income/month. Are you going to tell me that the overhead costs (rent, employee wages, van(s) are higher than that? I seriously doubt it. My pay is 1.9, throw in rent and my boss pays 2.4 million/month for my services. I'm guessing 2 of the korean teachers make about 1.5 million/month while another probably makes 1.0 million/month (she's part-time). So teachers wages come to 6.4 million. I have no idea how much the drivers make, but can't be more than the teachers. Lets just say for arguements sake they make 1.5 too. That's 3 million, so now costs are up to 9.4, throw in another million for upkeep of the two vans. Now it is 10.4 million/month. Throw in a million won/month for rent and utilties, that's 11.4. That leaves you a profit of a little under 4 million won, not so bad. That's assuming that the owner isn't making a profit on the textbooks as well. We have no staff other than the teachers, my boss and his sister. Don't know how much his sister receives out of the net-income.

We must not be doing that poorly because he hired a new teacher last month (the part-timer) when we really didn't need one. He also got a new van and driver in March when we only had 85 students or so. I haven't had any problems getting paid either and there haven't been any signs that we're in trouble.

Panthermodern (think it was him) has a good formula: if the tuitionx# of students you teach is double your salary, the hogwon is doing ok. Less than that, it is in trouble.
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panthermodern



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Location: Taxronto

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Panthermodern (think it was him) has a good formula: if the tuitionx# of students you teach is double your salary, the hogwon is doing ok. Less than that, it is in trouble.


Yup it was me: B.I.S.F. (Butts in Seats Factor)

Is was meant as a guage of personal "success".

S: Students
T: Tuition
$: Salary

The theory is as follows:
Level 1
S x T < $ = Update your resume
Level 2
S x T >= $ but <2$ = You will hear "there have been complaints"
Level 3
S x T >= 2$ but <3$ = You are doing "OK"
Level 4
S x T >= 3$ but <4$ = You will hear nothing and management and staff will avoid or humor you.
Level 5
S x T >= 4$ but <5$ = You might get some respect.
Level 6
S x T >= 5$ = They will give you anything so long as S x T >3$
but your back a 3$ status.

Remeber:

That this is a month by month by month and day by day theory.
BUT: if you ever are at the S x T >=2$ but <3$ level you will always be one level under your actual level for the rest fo your contract.

Also: everything is your fault.

Example:

The Hakwon bus driver is drunk, crashes and kills all of your students, thus S x T <$, this is your fault.

CYA

panthermodern
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ajuma



Joined: 18 Feb 2003
Location: Anywere but Seoul!!

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you've never taught before, a new school should be fine. They don't know what they're doing, and neither do you, so anything you do will be ok.

The down side is that since THEY don't know what they're doing, they won't be much help to you with things like planning lessons, or choosing books. If you're willing to go along with some chaos, and are an independant thinker, you'll be ok.

If you have some (any at ALL!) experience, probably an established school would be better. Other teachers can help you overcome culture shock and help with the day to day aspects of teaching.
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