Certified Teachers BEWARE

If you are a certified teacher and thinking about teaching in Taiwan, DO NOT DO IT. You will thank me later. These are the reasons to forget it:

  1. Laws-no one in Taiwan follows the laws of contract in Taiwan, especially schools. Contracts are seen as bendable. See the Foreign affairs statement of Canada:

    'Canadians occasionally have contractual disputes with their Taiwanese employers. In Taiwan, a contract is sometimes viewed as an infinitely flexible working agreement, subject to further negotiation. Keep in mind that an oral agreement with an employer can be considered just as important as a written contract. It benefits all parties to have a clear understanding of their contractual obligations.

  2. Money-you will be making peanuts compared to other countries in private international schools. Korea pays about 2500-3500 a month for a certified teacher. Taiwan you will get around $2000.

  3. Co-workers- you would be evaluated by your co-workers either directly or indirectly based on your relationship with them. If guanxi is good your fine, if guanxi is bad, they will stab you in the back.

  4. Quality of life- Work hours are long usually from 8-5 and unpaid overtime. Holidays are scare and few and between. You get 1 week off for Chinese New Years thats it. Compared to an international school anywhere in the world, it just isn’t worth it.

  5. Social Scene-Taiwan is quite boring in all honesty. There is no diversity other than Filipino maids, Vietnamese housewives, and factory workers who are treated as dirt by their Taiwanese employers, and oblivious to the white english teachers. Food and money are the only things that matter to Taiwanese, and maybe a BMW and the Betlenut to throw out the window. If your an independent person you will feel represeed in Taiwan, like the Borg is trying to assimilate you. Best to just stick to western international schools (which there are not many in Taiwan). Good luck.

To be fair though, I suspect the cost of living in Korea is roughly the same as it is in Japan and the west, whereas Taiwan’s cost of living can be significantly lower.

You know what else is boring? This crusade.

Are you a fairly new teacher? You seem a little confused about the realities of teaching. Some of the stuff you say is fairly universal in any teaching job in Asia.

Other stuff is just a bit weird:

Why would you expect a Vietnamese woman, working long hours who probably doesn’t speak English to want to spend her 1 day off a week with a Canadian teacher? How’s you Vietnamese or Chinese?

[quote]Food and money are the only things that matter to Taiwanese

Riiiight. If I were to write ‘Canadians are all socially maladjusted, uneducated, marijuana-addicted blowhards’ because of a few of those I met in Taipei, would that be indicative of an entire country?

You seem to have had a bad experience in Taiwan. Just move on an let it go. There will be other jobs out there for you.

I think a working professional may expect a standard that just does not exist here. It can be disconcerting. You will be mistreated, the extent of which is highly variable.

Yes but this conversation is about English teachers :smiley:

There sure are a lot of apologists who defend Taiwanese working conditions. Ermintrude, read my post again. It is the white foreigners who are oblivious to the abuses Philipinos and Vietnmaese face everyday in Taiwan. It is not a bed of roses for them, and if you took off the rose colored glasses you would see that.

I’m not oblivious. There’s just not much I can do about it. Nor do I really care because they aren’t forced to come here. They obviously feel it’s worth sucking up. The two Indonesian girls who work for friends’ families aren’t abused, although it’s not exactly a party looking after my friend’s disabled mother.

Those who commit crimes against these women should obviously get both barrels.

Does that standard exist anywhere in ESL in Asia? I don’t understand why Taiwan is singled out while the conditions are similar everywhere.

I am with the OP.
A few days ago, I thought what if I came to Taiwan fresh from the plane right now?
It wouldn’t make any sense.
First of all, it’s not this easy lining up your jobs as it used to be.
Then, the competition has become more of backstabbing mf.
One example, while being terribly sick last month, I got a call from my boss.
She told me that the substitute teacher was demanding to take over my position. She forced me to come back sick or she’d do as it was demanded.

By the way, that’s some 2 hours 4 x per week 600 NT$ without benefits or yearly salary raise. I’ve been there for 2.5 years.

Anyhow, I have been here since 1999. Therefor I am rather well situated.

