Since there seems to be a large influx of teachers coming to Ilan County, I have decided to post a list of schools to avoid. This list was compiled after talking with many teachers in the Ilan/Lotung area:
Percharter (Ilan): This school has had a bad reputation in Ilan for years. It has been rumoured, for example that they once cancelled two foreign teachers ARC’s without telling them, causing them to work illegally and overstay. Also lots of telephone teaching without pay, and general American School crap to deal with. *tries to take a deposit
Alice Lin English Class (Ilan): Ask any teacher in Ilan who has been here for more than two days and they have probably been warned about Alice Lin!! This woman is insane, and was joined by her bitchy daughter about a year ago. They have been open for about 4-5 years and have only had 2 teachers actually complete a full year contract. Warnings about this school are too numerous to list, but the boyfriend of an ex-employee put it this way: “If Alice Lin offers you a job, run. Run as fast as you can in the opposite direction and don’t look back.” (Thnx to Aaron for a classic quote, wherever you may be now). *tries to take a deposit or puts a retainer in contract
Maple Bridge (Lotung): This school may be under another name by now; they frequently change both the name of the school and phone numbers, but remain under the same management (?). The complaints about this school include withholding teachers’ passports (hint: never give the school your passport, they can make due with a copy) and telling lies. Although I don’t the name at this time, it is across from Edison American School in Lotung.
Edison American School (Ilan and Lotung): Edison has two branches and the Ilan school is complained about more often. They seem to be firing their teachers every two weeks or so and hiring the first teacher that comes along willing to work for less. Combine this with a really bitchy principle and (some) crazy Chinese co-teachers, and you can guess whether or not it’s a good idea to work for Edison.
[color=red]Name of school deleted /color: This school only opened in the past year, and already they have a reputation! It is owned by a foreign husband/Taiwanese wife team. Some teachers who have met the hubby say he’s intimidating and comes off as a bully (well, they used slightly more descriptive words than that…).
Ivy League Bushiban (Ilan): Ivy League is owned by a very friendly and fake guy named Kenny, who generally isn’t too bad, but has done some shitty things to foreigners in the past. The sister, Anne, however is said to be difficult to work with and is especially bitchy towards male foreign teachers (at least 3 in the past two years complained of being treated differently than female co-workers and quit because of it). Another problem is lots of expected unpaid work, like meetings, photo shoots (!), and holiday activities without pay, even though teachers are paid hourly and not by salary. They have recently been trying to get teachers on “retainer” (I.E. if you leave before a year is up, you have to pay them $xxxxx).
If you are moving to Ilan, your best bet is to go with the small bushibans, they seem to be run by nicer people and pay more (though some of the bigger schools are good too).
Some good schools: Happy House, Leader, Happy Marion, Global Village, Green Garden, Berkeley, Julia Kindergarten
If anyone else knows of good or bad schools in this area, please add your comments!! Hope you find this helpful if you are moving to Ilan!