Blacklist of schools


#322

Yes they will take out a deposit in your first year at work (that deposit is returned after end of first year). Also, they will try to penalize you with a 50,000 TWD fine if you break contract. Just threaten them that you will go to the Ministry of Labor and tell them foreigners are teaching where they are not supposed to (high school) and they will shit their pants!


#323

95% of what you said about King Car’s Kinmen program is either outdated or outright false. I’m one of the coordinators for the King Car team in Kinmen. I’m not sure if you know me or not. If so, feel free to contact me for more accurate information about our program. If not, you’re welcome to look me up on Facebook (Bethany Stewart) and get in touch with me that way.


#324

So in other words, you’re not biased at all. :unamused:

Yeeeaah… I’m going with the other person on this one. Funny how you said 95% is wrong, and not 100% as well. Covering your bases a bit, eh?


#325

Hahaha, this is unrelated to anything. I just liked the emoji! It made me laugh :slight_smile:


#326

In other words, I’m actually in a position to know whether or not those
accusations are true or not. And no, I’m not going to make the claim that
King Car is a perfect program, so I’m going to be honest about the flaws.
But the fact is that the majority of those accusations aren’t true. If
you’re actually interested in knowing the truth, I’d be happy to talk to
you more.


#327

…Wow, I applied for the position at that school, went for the interview etc, but I had another teach English job offer and took it. Lucky me, I had no idea it was a scam school. I am actually now job hunting, looking for either full-time or part-time, (double part-time, it seems only this is available these days.) I just left a private high school and the kids there were very unruly, in fact nearly every class was chaos, kids had no interest what-so-ever in learning English, some even said that it is not needed, Taiwan doesn’t need it!


#328

…I just applied for it now, (AGKsion) Sep, 2017. I was also wondering if anyone had worked there or anyone knowing if it is good or not to work for? Much obliged if anyone can a true comment on it, thanks.


#329

46 posts were split to a new topic: not about specific schools (blacklist of schools)


#384

No idea why it hasn’t popped up before but 100% Alexander Academy should be on this list.

Short version: the boss is extremely immature and short tempered, leading many people to quit or be fired without warning. Management gives limited feedback unless constantly asked to the point of annoyance. 40hrs/week at 56kNT/month. An excessive amount of paperwork. Surface level curriculum with no real substance or guidelines. Owner is very insecure about the school and only cares about parents and the bottom line.

Long version: On the surface Alexander Academy is a top of the line bushiban. It has a strong curriculum and is well organized. With a constantly increasing student population, they are always looking for new employees.

The other reason they are constantly looking for new employees is the far from normal turnover rate.

This is primarily due to the nightmarish management. During interviews the owner will be very kind then once you sign the contract a switch is flipped and she becomes unreasonable and very short tempered. Many employees left before me because of her alone and many will follow once I am gone. She makes plans on a whim and invents new rules for classrooms without any advisement. She exists at the pinnacle of micromanagement and throws more temper tantrums than some of the kindergarten students. She doesn’t trust her employees and it really shows.

You work 40hrs/week while the salary remains at a low 56kNT/month. The bonus is 2kNT/month but can be lost if you are sick or late by more than ZERO minutes twice in a month.

During the long hours (only 22 of which are for actual teaching) you are hardly given time for actual lesson planning. Weekly paperwork includes: tests, correction keys, lesson plans, detailed weekly schedules (despite having a “curriculum” these are not provided), marking tests, marking writing projects, marking spelling homework, requesting supplies via paper form, and every month writing two newsletters about 500 words in length a piece. Oh and DETAILED weekly assessments of each student in the class with comments. In the office a considerable amount of chat is everyone worrying about getting the ridiculous amount of paperwork done.

Finally, parents are the primary focus. While common, this school pushes it by not allowing teachers any communication with the parents, not even in communication books. The only ones allowed to speak to parents are the Chinese teachers. The bottom line is all the owner cares about, allowing frequently violent students to remain without consequence and not allowing teachers to print in color.


#385

56k a month, is that for real! Nobody should accept a job at that pay rate for 40 hours onsite (albeit only 22 contact hours). Not even an FOB should be working for anything less than 60k or 600/hour. That’s what was being paid to new teachers 15 years ago.

