Original Title: Need Advice on this matter
Hello everyone - First time poster. Long time reader.
So, I started a new job recently. Settled bushiban. Husband and wife team, foreign male, local female. They expect you to be there an hour ahead of time for prep which is perfectly understandable. They have homework and tests to mark which is again perfectly understandable.
The thing is this. The classes are huge. There are no less than twenty kids in every class and in some classes up to thirty. That is a lot of homework to mark. The homework isn’t easy to mark for the higher level classes. It takes time. So in order to get that done as well as my prep I have to come in earlier. This is unpaid of course. If you happen to have test day then multiply your work. And don’t make a mistake of you will get shouted at and get the speech about being a good teacher.
All of this is understandable. My problem is the husband. He doesn’t have foreign friends and he’s been here for I think fifteen years or so. He has no one to talk to so he talks to me, the only other foreigner there. The thing is it isn’t just a hello, how are you, did you watch the game last night. It is a lot of conversation and I’m at a loss. I would be sitting at my desk with the piles of books open on my desk and he would simply nudge them out of the way so he can sit down and chat…for most of the hours that I came in early to work. I’m falling behind and I just can’t keep up. Taking the work home with me doesn’t sit well with the female of the pair as a previous teacher evidently lost some books once and they feel that I can just come in and do it there.
What should I do? I’m studying Chinese at the moment and I need my time to study too. That is what my mornings are used for. I go to class and then barely have time for lunch before I have to get to work before they do so I can get work done. The Chinese teachers there always ask me for help with their English, which is understandable too, but I need time to get my work done. I don’t have time to plan their lessons for them . I don’t have time to listen to him drone on and on about the quality of foreigners in Taiwan.
I’m out of options. I can’t take the work home with me. I can’t take it out of school grounds. If I go to an empty classroom they come and ask why I’m not in the teachers’ area. It is any open plan school so the desks are viewable by the public and the kids. You have no privacy and it gets really noisy with the kids so I have to be able to concentrate or else I would make mistakes. I misgraded a test the other day and was raked over the coals for missing an S. One point and she took ten minutes to berate me for it. Twenty seven perfectly graded tests and one mistake. If I tell him that I want to do the work in peace and quiet he will get snippy.
The previous teacher who left was there for a day when I first started. She told me all about the boss’ temper and their expectations. Everybody is really scared of her and she can be really mean and nasty. He is a chatterbox who will use anything you say against you. There was a situation where a previous teacher remarked that she was on Prozac and the next day the female boss called her in to say that she should please stop taking drugs. I thought I would be able to handle it but really I can’t. I’m running out of time to do my work and need to know how to tell this guy to please let me do the work since I am tired of being there two or sometimes three hours ahead of time because of homework and tests to mark. On Wednesdays there are three classes back to back so three classes of thirty plus books to mark.
This may sound as if I am whining but I’m just asking for advice. I don’t want to step on toes of course. I like my kids even though there are too many in a class to properly manage. I don’t have a Chinese teacher in class with me. As things are now I am at school from three to nine every night though I only get paid for three of those hours. I work Monday to Saturday and I get 520NT an hour. I have been here for awhile so I have my own place but they are suggesting every day twice or three times a day that I can live closer to school if I move into an apartment they have.
What should I do?