Please, tell your success story instead of bashing the OP. How well are you newcomers doing right now?
120.000 per month? That’s what I used to make. Those times are long gone. It’s more like 60 000 maximum.
If I wanted to make 10 000 NT$ more, I had to sign up with a single employer and when I get sick, see the above.

Yes but this conversation is about English teachers :smiley:[/quote]

Pretty much, you’re the problem from our end.

I’m curious as to why it’s written in the OP that Canadians occasionally have contract disputes when it’s more than just people from a single county.

He was using that as an example. It was an official statement from the Canadian State Department, or something like that.

To the OP, I think you are way off base with a lot of this. Why are you posting stuff like this?

I get by on teaching 3 private lessons a week- 5.5 hours total. I take temporary work at a nearby university when they offer it to me (not for less than 1200 an hour) and edit on the side- all of that goes into savings. Total I work about 10 hours a week, doing work that I enjoy, turning down a lot of work that I don’t think is worth my time- and I’m saving money-not a lot, but some (yes, I live very cheaply- my interests are free/cheap). Also working on getting some of my own classes started. I’ve got a decent reputation as a teacher so I feel pretty confident that I’ll do well/have plenty of students when I start teaching my own classes.

Obviously my primary concern is not money. So maybe Taiwan is a bad deal for people who are interested in making a lot of money, or for people with financial obligations at home. But for someone like me, who is more interested in free time than money, Taiwan can be a damn good deal. It takes some time to work your way into the right situation though.

I have neither time nor money. What am I doing wrong? :frowning:

I’m not a teacher, but I suggest this is the key:

and it probably applies to pretty much any career. Saying “no” to people is the biggest time-saver there is. Caveat:

I have neither time nor money. What am I doing wrong? :frowning:[/quote]

Reckon you are probably working your way into the position where you can have both.

I have neither time nor money. What am I doing wrong? :frowning:[/quote]

I’ve wondered about that, reading your posts. I remember you posted something about not even being able to afford healthy food? Food is where I splurge. To be honest I don’t hold back anywhere- if I want something, I buy it. And if I use something every day (computer, phone, good pair of winter boots, surfboard) I will go top of the line (macbook air, samsung s5, timberlands, new performance longboard).

And for 5 years I worked at GVO! (They don’t pay well- but it was a no hassle place to keep my arc til I got my aprc.)

AND you speak/read/write Chinese.

So honestly, I don’t know what you’re doing wrong. Sounds to me like you’re undervaluing your work. I’ve got a friend like that, refuses to charge more than 700 per hour for private lessons. She is an AMAZING teacher. I quote 1000 off the bat and then if I like the student and the time and the place are convenient for me I might come down a little. People look at me like I’m an asshole when I say “yi chien” but oh well! If they seem nice I’ll pass em along to somebody who will do it for less.

I think editing and translating can be really rough in terms of the money you get for your time. I’ll often do a sample of a paper first (300 words or so) see how long it takes me and if by accepting that paper I’d be making less than a thousand an hour, I don’t accept it. Sure every once in a while a paper has a really hard section that takes me longer, and overall polishing might take me longer, so maybe it’s dropping down to 900ish an hour when all is said and done. I also use excel to time myself in 20 min increments while I’m editing to keep tabs on how much I’m making.

I know some of you are laughing at my 1000 an hour cause you make way more but I’m happy enough with that for now!

Anyways taipei is also more expensive than where I live.

but yeah, you must be undervaluing yourself- you should be doing pretty well, I think, with your skills.

One more thing to add here: Work is also scarce in Canada for certified teachers. And the rate of pay in Canada does not give teachers there anthing to be happy about.

So traveling to Taiwan will be fine for you if:

You come here as a person who is seeing a new country and working while you are here.

You look around a little before accepting a job. Try to get some in-person advice from others who have done what you might do.

Don’t expect too much and make an effort to blend in.

The money isn’t that bad. You could get away with NT$70,000 and free lodging if you find the right school. But be prepared to work way out in the county somewhere…which is a lot better than the city in my view.

By the way, Canadian teachers also put in free overtime and must contend with oversize classes. Taiwan ain’t that bad if your expectations are resonable.