It’s understandable that the owner only cares about parents and the bottom line, though. It is a business.


#386

First off, in the interests of full disclosure, I’m going to say that I was linked to this thread yesterday, and this is a new account that I made specifically to back the previous poster (PQMF) up. I’ve been reading Forumosa on and off for years but have never really posted here before.

I previously worked at Alexander Academy and can confirm that everything they wrote is accurate - except frankly, they might even be underselling the amount of office work a bit. Obviously, overbearing bosses and poorly-disciplined kids are all too common in Taiwanese buxibans, but the amount of paperwork at AA is not typical at all. The school provides you with textbooks but that’s the limit of their curriculum. At AA, teaching 22 hours a week means you have to plan 22 hours of lessons virtually from scratch (and it’s fairly involved, not just throwing a sticky ball around and being a clown - a mix of worksheets that you have to create yourself, two weekly tests that you also write yourself, writing projects, hands-on crafting activities, science labs, and roleplays). You teach solo and you’re expected to comprehensively document everything you’re going to do. I’m not talking bullet points giving an overview of what you’ll be teaching - the expectation is several paragraphs of text per subject. Most teachers have two classes (plus afterschool tutoring, occasionally) with about ten lessons a week per class. Much of the paperwork is redundant. Between the weekly schedules, weekly lesson plans, and weekly supply lists, you end up detailing what you’ll be doing three times . . . and when you write your weekly progress reports, you usually have to give an overview of what you DID, in retrospect. I’m not exaggerating for effect; that’s a fair description of the workload.

Even working full time, 40 hours a week, it was a struggle to get it all done and maintain a respectable level of quality (i.e. not simply copy and pasting from the previous week’s lesson plans and changing a few words around). It’s possible to get it done if you buckle down and work like a robot and skip most of your lunch breaks, but that’s mentally exhausting. The workload is stressful and frustrating and puts teachers in a no-win situation: either you fall behind on paperwork and you end up in the doghouse, or you prioritize your paperwork and you’re a zombie the whole time you’re supposed to be teaching. That isn’t fair to the students, and makes your life harder too, because for obvious reasons when the lessons are dull and you’re distracted the students tend to act out.

Most of my coworkers frankly admitted that there was no way to complete all the work required of us without taking very sloppy shortcuts, which is what we generally ended up doing. It would be one thing if the pay was commensurate with the workload, but obviously it is not. From what I hear the school still has a very high turnover rate - these were common complaints, not just the opinions of one or two disgruntled employees. The experience of working there soured me on teaching for a while. I don’t know whether there are many buxibans out there in 2018 that are actually good places to work, but not every job makes you feel like you’re being set up to fail.


#388

…Went for an interview a few months ago, Polish guy was doing the interview, his English language were not perfect, he is a teacher there too, anyway, in the interview the woman boss eventually came and sat down, i felt that i was just another out of the thousands that she has interviewed, the way she treated me, immediately gave me this impression. They asked awkward questions, asking too personal things, i started seeing through them both, the Polish guy was acting crafty in front of her towards me, showing his worth in keeping him there i suppose, I was certainly getting the drift of this place, a lot of ‘we’re going to get more out of you, than you get out of us’ attitude. I cut the interview short, saw i was wasting my time here, later down the road, they text me and told me i wasn’t the right person they needed for the school, that was no surprise as I hadn’t given in to their rip off demands on me. Avoid this school like the plague.


