I had heard, about a year ago, that the market was saturated with Englsih teachers and that it was difficult to find a job. Is that still the case? Is Taipei still have loads of foreigners (compared with, say, 3 years ago?)
You heard wrong then and its still wrong now. Plenty of jobs here for English teachers. Always have been.
You probably misunderstood. It’s the market for Estonian teachers that has been saturated. Several years ago Estonian soap operas and rock music became very popular here and half the under-30 population of Tallinn moved here to Taipei to take advantage of the sudden popularity in things Estonian. As a result of the glut in teachers, Estonian instructors with a PhD are paid less than 10EEK per hour. One beneficial side effect for the Taiwanese has been a drop in the price of reindeer meat. And of course vodka has replaced tea as the Taiwanese breakfast drink.
I think you’d be much better off looking for employment in Burkina Faso. I hear it’s really nice, the pay is great and the women are really hot.
I’d agree with Sandman. I went for two interviews at the end of August and got them both. Timing has a lot to do with it.
Yep, tons of jobs. However, one of the requirements for anyone seeking a job is the ability to spell “English teacher”.
Another is correct use of grammar.
I think you should stay at home.
If the number of drunk / passed out foreigners in the streets of Shida last night is any indication, I’d say the market is pretty well saturated.
I’ve been known to get saturated from time to time also
I’ve been known to get saturated from time to time also [/quote]
But I bet you make it back home every night, Tigerman. It’s not possible that you were the guy slouched over and asleep beside the Starbuck’s at Roosevelt / Hoping last night, is it?
I’ve been known to get saturated from time to time also [/quote]
But I bet you make it back home every night, Tigerman. It’s not possible that you were the guy slouched over and asleep beside the Starbuck’s at Roosevelt / Hoping last night, is it?[/quote]
I have a remarkable ability to get home, regardless of how saturated I am.
I have to disagree given my observations on my last job search round. Yes, there were plenty of jobs-often not offering a visa, or offering only a few very spread out hours. You would have a very difficult time stringing these together to make more than just basic living expenses. I’m OK now, I got a job, but that last time was getting a bit scary. Of the jobs I was offered, I had plenty of competition, and it’s good that I have more experience and qualifications than most.
I’ve known a few lately that had to give up and turn around and go home. They weren’t so qualified/experienced. All in all, I’d say here in Tainan everywhere I turn these days there are plenty of Westerners everywhere, and competition for a visa job with any reasonable number of block hours (I’d say 15 or more) is quite fierce. If I had a friend who wanted to come now just for the money, I’d advise them to stay home and work a few different jobs, because that’s essentially what you would do here to save money. Unless there is some other strong reason you are coming, I’d advise against it. Even the Taiwan English job market cannot provide endless opportunities. Put it this way: if you were my friend, I’d think long and hard about inviting you to stay with me while you find a job and get settled, because you would probably have to stay for awhile.
I would be the first to be friendly and welcome you and give you tips on how to find a job, etc. but I don’t want to see anyone stranded, as I have seen Westerners here, who are out of money before they find work. It’s a pitiful sight.
I’m wondering how long these folks who couldn’t find jobs were actually looking. When I returned to Taiwan a few years back, I already had years of experience and several connections, and it took me over a month to get work at a school worth working for. It was a miserable month. I was spending money on rent, food and transportation and was reluctant to spend any extra money since I had no income, so I had nothing to do all day but look for work and feel miserable. Didn’t even have cable TV to veg out on.
No matter what, I agree that it’s hard to find decent block hours outside of kindy classes, especially without experience. Split shifts aren’t uncommon; neither are minimum hours (eg, 14, barely enough to live on much save or have a life) especially for the first few months at a new school. Also, erratic schedules may not allow for any regular second job. That’s why the recommendation to come to Taiwan with enough money to cover at least two months’ expenses… AT LEAST!.. that’s the recommendation even if you already have a job lined up before arrival.
I also agree that I wouldn’t recommend coming to Taiwan solely to make money. It takes a good deal of time before the savings really start adding up. You do have to live fairly humbly (as opposed to a fully-equipped, western-style apartment). And to really save, you’ve got to work lots of hours, often nights and weekends. You could just stay home, get some roommates, take on an extra job and limit your entertaining costs to save money. And if you’re planning to return to your country of origin, there are also costs associated with moving back from Taiwan, including a possibly extended period of unemployment after you return (or maybe that’s just me).
The problem isn’t finding a job. There are tons of jobs easily found all over Taiwan. The problem is finding a good full-time job. Here in Tainan many of the schools would love to have a foreign teacher but they can’t afford to offer you more than a handful of hours a week. So in order to make ends meet, you’re forced to juggle at least two separate jobs. I’m currently juggling work at 4 different schools right now - 5 hours of classes here, 4 hours there, 6 hours there, a couple of hours there… and there’s enough room left over for a fifth or even sixth school if I can fit in my schedule (which is the biggest hassle of working for more than one school - arranging the schedule to meet both your and their needs).
Juggling multiple jobs saves you from the biggest bugbear that I’ve encountered here - employers who think they own you and will cheerfully add a few little ‘extras’ to your working week.
