I am a good fan of Kojen as I believe they are an excellent school to work at for your first year. Sure, the pay is a bit low and they may have some flaws (fewer than many, though) but they provide good training, have teacher trainer’s on-site and they’re honest.[/quote]
Except thateveryone I knew that worked for them was given an extremely hard time when they tried to leave. Yes, at the end of their contract. They are vindictive and petty and should be avoided at all costs. Yes…I am a better teacher now, but that is because I made myself a better teacher. We were not given any training. In fact, suggesting new ideas branded me a trouble maker.
You don’t want to come back here in a year and say "Toe, you were so right, why didn’t I listen to you. ", do you?[/quote]
Actually, I’ve heard that some people were given a hard time when they wanted to leave. How so? I left August 2002 and had absolutely no problems whatsoever. I’m back now (must update my location) and am teaching at a high school. In so many ways, I feel lucky to have been given this job. I still stand firm. Kojen is a good school to work at for your first year. It’s definitely not perfect but overlooking the imperfections; ie, "it’s always the teacher’s fault, never the student’s, and other annoying problems, a new teacher can be well-launched after a year at Kojen or other large bushiban.
I try not to make blanket statements such as “they’re vindictive and petty”. Your experience and some others was such but mine wasn’t. I don’t agree they should be avoided at all costs. Perhaps if I’d gone back there, my experience might have been different second time around. I dunno.
I had pretty good teacher training, asked questions from other teachers at times and introduced my own instinctive style into the mix. Got good feedback from a TT observing my classes too and learned lots.
As far as your new ideas not being accepted, don’t take it personally. I think it’s general Taiwan thinking over here that’s not specific to Kojen. I’ve tried to introduce some changes at my high school and have been shot down; ie, give me another teacher so my classes will only have 25 students in them instead of 50!!