Korrnell Academy (康乃薾(康乃爾)雙語學小) in Hsinchu


#21

after tax and but you would hardly be starving, I lived on about $25,000 spending money for my first few months in Taiwan.

I’m working at Kornell now, the Kindergarten and the after school (CRAM) so it’s a long day but I’m happy, the cram school provides a lot of work, but at the same time I only teach for 30 minutes on Tuesday and I’m paid for the day so its a chance to do all the marking ect.
I’ve heard bad things from Korrnell teachers about the elementary but I don’t know anything about it, the kindergarten is good, you are given the freedom to teach and plan your lessons as you feel fit, same in the after school, I previously worked in a Shane school but lost my job because all the kids weren’t all getting above 90%, but some of these kids will never succeed in English, especially not on the Shane curriculum, one example is how they teach the ordinal number 1st to 31st, they’re expected to learn this in 4 hours?! I was also unhappy there by the end, my manager would come in and watch me un-announced, some of the kids had real discipline issues but there was nothing we could do because they school needed every student they could get (one spat on me when I told him off, nothing happened about it).
I have none of these problems at Korrnell, the students are scared of being kicked out, the teaching material is not good but if I say I’m skipping a page and making my own worksheets the school manager does not mind. My students at the Korrnell after school are grouped by age, same as Shane and are 2 years ahead of their counterparts in my old school, the facilities at the kindergarten are great, they give you lunch which is usually of a decent standard. There are punishments if you’re late, like they deduct $10 from you’re pay, but there’s also incentives, if you’re late less than 4 times in 2 months you get $2000. Overall I’m happy with them.rent, just under $40,000 is a reasonable amount, not the greatest paycheck in the world


#22

[quote=“valor”]Has anyone heard anything about this particular school??? School is less than 2 years old so I’m having trouble finding any information on it. I’ve had no luck on buxiban, tealit, or forumosa. Any feedback would be nice.

Cheers[/quote]

With a name like “Korrnell” and a Chinese name that is identical to the Chinese name of Cornell, I’d start questioning the morals of the owner.


#23

I guess I should have read this forum before I signed the contract, bought my ticket and started the visa process. I am really nervous now after reading all of these horror stories. I am committed in the contracted and feel like I have to go now and see for myself, but if there is anyone who can give me some positive anything about the school, I would very much appreciate it or if there are any other new teachers who signed the contract or any teachers who are still working there. It would really ease my mind.

Thanks!


#24

I have some friends who work here right now. I’ve heard them complain about being paid on time & the owner being kind of sneaky about a lot of the pay. However, I’m starting to just think most of this is standard practice in Taiwan…if you’re moving to Jhubei you should PM me though - I can help you get adjusted a bit if you’d like a friend when you first arrive!


#25

I had an interview with them, they had asked me to fill out all sorts of forms pre-interview, then the guy interviewing me essentially asked me all the same questions (sometimes word for word!) which I had already given detailed written answers to… I was also asked questions about adapting to life in Taiwan despite the fact I had clearly and repeatedly stated that I had lived in Taiwan for years.

I think it is fair to say that whilst I continued with the charade of the interview, the lack of even a semblance of organisation from a senior member of staff indicated to me that it would not exactly be a great place to work. I also (mischievously, admittedly) explicitly asked what he thought about some of the negative comments made about the school online. He just smiled, said ‘bad teachers will make bad comments’ then became very defensive indeed.

Hope katysee has a better experience than I would have anticipated having.


#26

Wow so why is the job so bad? You claim they are late paying you or do not pay? That seems a little off for a big school to do… Also, I looked at the rooms they have and they look nice and new. I doubt many places can get you a new place close to the school like that for - I assume- a good rental price. How much do they charge you for your school apartment? If I took a job there and got 70,000 and they took 10,000 for rent I would still be saving a lot. The guy who emailed me seemed polite and open and I was just remiss on filling out the question form after I saw all the negativity on this forum. I guess it is a private school though- therefore they take out a lot in taxes. Where as if I wait and take a public school job I will not be taxed at all. I am a bit tempted to take a job at this private Cornell Glass Beaker School and then apply for better public school jobs… then when I get a public school job give Cornell notice and take the public school one…

I would like to know if the elementary part (not preschool part) has required weekend work times?

