Kang Chiao school (康橋雙語實驗高中) in Xindian


#1

Anyone had any experience at this school?


#2

This is the second or is it the fourth English name change. Not necessarily bad, but difficult to keep up with, and most importantly to search for the comments.
Okay, 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday, AND weekly meetings and p.d. workshops.
We do know how the Chinese love having meetings and talking a lot.
It is a fantastically beautiful school, surrounded by a very exclusive neighborhood, many guard posts to pass; It makes it a long distance to travel, through the scenic mountain curves ( you know how the Taiwanese travel in both lanes up and down the hill ), and the travel will soon get old, dull, and continue to be dangerous.


#3

Kang Chiao is hiring again and I figured I would post the lowdown before anybody re-asks about it. This is in regards to the kindergarten only.

Pros:

  • Pay is nice and the work is easy
  • No curriculum at the kindie level. Spring 08 curriculum was done on a Saturday in 3 hours. If you can make your own material work and look good. You will have no worries
  • Bonuses and party money each semester
  • Chinese teachers are helpful and very pleasant
  • Clean air and environment

Cons:

  • Contract=waste of perfectly good toilet paper if they have a way to screw you and they will find a way. No teacher has left the kindergarten on good terms in the last 6 years.
  • Pettiness that comes from being involved with all large organizations.
  • Things are unorganized in a way that you would think they couldn’t be at a school that charges that much and has been in business for that long, especially when it’s sister school is so much better run.
  • The drive, every year 2+ foreigners crash on their way up the mountain. Lots of construction workers and just plain idiots all the time on that damn road.
  • EFL dept. complains every year that we have no curriculum, but doesn’t help the school write one or allow teachers the time to make a proper one.
  • All your vacation time except for 5 days is taken when the school is closed.
  • They will hold your pay for stupid reasons and teachers who have left have been effected by this.

Most of my experience there has been positive and I enjoyed the block hours at one location. As far as leadership and guidance don’t expect any. Last year, They fired all of us and then later rehired some of us back when that didn’t work out. It’s really hard to be fired from the job as one coworker proved by sleeping or playing computer games during class time. The drive is horrible, but the air is clean for Taipei area. [/u]


#4

Okami - there isn’t a great deal that you wrote that doesn’t apply to most schools in Taiwan.

It is an ok school. They always pay you on time and there aren’t very high expectations of native English speaking teachers. I would (and have) recommended friends to go there because I know what other schools are like here.

I’ve worked there for two years and if I didn’t have a scholarship to learn Chinese I’d possibly have stayed for another year.


#5

I’ve noticed that they always seem to be hiring. To me, that means that teachers don’t want to stay there.


#6

It was fucking horrific five years ago. I really hope it’s moved on for the kids’ sake, but given the systemic deficiencies, I can’t see how it would have done.


#7

I have taught some of these kids in an after school buxiban. They are not so well behaved. Are they any better at Kang Chiao school?


#8

A woman in the office sends her kids there, and she thinks its great.

People buy into it when a website looks good, the facilities look expensive and the fees are high (not necessarily for the education but to pay for the facilities). And if the fees are high, then it must be good


#9

I have a student who goes there. HEr English is horrible, and I know the foreign teachers there aren’t doing there job too well (well I can only saw that for one of the teachers there.) I would rate the quality of my buxiban’s English program over Kang Chiao’s, but it is true that a lot of folks with money snd there kids there. Could be a good way to make some contacts.


#10

I’ve had private students from lot of schools. Some had excellent English, some didn’t. It isn’t always the school’s fault they have bad English. Maybe there are more important things to learn than English anyway.

Maybe the teacher that was teaching your student wasn’t doing a their job to well. But that isn’t the same for all the teachers there. I certainly know that I did my job well when I was there.


#11

I worked in the Kindergarten and I wouldn’t recommend the school to anyone. Kang Chiao is a business not a school, and that is how they treat their teachers. If they can find a way to rip you off when you leave, they will, and they will find a way. They change the rules of your contract to suit themselves. I know this happens at many schools, but from my experience over the past 5 years, not all schools are like this. They will tell you that you get paid holidays, but you cannot take these holidays when you want to and they will force you to take them when the school is closed, but they don’t tell you all this before signing the contract.

