English teachers' union

[color=#0000FF]Mod’s note: this was split from [url=http://tw.forumosa.com/t/uncle-sams-american-school/55434/1 thread[/url][/color]

Here’s an idea.

Foreign teachers in Taiwan should form a non-profit ‘union’ of sorts. The organization could collate references and referrals on different schools and make them available to both prospective teachers and the PARENTS who are considering a school for their kids.) Parents will then have a good insiders look at which schools are worth their money, and which are not. It is also a way for English teachers to take back power from unscrupulous school owners, and reward schools that best serve their students.

I’m not a teacher, so don’t ask me to care enough to follow this up. I’m just saying, if some long-timers really want to do something positive, they might consider thinking along these lines.

Except the supply of teachers far outnumbers the supply. As well, many people seem to have a huge bias against unions. This idea comes up every few years, although you did present it in a different light. I like the idea but think the turnover for new, young, freshly graduated teachers is rather high for a union. my :2cents:

Except the supply of teachers far outnumbers the supply. As well, many people seem to have a huge bias against unions. This idea comes up every few years, although you did present it in a different light. I like the idea but think the turnover for new, young, freshly graduated teachers is rather high for a union. my :2cents:[/quote]

Awfully quick to naysay there pal. Gonna be teaching English for a while longer I’ll bet …

Supply and turnover of teachers is irrelevant. Perhaps you were thrown off by my use of the word ‘union.’ I wasn’t suggesting a labor union with dues and strikes and such, but rather a voluntary mutual support and advocacy organization. Something well run could start with a simple mission that could lead to a larger role. But it takes at least 1 person with vision and passion - someone like Sean and his effort on behalf of Taiwan’s canine population. Most all of us admire what Sean is doing, but few of us have the time or inclination to imitate, or even actively support his efforts. Until that individual appears on the scene and takes action, good ideas like this simply flounder on chat boards.

Again, I’m not a teacher and have bigger fish to fry … not my battle/cause.

[quote=“HooknSinker”]

Again, I’m not a teacher and have bigger fish to fry … not my battle/cause.[/quote]

Well, no. It’s really not ever going to fly for many reasons - it’s not a case of drive and determination. There’s a need for, and support for Animals Taiwan. That’s not the case for teachers in Taiwan.

There’s a large thread on this already, if you are interested in why past attempts have not flown.

Teachers; the CLA will help you, if you have a genuine grievance. They’re great. The tax office will also do what they can.

I think the Union thing might be a good idea, but the problem is that the turnover rate is so high that most people won’t be around long enough to care to join before they’re out of the country. Maybe if you banded together all the people doing it for longer you might have something, but some of those people seem so jaded and inundated by the system anyways that I don’t know if they’d care to participate. I think forumosa is probably the closest thing to a union there’s going to be, and it’s not half-bad as that, honestly.

Yes, [url=http://tw.forumosa.com/t/association-for-native-english-speaking-instructors/44765/1

[url=http://tw.forumosa.com/t/english-teachers-of-taiwan-untie/53441/1 here as well[/url]

Employer: Are you in a union?
Potential Teacher: Yes.
Employer: Bye bye

later that same day…

Employer: Are you in a union?
FOB teacher: Union? What union?
Employer: You can start Monday.

Now how does the teacher’s union stop this, send some whities over to break a knee cap?

English teachers in Taiwan are majority short term migrant workers, you cannot control this population and regulate it. Someone will be getting off a plane everyday to fuck up all your hard work.

If you teaching lot really want to crack down on schools that suck, don’t work there… If you want more money stop accepting low wages…

I hereby volunteer my time and expertise to manage the Pension Fund.

Hopeful new teaching arrivals will be met at the airports and be given the opportunity to join and make a “voluntary” contribution upon arrival.
Paycheck deductions thru automatic-deposit will rule out the need for any teachers to be troubled by cumbersome book-keeping.

Teechurs of Da Island…UNITE!

I’m not averse to the idea of a union. But then again, I’m a socialist, unlike Chewy and Deuce. The obvious shortfall of a teachers’ union is, as has been commented upon, the massive teacher turnover. No avoiding it, the FOBs are looking for a “working holiday” and some quick cash. Fair enough.
A union for long-termers?

I split the more general discussion on unions to this new thread.

another potential drawback is that you furriners can’t engage in political activity or conspiracy. But don’t let that stop you.

Why is it that seems that newbies want to change things? Ya, I know, and I admire their courage and perseverance. Yet, I have been here long enough to know it wont work.
I recall, a few years ago, suggesting that Filapina form a union. The people I talked with were lauditory, yet, they, and I knew, it wasn’t going to happen.
Good and lauditory idea, but it won’t happen, at least in the 21st century.
Have another San Miguel! I did!

Is a union the best answer? In reality, I think we need to look at other options.

One thing I have always thought about is setting up teacher education. Those that want to come can and those that do not do not come. The class is run by experienced teachers and can be on a variety of subjects ~ depending on what the teacher feels they have enough experience in. It’s not a formal teacher training program that will leave you with any sort of qualification. You will just have more tools in the toolbox when you take a seminar.

Making yourself a better teacher and having the parents see improvement in your students, they will want to stay in your classrooms. This is, of course, assuming the school is good.

As far as working for bad schools that do not care about the kids, I think that is part of the learning curve. I did that for 3 years in Taiwan before finding a good school. Not every process is perfect there and I am not claiming to be a perfect teacher, but it is nice to be able to help students that need it, communicate the challenges you see with students to the parents, and present a plan on how to change that. When parents see that and they see measurable results, they love it. That requires an experienced teacher. A school that has teachers coming and going every year will NEVER achieve that.

As far as the teachers are concerned, those that have a good school, improve their teaching, keep the students coming, and add new ideas will ultimately be able to get a better salary from the schools they already work for when it’s time to sign the new contract. Through the contacts in the group, people will know what jobs are good and which jobs are shite. As people go home or move on, they will be one of the first to hear of openings.

Let the natural selection happen where other schools either close or get the teachers that are not here long term.

Sorry if this post is not organized at all. It is late. I am exhausted and I zoned out on the TV a few times. I did not proof read this…deal with it!