Finding work with a public school

Came back to Taiwan a while ago and I am currently looking for work. Two offers -buxibans. The pay is average and I’d have to accept a kindy gig to do well. I’m not motivated. I would prefer getting something in a primary school or high school + privates.

Can you offer ideas to help me score a teaching job in a public school? You seldom see these jobs posted. How did you get your job? I’m thinking about going out knocking on doors and handing in resumes. Any other ideas? Credentials is not an issue, by the way.



You need to be qualified as a teacher in your own country.

Tinman, I assume that by “credentials are not an issue,” you mean you’re a certified teacher? Juba is right in that for public school, i.e. Ministry of Education, you’re supposed to be a certified teacher in your home country.
I’m also looking for a public or private school since I have a BA in Education, certified for grades 6-12 in the U.S., and have several years of teaching ESL. I’d like to get the same info you’re looking for here since I’m planning on returning to TW after many years this summer.

Yes, I’m a certified teacher. I went door to door to 4 public schools yesterday, and I’ll try other schools tomorrow and next week. I’ll keep you posted if it works out for me, kj.


You may not like the idea but honestly I think you are best to go through a recruiter for these types of positions. Recruiters have realized that many buxibans can get out in the market and promote their own positions but government schools very rarely do this.

IACC really target this area but from all of the experiences from that company I would say it might be best to give them a miss.

Perhaps Dewey is worth a look. I am not sure if Mitch at Reach to Teach helps with government school placements but why not contact him and find out.

I believe that Dewey and Reach to Teach will give you the name of the school for the placement which will then enable you to check the school out for yourself. If you like the deal then you can take advantage of their services for the placement.

One possible downside is that the positions may tend to be in rural or southern areas so if you are looking for a Taipei city placement you best let them know.

The only other suggestion that I have is to speak with some of the publishers of the texts that these schools use. Often the schools that choose that company’s texts will also ask that company if they can introduce a foreign teacher. Best confirm the legality for yourself on those types of position.

I was offered a job with a very good public Elementary school right before I left Taiwan. Would have been perfect, but was poor timing for me. These jobs are almost alway gotten by word of mouth. I wasn’t certified, but was highly recomended by someone who knew the hiering authority. I really wish I could have taken it. The hours were long, but they offered single family housing, as I had a child, they paid all healthcare costs, no tax, and my son would have been able to attend if I had been there when he was old enough. Salary buxiban level, but only two lesson plans a week. I would have loved it!

Thanks a bunch, Brian.

I have been advised to stay away from recruiters as much as possible so I’m giving it a go on my own for now. If nothing works out soon, I will have to consider it. My problem is that I was studying for the last 2 years, I have been working very little, and I’m pretty broke. I need to find someting soon because time is not on my side. That’s how the story goes, I guess… We’ll see…

Thanks again!




What goes in their pocket could go in your pocket instead. If the school doesn’t have to pay a recruiter, you have more room to negotiate.

I have an interview tomorrow morning at a senior-high school north of Kaohsiung. I applied, and they called me two days later. :pray:


Any update Tinman? How’d the interview go?
I’ve put in an application with Hess, but I also have a friend checking on a couple of regular schools for me, one in Taipei that looks promising and maybe one in Yilan.

unless you have credentials you have to contract out to a recruiter that is in contact with a school. watch out for scams

Don’t even think about using IACC.

ESL Dewey used to be great but now they’re cashing in on their reputation. I know - I’ve worked for them twice. Last time I had no problems. This time, if I hadn’t audited everything carefully - and more recently taken them to the CLA - I would have been out nearly 100k, over a 10 month contract. It was mostly due to over taxing and keeping the difference (and trying to), and some strange deductions (“mistakes”) from time to time.

But that being said, if you (for anyone else reading this) are a qualified teacher, working in a public or private school can be a very rewarding experience, and I highly recommend it. I’ve done one public and one private (Catholic) and would recommend both to anyone - much better than a buxiban in my opinion. In this situation, Dewey may be a necessary evil for what is otherwise a good job, as unfortunately they seem to have a hold on most of the public schools at least, from what I can tell. Just check and demand receipts for everything, check calculations (esp deductions and tax) and CLAIM YOUR OWN TAX REFUND and check the documents carefully, or you’ll be screwed.

Hope this helps. Any other questions feel free to PM me. Good luck.


I worked at Hsinwu high in Linkou and I found the experience unrewarding.

There was 50 students per class. The other teachers advised me to use a microphone during class because the students do not pay attention and get very loud and do not want to learn anything.