They don’t care about education, they only care about treating the parents well so they will resign. There is no cirriculum because the kindergarten and the DFL can not calaborate, which is terrible considering the amount tutition is. Besides that it is in the middle of the boonies, so you will have to travel between 40 - 60 mins to work everyday, which makes a long working day for a wage you can get anywhere.

You can find a much better job closer to home.


#12

I’ve worked at this school and I have to agree with yamumma, Buttercup, and Okami. However, I don’t want to use this thread to complain about how badly they treated me and other teachers over the years.

Instead, I would like to offer some practical advice.

1st = Try not to get sucked in by the school’s new facilities and the recruiter’s well polished sales pitch. Keep your wits about you and don’t assume anything.

2nd = Don’t sign anything until you have read the “Foreign Teacher’s Working Regulations”. It has over 20 pages and it will be heavily referenced in the contract they offer you. It’s an interesting read!!!

Good luck if you do decide to work there.


#13

Foreign Teacher’s Working Regulations should be read cover to cover as they will reference it and it has all the rules. They won’t actually tell you what is in it, till you get screwed otherwise.

And just to add a shiv in the back a letter from a former employee. I think its whiny, but I’m feeling mean now.

[quote]You can’t be surprised by this.

You can’t treat people with such total disrespect and actually be surprised when they screw you over like this.

Frankie, I do appreciate the fact that you loaned me some money before the holiday weekend, but that does not excuse the fact that this school took the utterly reprehensible step of not paying their teachers before a three-day weekend simply so that they could collect a little more money on the interest. How can they do something like that and actually expect the employees to want to work for them? I realize that Taiwanese are taught that it is good to eat shit on a daily basis, but Westerners demand a certain amount of respect from their employers ?and without that respect, you can not expect the employee to truly put forth his best effort.

How can you expect your employees to put forth their maximum effort when you not only force them to perform like horses at some ridiculous Sports Day, but you then shut down the elevators so that your stallions can get nice firm muscles in preparation for that event? Or when you don’t allow them to access the internet at work for either personal or professional purposes? Or when you force them to bring in a doctor’s notice to prove that they are sick as though they were an eight-year old child? How can you expect anything from your employees when you treat them in such a disrespectful manner? Every day, this school gave me a new reason to want to leave.

If you are wondering when the final moment was when I decided that it was time to vacate, then I’ll tell you that it was when I was informed that I could not have October 13th off. When I began working here, I was told that I would have several vacation days. I thought that, even though I didn’t like Taiwan, I could still enjoy working here and making money and using those vacation days to explore the countries in Asia that are actually enjoyable. What I wasn’t told upon signing the contract, however, was that those vacation days were actually when the school was closed. What a hilarious little joke that was. There are no real vacation days. If I want a day off, it’s unpaid. So, in order to take a vacation, I was forced to grovel before the administration ?begging for an UNPAID day off work. And then, as an extra kick in the nuts, I wasn’t even granted that.

I suppose the real blame for this should fall on Frankie’s predecessor, Jennifer. I was very clear to her about the fact that I don’t work well in highly-structured environments. I need freedom ?something I had not experienced at Taiwanese buxibans. She assured me that this school was not like a buxiban and that I would find a great deal of freedom here. What an absolute lie that was. This school is worse than a buxiban. It is the absolute worst job that I have had in all my time in Asia. Never in my life have I been treated in this way. I refuse to be scolded like a child because I did not teach my class exactly according to an asinine day-by-day weekly schedule. You can take your two warning notes and . . . well, use your imagination. I refuse to be monitored through the windows during each and every class by three different supervisors. I will not allow my class to be controlled by the whims of idiotic parents who don’t know a damn thing about education and are concerned only with their 9-year-old child outscoring their neighbor’s 9-year-old child on some silly test about Rodney and His Fucking Flans. And I will not work in a school that bows to every single demand that those parents make ?instead of having the courage to, from time to time, telling that parent to go to hell.

