Finishing Master's, plan to go to Taiwan

The people I know here who have masters degrees in education have all found pretty good jobs at private schools, although all of them complain that the “system” sucks, i.e. management. There was a thread here recently about a private school called Kang Chiao where a lot of the pros and cons of private schools in general were covered. Each school kind of has its own (twisted) culture, and you just have to find one that you feel you can work with without going crazy.

However, the most decent paying gigs are the schools that are waaay out in the sticks. You might find yourself stuck in the mountains if you’re looking for a better than average salary.

One other thing I should mention — if you truly care about educating kids, and you have a personal investment in teaching as a means of finding fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment, it can be a little rough at private schools, because a lot of them are businesses first and foremost. Actually teaching the kids takes a backseat to delivering test scores.

Now, some people are just here to collect their check and go, and it doesn’t much matter to them, or the school they work for, whether the kids really learn something or not. They have no problem just jumping through whatever stupid hoops are put in front of them (or evading them without running into trouble) and accepting that as a foreign teacher, they are very replaceable, essentially a trained monkey, etc. But this can really kill the souls of people who believe in being a good teacher and in having a lasting impact on their students, because the system often works against you in this regard.

So that’s something to bear in mind. But, my reference is a middle school teacher at a private school. If you’re working with elementary age kids, it might still be a fun and rewarding experience.


Yeah I’m pretty used to this considering it’s the same situation in Mainland China, buuut I try to stay positive and think, a good teacher isn’t JUST someone who teaches to find a sense of accomplishment, a good teacher is someone who also knows how to work the system and make the best out of a given situation and STILL manage to give something useful to the students.

I mean, we all got needs. Public or private schools have to give the consumers what they want, management works to please the higher ups and not teachers, and teachers, as much as they may like teaching, are working for money. I don’t think it would be possible to find a perfect school where an idealized form of “education” exists. The trick is how to be a good teacher in the reality of what education IS rather than what it should be…

But maybe I’m just being pessimistic… I dunno for some reason being pessimistic helps me stay positive, helps my soul not get killed :wink:

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Sounds like you have the right attitude!

You haven’t mentioned it clearly, but you have or will have a valid US teacher licence, right? Otherwise, you cannot be a school teacher, unless using some loophole by marrying to your taiwanese gf.

Unfortunately I do not.

in that case, your option for teaching is Buxibans, international schools, or unis. Local private/public elementary/middle/high schools cannot get your work permit.


Appreciate the information. I thought private schools would be different but I guess not. I’ll narrow my job search to the three institutions you mentioned then.

When do you get your MEd? May? You said earlier it won’t be ready. Are you coming to Taiwan without it? Are you in a distance program or are you doing it in residency? Sorry for all the questions, but it’ll help me to give you more precise advice on your best options.

Classes end in May. Independent research field work (which I will need to do in the Mainland) is done on our own time. Dissertations are due at the end of August. Actual degree isn’t given until November/December. I am doing it in residence.

I don’t have to physically be in Hong Kong as I finish writing my dissertation, so I can go to Taiwan sometime in the summer with my Master’s coursework finished, although I won’t physically have the degree yet at that time.

Hong Kong to Kaohsiung is a short flight away. I can also go to Kaohsiung for interviews if asked to do so. Obviously Skype would be preferable, but then again can’t do demos through Skype.

You’re doing a dissertation for your Masters? Thought those were only for doctorates.

Well anyway, I’d say if you’re willing to wait to apply early next year (with degree on your person) to go for unis or international schools.

If you really want to go now you probably have to settle for buxibans, but then you can level up in a year when you get your degree.

I’m curious, what are the requirements for teaching at a uni anyway?

It varies. All require at least a Masters. Many of the public ones and more elite ones in Taipei require a PhD though.

The other stuff they look at is your level of experience and where that prior experience was, and if you have extra ESL certifications (like CELTA or TESOL) it may give you an edge. Funnily enough they don’t really care about teaching license.

Legal requirements are here.

Article 4

A foreigner in the category referred to in the preceding paragraph, who is employed as a foreign language teacher at a foreign language center at a public or a registered private university or tertiary college, shall have a degree recognized by the competent authority, from a domestic or foreign university or independent college, and any language course taught by that person shall be a course on an official language of the nation that issued the passport of that foreign teacher.

Act of Governing the Appointment of Educators

As others have mentioned it might be easier for you to wait to get a job/arrive until you actually have the degree, but obviously you’ve probably thought this through and need to do what works best for you! Not sure if you could arrive at the end of summer like you want to but stay on a visitor visa until you have your degree? Then you would have a better pick of jobs. I don’t know of any in Kaohsiung but you mentioned Tainan might work. You could potentially work for a public school there. Pay is comparable to what others are suggesting, $60-$65k plus a small housing stipend. Currently they have a job posted on the Facebook page for Teach Taiwan (agency that places teachers in public schools) so at least you know they typically have positions open at times other than beginning of the school year.

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It might be worth to look for a US teacher license that you can get using your master degree of education.

Is it @Caspian that knows on this?

Is this what you’re referring to?

I welcome people to PM me if they want more info.

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This job is through the government. You need a full teacher’s certification and licence from one of the approved countries. (No online degrees are accepted)

[Any language course taught by] A foreigner […] who is employed as a foreign language teacher at a foreign language center at a public or a registered private university or tertiary college […] shall be a course on an official language of the nation that issued the passport of that foreign teacher.

Oh no, I broke the law! I taught another language!

@ the OP… Why not stay in HK and do the NET program there? I believe you should be qualified for it with what you’ve done and have heard that they have preferences for people who have studied in HK. The program is very well compensated from what I understand.