How did the work day go - about 20 classes a week or more like 25?
Katysee - how did it go for you?

I get the impression there was a lot of boring paper work to complete. And, that the management is not very good…

Mmm maybe I will just stay in the West and work at Burger King…


#27

thank you for your responses. I am still really nervous about it, but I guess it is a good learning experience :confused: I would love some advice about adjusting to life in Taiwan brettygood! and thanks tetenikov, I hope I have a better experience, but I will see. I will let everyone know how it goes. He did ask me all the same questions over and over again haha Poor Knight, I have no idea yet. I just bought my ticket and figured out my visa stuff, but let me know if you decide to go, we can see how this school really is together. if anyone else in this forum is thinking of signing the contract or already has despite all of this horror stories, PM me :slight_smile:


#28

I just left Korrnell so I can give you a little insight into what you should expect. Since you are a new teacher, you can expect to probably be shifting between two campuses. One being kindergarten or elementary, and the other being the after school program. Kindergarten is really fun and very low stress and pressure. The after school program is a lot of work and grading. You will be required to write tests, reports, letters to parents, and teach at least 4 subjects. It is not impossible really, but it can be overwhelming, especially when you have reports, tests, and report cards all due together. The real issue with Korrnell is that they will attempt to abuse your time. Some teachers have it very easy at the school, and enjoy 2 hour lunch breaks, low stress, no real reports or grading etc… These are the ones that you will see defending Korrnell on here. You as a new teacher, should not expect this for yourself. We decided to quit Korrnell after we were made to transfer from kindergarten to elementary every day. This cut our lunch break down to about 30 minutes, and if we were late we were fined for it. If you work hard you can expect the school to increase your work load and add more classes for you to teach. You will be required to come in on a Saturday morning at least once a month for some school function. This isn’t that bad but after a while it can be frustrating. Expect to work around 45-50 hrs a week. Most of the meetings at the school are glorified yelling matches between the management and the long term teachers. Upon quitting the school they refused to transfer our last check into our account. They made us go to the elementary school to receive our payment in cash three days after it was supposed to be in our account. Upon arriving at the school, the director attempted to place us into an office to discuss our future. Obviously the meeting did not go well and we had to demand our money in an extremely stern fashion before we were paid. This would probably be my biggest issue with Korrnell. They attempt to hold your money if you want to leave. It is written into your contract that they have the right to do this. We lost over 20 English teachers this year, and they all quit on the 6th of the month, which is one day after pay day, because Korrnell will attempt to hold your money if you leave. I will finish by saying that teaching kindergarten in Taiwan is ILLEGAL and you can be arrested and deported for it. Once again, teaching kindergarten is ILLEGAL in Taiwan and you can be arrested and deported for it. We had to run away from the government officials once or twice at work. You are somewhat safe though because the labor board and the school have an understanding. I would give it a shot, but know what you are getting into. It will not be an easy job, you will work a lot harder than other teachers in Hsinchu, the money is considerably less than other jobs (600nt or 20usd an hr) and your job will probably be somewhat illegal. Jhubei and Hsinchu are wonderful cities to live in. There is a large English speaking community, and the Taiwanese are insanely friendly. Good luck to you!

EDIT: I forgot to add that the school will tax you at 20% year round. This is unheard of in Jhubei and Hsinchu. The rate for teachers is 6% but Korrnell charges 20% because they have issue with the labor board due to the amount of teachers that leave every year.

EDIT 2: Let me clarify that while the after school program is a lot of work. The boss and staff were amazing and very helpful. I really enjoyed my co-workers at the after school program.


