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YBM: Tell me I'm crazy!! :-)
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Voyeur



Joined: 19 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 5:51 pm    Post subject: YBM: Tell me I'm crazy!! :-) Reply with quote

SITUATION

I'm a 30 year old Canadian male who is switching gears career wise. I had a successful finance career but am looking to both build on it and do something different by becoming an investment lawyer. But I am in no rush and need to make some money for law school. I may have made a lot of money but I also spent a lot and am pretty much broke again. I could continue on in finance and try to save the money but knowing me I'd blow it here if I stayed in Canada amongst my friends and the lifestyle I became a bit too accumstomed too. Plus, I'm pretty burned out on the investment business. I need a change. So I have decided to teach English in Seoul Korea for 2-3 years and have an adventure, learn to teach, and save some money for Law school.

I have a pretty impressive resume I suppose relative to the situation but no actual teaching experience. But I do have lots of public speaking and speech writing and other tangentally applicable experience- for whatever that is worth. I am also tall, white, and have a decently athletic build - things that according to many posters here have a bearing in Korea. Given my recent dry spell with the ladies they sure don't seem to have much bearing here. Smile

I have had many offers of employment ranging from 1.6 Million Won to 2.2 million Won all for 120 hrs. / mo. But it is hard to truly verify the stability and legitimacy of these schools.

My problem is that I don't have enough cash to head over and find a job in person - I need to sign a contract over here firt. And I cannot afford my plane ticket or if I do buy it it is imperative that I have my money refunded IMMEDIATELY and with no delay or I am totally screwed. Given my lack of cash any kind of screw-ups early on or delay in being paid or whatever would be a real disaster for which I have no back-up.

YBM has offered me a position for 1.7 Million Won, 95 hours / Mo., no kindy, and no weekends with no classes before 10 am and no split shifts - all in writing. The paid accomodation is shared apartments - 2 per apt. They are modern but not amazingly upscale since the locations of the schools I am considering are very affluent so real estate is expensive. It is a 5-15 min walk or a direct 10 minute bus ride to school depending upon the school.

The downside is MONEY. The salary is low. Because they are a corporate school they are very standardized. I was told that the "intangibles" of my resume were what got me the job over others with greater teaching experience however they have a regimented pay scale that is entirely based on actual teaching experience and for which my previous experiences have no value. In my offers from other non-YBM / corporate schools they had the flexibility to remunerate me for my non-teaching, but to them still valuable, experience.

WHY I AM CONSIDERING YBM

While I need money, I don't mind being patient and making it in the second or thrid year of my 2-3 plan. WHat I am really worried about is getting shafted and having talked for awhile on the phone with several people at YBM and having done some research I am confident that whatever is on their contract they will abide by - no major suprises. Plus I will always be paid and paid on-time. They seem to be prepared to take an inexperienced teacher and show them the ropes with a very established and paint-by-numbers curriculum rather than having me be thrown to the wolves. Plus they have said that they have no problems with me teaching Privates if I am discrete and that given the 25 extra teaching a week I have off compared to the standard 120 / mo. schedule and the locations of the schools in very affluent areas I should be able to get a few Privates by the second half of the year (being conservative) and that could easily bump my annual average salary to say 1.9 Million won mo. for the total year.

I'm not aiming for the sky or to roll the dice double or nothing to get the best and most highly-paid job in Korea. I want dependability. I am not greedy. Then again I don't want to be cheated or to be selling myself ridiculously short. But the schedule, reliability, and short hours plus an environment that looks really conducive towards learning to teach well without going through a nightmare all seem like a great way to start off a 2-3 year teach and earn money plan even if the cash is low in year one.

So sorry about the long post - I just wanted to get it all in. So someone tell me that I am stupid or something already! Smile
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Voyeur



Joined: 19 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't gotten their contract yet - it should come tomorrow.

But one part I missed because when he talked about setting up accommodations I assumed it was like everyone else is whether hoisng is free.

People tell me that on top of the Low salary rent is charged to the employee further lowering it.

If that is the case that may be one straw too many.

I will check on that for sure. This is a YBM onwned school and not a franchise.
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Clutch Cargo



Joined: 28 Feb 2003
Location: Sim City 2005

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a pretty standard deal. Get them to pay your way and this should loosen you up financially. They can always advance you some cash if needed. Even without your 'intangibles' you shouldn't have any dramas.

Get a bit of background and materials (books, couple of games that involve speaking, listening or reading, web sites[do a search on this site]) on ESL teaching before you leave.

I don't know if I'd like to share an apartment, but that's up to you. If they really want you there they'll provide single accomodation I expect.

Ask them to put your hours of work in the contract eg. 10.00 - 8.00 or whatever. I work for a YBM school and haven't had any hassles as yet. You can do a search on this site for YBM and your particular school may come up.
Good luck.
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Voyeur



Joined: 19 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found out accomodation is free.

I'll push the single apartment bit - I'm even prepared to shell out a bit extra for it.

But the primary school I think I'll be accepting is in one of Seoul's most affluent neighbourhoods.

Do you think that this combined with the fact that I have no actual teaching credentials and that there is one opening and 3 other candidates I beat out mean that pushing for single accomodation won't work here?

