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Blacklist South Korea: Stay away from Hwajeong Poly School.Pros:

Paid in full and on time for the first 11 months. Apartment is within walking distance of school (2 minutes, its across the street).

Convenient location. Lesson plans and curriculum are laid out for you.


They made getting my final paycheck difficult. They don't have the decency to pay you early enough on the final Friday so that you can take care of errands, such as closing your bank account or sending money home. If you close your account before their pay time (which will be around 5 pm on the last day) expect to receive your last paycheck in cash unless you want to pay the fees for them to wire money to your bank account in your home country.

You will have no relationship with the director, Yuri Kim. He is rarely around and I have actually seen him change direction in hallways or enter empty classrooms to dodge a teacher (especially foreign teachers). He leaves everything up to the new vice director, Jay, who has worked at Poly for just over a year (as of March 2014) and knows next to nothing about the curriculum or software used for lessons. Thus, because of her lack of knowledge, you will receive little to no training. I started without ANY observation and 90% of my questions were returned with "ask a senior teacher." Good luck getting help from the senior teachers, at this point there are only two of them left and they are going to be stressed and busy doing their own thing because Jay has them do her work for her (because she doesn't know how to do it!) - Not to mention one of these senior teachers is also the academic coordinator, Nicole, who has a tendency to use a condescending tone with teachers, especially if you are not "certified" - I guarantee within 1 month you will have rhetoric thrown in your face in one way or another about how "just because you have a degree in something doesn't mean you can teach it to kids." Even if she is saying it in conversation with someone else, it was meant for your ears, trust me.

Back to Jay, she has poor management skills and poor communication. Important things are told to you at the last minute (if at all) and usually begin with "Oh, by the way" or "Sorry, I forgot to tell you..." as if saying this is going to soften the slap in the face you're about to get. She didn't forget, she just tells you at the last second so that it lessens the time she has to deal with your concerns or questions (which, as stated previously, she does not have the answer to). This selfish move leaves you ill-prepared, and then, if you make a mistake, you will be blamed for it, even though you are constantly feeling like it "would have been nice to know." A new teacher once got stuck waiting at the airport one day because Jay thought the arrival time on the ticket was for her home country and not Korea time. She is the most incompetent supervisor I have ever worked with. Jay is also a racist. There were a few teachers of color that got treated by Jay in a way that made them want to leave. Once their contracts were up, none were offered a renewal, and they all got replaced by white teachers and gyopos. I didn't want to jump to conclusions, so I asked the previous vice director what he thought of this, and he confirmed that there was a black woman he wanted to hire but she got denied despite having a master's degree and several years experience of teaching in Korea, because according to Jay, "the parents would complain." That is disgusting no matter how you want to look at it. Jay has also out gay staff members to everyone in the office. Back home this is against the law, but you will be the one going through extensive background checks and drug testing before and during your employment to make sure you're safe to work with the criminal that runs this hagwon.

Also, if you are a gyopo with fluent Korean ability, DO NOT LET THEM KNOW. Pretend you don't speak the language. You will be asked to do tasks outside of teaching which are NOT in your contract (such as interviewing parents or preparing documents) - they will take advantage of you in every way and you will not receive extra compensation for it. Be prepared for parents to dictate how your classes and grading are done. Be prepared for "tiger moms" peeking through classroom windows. A single complaint from a parent can absolutely cause changes because this school bends over backward to keep them happy, you will be told differently how to handle things sometimes even on a weekly basis - but I'm pretty sure this is something that runs across the board for most hagwons, not just Hwajeong Poly.

Bottom line: save yourself the trouble, stay away from this awful school and awful vice director.

Please do not review this article, review the company located on the link below:

Korea Poly School - Private Schools - South Korea

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