I use to to teach in Korea and I have been teaching in Taiwan over a month and a half now. My teaching schedule in Korea was pretty demanding with 30 hours a week at a private school teaching both kindergarten and elementary. While I had a lot of hours I found that the teachers were very laid back in terms of your teaching ability and a lot of them seemed too busy to be checking up on my class. Often it seemed like as long as there’s a foreign face in the class and you can control the class everything is fine. So they hardly ever checked up on my class, I wasn’t expected to prepare for classes and they never questioned my teaching ability.
Now I’m Taipei County and teaching very few hours at one school. It takes me 50 minutes to get to my school and I have to be 30 to 40 minutes early to teach just a two hour class each day. I know that the time it takes me to get there should not matter but I thought I should just mention it since it is a bit difficult to get to and I’m living near one of the closest MRT stations to my school’s area so this school isn’t located in a prime location for foreigners. My classes are always being observed and on average I’m being watched about 50 minutes a class usually by my supervisor or one of the other two more senior figures. They are constantly taking notes about me and always criticizing my teaching ability. They also want me to attend workshops and observe the other teachers classes in my free time.
I’m pretty sure that this school is looking to fire me and they’re shopping around to see if they can find someone else. I know I’m not the best teacher in terms of ability and enthusiasm, but I’ve been extremely reliable such as never late, I always hand in paperwork straight away and I never complain to them. I’m shocked that this school expects so much from me especially when I’m only doing 8 hours a week and I’ve calculated that I’m doing an extra one hours work for every two hours without getting paid.
I’m just wondering if it’s normal for a school in Taiwan to expect so much from teachers here such as teaching skills and are they always so serious about teaching? Like I said I never had problems in Korea and everyone always told me over there you’re such a good teacher. I know demand and supply is one of the reasons. Does anyone know how strict they are on teachers in Japan as well because I’m starting to think about going over there soon to teach? Also if it is normal here, is it just like that in Taipei County?