David's English Center or Kojen's?

Hi there, any one got any thoughts regarding teaching adults at Davids versus teaching adults at Kojen. My impression is that Davids offers a little more money - which actually turns out to be significantly more over a month - while Kojen offers better teacher training. I have a two or three year plan that includes doing a MA Tesol so the quality of training and teacher support is one of my priorities. I want to be challenged and supported to be a better teacher.
So my question/s: does Kojen really offer better training than David’s?? Is it significant? ie. does it it offset the smaller amount of money? Are there other benefits that either company might offer that would tip the balance. Anyone out there worked for either/both?
All informed and reasoned views my thanks in advance…

My husband and I worked for a year at Kojen and were very happy. We thought the training was great and the teachers were well supported by the teacher trainers. I would highly recommend going there. You’ll have more confidence in the classroom and a much better idea of how to teach. The knowledge will stay with you for when you move on later to places like David’s.

I’m curious…how much they offering? Hope it’s not under 600/hour! :notworthy:

Kojen’s training is better; if your branch school has a good teacher trainer and you really use this resource, you can learn a lot.

Another consideration is the way the two schools calculate pay. At Kojen you teach for 50 minutes and have a break for 10 minutes of every hour. You are paid for an hour.
At David’s, you also teach for 50 minutes and have a 10 minute break, but you are only paid for the 50 minutes. Their hourly rate of pay looks like it is higher than Kojen’s, but once this is factored in, it may not be.

[quote]Another consideration is the way the two schools calculate pay. At Kojen you teach for 50 minutes and have a break for 10 minutes of every hour. You are paid for an hour.
At David’s, you also teach for 50 minutes and have a 10 minute break, but you are only paid for the 50 minutes. Their hourly rate of pay looks like it is higher than Kojen’s, but once this is factored in, it may not be.[/quote]

At David’s you teach for an hour and a half for one on one adult lessons.
For adult classes you teach for 1 hr and 40 minutes with no break. Most of the students are professional business people.
David’s also contract out teachers to companies. The pay is higher for these assignments and travel expenses are paid.

I have worked at both David’s and Kojen. While it is true that Kojen is better for teacher training, the adult students are mostly university students so therefore the majority of their classes usually run during the summer months.
I worked at Kojen when I first came to Taiwan some 4 years ago. After going back to the UK for a couple of years I applied to Kojen again when I returned. They told me that I would be able to teach about 4 hours of adult classes a week. The rest of the classes I would have to spend teaching kids and, heaven forbid, kindergarten. :noway:

Please bear in mind that, although I don’t want to turn this into a Kojen bashing thread, there are alot of horror stories about Kojen and the way they treat/con/manipulate teachers.

With David’s you are garaunteed adult only classes and you will never be passed off with kindergarten or kiddies because they simply don’t supply these classes. I also feel that Davids offers a more professional approach to delivering the classes to the students and most of the curriculums are offered towards professionals. I even have to wear a shirt (which makes me feel professional for once instead of the usual scruffbag I usually am).

Not wanting to sway your decision, but I really feel Davids is better out of the two both from the teachers perpective and from the students perspective.

Hope this helps,

Adam

Hi Dial,

I assume that you’re also evaluating more things than pay and training, as any job is a package arrangement of sorts. Although I’ve never worked for Kojen, I have worked for David’s. Can’t compare them, but can provide a little info. Overall, David’s English Centers are a cut above the mom-n-pop buxibans. As for training, as far as I could see, it was non-existant. Echo above comments on the pay rate. They mention that the pay is better, and say that they’ll pick up the tab for things like taxi rides to off-site clients. However, in my experience, that was “brochure” stuff and happened rarely in actual practice. Classes or private students would be practically forced on me or discontinued suddenly, all without explanation or adequate warning. David’s seems almost designed for temporary workers, and there is high turnover, from what I saw. They didn’t seem to comprehend “negotiation” very well, but rather seemed interested in dictating to teachers, with a smile. That, however, might be a standard employment reality in the Taiwan EFL arena.

Overall, I found David’s to be very similar to a temporary employment agency. They didn’t seem much more than some staff with a list of teachers and a list of students that they inelegantly matched up for a cut. While there are certainly worse places to work for in Taiwan, I didn’t get much out of the experience. Although David’s is not a bad place to start out, if I had to do it again, based on what I know and have heard since, I’d give Kojen a very hard look.

Seeker4

Seeker 4, what school did you work for then?

DM,

Not trying to be coy, but I’d rather not give any more exact detail in a public forum. I will say that I had some level of experience in all of the branches in Taipei, plus some off-site clients.

Seeker4

I’ve never worked for Kojen, but did have one experience with David’s. A friend and I walked into the David’s in Koahsiung one day and both applied. This was almost 6 years ago. For some reason I’ll never know, the boss was there and was very friendly to my friend, but ice cold to me. Maybe she was prettier? I don’t know. But she was offered several hours there and I was offered nothing, though I’d been in working in Taiwan for 6 months at the time, was a teacher in the States and in S. Korea before arriving, have a degree in English, while she was FOB with a Psych. degree.

Well, I’d been around long enough that this didn’t really bother me. This kind of thing happens a lot and maybe they just gave all their hours to the first teacher to walk in. I found plenty of other work, so it didn’t matter. Then it turned out to be fortunate.

My friend began comming home complaining that there were no materials offered and no training. She was just told which classroom to go to. She didn’t even have a roster of students names. Now, she’s a resoursful and creative girl and she made due, but felt uncomfortable frustraited most of the time.