Luckily in 3 of my 12 classes there were 3 students who had studied abroad and had some respect for teachers. The rest of the Taiwanese students could care less, about me, or about the other teachers.

I got used to being the loud guy drawing on the board, but the other teachers knew they had to get louder. I don’t enjoy the system at the public schools. It was as if I was back home in LA. But back home they knew what I was saying.

There was one thing I got from that, I felt some dignity and respect as a “teacher” as opposed to the buxiban.

I hope you are not the same australian I replaced by the name of Daniel. Maybe not because the recruiter was a scam.

Hi kwaz666
Sorry you had a bad experience. Then again it does not suprise me. Come to think of it, I have worked in a academically strong public school in Taoyuan, and an expensive Catholic school in Taipei. I could see how that could happen in an ‘ordinary’ public school. As you said though, I think the same problems are worse in a buxiban.

No I am neither Australian (close - NZ) or a Daniel. Who was the recuiter? I would say Dewey are one stop short of a scam - just very dishonest and make their profits by screwing hundreds of teachers. I think at least one other (IACC) is a scam. I think there are also better ones out there, but obviously no recruiter is the best option.
I certainly won’t use Dewey again, and wouldn’t recommend them to anyone if at all avoidable, which it should be.

Little school called Hugo English, the person that contacted me was named Olivia and she has Australian citizenship.

Fortunately, they got busted. I was there when the police arrived and took those crooks to jail. Luckily I got my money, sadly, they must have ripped off and screwed Danial and many others.

If you don’t have the right credentials then you can’t teach legally in a high school. It doesn’t matter who is paying you, if you’re there without the right pieces of paper then you are breaking the law. It’s a matter of the physical location, not the ‘employer’.

I know of school principals that have been fined large sums of money, and threatened with jail time if they re-offend, for having foreign teachers on site that were provided by a recruiter.

I also know of high schools that have hired teachers ‘informally’, without the correct paperwork and without using a recruiter.

The simple truth is that most schools have very limited understanding of the regulations and prefer to subcontract the recruiting of foreigners to agents. Even basic stuff like taxes can be a mess, as the publicly available information on hiring foreigners in contradictory. By using a recruiter they also hope to insulate themselves against the problems that usually come up when teachers complain, disappear, etc. by passing those problems on to the agent.

If you are able to present yourself to a school in such a way that they believe you to be competent and reliable, and make the paperwork simple, then you can work without an agent. It’s probably easier to go through an agent though.

I’ve done bits and pieces for a company called FIEC in the past, over a period of five years, and they have been … OK. I’ve bitched about ‘the dark lord’, but he grew into his job and we’re friends again now. Many of their teachers have been with them for years. A good way to find out if this work is for you would be their summer camps, which I’ve done a few of and always enjoyed.

[quote=“kjmillig”]Any update Tinman? How’d the interview go?
I’ve put in an application with Hess, but I also have a friend checking on a couple of regular schools for me, one in Taipei that looks promising and maybe one in Yilan.[/quote]

Sorry for the late response. The interview went well. I now work for that school. Only 18 hours/week. It’s enough to live comfortably, but I’m still looking for something better.

How did’ go for you?


Hello all,

I am will be applying for a PS teaching job next year. I am currently at a PS in South Korea. Have any of you taught in both countries and at a PS? Are the schools academic or vocational/agricultural/technical as well? I have the necessary qualifications and experience, but is the competition quite stiff for these positions?

What is the timeline for applications, interviews, etc for these positions? Are they in an urban, rural or both settings? How does the pay, vacation, bene’s, etc compare to other schools in TW?

Any suggestions are most welcome!


So if I understand this correctly, agencies like Dewey are employment agencies where you’re hired by them and contracted to the school? You don’t actually work directly for the school?
Besides Dewey, can any of you reccommend another agency? What about footprints or others?


Had a little trawl through the threads here, please point a thread out to me if it will answer my question.
My question is, i too am looking for PS work, my wife is Taiwanese and i am just waiting for my visa to be finalised.
So how does it look from a legal aspect for someone like myself to work in a PS? I will obviously be a legal resident in Taiwan, with teaching english experience ( not a qualified teacher in my own country however). I am TEFL qualified only.

My wife has a friend who is a senior teacher at a PS (she is Taiwanese also) and she says they would employ me (if a job was available that is …) as long as my chinese speaking ability was at minimal conversational.

Any advice is appreciated.

Kind regards.