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  • Stealing Students

    I work part time for an English teaching company. I teach one day a week but am finishing my contract.
    There are a lot of students I want to steal to teach privately. However, I am worried about the legal fallout, if any.

    Can my ex employer do anything if they find out I have stolen students by offering cheaper classes?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Potnoodle View Post
    I work part time for an English teaching company. I teach one day a week but am finishing my contract.
    There are a lot of students I want to steal to teach privately. However, I am worried about the legal fallout, if any.

    Can my ex employer do anything if they find out I have stolen students by offering cheaper classes?
    What does your contract say?

    Comment


    • #3
      Good question...

      I checked the contract and it doesnt say anything at all about stealing students...

      I was just wondering if anyone else has experience with this kind of stuff...

      Comment


      • #4
        I assume you have planned on what to say to your students so that it does not make it look like
        you are doing anything unethical?

        I suppose if one student drops out from your class, and casually mentions to another student at the old school that you solicited them, and it gets back to the faculty,
        Could it make trouble for you?

        Does "blacklisting" occur in the English Teaching world?

        Comment


        • #5
          from time to time i have wondered if there was a blacklist of teachers, but I think there isn't. my reasons for thinking so are...

          1. i have a number of friends who were regional managers in the big 4. after they quit and had sour ties i'm sure they would have spilled the beans.
          2. after nova screwed so many people, i'm sure it would have gotten out after they went bankrupt.
          3. most schools are petty and they don't seem will to share anything with other schools.
          4. there doesn't seem to be any network for such things.
          5. most teachers stay only a year, so what's the point.
          6. school have too high a turn over rate to waste time actually blacklisting and checking such a list.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by thefg
            ...unethical scum bag
            Yes – that is one interpretation – and OP did use the words for theft.

            But if OP is offering a better service – which he presumably would be, if the student were to choose to cross over, then so long as he does not solicit while on company time, or in their premises – I wouldn’t see it as an issue. Obviously the student can decline the invitation. I suspect that most students would not leave a school that they have attended for a while and feel comfortable with – so those who do leave would likely have left at some future date anyway.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TJrandom View Post
              Yes – that is one interpretation – and OP did use the words for theft.

              But if OP is offering a better service – which he presumably would be, if the student were to choose to cross over, then so long as he does not solicit while on company time, or in their premises – I wouldn’t see it as an issue. Obviously the student can decline the invitation. I suspect that most students would not leave a school that they have attended for a while and feel comfortable with – so those who do leave would likely have left at some future date anyway.
              Taking advantage of your relationship as a teacher to steal students is akin to seducing a student. A teacher's influence with students is very strong. It's very difficult to see one as unethical and the other not.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Potnoodle View Post
                I work part time for an English teaching company. I teach one day a week but am finishing my contract.
                There are a lot of students I want to steal to teach privately. However, I am worried about the legal fallout, if any.

                Can my ex employer do anything if they find out I have stolen students by offering cheaper classes?
                Most schools have rules against asking students for their contact details so you can contact them for lessons.

                Once you have quit I dont think they can do much but while you are working you may get in trouble for contacting students re teaching privately. Blacklists dont really work as you are no longer an employee and the employer has no territorial rights outside his school.

                Comment


                • #9
                  to be honest, I really do not feel bad about stealing students.

                  It is buisness. If I can offer the same class at a cheaper price everyone is a winner.

                  Moreover, who is really the thief...

                  My company hands me a student. I make a class with my own materials and my own ideas. I care for the students needs. But, my company charges the students 5000 yen an hour and pays me 2000 yen and the company makes 3000 yen for providing a room to teach in.

                  The only people who are really being stolen from are the students and the teachers...

                  FG,

                  I disregarded your post as I dont know what you mean by "steeling" has that got something to do with metal work.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Potnoodle View Post
                    My company hands me a student. I make a class with my own materials and my own ideas. I care for the students needs. But, my company charges the students 5000 yen an hour and pays me 2000 yen and the company makes 3000 yen for providing a room to teach in..
                    Thats why you are the employee and not the boss. How do you think the boss pays for his overheads: rent, electricity, copy paper, secretarial wages? It comes out of operating profits which you want to steal from him.

                    He also provides you a salary which you otherwise would not have got on your own.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KansaiBen View Post
                      Thats why you are the employee and not the boss. How do you think the boss pays for his overheads: rent, electricity, copy paper, secretarial wages? It comes out of operating profits which you want to steal from him.

