Hi so I’ve started working at a branch of one of the chain schools about a month ago and they keep changing what they want me to do. Is this normal?
Originally when I went to the school, they said part time teacher needs to arrive 30-40 minutes before class to prepare lesson and in class correct homework and help recite. Which was fine. I’ve been there one month and yesterday I was doing lesson planning and they said that I shouldn’t be doing lesson planning and I should do it the night before. Then she said the lesson planning time should be used to either help with make up classes (unpaid) or help students with homework. Also they want me to stay for an extra 3 hours after I finish some days to do telephone teaching, mark all the homework (even for classes I don’t teach) etc. etc. So maybe if I work for one hour they are unhappy if I don’t stay for at least 4. Is this normal or am I being unreasonable. I don’t mind staying maybe a hour later but they even wanted me to stay 7 hours for 1 hour of teaching one day. If I don’t want to stay so late, they say I am a bad person and that “if you don’t want to do something you should still do it and if you are not happy you must not say you are unhappy, that is Taiwan style” or say that I am inexperienced and wont find another job.
Also they offered me a full time contract (42 hours a week) for 30,000 which I declined.
Should I look for a new school? How hard would it be to find a job?
I was going to apply for a PGCE before I came to Taiwan so have a few months primary teaching experience as well as volunteering at an English language school back in the UK. I’ve been working at this school for a month now.
42 hours a week for 30k works out to less than NT$180/hour before tax. That’s not a lot, even for your line of work. The guy who cleans the toilets at your school probably gets more than that.
I say prepare your resume (which they’ll hardly look at- just put a lot of words on there) and start passing it out, starting with the schools closest to your house and furthest from your school There will be backlash- chances are that they are in contact with the other schools. Let’s just hope an offer comes in before your school cuts your visa. Better yet, take a weekend or two, travel around the island, find a city you like, and start passing out resumes there. Call in sick if you need to - don’t feel guilty. They wouldn’t feel guilty doing something similar to you.
When the offers start rolling in, you’ll at least have something to bargain with. “I’ve got an offer from another school, if you want me to stay here, x, y and z need to happen.” or “I’ve got a way better offer at another school, sayonara.”
Accepting another job offer is where it gets tricky. Sometimes it’s a “the devil you know is better than the one you don’t” situation. What I’ve found is that (regrettably) sometimes it’s better to work at a shitty buxiban- they demand much less (unless the laoban is nutts. Keep your nutts radar on high when you let your smiling face into a new school’s door) or, you could try to be strict about negotiating your contract- but nobody is up front here, so expect a lot of bullshit.
My lucky self has found a job where I simply get paid for the hours I teach and my teaching requires little to no preparation except what I do myself because I love my students and want to give them a treat. No homework grading, performances, telephone teaching, etc. Sometimes it takes time to find a gig like that. Best of luck to you. Oh, and remember- NOBODY IS LOOKING OUT FOR YOU BUT YOURSELF. You are your only advocate. These people are often NOT nice, they’ve been in the business a long time and they know exactly how to get the most possible work from a sweet, fresh-faced newb like yourself. Deal with them accordingly.
The fact that they tried to offer you 30k shows what they think about you. That surely can’t be monthly, can it?
Find another job.
Extremely sage advice from Miss Non. I’d have given it two thumbs up if I’d been allowed to do so.
You are being had in a very big way. Find another job ASAP. The average job here is not that great, but yours is just terrible. They are definitely taking the Mickey.
You are being screwed hard. I am actually in a similar situation.
I work at two schools. One is only about 8 hours a week. The owner lets me do my own thing. As long as the work gets done it all good. I get bonuses for many holidays, and a great CNY bonus.
The other school is another story. I am expected to write speeches, plays, make props for plays etc etc in my own time, and obviously for free. I get zero bonus.
The funny thing is that when I asked about bonuses, I was told that I am part time and only get paid for the hours worked etc. This is just part of the shit.
However, when I requested compensation for the things mentioned above, I was told it was part of my job.
I am ready to walk out of the one school on payday. I have a marriage visa so there is not much they can do. My wife says I should not, as the kids will be upset. This is actually why I am still at this school.
However, as a previous poster stated, you need to look out for number 1. Simple.
Most schools would f%^k you for 1 nt, so it does not pay to try to do the right thing. They only see the kids as $$$$ anyway.
Yeah that’s why I said no. Crazy money per hour ratio. The Part time rate is $500/hour which is ok for me.
