Teachers Discussion Forum
Date: 3 June 2010
I want to give a warning to any teacher in Korea, or anyone who is looking for a job in Korea - DO NOT, under any circumstances, accept a job teaching for WONDERLAND school in POHANG.
While a lot of teachers may have minor complaints about working at their schools, nothing compares to the harsh work conditions, long hours, complete verbal and mental abuse, and withholding of wages that is dished out by the administration at Wonderland.
The teachers work between 9-11 hours per day, but are only paid for what the administration considers "teaching hours" of about 5-6 hours, even though you are teaching 8-9 periods per day. To top it off, the teachers were originally given NO lunch break. Their lunch time was spent acting as lunch ladies, serving food to the students, cleaning up after them, and then babysitting them after they finished their meals.
When the teachers stood up for themselves and requested a lunch break, the administration first told them to stop complaining. After repeated complaints, they were given a lunch break.....but in return now have to work an extra half an hour at the end of the day to make up for it.
At most, the teachers have one break in a 9 hour day to prepare for 8-9 classes. This is barely enough time to plan 1 class, let alone 9. On top of lesson planning, there are various other duties that need to be done on a monthly basis that the teachers are not paid for or given adequate time in the work day to do - including planning activity days, phone teaching, updating student profiles, and various other tasks.
The verbal and mental abuse is given on a daily basis by the director and president who constantly tell the foreign teachers they are not preforming up to the standards of a "good teacher" and need to prepare their classes more. When the teachers explain there is not enough preparation time given in the day for them to prepare, they are told to not complain. The director is constantly trying to assert his dominance (especially over the female teachers) by being verbally abusive.
The director and president are business men and run the place like a business. It is very evident that the main concern is to get more students to the school - not providing a good education to the students. While I know this is the case for many hagwons, it is very detrimental to the teachers, who are not given the proper teaching tools, books, preparation time, or compensation for what they do, and are yet blamed and threatened when a student leaves or no new students sign on to the school.
To top it all off, the pay is low and there is an unexplained large chunk of money taken out of each month's paycheck that is listed on your pay slip as "The Other". This amount ranges from 100,000 to 800,000 Won per month, with no explanation.
Various past teachers have not gotten their deposit back at the end of their contracts, or have had huge amounts taken out for made up "fees" and "bills" that were never discussed until it was time for the school to pay them their deposit.
I speak on behalf of the NUMEROUS teachers that have taught at Wonderland in Pohang in the past and present. I have not heard ONE good thing about this school from foreign or Korean teachers, and every teacher living in Pohang that you talk to knows the reputation of the school and knows NOT to teach there.
I want the message to extend outside the city limits, in hopes that no other English teacher signs their life away to this horrible business that calls itself a school.
If you are looking for a new school to teach at and come across an opening at Wonderland, look elsewhere!
If you've already signed a contract with Wonderland and are making your travel plans to come to Korea - cancel your plans immediately and look elsewhere!
If anyone else has any experience with Wonderland in Pohang or any other branch (I know there are other bad ones in the country,) please post your experiences to help incoming teachers avoid making their lives a living hell.....and to give this Wonderland branch a harder time finding new teachers that will accept their vague, loopholed contracts.