I respect the fact that you want to make money. In my law office, I certainly had that as a goal, as well. However, that goal can not be permitted to replace self-respect. When running my practice, there were many times that I simply had no choice but to give a partial refund to my client and send them on their way. I can only hope that the administration of this school will someday develop the courage to do that, as well.

But you won’t. In the end, this letter is pointless. Another Taiwanese trait that I have learned during my time here is that Taiwanese people do not listen to criticism and they are totally incapable of change, so it doesn’t really matter. I’m just glad that I’m done nodding my head and smiling. I’m glad that I’m done having to lie to all my co-workers ?telling everyone that I was getting used to it here, when I so badly wanted to tell them all that I was getting the hell off of this closed-off island.[/quote]


#14

Indeed, that is not only whiny but mostly incoherent. And everything written in this thread really does just sound like a normal Taiwanese company, for a foreigner or a local.

– Brendon, who has never had a paid day off in his life, fixed days or otherwise
(and is pretty drunk)


#15

Gotta agree with Brendon. Just another whiny dick who was pissed that “Mummy, it’s SO different from home!”


#16

Yeah guys, not an exactly eloquent letter, but those guys are FAR worse than anything else I’ve seen. I was there for a few weeks. I walked out and booked the first ticket to HK for my visa run, rather than tolerate another day. They really are evil c*s, and I am no stranger to evil cy schools in Taiwan and elsewhere.

You are right, but you really can’t put KangChiao in the same bracket as most clueless buxibans.


#17

I have worked at Kang Chiao Kindergarten (Qingshan) and it is an appalling, disorganized mess and I wouldn’t recommend that anyone works there.

I agree that it is a business first and that education comes bottom of their list of priorities. They just want to make as much money as possible and nothing else really matters, with the exception of telling the parents everything they want to hear, so that they keep paying the extraordinarily high tuition fees (which they will because the kindergarten ‘looks’ good, however the education is far from good).

If you do work there don’t expect any guidance about what they want or expect. They constantly change the goal posts. They have no curriculum, but they will give you a very vague ‘syllabus’. They have no idea about English language acquisition for children and as such have no essential sentence patterns or words for the children to learn at each level of the kindergarten. They literally make up the curriculum on-the-go, which means it’s very disorganized and things cannot be integrated with their ‘theme’ learning.

Their ‘theme’ learning is the only thing they seem to care about, yet instead of thinking about what children really need to know and building a solid curriculum that builds the children’s skills every year, they constantly change their curriculum, as a result it’s a big made-up mess. Children that age need to know a limited set of basic life-skills and the theme should be set to reflect their needs and build on those year-by-year (not learning about random rubbish). Additionally as a result of this disorganized mess, the children who go through the whole Kang Chiao kindergarten system have pretty poor English skills compared with other educational institutions.

They are incredibly cheap when it comes to resources. They want and expect you to make a lot of things for them, they won’t provide flashcards for their poorly, made-up, on-the-fly curriculum. You cannot print anything in color for classroom resources. Paper and art supplies are very limited and you’ll be lucky if you can get them. Basically they don’t want to spend money on essential resources and then make that your problem, not theirs. They have an old style CRT TV in the classroom as a ‘resource’, but its mainly for show and they don’t want you to use it for more than 5 minutes a day (probably because of the power it uses).

You will be expected to give up your free time, often on weekends, which they won’t pay you for. In the contract you have to ‘give’ the school 15 hours of your time for free, but if they want to hold an event on a weekend and you’ve already given them your free time, they’ll expect you to do it, or face financial penalties (and they do hold quite a few events at weekends).

The school itself is hard to get to, so unless you have a scooter you’ll have a job getting there and it will be expensive taxi rides every day (at least $130NT each way). If you have a car or scooter the school will charge you for parking your car or scooter at your own workplace, the fee for a car is $1000NT and I think a scooter is $500NT per month. Also you have to be there before 8AM ‘every’ day to get your measly attendance bonus.

