I HATE my school - ARC & VISA questions

I currently work at a school that has provided me with an ARC…BUT…I HATE the school…I’m fed up with it…
How long will my current ARC be vaild after I leave the school?

What steps do I need to take in order to be ready to obtain another ARC? Do I have to take the “poop in a cup” test again?

Will it be possible to get another Visitor’s Visa when I head back to Canada in a couple of weeks?

Anyone looking for a teacher???

Any good insight would be appreciated…

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought there were 1year and 3year ARCs…and I’m pretty sure your school can’t revoke it(unless there’s something funky in the contract). I know many schools require a one year commitment…but breaking the contract depends on what you signed.

I have been working for a school for about 3 months, and it has been…OK. The school is OK, the kids are OK, the Chinese teachers are OK, and the pay is OK. My boss, however, is a little less than OK. He’s not evil, and has not screwed me over in any way (yet), but I’ve gotten to the point that when I leave work mad every night, because I’m fed up with him.

He likes to do things like observe my 2 hour class for an hour, and then chastise me for not teaching X, Y and Z. When I tell him that I DID teach them, just in the second hour, then he goes off because I didn’t follow the lesson plan exactly as it was written. When I explain that the lesson plan was written for a class of eight teenagers, and I have a class of 19 5-and 6-year-olds, he tells me that if my classroom management skills were better, I could teach a class of 19 5- and 6-year-olds just as easily as a class of eight teenagers. Yes, this is a cram school I am working for, and yes, the guy is filling classes to maximum occupancy (and then some) in an effort to line his pockets.

For a while, I would just nod and say yes sir when he told me to do something different. But he’s been telling me to do the same thing over and over again, and when I do what he says, he’s still not happy.

Here’s another example. He seems to think that when I teach a complex sentence pattern during the first hour of class, the students should understand it completely and be able to use it freely during the second hour. I agree that if I make them memorize the sentences, they should be able to recite them, but they won’t be able to use them freely after one hour. Another example - the other day I taught Unit 1 of Book 1 to a class of 19 kids. The first sentences are He/She is a student. I explained that “he” is a boy and “she” is a girl, and had the kids point to different boys and girls and say “he” or “she” respectively, and I could tell that they understood, because they were using it correctly when they were thinking about it. But, as with ALL Chinese, including my boss, they would occasionally use it incorrectly. My boss says this is because I didn’t teach it according to the lesson plan. I opened the lesson plan for him, and pointed out that the lesson plan doesn’t even mention teaching that “he” is a boy etc, to which he said “Well it’s obvious you need to teach it, and you didn’t.” The main point of Lesson 1 Unit 1 was introducing the infamous verb “to be” and conjugating it, which I also did not do adequately, I suppose, seeing how I wasted so much time on he and she!

I know this is selfish and all, but I did not come to Taiwan to be mad at my boss every night. I also know that if I were at home in the states, I would just quit. That’s my policy. “If you don’t like it, leave!” So what do I do?

I did sign a contract, and I have my ARC. But I am tired of being miserable. And let

I don’t know much about transfers except to say that there are MANY more jobs out there, so don’t let your blood pressure go up. Your situation is incredibly frustrating (and familiar from past experiences!) and I think you’re justified. It’s obvious from your post that you are a person who thinks about what s/he is doing in the classroom and actually knows enough about teaching to realize that perhaps teaching 6 year olds and 16 year olds might be different (revelation!)

If you want to, I’ll be happy to come and “observe” your class someday, and write up a fancy-looking evaluation for you (I can get access to a laser printer so anything is possible!) The trick is that I have a Ph.D. in Foreign Language Ed and that’s sometimes enough to intimidate the buxiban-types. You can even say oh-so-innocently that you were concerned about your performance and wanted to bring in a consultant to help you improve. :wink: :smiling_imp:

It probably wouldn’t help your general state of mind or work situation, but if you’re feeling twisted it might amuse. I guarantee you I can out-debate him about any point of grammar or pedagogy. :smiling_imp:

Hang in there. Choosing an interesting variety of box drinks from your local convenience store may help in the meantime. :laughing:

Terry, that’s the funniest thing I’ve heard (read) in a week! :laughing:

It might be easiest to give your boss notice of your last working day and book a trip to leave right after and get a 2 mo visitor visa and then start your search for a new job. It would be hard to guarantee that the boss wouldn’t immediately cancel your visa (then you just make your visa run sooner) or later refuse to pay the last paycheck (small price to get out of a bad situation)… but more than likely, there’d be no real hitches and regardless you’d be out of a miserable situation.

Many people are afraid of visas getting cancelled without warning if they express intention to break their contract, but I don’t personally know anyone this has happened to. Anyone have personal experience with this kind of thing?

Bonobo, sorry to hear about the situation you are in; I could certainly relate to your experience personally. When I thought back what happened to me, either I’ve got a pretty bad memory or I am a complete moron, things don’t seem so bad after I got out of it although there is no nationality specific when it comes to terrible bosses. They are everywhere, but make sure they don’t follow you to where you are going! :wink:

Could you stick it out until you find a new job? Could you suffer the harrassment from your boss and, at the same time, look for a new job on the side? Would you have that energy to do so? Is there absolutely no way to deal with your sick boss? Have you tried them all?

