The System English School - Yay? Nay?


#1

Hello!

Does anyone have any experience working with The System English School in Taipei (Da’an)?

If so, how was it?

They seem to have a research-proof name!

Thanks in advance.


#2

If you really want to research a buxiban, ask for the legal name (iow the full Chinese name) of the buxiban and the legal name of the fuzeren (“responsible person”).


#3

Thanks. Here’s some more info…

The System English School 西斯頓美語文理補習班 - 仁愛教室

仁愛路四段300巷20弄14號一樓
大安區 台北市 106

No. 14, Alley 20, Lane 300, Section 4, Ren’ai Rd
Da’an District, Taipei, Taiwan 106


#4

Off to a good start: apparently, they have not been sued. :slight_smile:


#5

I worked at The System for about 9 months. The school is run like a military academy, and you are given total control to be as harsh on the students as you want. The material is all prepared before hand so you don’t really have to prepare. It is not a difficult job once you get it down, but there is tons of information and specifics for you to learn. Once you have it, it is very easy. However, because their “system” is so specific, you cannot have substitutes and it is nearly impossible to call off of work. Importantly, they do not make you sign a contract. I was told this is because they, “trust their teachers.” I would not learn until later that they have driven numerous teachers away. I firmly believe they do not make you sign a contract to protect themselves from lawsuits when they treat you unfairly later, so be wary.

The problem is the owner. The owner is borderline mentally unstable. She has severe anger problems and cannot keep it together. I had an issue in which the company made a mistake with my payment. I was informed a week before payday that I would suddenly be shorted 50% of my paycheck. I was of course upset since I did not cause the problem, but when I simply went to inquire about the issue, I was verbally attacked, insulted, and told to never come back. She yelled at me in front of students and their parents. It was humiliating and embarrassing. The rest of the school apologized and said unfortunately this is how the owner is. It has happened with other teachers, students, and she has even yelled at parents in a similar manner. When I said, “this is very unprofessional,” she responded, “Good, I am unprofessional and not civil. I don’t care.” She has some problems to say the least. Honestly, everyone else working there is great, but the owner is really disturbed. It is impossible to tell if she will react as a normal person or fly off the handle. Be careful with this place. I was told I was a good teacher and that they liked having me one minute and the next screamed at and told to never come back. I would never recommend working here,


#6

Fascinating story. :eek:

[quote=“Alfil, post:5, topic:157285, full:true”]
Importantly, they do not make you sign a contract.[/quote]

They only take people with open work rights? :ponder:


#7

She sounds like a manic-depressive, or bipolar. I wouldn’t want that kind of owner in charge of my work environment, job security, and wages.


#8

Thanks for all of the responses. I had a few interviews with her and appreciated her directness, though I did note a bit of an edge at one point. Nothing huge, but part of the reason I didn’t accept the position. I have no time for work environments that tolerate such behavior (esp under the guise of “tough love”).


#9

Having worked at The System for the last 2-3 years I can say with confidence that the above comment is sent from a disgruntled employee. The school itself is run by a Taiwanese woman and a guy from Texas. They have a solid and proven curriculum that actually shows results unlike a lot of schools in Taiwan. We don’t play games in class, we use the system. It’s very easy once you know it and the kids are all well behaved. We don’t abuse them and I rarely need to raise my voice or discipline them. I love my kids there.

In terms of the managers, they are completely legit, they pay on time and do not screw anyone over. The guy above was a noob in Taiwan and didn’t realize his first month’s salary would have a stupid amount of tax taken out courtesy of the Taiwan govt. i tried to help him along but he was young and didn’t understand/not responsible.

I actively try to get my friends a job at this place because it’s a pretty easy kickass teaching job you can trust. No BS meetings, no 30 minute unpaid prep time, no graduation ceremonies etc., show up 5 minutes before class, walk in and teach, go home. Legit. It’s so relaxed there sometimes I just hang before or after work and chat w teachers/managers/kids. No worries.


#10

Joined 31 minutes ago? Hard to believe your reply to be honest. No school is that perfect. Probably no coincidence that your reply comes at a time when the System are actively looking for new teachers.


