Throughout my thirteen and a half years of being a teacher, I have only spent 2 years teaching in Canada. Both these years I worked in Canada were for an Indigenous school board on an Indigenous reservation. My experience working there was a pretty tough one because I dealt with a lot of kids who had a lot of issues. Some of them are born brain damaged, some of them are not identified with any problems but have a lack of discipline to the point of being extremely disrespectful. It was so bad that I gave the worst behaving students the lowest grades. Several of them come from homes where there is a lot of alcohol abuse, several of them come from homes in which parents are involved in buying and selling drugs, and some come from homes where there is a lot of bad parenting because some of these kids were born to mothers who were as young as 15, and did not have the proper maturity to be parents. But I cannot generalize on that because I know one young woman there who worked as an Educational Assistant who has three children, the oldest being 10, and she is 25. I had one student in first grade who told me that her father is incarcerated, and two girls who are now in grade 3 who never knew their father because he was deported to Trinidad and Tobago. All these various problems that several of these kids on the reserve have are just so immense that it made my job hard. That particular community was a very hard place to work. Some Indigenous reservations may be easier to work in, but there are others that are worse than where I used to work.
My experience teaching Indigenous kids was still not new. Before I taught in Canada, I worked in Taiwan 10 years ago. I had the experience dealing with a few Indigenous students at the schools where I taught at in Miaoli and in Taichung. I am now back in Taiwan, and yes, there are a few Indigenous kids I teach. But my question is this, are there any NET’s who currently teach in a bilingual or EFL program for a predominantly Indigenous school in Taiwan? I
I was talking with an Indigenous Taiwanese friend of mine about the various socio-economic problems effecting Indigenous people in Canada and Indigenous people in Taiwan. And from what he told me, the problems and challenges that Indigenous Taiwanese face is not as bad as what I have seen with Indigenous people in Canada. Issues such as suicide. Indigenous people make of 1.5% of the Canadian population, but suicide rates among Indigenous Canadian youth aged 13 to 25 remains one of the highest in Canada, but not so in Taiwan. Indigenous girls and women who are murdered and missing, that is a big problem in Canada, but not so much here in Taiwan. For both Indigenous groups, alcoholism is a problem and it effects their young people, but drugs are a bigger problem for Indigenous Canadians than Indigenous Taiwanese. Economic disparity, same thing. It effects both Taiwanese and Canadian Indigenous groups.
Generally, the socio-economic problems of Indigenous Taiwanese is not as bad as in Canada, but what I have noticed is that some Indigenous Taiwanese students in Taiwan’s public schools usually have academic struggles after I looked at their scores in certain subjects, but I could only relate to EFL in particular. But what I need to know is this: How is teaching Taiwanese Indigenous kids as opposed to teaching Indigenous Canadian kids? Is it easier to teach Indigenous Taiwanese given the lesser socio-economic problems they have?