So not happy

I’ve had a bad today. I work for several schools through an agent (yes I know). I was told that the school I have on Thursday afternoons had decided to cancel my second class but I would still be teaching my first class. I prepared my class, then guess what when I got to class I found the second class hadn’t been cancelled it had been merged into the first class. There is one large problem with this, the first class is 8 and 9 year olds, the second is 6 year olds, they are at different levels.

So I asked the what they wanted me to teach them, and in her limited english the chinese teacher said “review, review”. Ok, so I was a little put out that nobody had bothered to tell me that I prepared a class and then couldn’t teach it and then had to pull something out at the last minute.

Then when I tried to teach I couldn’t get the class to settle down, for 20 minutes I said “be quiet, please open your books”, instead the class kicked, yelled and threw things at each other. Normally the chinese teacher would help out and ask them to be quiet and hit them with a big stick, yesterday - nothing. I was so frustrated that I almost walked out. I put my hands to my head and made a huffing noise. It took me an hour to review the alphabet - no kidding.

I called my agent after the class and said that I couldn’t teach the class unless something changed. But as I had made a commitment I would continue to teach.

Guess what happened today?? I’ve been fired from the school for showing emotion in class. I’ve been told they never want to see me again. Funny thing is they are going to get my flatmate for the private lesson this saturday that I was suppose to teach. I’m mostly relieved, but a little upset to be told i’m a bad teacher because I was frustrated they wouldn’t stop yelling.

Has this happened to anyone else?

Kill a chicken to scare the monkeys. Make an example of one of the rowdier students, and don’t back down until you see a stream of pee coming down one leg. (not yours!) Show them you mean business. If you can’t control them, nobody will respect you, and you can forget trying to teach them anything. As far as the different levels in class go, that sucks, but nothing new. Do the best you can. But DON’T TAKE ANY SHIT from the little twerps. Good luck.


Guess what happened today?? I’ve been fired from the school for showing emotion in class. I’ve been told they never want to see me again. Funny thing is they are going to get my flatmate for the private lesson this saturday that I was suppose to teach. I’m mostly relieved, but a little upset to be told I’m a bad teacher because I was frustrated they wouldn’t stop yelling.

Has this happened to anyone else?[/quote]

Hi, Surfbunny. Don’t be upset. Mystery firings and other BS like that is why I got out of that business a long time ago. Do you really want to work for a place that says they fired you for showing emotion? I’ve heard some lame ones, but that’s pretty good. Who cares if they said you were a bad teacher–people also said Prince was a bad artist. Now go to Calgary, have a nice cold beer and a pizza, and think of something really mean to do to that school. And, by the way, GET RID OF YOUR AGENT! YOU DON’T NEED AN AGENT!

Sorry what happened to you, but that line is hilarious.

“Emotions are alien to me. I’m an English teacher.” – Spock

I agree with Flicka…get rid of the agent. Think of your being let go as an opportunity to find something better. There are good schools out there…you just need to find them.

Why are you working at so many different places? Find ONE good place and settle down.

DB, some people like working in different places. I had a friend who eventually settled into a 9-5 routine, and quit after a few months because he couldn’t stand 9-5 in the same building every day. Now he’s back to checking out the girls on the MRT and stopping at the internet cafe & gym between jobs.

My advice is to find what works for your personality. In my case that would be no fucking children. I know that I can’t deal with them, so I stick with what I’m good at.

Also, we all know that there are a lot of bad employers out there. Signing your whole life away - ie getting an ARC - at a school that may later change your conditions, or decide they don’t like something about you (emotion!), is a recipe for frustration. It turned out badly for me twice because an agreement is often worthless here. You can’t just ‘find’ a good employer, because you never know the truth until it’s too late. You have to build a relationship.

Hang in there surfbunny, keep interviewing employers, and eventually it turns out hunky dory. I settled for a job that initially offered me only one class a week but quickly built up to the point where they were able to offer me an ARC. I still only do 12 hours a week there, and have my office hours free for my second job.

If I was to have a major disagreement (doesn’t seem likely these days) with one I would be able to weather a firing - or walking out - and this gives me more security than I would have with just one employer and a bunch of daft regulations. Emotion indeed!

I have had bad experiences with agents too, but I’ve also had good. I know one guy that seems able to find work consistently at 600/hr or more, which is better than a lot of schools are offering, and he never screwed me around. He emails regular lists of what he has, and if you’re working somewhere else you don’t ask for the job. Easy. I guess the trick is to have an agent that works for you, rather than working for an agent.

Chin up. So some idiot who couldn’t find his arse with both hands and a map doesn’t want you to be human? Is that a loss? Only for him. Let him employ some automaton that will eat shit and like it. You go get yourself something better for you.

Commiserations. Maoman is right. Clearly the class you were sent in to teach has been cobbled together by the school for their own convenience and profit maximization, and without any intention that the students learn anything.

Also, remember the school’s reason for firing you is almost always a lie intended to make you look bad and them look good. I guarantee if you’d gone in there reading the riot act and exhibiting quite a lot of emotion they’d have been quite happy.

Considering that it’s illegal, that’s a good thing that fucking children doesn’t work for your personality.

Thanks guys! You made me feel better about a pretty stupid situation. I too do not like teaching little children, so next semester I will teaching Junior High full time - which I love.

This is the funniest thing about what happened, I was fired for showing emotion from a woman who hits little children with a big stick!! It’s a double standard.

I would love to get rid of my agent, however I made the commitment and signed the contract with him. So until he really does the wrong thing I will stick it out, but next year it’s a different story!!

Get used to it. Firing a teacher for no good reason is just the way it is for buxibans here. It’s happened to us all plenty of times before. I once got fired for eating a sandwich. Yes, eating a sandwich. I was between an afternoon and evening class and would show up early to the evening job to wolf down dinner. Apparently the students didn’t like it because watching me eat made them hungry, as they came to the buxiban straight from school and so hadn’t had dinner yet. The sight of my sandwich was creating emotional turmoil due to pangs of longing and deprivation.

Another example of the professional level of English schools in Taiwan. Has Surfbunny taught before?

Corporal punishment, yeah baby!
You have an agent? I didn’t know they still existed. I thought Linda down by the train station was the last of the dinosaurs.

yeah, the agents still exist. We had an ad for a chinese teacher, and we were deluged with calls from agents offering to provide someone, all of which we rejected. No guarantee of quality or anything. We’d rather pay the teacher the extra money!


Surfbunny, it sounds like a setup to me. They were probably looking for an excuse to fire you so they probably told you the class was cancelled and then decided to combine them. The fact that your Chinese teacher didn’t step in where she usually would have is a big hint. I bet if you had refused they would have fired you. If you been able to control some of the kids they would have fired you. Don’t fret, consider it good riddance to bad rubbish.