I taught for APAX for a year, and had - on the whole - a fantastic time. I was a teacher for a while and then became a headteacher for the rest of my contract. Being a teacher when I started and when APAX was quite new to Vietnam was pretty good. It was only in Hanoi and HCMC in 2016, but now it's gotten a lot better and has spread out all over the country, so you can teach in loads of different provinces and cities. It's now probably one of the biggest centres, if not the biggest. Teachers now get two days off instead of one, and the schedule is very manageable on the days you're teaching. There's no lesson planning, you get all the support you need, and your teaching hours are 18 a week. I have friends from and talk to people who work for the other big centres and most say APAX is the best for pay and getting a good experience.
When I became a headteacher, most teachers were great to manage and got on with it. The centre itself was enjoyable to work with too - from the branch manager and sales to the CSOs, and I was lucky to have such great colleagues from when I got to the centre (with a welcoming, decent headteacher) to when I finished up there. All the Vietnamese staff are very supportive and friendly, and they're really fun to work with.
If I'd have carried on teaching I would've looked into moving into the 4.0 program which is newer and focused on older learners, as I got on best with the more advanced classes in April (Sprout and up), and there are fewer than these. For first-time teachers though, and especially if you like teaching kids up to early teens, you won't get a better job with decent pay than this.
What would you improve about this program?
- Upper management should give a bit more transparency to teachers when they know about bad situations affecting the company (like legal changes in Vietnam)
- More early upper level/CTP guidance if possible: I know it's a struggle to get through in training with everything trainees need to know before they teach, but maybe in on-going training this can be covered more (it might've changed since I left)
- The program itself can sometimes get a bit repetitive. I moved onto being a headteacher quite soon after being a teacher, and a lot of teachers enjoy the stability, but maybe a bit more creative freedom would go a long way to making teachers enjoy the lessons more, and the kids remaining engaged and staying on after a term