Recruiter In Korea

The Honest Truth About Recruiting in Korea

Hagwon vs. Public School

with 3 comments

This poster on ESL Cafe was wondering if there were any ‘good’ hagwons out there.

I know most people would say that a public school is more reliable and safe since it’s a ‘government’ position but there in my opinion, I would go with a private after-school academy.  Of course with a P.S. you get the long vacations, short ‘teaching’ hours, and reassurance that you will get paid on time and not dicked around with your contract but at the same time, you will more than likely be the only teacher at your school (and a bitch co-teacher which I find all too common), will be required to be at the school for long hours when not teaching (desk-warming may be a good thing for some people), but most importantly, the pay is relatively lower than a hagwon, especially for someone with teaching experience.

A hagwon on the other hand, will pay a ‘relatively’ decent salary (newbies: don’t accept lower than 2.2), will not require you to desk-warm for an unreasonable amount of time (although some may require you to do some extra B.S. work), and you more than likely won’t be the only teacher there unless it’s a really small school.  On the downside however, you will definitely get less vacation days and if you don’t do your research and find a bunk school with a prick director, you may be getting screwed.

Of course this is only my opinion and some may try to refute this.  A public school is best for someone who isn’t so concerned about money or for someone who has a lot of experience with decent pay to reflect that.  Also, if you’re studying for a post-graduate degree or doing some side work on the internet, you can do that during your desk-warming hours.  However, as most people are here to save some coin, probably best to go the hagwon route.  Of course there are a ton of shady schools (and recruiters) out there so as I had always mentioned, best to apply to one of the big chains directly.

Written by recruiterinkorea

December 30, 2010 at 10:53 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Remember that alhtough you could work for a big hagwon franchise, the school you end up at is a branch of that one. So while the company is huge and reputable the owner at that particular school might be crap. I think you mentioned this. But this happened to me. I applied directly to Y*M and ended up at a small branch that was constantly worried about quota so much that things got out of balance.

    Always ask to speak with people working at the school and do your research!


    December 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    • Yes, that’s a good point. A company-owned branch is typically well-run and policies, etc. are uniform so there’s less shadiness. However, I do know that some franchises of well-known chains are very well-run (sometimes even better) than their branch counterparts. Regardless, always do your research.


      December 30, 2010 at 2:29 pm

  2. Or if you’re an experienced ESL teacher (lots of experience) it looks like you don’t have to bother with hagwons.
    As much as Korean hagwon bosses and staff bitch about waygug teachers who aint know jack about how to teach, control students, do real lesson plans – they keep employing newbies, straight outta college graduates,who yep, can’t teach, control students or do real lesson plans.
    Then they wonder why the teachers can’t handle the job.
    But Koreans feel inferior to honestly good waygug teachers so most hagwons won’t employ them.

    Miami Heat

    January 19, 2011 at 9:57 pm

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