Then came the day the called me for one sub. class. I also had to walk cold into the room. I asked students their names and what their other teacher was teaching them. They didn’t know what the other teacher was teaching, because they always had a new teacher, almost every class. I asked if they could remember what any other lesson had been about. The students told me one teacher (not my friend) had been teaching them a song called, “Where is Thumper.” This is a small child’s song with hand movements that indentifies names for all four fingers and the thumbs! And everyone in the class was above 20 years old.

David’s didn’t call me again, but if they had, I’d have asked them to find “Thumper!”

How strange. I’ve never had any problems at all and most of the time I had too many hours :s

Maybe I’m just handsome or something :sunglasses:

[quote=“Dangermouse”]
Maybe I’m just handsome or something :sunglasses:[/quote]

Yeah, maybe. We were both white, American, thin, and blond. How about you?

That’s the only such experience I’ve had in Taiwan. I’ve gotten every other job I’ve ever asked for. And I’ve only applied at that David’s, so maybe it’s only a local thing.

I think you solved the mystery!

Do either of these schools hire teachers on a temporary basis?

I’m coming to Taipei in June, when job hunting is a bit more difficult, so I’ll be taking what I can get.

[quote=“violet”]Do either of these schools hire teachers on a temporary basis?

I’m coming to Taipei in June, when job hunting is a bit more difficult, so I’ll be taking what I can get.[/quote]
Don’t know about Kojen, but David’s might be an excellent choice for you. From what I saw, even though they didn’t advertise it, they seem to base their business model on people just like you – fresh off the boat getting a foot in the door, etc. Just my observation.

seeker4’s assessment of David’s is quite accurate, and having taught and all their Taipei branches agree with him.

One thing I would like to add is that they are legit, they do process the aRC, deduct taxes, give u the tax forms, health card, etc. etc., they aren’t those shady buxibans u might have heard of, they do everything by the book. That is something I really like about them. Their pay is quite low, $500-$600 range, but they dont cheat u later, they are upfront and legit 100% or so has been my experience.

[quote=“seeker4”]Hi Dial,

I assume that you’re also evaluating more things than pay and training, as any job is a package arrangement of sorts. Although I’ve never worked for Kojen, I have worked for David’s. Can’t compare them, but can provide a little info. Overall, David’s English Centers are a cut above the mom-n-pop buxibans. As for training, as far as I could see, it was non-existant. Echo above comments on the pay rate. They mention that the pay is better, and say that they’ll pick up the tab for things like taxi rides to off-site clients. However, in my experience, that was “brochure” stuff and happened rarely in actual practice. Classes or private students would be practically forced on me or discontinued suddenly, all without explanation or adequate warning. David’s seems almost designed for temporary workers, and there is high turnover, from what I saw. They didn’t seem to comprehend “negotiation” very well, but rather seemed interested in dictating to teachers, with a smile. That, however, might be a standard employment reality in the Taiwan EFL arena.

Overall, I found David’s to be very similar to a temporary employment agency. They didn’t seem much more than some staff with a list of teachers and a list of students that they inelegantly matched up for a cut. While there are certainly worse places to work for in Taiwan, I didn’t get much out of the experience. Although David’s is not a bad place to start out, if I had to do it again, based on what I know and have heard since, I’d give Kojen a very hard look.

Seeker4[/quote]

Training-

In my experience I find that most ‘training’ offered by cram schools will often be more procedural stuff, and ‘how to teach at this school’ rather than in-depth educational training. I could be wrong but I doubt that either Kojen or Dave’s will teach you about educational pyschology, governmental educational policy and its history, or any of the extra training you really need, i.e. how to deal with bullying, dyslexia, special needs. You may learn how to use the photocopier, or plan a ten step lesson in 8 minutes though. Schools that offer ‘training’ usually want you to do stuff their way, or they hire lots of newbies who make critical errors, like saying “How the fuck should I know?” when asked about tenses. The school I work at now, for example, offers zero training. Why? Cos if you need to be trained to teach they won’t hire you. At my buxiban though we offered ‘a weeks intensive training,’ but it had little educational value, just explicit insructions about how many minutes to drill for, what to wear for work, don’t put paper in the toilet, don’t drink booze at lunchtime etc. No educational value for the training teacher. Really, in retrospect, my advice is not to choose a school based on your perceived level of training offered. If you are serious about teaching as a career then I can tell you now that training is on-going until the day that you die.

I must say that the idea of 90 minutes 1 to 1 with an adult sounds like pure hell. Unless she be nineteen, naked and nubile…

[quote=“TomHill”]
I must say that the idea of 90 minutes 1 to 1 with an adult sounds like pure hell. Unless she be nineteen, naked and nubile…[/quote]

Great post TH. Spot on about the “how to use our system” training but especially, that last bit about training til the day you retire (I paraphrase). Well said sir!

However, teaching adults 1on1 is the most rewarding experience I’ve had here (job-wise :wink: ). I don’t mean monetarily either, although that’s great too. I see results. My clients’ bosses see results.

If you have a solid methodology, motivated students and a complete lesson plan, then teaching 1on1 is a snap.

TomHill, PM me if you are interested in learning more about what I am doing. I know you live in the south right? I may have some clients for you.

I think that dying in the classroom is a distinct possibility for me!

Kojen only hires full-time. they have a policy whereby they don’t allow their teachers to work for any other schools. They’re a legit outfil, just as outlined in the previous post.

Except that they hire you on the pretence that you will be teaching adults. Then when hired, they get you to teach Kinders and your teacher training involves knowing which back door to head for when the police arrive at the front door - ala my experience.

Nice and pretty damn correct post, Tom Hill.