                      He also provides you a salary which you otherwise would not have got on your own.
                      While I agree that 2000 yen is a bit low, perhaps Potnoodle should try renting his own place.

                      Let's just say you fount a small office in a reasonable place to open a school for 50,000 yen and utilities cost you 10,000 yen/mo. (For the moment, we'll ignore the normal 4 to 5 months deposit and 1 to 2 months key money and 1 month fee you would normally have to pay.)

                      You make 2000 yen an hour. Let's say you get 250,000 / month. That's 125 lessons a month.

                      So 60,000 yen divided by 125 lessons is 480 yen per lesson

                      You need someone to arrange for the lesson schedule. That will cost you 160,000 yen / month, or 1280 yen per lesson

                      Photocopies, cleaning materials, teaching materials, bare minimum advertising - let's say it runs you 25,000/mo. That's 200 yen per lesson.

                      So what have we got?
                      Your salary 2000 yen
                      Rent/utilities 480 yen
                      staff 1280 yen
                      misc 200 yen

                      for a total of 3960. It looks like there's a difference of just over 1000 yen "profit" for the owner.

                      BUT...

                      we haven't calculated the approximate 300,000 in contract fees for the office

                      or the costs for desks, chairs and other equipment

                      or the chances that the schedule is not full.

                      What that adds up to is RISK. And that's why owners get what they get. They take the risk and get the rewards (good or bad) that come with it. Often, the "reward" is they get to eat. There are plenty of schools that are not profitable. Maybe you can do better. Good luck.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        He also thinks the boss should reward him for things he should be doing in his job anyway. You are not just paid to be a bum on a seat for an hour, you are paid to deliver a product, do all the paperwork and preparation, as well as counsel the student for what he pays you (which is what you agree to work for in the beginning I might add). If you think you are not being paid enough then quit and start your own school. You will end up earning less than you are now, once all the costs are taken out. Student probably wont want to have lessons out of a Starbucks anyway.
                        Last edited by KansaiBen; 2012-04-10, 10:46 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Im playing the smallest violin in the world for all the big eikaiwa bosses out there...

                          3 types of people set up english schools

                          gaijin with no other options because they want to live in japan long term but have no other prospects
                          people who love teaching
                          people who want to make money


                          you people are very naive... Eikaiwa is a multi million dollar industry for the larger companies and smaller schools though diffifult in the beginning, once they have a large amount of students make a good profit too.

                          It is business. If you dont make enough profit it means that your buisness model is ____ed so you should give up and close shop.

                          Moreover, I asked for any people who have stolen students... I dont care if its ethical or not. I dont care about all the people who are sucking on the devil c0ck of the eikaiwa monster rushing to its defense.
                          Last edited by Potnoodle; 2012-04-11, 08:48 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Potnoodle View Post
                            It is business. If you dont make enough profit it means that your buisness model is ____ed so you should give up and close shop.
                            Good business is not stealing students, whom you had no role in finding. If you want to start a language school find your own goddamn students. All it shows is that you lack ethics and scruples.

                            What makes you think you can make more money than your employer, seeing as you will have to rent a room, pay overheads? And also, how would you feel if one of your own employees did the same thing to you?

                            PS NOVA had close to half a million students in its heyday. It used to spend a billion yen a year on teachers' insurance (7000 teachers by 20,000 yen a month, do the math). It still managed to lose money and go out of business. Mainly because it was difficult to keep tuition low and also pay teachers a living wage at the same time, which is a language schools biggest expense.
                            Last edited by KansaiBen; 2012-04-11, 08:51 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Potnoodle View Post
                              My company hands me a student. I make a class with my own materials and my own ideas. I care for the students needs. But, my company charges the students 5000 yen an hour and pays me 2000 yen and the company makes 3000 yen for providing a room to teach in.

                              The only people who are really being stolen from are the students and the teachers...
                              Retail profit margins are anywhere between 30 % and 70 % (especially high in apparel), so would you also accuse your local supermarket of 'stealing' ? (BTW, this is Costco's business model, to cut out the 'middle man')
                              Sure, you can tell you Students that you are leaving and give them your contacts, but I'd still not expect that many would follow you unless you are extremely good, as many students might have longer-term contracts with the school. I'd rather think about offering something 'extra' the school cannot offer in their classroom, such as going throgh job-related technical manuals, doing an online order at an english website, ... (too lazy to think of more).

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