You may have heard that Ivy-Way SAT Prep is the first prep school in Taiwan where 100% of its instructors have taken the SAT and attend or have attended Ivy League colleges.
... But that's only the tip of the iceberg. We believe experience is invaluable, and so we require the above qualifications as a baseline for working with us. However, what makes our teachers truly the best in the market is their ability to be a mentor. We look for teachers who genuinely care and empathetically teach, and not those teachers who come to Taiwan because they have trouble finding jobs in the States. Our teachers are chosen through a rigorous hiring process, and undergo further, standardized training before stepping foot into a classroom. Our energetic, enthusiastic teachers deliver results that other companies just can’t beat. We’ll let our results speak for themselves:
Teachers as Mentors and Role Models
SAT and test prep students are by and large high school aged, or in other words, teenaged. Teenagers are usually much more willing to listen to the advice of someone closer to their age than a further removed teacher or parent. With this idea in mind, we bring young instructors into the classroom not only for their closeness to the material (they only just completed their SATs and college applications a few years ago!) but also for their closeness to their students. Our instructors are all young adults in their early to mid twenties, and we find that students warm up to these instructors very quickly. They become trusted mentors in and out of the classroom.
This trust allows us to use an innovative teaching strategy – our “secret weapon” so to speak. We do more than teach students how to beat the SATs and how to do well in high school; we inspire students to change their study habits, to build a good work ethic, and to want to study. This is the Ivy-Way difference. Our students leave our courses with not just SAT formulas and strategies, but with a new determination to do well – and the confidence and good habits to carry out that new determination. Parents, you will see the difference in your children! Every summer, we hear stories like this from parents:
"Our son is very rebellious and we can never get him to sit down and study without a fight. We had to force him to come to Ivy-Way at first. However, a few weeks later, we see our son sitting in his room, quietly studying English vocabulary words. Shocked, I ask him why. He says, "I didn't do well on today's vocab test. I want to get a perfect score tomorrow so my teacher can be proud of me."
We believe we will continue to hear this kind of feedback for as long as we follow this approach. Will you see Ivy-Way's difference in your children?
How We Hire and Train Teachers
Some SAT preps quickly hire teachers with exceptional academic backgrounds (if they can find any). However, the minimum requirement to apply to be an Ivy-Way teacher is high SAT score and Ivy League school background, and among those who applied, we only accept less than 1/3 of them.
Ivy-Way holds very high standard when it comes to hiring and training, and teachers' SAT scores and their school title are the least of our concerns. After all, everyone of our applicants has stellar SAT score and attend(ed) Ivy League school. Ivy-Way hire teachers based on their teaching ability and charisma, and train teachers with our systematic training curriculum to ensure they deliver uniform quality in all classrooms. Our professional but young teachers are what make Ivy-Way jump off the page from all other SAT companies in Taiwan, in China, and in the US.
The founder of Ivy-Way, Alex, graduated from Harvard College in 2010 and Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2011. As a Harvard grad, he is well connected with Harvard students and alumni, and Ivy-Way actually does most of its hiring directly on Harvard’s campus. We also have connections at other Ivy League institutions and run smaller recruitment campaigns at the other schools.
As Ivy League students, our instructor applicants are all stellar, cream-of-the- crop candidates. We place little emphasis on SAT scores during our hiring process because good SAT scores are a baseline – all of our applicants have them, and they don’t say much about teaching ability. Instead, we look at how applicants communicate, how they draw out a shy student or quiet an overly enthusiastic student without discouraging him – how they teach and interact with people. We believe these traits are the ones that make great teachers. We place a strong emphasis on teaching skills, persona, and background experience.
We also value training, and strive to provide a uniformly high quality of teaching in every class. Our applicants and selected teachers teach many mock lessons before ever stepping foot into a classroom for Ivy-Way. During the hiring process, applicants teach at least two lessons on two different topics, and during the training process, instructors teach multiple lessons individually and in front of small groups. After each lesson, instructors go through structured feedback and development sessions. These training sessions don’t stop even after teachers enter the classroom; they are always striving to do better, and so are we. Lead teachers and administrators regularly observe lessons and hold training meetings throughout the summer.
What made our teachers the best in the market is their expertise and knowledge as a mentor for our students. With Ivy-Way's rigorous hiring and training process, our new generation of teachers deliver unbeatable results unmatched by those so-called (old) "experienced teachers."
Unprecedented Results (Beat that, "experienced teachers!")
We mentioned above that our teachers and our curriculum produced great results from our SAT classes. In addition to helping students with test preparation, we provide students with college counseling and application help, and students and teachers together have produced some amazing results. Our counselors have helped students get into the following schools:
We Know the SAT and College Application Process (and we beat both)
"I had SAT teachers and counselors through [a different SAT company] before I learned about Ivy-Way. They are very friendly, but their teachers are much older. As a result, what they know is from like 20 years ago, and a lot of things changed since then, so they can't really answer my questions regarding colleges."
--Student, Fuxing High School (Taipei, Taiwan)
After 5 years, Ivy-Way is currently still the only college and test prep school in Taiwan where 100% of instructors have taken the SAT – and scored in the top 1% of test-takers - and the only school where 100% of teachers currently attend or have attended Ivy League institutions. We know that good test scores don’t automatically equal good teachers though; we work hard to ensure that our teachers both have this background and are excellent communicators and mentors. We encourage you to ask other college and test prep schools about their instructors. Have they taken the SAT? Have they been through the US college application system? Did they attend a (top-tier) US undergraduate institution? You might be surprised by their answers.
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