#29

Katysee, I presume you’ve arrived in Hsinchu and are working in Kornell. I hope things are working out ok for you but if not, Hsinchu is a good place to find another job fairly quickly. Good luck.


#30

Basically:
All day Kindy is the best job you can do in Taiwan, good pay, 2 hour lunches, very little stress.

Half kindy and half afterschool is ok, the afterschool is technically a Buxiban but I used to work for Shane and all those things we hate about Buxiban’s don’t apply at Korrnell, class of 11, smart kids, amazing behaviour and lots of fun.

Elementary - Don’t work here. This is a place for qualified teachers with experience only, and as Dan said with the 18% tax and all the unpaid hours, one saturday a month ect it’s not worth it, if you’re qualified get into to the public school system, same setup as Korrnell but no silly tax rule or unpaid hours to do.

For the post about the school accommodation its $6.500 a month and it’s ok for a single person, too small for couples.


#31

i have a friend who was a chinese teacher here for one year and she quit as soon as she could. she said that they treat the english teachers “a lot better.” compared to the english teachers, chinese teachers are abused by the management. my friend did not go home until 11pm every day in the first semester of work here, because she was forced to do a lot of administrative stuff and take calls after hours from parents who were worried about their already over-achieving kids. the chinese teachers’ contract is really bad. they are forced to stay the entire year, and if they leave before their contract end date, the school charges them 2 months’ pay.

i think the reason that the school is so strict on the chinese teachers is that the main goal for the students, especially 9th-graders, is still to get into taiwanese high schools, and to get into those schools they need to take entrance exams. (unlike some western countries such as the u.s., in taiwan students have to apply and take exams to get into high school). most of them don’t go on to american high schools or move out of taiwan, and korrnell does not yet have a high school. therefore, the parents and administrator’s top priority is to get these kids into good taiwanese high schools. although this is a “bilingual school,” their english curriculum is still 2nd place, because learning science and social studies and language arts in english has no impact whatsoever on the students’ ability to get into a good taiwanese high school. as an english teacher there, therefore, it might be less stressful than for a chinese teacher because the english curriculum is not the first priority for the students…

another person i know told me that this school is able to keep their status despite all the illegal stuff they do is that they have strong political ties, especially in the hsinchu county government. they also have no problem enrolling new students, because many rich parents in hsinchu county want their kids to go to korrnell.

one thing i found fishy is that lee, the guy that interviewed me, resigned earlier this month. :whistle:

battledanny: can you clarify something for me? on the contract it says that you have to give them one month before leaving. did you guys quit and leave on the same day and were able to get paid, or did you guys give them one month. i’m just curious… in case i can’t stand it anymore…


#32

Chalk another comment for staying the hell away. I worked for 1 1/2 years. I got sick of the pedantic management style (yes, even for foreign teachers) which required things like weekly marking checks (they tried a bi-weekly check, and claimed you’d get a bonus for good marks - guess how that worked out!), surprise/out of contract field trips that came back late (helloooooooo, Taipei Flora expo!), monthly weekend work, and some of the unhappiest Taiwanese co-workers you can imagine, knowing they get paid half as much and work twice as hard. They once told me I didn’t “utilize the chalkboard enough” - haha, consider that their educational technology. I was also once yelled at for not using a red pen. Another time, I was told I was using the school books too much. Then told the opposite later.

Now, almost all of the above things aren’t that bad if your boss is good. Thing is, these people know nothing about education, don’t care about what works in education, and are too pig-headed to do anything constructive. THEN they tell you how to do your job after pandering and trying to bullshit claim you’re a “professional teacher, so follow our rules/respect us!”

Oh, keep in mind 80% of their Chinese teachers left last year. In addition, so did Lee, the main HR guy.

I quit after they avoided paying me $7,000 NT on a paycheck. It was after a pre-determined holiday I told them I’d take unpaid at the beginning of last contract (I still kick myself for resigning in the first place) - they took off 30,000 NT when it should’ve been 23k.

OH, you can work at the Kindy. But that’s illegal, so it’s kind of stupid.