If everything fails, come to the Forum and vent, we won’t talk back (at least not right away). Talking it out loud sometimes does help to release the stress you encounter.

Take care and good luck,

Terry, that’s the funniest thing I’ve heard (read) in a week! :laughing:[/quote]
Well, as regular readers of segue and ORIENTED will know, I’m pathetic. So sometimes the right box drink CAN actually improve my day. Gosh, I need to get out more. :unamused:

That’s great Ironlady.

You mentioned that you have a Phd in Education. Maybe you can give the poster some concrete solutions to his current problem.

Something along the lines of what he is expected to do when he arrives at his school tomorrow for example? Or what you’d do in his current situation?


The way I’ve always understood it, and anybody please correct me if I’m wrong, there are 3 ways to leave a school:

  1. Cancelled work permit with no release letter (you can’t work legally for a year)
  2. Cancelled work permit with release letter (means a trip to out of the country to get a new 30-60 day visitor visa. You come back and start the whole application process again (but the poop and scoop is no longer required :laughing: ))
  3. Cancelled work permit with transfer letter (no trip off the island, you just have to shuttle some paperwork between your old school and your new school).

Obviously #3 is best for you, but again, as far as I know, your school is under no obligation to give it to you. All they have to do is notify the Edu. Bureau that you are no longer employed by them, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can work legally somewhere else. With any luck, you’ll be able to at least get the second option (I didn’t want to say you’d get number 2!) :shock:

Curious if anyone has met anyone who was refused a work permit because of quiting a job?

The thing is that I’m doing a little research about the topic of these “release letters.” From what I can tell there is no piece of law that says you have to have a release letter.

Richard Hartzell has suggested that legal action could be taken against the Ministry of Education for requiring these so called “release letters”.


Legal action about the unfair requirement of the “Release Letter” can be put into motion. However, someone will have to step forward with a legitimate complaint.

In other words, this matter cannot be dealt with in theory. There needs to be an actual situation where someone feels their rights are being violated.

I think the legal basis of the release letter (actually release certification) requirement is Article 53 of the Employment Services Law. You can check law.moj.gov.tw
for the original text.

It basically says that when your new employer applies for your work permit, she must attach certification from your former employer that you are no longer employed by the former employer.

This provision was probably intended to ensure that you work for only one employer at a time. The Council on Labor Affairs is actually quite friendly to labor, and would probably look dimly on employers who try to coerce their employees with Article 53. I would suggest that you file a complaint with the local labor authority charged with mediating labor disputes. In the case of Taipei City, this is Section 2 of the Taipei City Bureau of Labor Affairs. They are located at 5F 1 Shizhengfu Rd. (i.e. in Taipei City Hall).

There are three telephone numbers you can call.

In Taichung, call (04)22276508 extensions 13-17.

An article on Tealit suggests that you contact one of the Foreign Workers’ Centers set up by the Council on Labor Affairs. This is a good suggestion although I suspect these are really set up with laborers from Southeast Asia in mind. I would prefer to deal with the agencies charged by law to mediate labor disputes rather than special units set up to help foreigners. You may also need to file your complaint with the local branch of the Ministry of Education since they are the competent authority.

In any event, you will be able to pursue your case through the bureaucratic maze more effectively if you have someone experienced at dealing with Taiwan’s bureaucracy–Richard is the obvious choice.

Richard, what legal grounds are there for challenge in the courts if mediation fails?

This article of the ESA does have a provision about needing a release letter if one is transferring to a new employer during the originally valid period of employment, or being authorized to work for a second employer, under approved circumstances.

But, it seems clear that there is no intention to say that A foreigner worked for XYZ school for the entire contractual period of one year, and now he is moving on to FGH school, and is thereby required to produce a “Release Letter.”

If mediation didn’t produce satisfactory results in such a controversy, I assume that you could proceed as follows. First, apply for an exemption from such a “Release Letter requirement” from the Department of Education. When that was refused, file an administrative appeal with the city/county government. If that did not produce good results, then one could then file suit in the appropriate administrative court.

Also, note that sometimes in dealing with various government officials (Department of Labor Affairs, for example) they will try to railroad you by saying something about Oh, this is what the law means . . . . and then add a lot of stipulations to it.

But such an interpretation is nonsense. The law means exactly what it says, no more, no less.

You don’t care if you lose your job right? So here’s my suggestion. Get tough with your boss. Tell him “listen, I’m the teacher, I’ll teach my way, if you don’t like it you can fire me, now leave me alone”. He’ll probably either leave you alone or fire you, both of which will be good outcomes right? If he looks like he’s trying to screw you on the money or not giving you a release letter (how about preparing one for him to sign) make sure yhe knows you’re going to kick up some real touble. It won’t be worth it for him.

So getting yourself fired + a visa run is the best option it seems. Just start the whole process over again? What about the blacklists? I have heard that a vindictive lao-ban can screw you at the D of E for up to 5 years…any truth to this? And if blacklisted…is that valid only for the county youworked in?