Are You Happy In Taiwan?

This is a question for all the English teachers out there-are you really happy here teaching? I have spent 10 months here and found I have been screwed around by my employers for reasons like: no sick leave due to all the teachers working at the same time (very small staff), sleeping late one time and docked 3 times the hours even when I showed up 15 minutes later, told to work on my “days off” several times, required to work on my free time to make up any sick days, lack of emotion and compassion for getting adjusted to the food (sick several times), heat, stress due to little experience and first job out of university and general culture shock, struggeling with fatigue and slight depression at times. I have come to cope with many of the follies of my school, but find myself wanting to leave before contract simply because I don’t want to foster anymore money for these people. Two of our four staff have up and gone silently, due to their distaste for how the school is run. They are not coming back, but I am in September. I need to make a decision whether to work legally or not when I return. I am reluctent to sign for a year again, as the new school may not be that great to work for either. If you are happy with your job and/or your contract, please let me know. What amendments have you made to benefit you? What makes a school good for you? If you have been screwed in the past with making bad decisions, how did you come out on top? I feel like contracts are paper prisons to foriegners-is working illegally the way to go? Thanks for you comments!

I have worked illegally and legally for more than 3 years and have never signed a contract. Of course I’ve been dicked around by my bosses, but remember the power (to walk out the door) is in your hands. If I were you, if you don’t like the job, find a new one and then just leave. Fuck the contract. Tell them that if any shit like docking three hours for 15 minutes late happens again you’re leaving.

As to whether that makes you happy or not in Taiwan, it depends how much you make your job become your life. Try and clearly delineate your work hours and your free time (no more than one extra activity a month for your school) and make the most of your time off. Some people’s jobs are very important to them and if they’re not happy at work they’re not happy at home. Remember it’s just a job, it’s not your life, it’s not what defines you and it’s not what gives you meaning.