International schools in Taiwan


#1

I currently work at an international school in Southern Taiwan. I won’t mention the school name so as to try and keep a bit anonymity.

I’m not particularly happy at the school. There are many problems but the ones that get to the most is poor internet, poor communication, various administrative issues etc. However, the real kicker is the one that is effecting my life work balance. I have a long commute and I also work 8-5. Combine that with having to work saturdays for various reasons once a month. We also work 20-22 week semesters which is exhausting. The pay is decent but I’m not happy with the work conditions. The students are great - no complaints there.

I love living in Taiwan and I would be happy to stay here, just probably not at this school. What are some other decent international schools in Taiwan. I know of Taipei American School and Taipei European School. Are there any others.

For those who have worked at Taipei American School or Taipei European School, are these hard to get a job at, do they have to follow the Ministry of Education and do they have more reasonable holidays? What is the pay like?

I have plenty of teaching experience in my home country, a Masters degree and IB experience in Taiwan. Plus a Search Associates profile.


#2

I heard Taoyuan American school is really good. It just happens to be in Taoyuan but heard it’s better than TAS ans TES.


#3

Do you have a state-issued teaching certification? That may determine your ability to be placed in an international school


#4

Yeah I do. I have full registration with the state department of education in my country plus a Masters of Teaching. I was a fully qualified teacher back home.


#5

Cool. Taoyuan isn’t too bad. It’s pretty close to Taipei and no doubt has much cheaper rent. I’ll look into the school.


#6

With those credentials then you would probably find it easier to get into one of the 2nd tier international schools in Taipei. I believe the top tier (TAS and TES) hire mostly from the international job fairs and don’t recruit locally, so you’d probably have to attend the fair in BKK to be considered.

Schools that are full international schools (ie schools that only accept students with foreign passports - TAS, TES, Morrison Academy, etc) are not under the MOE and have more reasonable holidays. Schools that run international programs as part of their regular school (e.g. Kang Chiao, I-Shou, Victoria Academy, etc.) are under the auspices of the MOE and follow the Taiwanese school calendar.

It is also quite close to the end of the school year so many schools will have completed their hiring, so it may be hard to find something for the next school year.

Regarding Taoyuan American School, I’ve know a few teachers who have come and gone over the years. Can’t really say if it’s a good or bad school, but I will note that it doesn’t seem to have any accreditation from international bodies (WASC, IB, etc.) to validate its program.


#7

Just curious, did your school recently change its name so it did not reflect the name of a terrorist organization? Otherwise, there is really only one other international school down south, Kaohsiung American School, and I usually hear good things about that place. Not really sure if Taoyuan American is any good. I’ve heard mixed stuff about it. Very small class sizes and you have to negotiate your salary, but if you can get a decent salary, it could probably be a relatively easy job given how few students you’d have.


#8

I have experience of TES and friends at TAS.

The latter - based on information from friends who work there - is that they now utilize psychological profiling as a recruiting tool. I’m not quite sure what that says about the type of people they hire, but I do think it suggests that they are very specific about who they are looking to employ. Maybe they’re trying to weed out any undesirables asap.

I also know from a friend who no longer works at TAS that they employ Ivy League and Oxbridge types with no teaching license. Obviously that’s not the only teaching demographic there, but it provides an insight into their thinking. I presume it is due to the prestige factor associated with such an education plus many of the parents aspire to sending their children to such universities. Whilst I say all this, bear in mind it’s second hand information. On the other hand, I do know quite a bit from my time at TES…

Most teachers are hired from overseas job fairs; however, I know of several teachers who were employed at TES while already working in Taiwan. These ‘local hires’ are fully qualified, experienced teachers who have worked at 2nd tier international schools, cram schools or EAL staff at the school. Some were traveling spouses who worked in other jobs - see above - until a position became available.

I know they were hired locally because they used to have a different contract from teachers brought in from overseas. At one time, TES British Section could employ two fully qualified teachers from England, but one was employed via the overseas route and one the local route as they already lived in Taiwan. Even though they did the same job, the local hire received no teacher package like housing and flight subsidies while the overseas hire did. It was a contentious issue which has now been rectified by providing the package to both. My point is that TES definitely employs qualified, experienced teachers who are already in Taiwan.

Importantly, don’t forget that TES is three schools in one. The German section only recruits from Germany, but the British and French sections both hire locally. The French section is a damn good setup and very, very impressive. It’s a bilingual program where students have two teachers to learn subjects in both French and English. Actually, I would say the French school is the most relaxed in terms of working environment.

If you really want to move, you could always sign up as a supply teacher for these schools. I’m not sure if you can do both, but I know that supply teachers can earn a decent salary at TES and probably more at TAS. More importantly, it gets your foot in the door until the next recruiting season.

I hope this helps.


#9

Good to hear that about TES, that they provide the package for local and overseas hires. Doesn’t seem to be the case at the other school mentioned. and yes, word on the street is that other school hires I.L./Oxbridge types for the reasons you mentioned, although they don’t completely comprise the staff, it tends to happen almost exclusively in the high school and for the reasons that you mentioned.

And yes, you are correct about the “supply” or substitute teacher route. I believe one could do both, but would have to give priority to one over the other and have to turn down assignments at the secondary one over the primary one if you wanted to get more consistent work at at least one.