The paperwork you’ll be required to do is a lot in comparison to other kindergartens. Most of this paperwork is completely pointless and superficial (e.g. just to look good). The parents receive daily communication from the Chinese teachers via telephone and by the children’s communication books. They also make the Chinese teachers write a blog on the internet about what we’ve been doing in the class. Then on top of ‘all’ that communication the English teacher is expected to write individual and general comments every week and make a bi-weekly report in the form of a stylized 2 page newsletter. All this communication is a huge waste of both of the teacher’s time, which could be better spent doing things for the children’s learning.

They will expect you to clean their school for them. They have two cleaning ladies whose job it is to clean a 5 story building, empty all the bins, clean up ‘all’ the breakfast, lunch and snack bowls and waste and escort children on buses. They have inadequate cleaning tools (mops and cheap brushes) for a building that size and they don’t have time to clean the classrooms and bathrooms, hence the teachers have to do it. The school also has a lot of highly infectious diseases being passed to the children because (I assume) of the poor hygiene and cleanliness standards. If anything, a kindergarten should be cleaner because you have young children putting their hands on the floor and then in their mouths all day.

The class sizes have increased and increased over the years and now have a limit of 24 students per class (to make more money), not only is this harder to manage, but the children do not get the one-on-one time they need at that age, which is also what the parents expect because they pay so much money. Kang Chiao kindergarten is now more of a factory kindergarten than a real educational institute that cares about students needs.

If you want to take holiday days, forget it. You have to take all your holiday days outside of term time and if you do manage to get a day off, they will put it down as a personal day, hence you will lose money.

Overall, I think there are better options out there that are more convenient, less hassle and more money. Don’t get sucked in by the way the place looks. It’s actually not a great place to work. There is more that I could say about the place, but I think you get the idea.


#18

The curriculum sounds horrible and the business sounds poorly managed. But that is par for the course for 98% of Taiwanese companies.

The rule in Taiwan is that you can take time off only if the employer’business permits. Your employer is perfectly within his rights under Taiwanese law to deny you leave at times when he needs his employees on the job. During the school terms is definitely going to be considered ‘on the job’. All Taiwanese companies work this way.

Most schools ask teachers and students to clean classrooms. This is supposed to be character building. Obviously, if the kids are too small, the teachers are going to end up doing most of the work. That sucks, but it is an entirely accepted practice here.

If you are working on a salary (not hourly), which you almost certainly are since you get annual leave, you can be required to work for up to 84 hours every two weeks. That’s probably where your weekend time for sports days etc is coming in.

$500 NT is reasonable for monthly rental of a scooter spot in the Taipei area.

I completely respect your opinion that this is a terrible place to work and would avoid taking a job there based on what you say.

But since newbies read this board, I think it is important to understand that most of the employment practices described here are very standard in Taiwan and you can expect them elsewhere.

You are just being treated like Taiwanese would be in a large organization.


#19

The scooter rental is on school property within the internal parking garage and the school is far outside of Taipei. I don’t think it’s reasonable to ask your employees to pay to park on school property when they work there.

Regarding holidays, I agree that ‘newbies’ from western countries will expect to be able to take vacation time at any time during the year, but if you really need the time off, this school will not even let you take a couple of days off as paid holidays. They make it difficult for you to take time off because they will insist that you take it as unpaid leave.

The job is salaried, but the contract states 15 hours maximum per semester for free on top of contracted hours. I think it is unacceptable to break the contract and force people to work in their time off, under the threat of financial penalties.

Cleaning at this school is at least 4 times a day, including sweeping and mopping the entire classroom, cleaning the tables, whilst at the same time having to also manage the children whom are too young to help.

I also agree with your point that 98% of Taiwanese companies couldn’t manage getting drunk in a bar.


#20

:astonished: I have never worked at a school that required the foreign teachers to mop the floors, take out the trash, etc. It is most certainly not common.

I haven’t taught kindergarten for almost a decade, but are 24 student kindergarten classes really standard now? :ohreally: