I’m not teaching now, but my last gig (employer) was about a five year stint. The only reason I stayed so long was because I had a great deal of freedom to investigate and experiment with my classes, which were all corporate.
Also, I wasn’t bound by strict guidelines or rules as the staff were mature professionals, not newby foreigners just arriving in Taiwan without experience. Finally, the boss was ‘one of us’, and there were no multi-levels of management to deal with that you see in many of the more political-type establishments.
However, I do have quite a few friends who teach kids, and have been with the same buxiban for a looooooooooong time. Much longer than I would have lasted at such places. I think they stay for several reasons:
They get used to how the management does things and learn how to do their jobs within those codes.
They love their students.
Their pay rises from all that time places them out of getting another job because they won’t be earning nearly the same hourly rate if they start fresh. Some are kindy teachers earning over 800/hour!!
They have in some cases, moved up the ladder in their schools and are now managing or head teaching or writing curriculum and materials, etc.
They get cash bonuses at every holiday.
They are at a point where they can do their jobs without thinking and can therefore reserve their ‘mental’ energies for other activities such as studying Chinese, or projects which really interest them.