I have a couple of questions that are probably answered somewhere on these forums, but if I can get them all answered in one place, I’d be grateful.
Anyway, I’m heading back to Taiwan for the first time in about eight years. I was there as an undergrad in 98-99 and took up one private lesson then that paid 800 NT p/h. At the time I knew that was pretty lucrative, but I’m kind of shocked to find that it still seems to be near the top of the pay scale. Have teaching salaries stagnated? What can one reasonably expect from teaching privates and can you still expect to be offered them just walking around the streets (I got mine in line at 7-11)?
Also, I have a BA from Brown and an MA from Harvard and taught English in the mainland for 3 1/2 years. I don’t state that to brag, but having taught in the mainland for awhile these were facts that came in handy when negoiating pay. Are the same sort of negotiations de rigeuer in Taiwan?
Another question, which I assume has no single answer, is how people distribute their teaching load? When I was in China I taught at one really awful private university two days a week for 4 hours (plus an hour of commuting) because it paid really well and was dependable. I spent the rest of the time working privates that were easier, more fun and around the corner from home. Grand total I worked about 17 hours per week. But it seems that any contract advertised for teaching in Taiwan is for a minimum of 20 hours. Do most people just take one job that sponsors a work visa and stick with that, maybe with a couple of privates on the side or do people in Taiwan just get used to working more hours? And though I hate to ask it, and hope I won’t be involved in the process, how easy is it to back out of contracts if a job doesn’t work out? It seems with work visas one would have to be more careful but I can’t imagine every yearlong contract is honored. And if I show up in mid-to-late August, am I good shape?
Finally, I’m planning to move to Taichung… what would most people throw out as a monthly figure one should plan on making in order to live comfortably without having to teach more than 20 hrs. per week? Is that even possible?