Teaching at Joy English in Zhushan

Hi, not sure if there’s a specific thread for this kind of thing. Felt like writing about my experience in case anyone’s thinking of working there, and I’m curious if others have had similar experiences at other schools.

Positives: Most of the kids are lovely, and the classes are mostly well behaved. If you know how to control a class you wouldn’t have an issue. There were only 2-3 classes I disliked taking.
It seems to be a good school by buxiban standards. It seems to be well respected, and the teachers hard working and dedicated.
I didn’t have to deal with any bs. The boss seemed honest.
The area is nice enough given it’s rural Taiwan, and it has the perks of being in Nantou. There’s a swimming pool, running track and small gym. It’s easy enough to get to Taichung, although you’d definitely want your own vehicle because Taichung is like the only place you can get to conveniently by bus.

A lot is expected of you. There’s almost 30 different classes, and you teach a different one every hour, from all levels, complete beginner to senior high school students. You have to familiarize yourself with the lesson’s story and vocabulary and understand what the point of the grammar being taught is, come up with interesting ways to teach them and make sure the students all understand and practice it, or writing powerpoints, as well as getting everything you need together. There are lesson guides but you can’t just copy everything it says. You need to both teach effectively and be entertaining. This was my first real job here, so I can’t really compare it and I’m not sure if it’s the norm, but I did find it very exhausting and stressful as a first-timer. It does get easier as you become familiar with the content though. I never really took a full schedule though as I struggled with that, which meant my pay was even lower.
Speaking of pay, it is, well… crap. I’d do 16-20 hours in a week (the most is 21) so at 600 an hour I never made more than 48k in a month. Relative to the difficulty of the work… to put it in perspective, I could earn almost twice as much standing behind a check-out in my home country. So I think you need a really good reason to live here if you’re willing to take that deal (or maybe you could negotiate something better, I don’t know). I guess you’d find it easier if you had experience/qualifications, but then if you have experience/qualifications you could find a much better job.
The other main problem I had was with the other teachers. They weren’t unpleasant to me but they seemed completely disinterested in having anything to do with me. Again, this is my only experience here, so I don’t know if it’s a Taiwan thing. But most of them never said ‘hi’, ‘bye’, or ‘how was your weekend’ to me so I felt discouraged from trying to talk to them in the first place. One seemed friendly at the start so I tried to make friends with her, but she just kinda ignored me after a bit. I don’t know if I smell weird, it’s too much effort to speak English or what :man_shrugging: I didn’t really have any conflicts with them though, although I did notice what seemed to be a bit of passive aggressive behavior and some complaining about my non-American pronunciations. I felt pretty left out as they got along well with each other. I Never was invited to social activities I heard them discussing or added to the line group lol.

48k is very low even by teaching in Taiwan standards. How long have you been there?

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I wouldn’t recommend going anywhere else yet if you thought keeping up with lessons was difficult. It doesn’t get any easier than Joy.

Haha yeah I justified it to myself like it’s not much different to taking 60k in Taipei and paying rent. I was there a bit under a year.

Kinda similar to my experience, well I had no experience and I found it hell on earth