I have been tutoring about 9 different students ranging in age from super young (less than 2 yrs. old) to junior high school students for a few years now. During this time, I’ve traveled to their homes to teach them. I find this super tiring and not at all cost or time efficient. I’d like to open my own “classroom” (“家教班”, right?) by renting an apartment (separate from where I live now) which would just serve as a place to house my private lessons. So, basically, I would be doing the exact same thing as I do in their homes, just much more convenient for me. Also, it would enable me to take on more students since I could put the classes closer together (right now I have up to an hour and a half between classes!). So, here are my questions:
Is private tutoring ever legal?
Is teaching the kids in an apartment I’ve rented any less legal than teaching them in their own homes?
Some of the parents have told me that I need to lower my fee (which is currently $1000/60+ min.) if I won’t be at their houses anymore. But, most of them currently pick me up and drop me off, anyway, so I don’t really see it as any less convenient for them to come to the classroom. Also, I’d be providing a much better learning environment for the kids. What do you think?
Perhaps most importantly, if I had a classroom, is there any sort of insurance I would need in case, for instance, a student gets injured while in my apartment? Is there any way parents could sue for something like that? What sort of insurance might cover that? Any other legal issues I should be concerned about? If the whole thing is illegal, then I assume I won’t be able to get insurance anyway… should this be a deal-breaker? Is there anything I could have the parents sign to avoid that kind of situation? Obviously, I don’t anticipate this happening, but I just want to be careful.
I don’t have a teaching degree, but I consider myself to be a very qualified (with degrees in Art and Early Childhood Psychology, and 5 years’ experience in Taiwan) and good teacher. I work hard and care about my students and their progress. I just can’t keep traveling from place to place lugging my materials around! Any advice you’d have for me would be super appreciated!!
First of all, if you don’t have an APRC or marriage-based ARC, it is illegal.
This is risky because your neighbors (or a competitor) may not like your classroom and might report you. You could get deported and/or face a large fine.
It is also a violation of zoning laws since a private school is not a permitted use in a residential neighborhood. You could get fined.
You need a license to open a school, which you don’t have, so your business is illegal as well. Fines.
If a child was injured or even worse killed, the parents could and would sue you. They would probably also bring a complaint against you for criminal negligence to force you to settle. You probably can’t get insurance because you are running an illegal business that no one would want to insure. Even if you somehow did, I doubt the insurer would pay your claim.
Even though this is a terrible idea, the reality is that you might get away with it for a while, Many people do. I think your chances outside of Taipei would be better.
Ugh… is anything in Taiwan actually legal??[/quote]
It tends to be a grey area .
I’m no expert, but I believe you are allowed to tutor a certain number of students in your own home - which makes sense. Obviously, doing it from a rented premises isn’t permitted without a school license.
If you are on a work visa with a company, I doubt it is legal even for you to tutor a certain number of students in your own home as a paid proposition. You are technically limited to work at the specific location and for the specific employer who got your ARC/work permit.
Very few things are legal for foreigners in Taiwan unless they are married (JFRV visa), have finagled one or more Article 51 work permits, or are on APRC – or have taken Taiwanese nationality (in which case they’re really not “foreigners”).
What scares me about this proposition is not the possibility of deportation; it’s the liability. Kids are damage-prone beings, and parents are not always rational where their offspring are involved. Add in a possible communication barrier to begin with, and to me this is a recipe for potential disaster. You really don’t want to be sued in Taiwan, especially for sums of money you couldn’t possibly pay, not to mention legal fees and general psychic wear and tear.
If it were me, I’d scout out some friendly McDonald’s locations for “class”.
[quote=“LaurenM”]What are “open work rights”?
It’s so frustrating that I couldn’t really do this legally if I wanted to.
Don’t know which country you’re from OP, but if a foreigner goes to work in the US or Canada or England they get a work permit/visa which limits their employment to their sponsor. If you break the immigration laws, such as taking on additional work from a non-sponsoring firm, in these countries, what happens to you? You get deported and blacklisted.
Your ARC (work permit) sponsoring school is the only place you can legally work. If you choose to go ahead and open your classroom you will become more visible to the public. It will take a single phone call from a neighbor or competitor to get you deported. At a kindy you have the admin and front desk staff to cover for you when the government comes-a-knockin’, but who will you have to run interference for you in your private classroom?
I know this is an old thread, but I would like to clarify what the specific maximum number of students is that someone who has open work rights could tutor in their own home before it’s considered a class. I’ve heard it’s four, but would like to confirm this and hopefully be pointed to the relevant legislation. Thanks!
Yes, it seems like it’s four. I haven’t been able to find a English version of this rule anywhere but it’s contained in article 3 of 臺北市短期補習班管理規則 (translates roughly as “Taipei City Short-term Supplementary Learning Center (Buxiban) Management Regulations”) http://www.doe.gov.taipei/ct.asp?xItem=1211357&ctNode=63484&mp=104001. Quote from article 3: 第三條 本規則所稱補習班，指以補充國民生活知識，傳授實用技藝或輔導升學為目的，對外公開招生、收費、授課且有固定班址，預收學生人數並達五人以上之短期補習班。Basically, from my understanding, it’s defining what a Buxiban is and included in that definition it states that it would have 5 or more students already enrolled. But I think you’d need to check this article 3 with someone who has much better Chinese than I do. Hope this helps.
Yes, it seems like it’s four. I haven’t been able to find a English version of this rule anywhere but it’s contained in article 3 of 臺北市短期補習班管理規則 (translates roughly as “Taipei City Short-term Supplementary Learning Center (Buxiban) Management Regulations”) http://www.doe.gov.taipei/ct.asp?xItem=1211357&ctNode=63484&mp=104001. Quote from article 3: 第三條 本規則所稱補習班，指以補充國民生活知識，傳授實用技藝或輔導升學為目的，對外公開招生、收費、授課且有固定班址，預收學生人數並達五人以上之短期補習班。Basically, from my understanding, it’s defining what a Buxiban is and included in that definition it states that it would have 5 or more students already enrolled. But I think you’d need to check this article 3 with someone who has much better Chinese than I do. Hope this helps.[/quote]
“‘Buxiban’ [tutorial school] as used in these regulations refers to a short-term buxiban which has as its aim the supplementation of national livelihood through knowledge, the imparting of practical technical skills, or further (tutorial) education; is open to the public for enrollment; collects fees; has a fixed (teaching) location; and has a projected student population of at least five.”
(I’m not sure about the “national livelihood” part. Can anyone think of a better translation?)
Of course, if in doubt, check with a lawyer and/or the relevant authorities. Under the Supplementary Education Act, every city/county sets its own regulations.
If I were going to do that,I would have a video camera on everything all the time. That’s cheap and totally viable these days. The only reason I say this is that many years ago, when I was fresh off the boat, I tried letting a tutoring student into my home. He tried to make a pass at me and I had to kick him out. Afterwards I thought, he could have done all kinds of stuff to me, accused me of things since I had jilted him, and I was stupid to let him in. I never tried anything like the OP is suggesting since then. The cost of filming all of it is cheap, and could really help CYA.