This is a bit of a rant- if you enjoy those and maybe have some advice, read on and thank you VERY much.
I am only a few weeks from the end of my job and running into problems.
Up until about the 6 month point it was ok and I was getting good feedback, but then in the summer some students quit my classes (for various reasons) one class had to close, and I got on my managers bad side (well the new manager- we have had a big recent change of management and staff in the last 4 months).
This has been my first year teaching english and for many/most of my classes I was replacing someone with 5 years of experience (also the prior manager), so I have tried to take it in stride and improve where I can… and I have learned a lot about teaching young kids, I think.
But the social dynamic with my new manager has gotten pretty awful. She can’t speak english that well. (Or maybe she does understand she just says yes when she means no for cultural reasons. ) She will say nothing about problems or written comments from parents for months and be all smiley then yell at me all at once when its a crises…
Well… its her first time managing, and its my 1st time teaching ESL. Its hard for me as I don’t ever know where I stand, as she smiles and says yes when she means no or maybe just does not understand at all. Its frustrating. Plus I offended her badly a few months ago by asking her to double check when my payments for the ARC ended ( was in denial about how long it would take to pay off- 10 months!), and she seems to be holding a grudge, although I apologized… Other problems have followed, and I am not 100 blameless , but neither is she.
Anyways- the current issue and main q I have is over my leaving date and if I should break my contract a few days early.
I asked my boss months ago after she had it out at me about how bad I was when I should leave, and what date I should book my ticket for. I told her I wanted to do what was best for the school and kids, and asked her if she wanted me to leave early so they could replace me sooner, or serve out my contract, and if so , what my last day should be. I also offered to stay a few months longer if they needed!
At that time, she told me ( I SWEAR!) that my ARC ran out on the 10th of Feb and I had to leave the country by that date. I asked if I could work through the end of January and then take a trip, she said yes, I thanked her and told her I would book my ticket for the 10th and work through the end of Jan…
I was lucky that I accidentally booked it for the 11th, as this week, months later, she told me that ACTUALLY I have to WORK through the 10th, or I will be breaking my contract. She just smiled and acted like we never had that prior conversation. She said, oh why don’t you just change your ticket? … I think I was polite but wanted to scream…
I think she is right about the date though though as it matches my flight and arrival last year.
Stupidly I LOST my physical contract. : O so bad, I know.
All this means I will not be able to take a 10 day trip I wanted in Taiwan or visit Taipei, etc. (I have not has a chance to take a vacation longer than 4 days or visit any top tourist spots. I have been waiting till my contract ends…)
And now yesterday she changed the rules again suddenly, and refused to refund me for some bills for school supplies, because the shopkeeper had not written the date on them! Im letting it go but it was very frustrating as it was just a small fraction of the money I have spent on the kids and she knows it. We got in a big argument about it.
Im at the end, and can get through the next month. But I dont know what to do about ending my contract.
She told me it would be ok to leave 3 days early and break my contract , that I would just loose my insurance for the rest of my time in Taiwan. But as she has flip-flopped and said yes when she means no so much in the past I am scared to take her at her word.
Ideally I would leave 2 or 3 days early and at least have 5-4 days (with the weekend) to visit Taiwan. But I am scared to have more conflict at the end. I was thinking about having a meeting with the owner and the manager, but he is her father and can speak less english then her. He seems a bit more sympathetic to me though. Im just afraid this will set her off again and make her mad at me for “not trusting her”…
I feel like she is enjoying seeing me unhappy, as she thinks I need punishing… and will try to make things bad for me in petty ways if she can. At least that is what she has done so far.
The contract (as I recall, and as my co worker who I trust reminded me) said nothing about withholding pay or charging a penalty for breaking a contract. I read on this forum that it is illegal as well. But if she will be paying me the day I leave the island it will be hard to fight if she does something. :aiyo:
Any advice from veterans?