I’m very happy working several jobs now, earning pretty good money, and keeping the time I want for myself. It can be hard to get started here, no argument, but once you are established then you can pretty much do as much work as you are happy with. Take a look at the ‘how many hours’ thread, plenty of folks there doing close to 40 hrs/wk.
I have a colleague who is going crazy with the person they have to work with. This is a 24hr/wk job, spread over 4 working days, paying plenty more than any kindy I’ve seen with ARC etc. I have done some classes there and it’s a great job for a serious teacher looking for a good environment. But the boss can’t find any one who is basically competent, turns up every day, and does their job without pissing people off - staff and students alike! So some complete tosser is doing very well for himself while you lot whinge about how hard it is to earn a decent living.
What’s wrong with you that I’ve subbed 6 hrs of classes today at an average NT$850/hr (zero preparation time required) to help out some very reasonable employers who both want me to do more regular classes? Why am I being asked to introduce good teachers willing to work a couple of hours a night at the same sort of money?
I think the answer is that some people come here expecting the Earth before they have demonstrated that they are somehow different from all the passed out losers mentioned above. Get lives, get jobs, be worthy of your profession, and hold out for what you’re worth. Simple.
As far as good schools having a hard time finding good teachers, I think that is due to the fact that once serious, long-term teachers have found a good place to teach, they tend stay there. Meanwhile, trying to find that school with a good fit involves some luck as the opening needs to come up and you need to find out about it at just the time you are looking. Also, many seasoned teachers have given up stuffing their schedule full with teaching. They have one or two main jobs, have a few favorite privates, and turn down most other teaching offers.
I am surprised by the tenor of this thread…when I finished my obligatory first year contract with The Big Yellow School Bux, I had no problem finding another job…I recieved offers from every school I poked my bald white head into…I finally chose a school where I would have 27 hours a week gauranteed with more available at my descretion. Granted, I am paid slightly less on an hourly scale, but I don’t have to clamour for hours in the winter. When you tally up the totals, I am making far more per month than I did at TBYSB…
Now, let’s talk about quality of work…I have to do zero prep, zero correcting and zero final reports. To a human, each person I work with is a quality act, from the laoban and his wife down to each and every secretary…it is a supportive environment for training and once trained, it is the easiest teaching job you’ll ever have with the most pleasant, and attractive adult students, if that sort of thing matters to you. Did I mention class size? No? 4 students per class max! 2 days off a week as well…but you do have to work one day on a weekend…
The only stipulation this school has is that you are a good (read “professional”) teacher. They don’t want FOB’s. They do not offer soft landings or assistance finding your way around town. They will give you the requisite government addresses and paperwork for all your ARC doings, but you are on your own as far as getting it in your hot little hands. They want grown ups. They prefer you to have at least one year in country, but you will still be considered if your demo goes well. Yes, it seems like there are some hoops to jump thru to apply. I thought this a very professional manner with which to weed out the weaklings. Whiners need not apply.
And the school is growing. The first Kaioshung branch opened in August and another in Northern Taipei is slated for November. From what I understand, they plan to open 6-8 more branches in the coming year. So for those of you with management in mind, there are such opportunities here as well.
I am half way thru my year commitment to them and will be resigning. However, if I wanted to, I could choose from 28 or so other countries to work in. I could go to Paris or Barcelona or Tokyo or Beijing. This is an international chain of schools and once you have a year in, you can work in Rio or LaPaz or Moscow.
All it took was a little footwork and a little research (not neccesarily in that order mind you) and I have found my niche…I am happy as a ju in dah-bien…
Want more info? PM me…the not-a-recruiter-teacher-guy called Toe.
The time of year counts a lot. If you are FOB then sure it is more difficult to know how to search for the right jobs. Plus most FOBS simply don’t know what the employer is looking for (demo, some techniques, blah blah from some dodgy TEFL course).
It also helps if you are white and N. American and female but is not really crucial as long as your accent isn’t too strong. Even a strong accent doesn’t matter too much if they get to know you but if you are in competition with other teachers they will mark against you. It seemed there was quite a bit of competition for the good jobs advertised. I was offered a couple of high paying jobs but only after I began to know a few people through personal contact.
I do know middle eastern and russians etc who earn a decent amount working in kindy jobs. There a lot of Africans in Taipei county surprisingly enough. All illegal of course.
Employers often prefer people who have been here for one or two years. If they get the feeling you will be around a while that is helpful. It seems there is a trend towards TEFL and M.Ed.
Still teaching english is repetitive stuff…the only good thing I find is the interaction (with adult students, even then they are often boring) and time to do other things. It seemed that some students felt interaction was like getting a tooth pulled.
It’s not really pushing your limits is it. You also have to deal with really crap management and dopey kids (I mean the teachers not the students).
Shouldn’t this be moved to the Teaching English in Taiwan Forum?
I was in Japan this past weekend and I must say, I saw more foreigners in Japan than here in Taiwan!! Are you guys hiding from me??!!
Yup! Don’t want you following us home to see how we perform with our loved ones. Whenever I see a girl with black hair and asian features I run for cover…
Stupid question, as I know nothing about teaching English in Taiwan. The extent of my experience is by request deals from friends of friends or coworkers.
I’m wondering how one teaches with zero prep time. Do you just go in to class and talk about whatever is on your mind?