NonTocare, your response was very helpful. Its basically what I’ve been thinking. I’m currently looking online for places and also my girlfriend said she would take me to some schools to drop off my resume too. After my experience with this school I know that appearances can be deceiving. There is only one foreign teacher other than me at my school though and I don’t ever see him so I wasn’t really able to find out too much before I started. I don’t mind the homework grading so much because I like to see my students progress and if they are having trouble with something I can focus on it more in class. I just don’t like them trying to take advantage of me so much. Im glad you are in a good school !
My friend offered me a job in china for 9000rmb 17 hour week just teaching, but I want to stay in Taiwan because of my girlfriend. I’ll keep looking for now and see what happens I guess.
Thanks for the advice and comments
Oh and duke, I’ve been told my some of my friends to walk but I don’t want to because I think its unfair on the kids. I think i’ll give 2-4 weeks notice when I say im leaving is that normal?
Even in Chiayi, that rate is too low. I don’t know how a person can live on that in Taipei. As a buddy of mine says, “That school is giving you some sweet bum lovin’.”
This is a difficult one. Do you have any contract? I know that you refused a full time one, but what about part time? Is their a stipulated notice period?
There is also the risk, that if you give any type of notice, the school will screw you on pay day. Do you trust them not to do this?
The other school I work at, I would definitely give them notice as I trust them a 100%.
The nature of the business is funny. A lot of teachers get flak for simply walking out of their job, however the flipside is that plenty schools will screw you if you give them notice. They usually screw you even if you are a great worker.
What is your visa status? Do you have an ARC through them?
I have no contract, so effectively no notice period, and I have a marriage visa.
Either way, 30 000 for 42 hours a week is absolutely crap. I would have laughed in their face.
Again, you need to look out for number 1, and do what you feel is right. I am pretty sure my school would screw me if I gave notice. I really fee for the kids, but I come first in my book.
And 500 an hour is crap wherever you are.
The boss and the parents don’t give a shit about the kids or they wouldn’t do this. It’s emotional blackmail to make you feel bad for the kids.
Is your school ok? Quick answer is NO! pm me if you want but the chains are all, for the most part, going to bend you over. You must be feeling it. Get OUT!
Yep, stay away from the chain schools. I am much happier working at a few smaller schools than I ever was working for one of the bigger schools. Better bosses, better kids, better hours, better pay. I can’t believe some of you guys are making 500nt up in Taipei where everything is more expensive, I haven’t heard of anywhere here in Yilan starting at less than 600nt, and everything is way cheaper! I pay less rent for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 balcony apartment with a real kitchen than I paid for a 套房 in Zhonghe that was smaller than my bedroom now.
My lucky self has found a job where I simply get paid for the hours I teach and my teaching requires little to no preparation except what I do myself because I love my students and want to give them a treat. No homework grading, performances, telephone teaching, etc. Sometimes it takes time to find a gig like that. Best of luck to you. Oh, and remember- NOBODY IS LOOKING OUT FOR YOU BUT YOURSELF. You are your only advocate. These people are often NOT nice, they’ve been in the business a long time and they know exactly how to get the most possible work from a sweet, fresh-faced newb like yourself. Deal with them accordingly.[/quote]
This is good advice that I’m committed too but I’m wondering if you, or anyone else, could answer how one is to know when you’ve found a good school/ job such as this? Like so many others, I’ll be arriving mid-August w/resumes in-hand. I hesitate to admit this but I am totally that “sweet, fresh-faced newb” you speak of and am genuinely concerned about allowing myself to be taken advantage of. I really enjoy being cooperative and compliant despite that I also despise having my kindness exploited. I can’t let this happen. How will I know when I’ve found a school worth my time? I can imagine some warning signs for bad schools, so what signals a good one?
They’re offering him 30,000 a month for over forty hours a week. The current laoban is nuts :loco: .
Can you name the branch after you leave?
more importantly…are you a CT or an ET?
The place where I work now occasionally wants me to give special consideration or treatment to students who were simply misplaced (i.e. they could be at other levels and not conflict with scheduling, but insist that they study with certain peers). I tell them that I could do much less and fulfill the ends of my contract, and that any further requests either ask me to question objectivity in favor of a student’s ego or to simplify the whole course, thus denying real gains made by the majority of students who succeed at the harder level. They at least understand that, so instead work more productively to figure out how to market instruction that isn’t a mere güero clown show.
OP, I would recommend that you dig for bits of blackmail on your way out. If you really do put yourself first, you won’t mind manipulating people to get what you need to find a job where they’ll compensate you adequately for the work that you do.