Last week we shared our extremely bad experience of our last year’s hagwon job. However, we do want to stress that even though situations like these can happen, there are many teachers who really love working for private academies and highly recommend them. The key is to know how to find the right school that is reputable.
Most hagwons use recruiters in order to fill their openings. Using a recruiter is one of the easiest ways to find a hagwon job, but use them with caution. They may seem like they are there for you, but in fact they aren’t. They work for a recruitment fee from the school. If a recruiter isn’t meeting your needs, be firm about what you want.
2. Dave’s ESL
Dave’s ESL is a great resource for looking for jobs in Korea. You can browse the job listings and then connect with the recruiters. You can also use the message boards to connect with other ESL teachers for advice and information. Take it with a grain of salt, however, as some of the people are extremely negative about past jobs and experiences they have had in Korea. While there are some nightmare stories, many others have nothing but wonderful things to say about life in Korea.
3. Talk to current teachers
This is perhaps the best method of finding a good hagwon job. If you know someone who is currently teaching at a hagwon and is about to finish their contract, get in touch with them to see if you can take over once they leave. If you don’t know anyone, a good way to connect with current teachers is to get involved in some of the online message boards. Waygook.org, Dave’s ESL, as well as many Facebook groups are a good place to start. Community Korea’s Facebook page posts many job listings as well.
4. Check the Hagwon Blacklist
When we were offered our hagwon job last year, we searched the company name of the school. The company was very reputable and so we felt better about signing the contract. However, we didn’t check the blacklist. It turned out that our school had been blacklisted and was a mere franchise of the larger company. However, some of the postings on the blacklist may be outdated, so it may be best to take it a step further and contact a current teacher and ask about the present situation at the school.
5. Don’t sign that contract!
Wait to sign your contract until you’ve gone over it carefully and reviewed your salary, hours, sick leave, vacation, housing, flights, pension, severance, and health insurance. Posting your contract to Dave’s ESL or Waygook could also be helpful as other experienced teachers could help you look through it and find any potential red flags. Do not sign the contract until you are satisfied with the terms.
Do your research, and happy hagwon hunting!