#11

Well, somebody is telling fibs. Generally, it’s unlikely for a teacher to rave about a peach of a school they work at, for obvious reasons. Matt2 could be an exception to the rule, though. At the same time, there are a lot of disgruntled teachers out there.

One technical point - I don’t see how any teacher could possibly walk into school 5 minutes before their first class. Even if everything had been prepared that’s unacceptable IMO.


#12

Kinda sounds like a cult “We don’t play games in class, we use… THE SYSTEM”.


#13

I listened to a Krashen lecture and he joked that all you need to do to make money in EFL is come up with some kind of short-cut silver bullet that sounds plausible and repeat it enough times with belief.

Shocked me at first, coming from him, but then I nodded my head.


#14

This sounds like a line out of a George Orwell novel.


#15

So you encourage your teachers not to do any preparation for their classes. Maybe the teachers like it, but that sounds like a shit school from the parents’ perspective. I certainly wouldn’t send my kid there.

I guess the “system” you talk about is code for being a lazy babysitter.


#16

For anyone reading, I remember @Matt2 well. He is a super nice guy. As I said in my previous post, just about everyone working there was. Also, I do want to reiterate that Matt is correct in his summary of the school. It is, all things considered, a very easy teaching job. Once you learn their very specific system, you really don’t have to think much. If you are looking for an effort-free teaching gig, this is it. I believe him when he says he’s only had good experiences. I just hope nothing goes wrong and he has to deal with the owner…

Just a few things for anyone who wants more details:

  1. Obviously I am a disgruntled employee. However, I think they gave me cause.
  2. I’m not sure how they spun the situation after I left, but I can assure you that the problem with my pay had nothing to do with taxes from my first month in Taiwan. I’d worked at that school for nine months when this happened. This argument doesn’t make much sense. The way it happened was that I showed up to work one day and they said they had accidentally been paying me too much from the beginning and they would need to deduct a huge sum out of a single paycheck. There was no other explanation given. I had no idea what they were talking about, was completely shocked, and really disappointed because it was a ton of money (50% of my total monthly salary).
  3. Still, the money was not the problem. I genuinely believe the woman who had been paying me (not the owner) made an honest mistake. She was very understanding and sweet, and really tried to help.
  4. The problem was the owner and her total lack of professionalism/self-control. I approached her for clarification and to see if I could pay the money back slowly over the next three months as, with the deduction, I could barely afford rent, and certainly nothing else that month. That’s when she totally lost it, screamed at me, made a ton of vile and ridiculous accusations, and told me to get the hell out of her school. I told her that day that, if she treated people like this, she would not have teachers who would want to work there. I told her I would make sure to spread the word that this is how she treats people. She said, “Good. No one wants to work here already.”
  5. I have lived in five different countries and lived as an expat on three different continents. I’ve never had a problem with an employer and always show respect. The issue was not that I was not responsible. After she humiliated me, I even came back and finished teaching the extra classes I was scheduled so I wouldn’t inconvenience the other teachers. Nor was the issue that I was inexperienced dealing with foreign environments. Fine, maybe I was naïve. I’ll admit, I should have been a little bit more careful and should have insisted that I sign a contract with them. But I have never, and I mean never, seen a grown woman lose it like this woman lost it. She had no problem raising her voice (in front of a crowd of parents with their kids!), insulting me personally for things that didn’t even make sense, accusing me of trying to ruin her school… When I say I haven’t ever been spoken to like that, I don’t even mean in a professional setting, I mean ever. It’s been rare that I’ve ever even seen someone talk to another person like this. And then when I tried to seek clarity from other people, they basically shrugged and said, “Yeah, that’s just who she is. We’re sorry. She has a problem.”

So, all things considered, if anyone applies they could have a great experience here, just like Matt said. However, there might be some who encounter even a minor inconvenience, and when they do they will need to interact with a woman who should absolutely not be running a business.

I am not trying to irrationally slander a place because I had a bad experience; that would be petty and a waste of time. I gave a fair assessment of how the teaching works and have mentioned some positives. However, people deserve to have all of the facts before they commit to working somewhere, somewhere they’ll spend a lot of time. I apologize for the length, but I promised when she attacked me that I would tell the story to as many people as possible so they could avoid the disaster that happened to me.

My advice: approach at your own risk.