So the recent situation with the Wuhan virus has caused some interesting developments in terms of immigration to Taiwan which in turn is causing interesting developments in the teacher’s market here on the island. So far not enough time has elapsed for anything significant or widespread to have yet developed, so most of what I say here is based on speculation, although I would like to hear from others what is happening on the ground. I can only speak for the two organizations which I currently work for and the one that I recently left. Also would like to hear some well thought out speculations and points that I hadn’t considered from others. Let’s try to keep this a high quality thread!
Anyway, I’m a permanent resident here now (so thankful for this especially in a situation like this) so I don’t have to worry about visa renewal etc. One place I currently work at is also filled with long timers in Taiwan, and I’m sure everyone there is actually an APRC holder or married. The other organization seems to be a revolving door and people are constantly on their way out and I just seem to pick up their classes and I’m one of the last men standing. Wonder how they’ll attract any new folks here that can stay long term and legally given the current circumstances. Will be interesting to see how it plays out. Previous employer reduced hours drastically (got out at just the right time) everyone was on an APRC though except one guy, wonder if they’ll have enough hours to sponsor him any more.
So anyway, I’m sure plenty of people were planning on moving on anyway but others might want to hang on as along as possible. There must be fewer people coming into the country and others who are spooked by the thought of traveling outside their home country altogether now. So this makes for some interesting potential developments for the upcoming school year, especially in terms of private schools, international schools and universities, and maybe public schools too. So the question I pose is, do you think these schools will see a major decrease in teachers for the upcoming school year? Will they have huge gaps to fill? How will they fill them? It will be even harder for Americans to come here based on this:
Are we going to have a lot of opportunities on our hands here for those of us who are present on the island and well positioned in terms of qualificaitons and visa/residency status?
I imagine your standard run of the mill buxiban job will go to non-native speakers, students and other illegal/unqualified people to fill the gaps caused by the influx of those who would usually get these jobs.
Fulbright pulled everyone out, so there’s now something like 120 public schools that currently are out foreigners in their classrooms and, depending on the situation in the US in the coming months, maybe next year too. I imagine a lot of new FETs will be given a lot of trouble considering the current ban on teachers and students traveling abroad.
Taiwan’s bilingual Ed is gunna be put on hold methinks. Either that or they need to start offering effective English classes to their current local teachers.
the public schools are in a perpetual shortage of teachers anyway, now the situation is just more extreme. The US State Department officially wants everyone back in the US, this was in an email I got from AIT. I was all like “aww, hell nooooo.”
There will be a scramble for teachers to fill public school positions, maybe some APRC/JMRV holders can get lucky because they can find technicality loopholes to hire them and they don’t require FBI clearance. but yeah, if you sign a contract with a local public school, expect to be held prisoner on the island for the duration of the contract I imagine.
And yes, you’re right about the local teachers needing more effective training, and this is why the FET programs here are mostly a waste of time and vastly underutizlied; they focus on teaching the kids when they should be training the local teachers but due to face and other b.s. issues, they don’t want to face up to how terrible and out of date the methods for teaching English here are.
Just two days ago I was telling my students about ways to go about effectively improving ones English listening. I gave them a few podcasts that are in slow English and encouraged them to spend even just 10 minutes sitting in a quiet room listening to them and trying to understand as much as they can without relying on translation. Immediately following that my coteacher told them the best way to improve their English listening was to learn their 2,000 單, which was then followed up by the standard shaming method of who got the best and worst scores on their most recent 2,000單 quiz. The FET program working its magic and improving English scores right there.
And to whoever is suggesting APRC holders might have better access to public school jobs, please don’t jump in if you don’t know what you’re doing. If enough people refuse to teach in the public schools until they do something, maybe the governemnt will have to train their local teachers to use methods that work.
I’m sure there are plenty of APRC holders who have been teaching for years on end and are excellent teachers but they don’t meet the technical qualifications based on holding a specific piece of paper. To such teachers, I say, yes, go for it, because plenty of less qualified people who wiggled their way in with sub licenses have done it, so if they are good teachers and know what they’re doing and want to get a better job, why not? but that means some less qualified people might find their way in too. you gotta take the good with the bad, and if no one takes the job, then there is no native speaking teacher period, which in most cases, it’s better they have a mediocre one than none at all, IMO.
If current trends continue expect another closure. It kind ofndepends how tracking and quarantine plays out coupled with new remedies for the ccp virus. Once those situations break, schools should in the first wave of closures. I wouldnt be spending my days worrying about it if teachung legally. But sure would be preparing for a period of time with no teaching salary.