#389

Did he also have trouble with his noun-verb agreements? :thinking:


#391

I would not agree with everything you say here. I worked there for ten years until the woman you are referring to left. The elementary is an excellent department and runs smoothly. The only people I have found to have trouble with the Taiwanese teachers are people who deserve to have trouble. Too many foreign teachers have already made up their minds that they know how to teach and nobody is going to tell them otherwise. I lasted ten years because I am flexible and realize that it is their show. As a result, I was never hassled by Taiwanese teachers and could teach the way I wanted. As for the high school, the principal has never even wanted an English department. Most students are pretty good, but there are enough bad ones that it can be treacherous. Worse yet, management will not back you up no matter what a student does to you. I had one kid threaten me with a steal pipe and they didn’t even take him to the military officer or call his parents. And I had to keep working with the little shit! The high school has never changed and never will. The only reason they have foreign teachers at all is because all the other schools do. As for calling them out on getting you to teach high school, good luck. They found a loophole around that one a long time ago. As to the fine, yes they do threaten that. But so does every other school. It is illegal so, essentially, your whole contract is null and void. And they try to cover themselves there too by paying everyone on the 15th. That way if you quit on pay day, you still lose two weeks salary. However, I knew a number of teachers who got out of their contracts by telling them that something serious had happened back home and they had to leave. Worked every time. Bottom line for me? The elementary is a joy to work in. The high school can be good, but you have to really know how to handle that age group and pray you don’t get stuck with one of the shit classes. The work load is more than manageable and you have a lot of freedom to leave when you have no classes if you need to do banking, etc. So, like every school I have ever worked at, including the one I am at now, it has its good and bad sides. Oh, one more thing. Their bonus system sucks. They are allotted a certain amount every year and, even if everyone deserved and A, they still wouldn’t have enough money to pay the full bonuses. So they go searching for minor reasons to give people a B or even a C. This just so they don’t go over their bonus budget.


#392

Taipei Oxford International School, located in Neihu Taipei. Was one of the worse school’s I’ve ever worked at. Which is saying a lot for having lived in Taiwan for 9 1/2 years. There’s absolutely no respect for foreign teachers. There was always something happening everyday. Probably one of the most stressful jobs I’ve come to work at. The school doesn’t even respect the foreign manager… Therefore when something morally goes wrong there’s only so much he could say or do. The Taiwanese staff have the right to shout, downgrade or interrupt your class with no remorse. The only reason I had stayed there was because the money was good and I really needed it. If your C.T doesn’t like you , she would rally other teachers and even parent to work against you. Some times, even involving the students. One time I was paid incorrectly and it was pulling tooth and nail to get it corrected. Despite the fact you have proof to show the hours you had worked(punch card). Being the only coloured, female foreigner working at the school I would walk into conversations that were demeaning, racist, misogynistic and outright sexist. I use to respond and realized in the end you have to choose your fights. I loved my students and that was the only thing that kept me going. I have countless of stories that had transpired there. If you would like to hear more, just let me know. Be warned


#393

Same experience for me. Most teachers been here for 5 years and up. Good pay, small classes and nice work environment. :slight_smile:


#394

I know this post is a bit dated but is your school a school or a buxiban?


#395

Hm, I just got invited to an interview with them then came to check this thread. Looks like I should give it a miss…


#396

I had a terrible experience at THUHS - the high school attached to Tunghai University. We had a spate of resignations due to the unbelievably revolting behaviour of the director there. At the end of last semester we had mass resignations (six in all) of foreign teachers due to the abusive treatment of foreign staff. This semester has ushered in three resignations in the first semester. Be warned.


#397

Smile Language Institute, Luodong, Yilan. Nice little school in a good location. Nice kids. BUT a lunatic manageress/director who micromanages to death. Three excellent teachers all left recently due to this “director.” “K” is capable of being nice, but her personality frequently changes; she causes everyone enormous stress, and depresses both staff and students. It’s amazing this school still has any students considering the damage K is doing on a daily basis. K lies a lot, and has the unnerving habit of saying exactly the opposite of what she means, things like “I respect you.” She is not even conscious of what she is doing wrong, hence my suspicion that she is sick. Factually, she is prone to losing her temper. Read the contract carefully and you will see it is an artful piece of exploitation designed to extract the maximum value from the disposable teacher for the minimum pay. “Our teachers stay with us on average x years”, is at best an exaggeration, and “Experienced teachers rewarded…” is not true. K will continue to mess things up at Smile Language Institute, and act in multiple abusive ways that will make your life unpleasant. My advice is to go elsewhere because K’s awkwardness when you first talk to her is in fact her best side. Should you choose to work there for a spell (they will always be needing a new teacher) a very thick skin is required.