I do want single but I also want the job. How's the best way to approach it?
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Voyeur



Joined: 19 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also I have noted that people say the problem with the YBM offer is that you will really teach 90 hours whereas with other schools 10 minutes out of every 60 is a break for which you are actually paid thus they really only work 100.

But to mee what matters is how classes are scheduled. If at YBM there is a 5 minute break between classes and at other schools there is a 5 minute break as well ON Top of the 10 minute unoffical break then apples to apples you are still spending 120 hours at the non-YBM school compared to 90 for YBM (the 5 minute breaks basically cancelling each other out. In the end I don't really caer what you are doing for the 120 or 90 hours - teaching ior sitting on one's arse for 10% of them. In the end you are still there instead of somewhere you might choose to be. So this talk of YBM misrepresentation seems a bit off to me.
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hellofaniceguy



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: On your computer screen!

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can do way better than YBM. Only those who don't know the ropes and are desperate would work for them. If you have done your homework, then you know about YBM. 1.7? That's LOW! Even for 90 hours! Don't agree to teach by the hours! NEVER! Teach only "X" amount of classes per day. 4/5 50 minute classes for hokwons is more than fair. Get the exact amount of classes in the contract.
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Voyeur



Joined: 19 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why does # of classes compared to # of hours matter so much? I don't get it.

I'm not desperate I just want a nice middle of the road, solid dependabe ESL job to get my feat wet.
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Voyeur



Joined: 19 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I want a job with a stable company financially, no weekends, no more than 2 days out of 5 with split shifts, and Air fare paid in advance along with single housing what kind of deal can I expect without trying to go for the geratest job ever etc... what is a solid, fair deal for a guy in my situation?
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JackSarang



Joined: 28 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

# of hours versus # classes is a big deal psychologically. Trust me on this one. The difference between teaching 6 classes a day and 9 is monumental. You have 3 extra classes to prep for, 30 extra students to write reports for etc.


Don't work at YBM, you can do much better. You don't have job security with them, they're just as likely to screw you as any other hogwan, regardless if they're run by the head company.

Don't accept less than 2.0 million a month, that is standard pay. Accept ONLY single housing. Schools that only offer shared housing are being cheap. There are alot of lunatics who come to Korea to teach, do you want to live with one for a year?

Seriously... 2.0 million, single housing, no splits, no weekends, no kindy is very easy to find... and no kindy usually means you don't start teaching till 2pm or later.

You're selling yourself way too short.
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Voyeur



Joined: 19 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given the info I provided above, can I likely find anything in the 2.0 Million range that is a very solid school financially that I can verify and that will either pay my ticket upfront or give me the money immediately upon arrival? I have very little disposable cash right now.

And why again do people ignore the fact that it is 1.7 million for 95 hours of work vs. 2.0 for 120 hours? Even with this classes per day deal are you really saying that there is no significant difference in the workload?
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Mankind



Joined: 18 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The math

YBM 95 hours is 5700 minutes a month (1 hour means 1 hour)
Others 120 hours is 6000 minutes a month (50 minutes is called one hour)

Pay
YBM 1.7 pay per minute worked 298.2
Other 2.0 pay per minute worked 333.3

Plus because YBM has 2-3 more classes a day to teach. You have 2-3 more classes to prepare for and to grade.

So more work, less hours, less hourly pay.

HAND Smile
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FierceInvalid



Joined: 16 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2003 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing - the YBM contract is not so good money-wise, that's nothing new to anyone including the original poster. But this is compared with kiddie hagwons. At YBM you teach adults. Worth a pay cut IMO, but I'm not the original poster. Do you have an age preference for students?

I didn't know YBM was offering contracts without splits. Hmmm...
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rudyflyer



Joined: 26 Feb 2003
Location: pacing the cage

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2003 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

somebody correct me on this but I do recall that YBM would deduct 200,000 won/month for the first 3 months as a "security deposit" they say for last month's bills but more for making sure you don't run. I also recall that this is blatantly illegal.

if its still in place, I would run from there just on this one alone
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Gord



Joined: 25 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2003 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rudyflyer wrote:
somebody correct me on this but I do recall that YBM would deduct 200,000 won/month for the first 3 months as a "security deposit" they say for last month's bills but more for making sure you don't run. I also recall that this is blatantly illegal.


You remember incorrectly. As long as one agrees to it (and obviously one did when it's in the contract), it's perfectly legal.

Quote:
if its still in place, I would run from there just on this one alone


Why? Paying bills is a bad thing?
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Gord



Joined: 25 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2003 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JackSarang wrote:
Don't work at YBM, you can do much better. You don't have job security with them, they're just as likely to screw you as any other hogwan, regardless if they're run by the head company.


Evidence?

Quote:
Don't accept less than 2.0 million a month, that is standard pay.


Only it's not. Especially in a job that offers less than 120 hours a month of teaching time.

Quote:
Seriously... 2.0 million, single housing, no splits, no weekends, no kindy is very easy to find... and no kindy usually means you don't start teaching till 2pm or later.


Teaching adults is very different than teaching students. It's a far easier job. As such, people are willing to work for less and accept things like split shifts in exchange for not having to spend time controlling the class.

Quote:
You're selling yourself way too short.


You're passing judgements on scenarios you don't understand.
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