I have just been approached by a Taiwanese guy in the supermarket, looking for teachers for his school! He asked me to go see him tomorrow and said we can negotiate my contract. Are there any specific things I should request? Apart from a massive salary of course! Seriously though, this will be my first job in Taiwan so I dont want to get screwed over. Any advice?
If he’s offering to hire complete strangers without properly vetting them then he’s probably not someone I would work for.
Take Alleycat’s advice.
At worse, take a look then report back here. You might take the trouble to read through some of the discussions that have already taken place here. Most of us don’t have the time or enthusiasm to repeat ourselves.
well… his explanation was that the school is just opening now. it appears to be a franchise of Ha Pa computer english school. He also knew the taiwanese people i was with. they think he is a decent guy. I am going to ask for 65 thousand a month, for 100 hours teaching. Fair?
Shame, shame people. Not being friendly and generous with the advice today, are we?
Patterson, the 100 hours at 65,000 a month definitely sounds about right for an average cram school environment. Actually, I don’t think there’s any problem with the guy approaching you at a supermarket. How else do you find an English teacher if you’re a Taiwanese? They aren’t all familiar with forumosa.com, tealit, Dave’s ESL, or the local places with bulletin boards on the walls. I’ve been approached many times on the street, and they are just as much a mix of good to bad as any other method.
Scan the info here and in other places, avoid those deposits, watch out for too heavy of a penalty for leaving early, and if there is a Chinese copy have someone help you to read it so they don’t slip something in there. Listen to your Taiwanese friends if you trust them. And if they treat you well, try to meet them half way and be a little flexible. If they ask you to do a few minor extra tasks, what’s the harm? As long as it doesn’t go too far.
Also, ask about class sizes. Too large, especially at a bushiban, and it’s a nightmare. Every single school will claim that their children are angels and that they never have discipline problems. Yep. Are you inexperienced in teaching? Then you have to find a place where they will be a little more patient and help you with learning or training, support, giving you ideas, etc.
Report back or pm me and I’ll try to keep an eye out for any serious trouble. Other than that, many things are re-negotiated all the time regardless of what the contract says.
Is he going to get you an ARC and pay your taxes correctly ? What is the definition of “100 hours” ? Will the schedule allow you to finish at a reasonable time in order to take on privates ? Will you have to work on Saturday ? What about leave entitlements ? Will he pay typhoon days and national holidays ?
thanks for the advice. esp. alwayslol.
well, i came back alive. the interview fluctated between sounding good, and sounding shoddy. The contract is for 25 hours teaching per week, but 40 hours in total. The extra hours include planning, etc. Pay is 55 thousand. Not super. The hours are 1-9 pm.There was mention of giving out leaflets in the supermarket from time to time! The school opened in june and has 25 students. Its small, so they want me to work at another site for the first 6 months, occasionally. The woman seemed relaxed about pay increases, and said if i was good, and brought in business then the money would go up. The school is new and clean, and with only a few students it sounds like easy teaching. I have 3 years esl experience in japan, and 3 years as a primary school teacher in the UK. But is it worth the headache? They said they could get me an a.r.c. through another branch, as they are still waiting for their licence. The woman seemed committed to her business, and my Taiwanese girlfriend didnt smell too many rats. Usual paid holiday at chinese new year, holiday ins, and sick pay thrown in. Is it worth the risk, or should i go to a more established school. I am gonna be here for a few years i reckon…
Shop around. Go back to the supermarket and see if you can get a better deal.
thanks hakka. your help is of the ‘clear as mud’ type.
The money would be okay if it was just for teaching hours, but not for all those office hours as well. However, the alarm bells really went off with mention of the “handing out leaflets.”
Working for a new school is very problematic. They don’t have experience dealing with foreigners, they are slower getting your work permit because they haven’t done it before, and they don’t have a stable number of students.
My suggestion would be work for a decent chain school (franchise) or a good private bushiban, one that has been around for at least four years. The owner/boss should speak English well.
How do you find a good school? When you approach a school ask for references. If a boss hasn
You are well experienced enough not to have to take this rather poorly paid job (the hours are ridiculous). However, you could squeeze in a kindy from 9am-12, which would bring your pay up to what I get with less experience than you at a big chain, working 9am-4.30, 30hrs a week.
I have always reckoned that the enforced unpaid holidays that hourly-paid teachers have to take result in a 15% difference between hourly and salaried. That would take your effective pay up to 63,250. If you will be paying 20% tax on that to the end of the year, it doesn’t leave you with much.
Handing out leaflets at the supermarket does not fall within your work permit conditions, as the work you do under that permit must be done at the address on the permit. As your permit will be at a different address from the one at which you will teach, your entire legal status will be bogus. Mind you, I teach kindy, which I have heard is illegal anyway, so I really can’t advise one way or the other.
Thanks once again guys. I feel that i should probably give it the elbow. I have another interview this evening at a different place. Its been opened for three years. Armed with your advice i think i will do fine. I find it amazing that id have 2 work nearly 12 hours per day to earn the same as someone who works 30 hours per week. I hope i dont fall into the “foreign jerk” category! I’ll let you know how it goes tonight! Anyone wanna give me a job in Taichung??!!??