#33

[quote=“katysee”]I guess I should have read this forum before I signed the contract, bought my ticket and started the visa process. I am really nervous now after reading all of these horror stories. I am committed in the contracted and feel like I have to go now and see for myself, but if there is anyone who can give me some positive anything about the school, I would very much appreciate it or if there are any other new teachers who signed the contract or any teachers who are still working there. It would really ease my mind.

Thanks![/quote]

Positive thinking: if you’re white, you won’t look for more than a week for a new job. I’d get out of Korrnell just because they have unpaid weekends. DO EET.


#34

This is just my opinion…after being one of the only supporters at the school the last few years, I sadly can no longer recommend working at Korrnell. I may continue to do so as I have been in Taiwan over a decade and I know the grass is rarely greener on the other side but for people who have not been around as I have I would recommend you stay away.


#35

Their tealit ad looks really enticing. I want to contact them everytime I read it. But it also looks kind of Edgar-Alan-Poe-ish, so I don’t.


#36

Hi there,

I’ve been offered a job at Kornell to start in february. However, I have an offer for Stanford school too. Could anyone help me in deciding which one to choose?

Also, what is it like working at Kornell? From the posts on here it looks pretty bad.

Thanks!


#37

I’m also concerned, I just had an interview with the school. There were two interviewers but one is senior than the other. The interview was long, included a demo, a tour of the school and a long conversation about my future prospect should I decide to take up the offer. The senior guy seemed to be interested in making an offer but wasn’t able to come up with a number. Says he has to talk to the management first.(?) He also wants me to complete pre-interview questionnaire via e-mail after the interview and plans to ask me back for another meeting. Any tip on what to look out for when signing a contract and working for the school?


#38

It’s been quite a while since I had a written contract, so I don’t think I can give good advice on that score, but immediately below is a thread that discusses contracts in general, along with some other matters. Opinions vary on the question of what a good or bad contract is, so there’s probably no absolutely right or wrong opinion about that sort of thing. In the thread immediately below, my thoughts are pretty much in line with the poster Abacus’s; however, they are just my thoughts. Anyway, here’s the thread:

forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 5&t=112010

Here are a couple of threads that discuss penalty clauses for terminating a contract early:

forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 5&t=112822
forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtop … 5&t=116867

Here is a thread that discusses a contract involving teaching at a public school:

forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtop … 5&t=111282

I hope someone comes along with additional information.


#39

Also on contracts: Korrnell has made attempts to dock pay based on things such as inadequate marking according to their standards (BS), typographical errors when inputing report cards, and is never fair when it comes to docking you for time off vs. other people if they don’t like you. Again, I say to new people S-T-A-Y A-W-A-Y.


#40

I have been at Korrnell for over a year, and I can say that like any job it has its ups and downs. Are there better jobs? Possibly even probably. Are there worse jobs? Definitely! As with any job it is what you make out of it. There are plenty of people that have been here for quite some time. I’d like to dismiss some of the misinformation.

  1. My wages have never been deducted as a result of poor workbook marking. You are given a bonus (additional money) depending on if and how frequently you check your student’s workbooks. Is it a nuisance? Most certainly! But they tell you about it when you take the job so it really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

  2. Unfortunately the Chinese teachers do work very hard. I wouldn’t say they work harder then the English teachers but they are saddled with a lot of crap duties. They also do get paid significantly less than the English speaking teachers; but such is the law of supply and demand. There is a higher demand for English speaking teachers so we warrant a higher salary. If a higher demand for English speaking teachers didn’t exist many of us wouldn’t be here. If it truly bothers you I might suggest donating some of your salary.

  3. I have never had to work a Saturday that wasn’t government mandated because we had been granted an extra vacation day. I have had to work some evenings; on average 2-3 a semester i.e. Halloween, Christmas pageant, etc. These are however rare and are not exhausting.

  4. Please do not read into Lee leaving. People come and go. If anything I’m grateful he left because his replacement is a hundred times better!