What's the longest time you've had a job at one school?

What’s the longest time you’ve had a job at one school?

  • Less than a year
  • 1 year
  • 2 years
  • 3 years
  • 4 or more years (please post, how long?)

0 voters

I don’t want to include staying with one company but different schools in this poll (ie been with Hess, Kojen, etc. for a long time). How long have you stayed at one school in the same building?

I have a feeling that more than 3 years will be rare so I capped it off at 4. If I’m dubiously wrong, let me know and I’ll fix the poll.

Both my schools are 3 years and still going. They are also both my first Taiwan gigs. So I didn’t vote. The 3 years option assumes the job has stopped doesn’t it?

No, I voted even though I assume I’ll be here more than less than a year :? :slight_smile: .

Ok, selected 3, but unless something unbelievably stupid happens within the next year, I’ll be giving the 4 years option one vote for each gig.

It’ll be 8 years this May! :shock: :smiley:

It’s 4 years on the button. I’d like a change but this is the best gig in town. If I do change I think it would be for a return home and not for another job in Taiwan. I am, however, open for offers. :wink:

Eight and half years and I still don’t what I’m doing.

Seven and a half, with probably another year and a half to go.

I’m a tad :shock:'ed. Is this the norm for people teaching English here, or is this just the norm from you seguest’s? I’ve gotten the impression that teaching at one place (the same school) for over 3 years would have been unheard of.

I know the poll just started, but I didn’t think so many would have chosen 4+.

This is my second year with my school…then again, I’ve been here for less than two years.

My longest was 2 and a half years. It was a pretty good set-up with good hours and great co-workers that made up for the so-so pay. Before that I was one year with three different schools, staying just as long as the contract, not because I didn’t like the school or had a bad experience, I just wanted to try something different, different kinds of students, different kinds of classes. Also, the last school was bigger with more foreign teachers, many of whom were in Taiwan long-term so there was a good deal of peer support and challenging to be a better teacher. Some other schools I worked at the mostly Taiwanese staff didn’t interact much with the few foreign staff, and at another, the teachers didn’t have the space or opportunity to interact much with each other.

The happiest teachers I’ve met work places with M-F daily classes that focus on fluency and function (as opposed to passing standardized tests) and let the teachers run the class the way they want to. Those folks who have taught for many years, would you agree?

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.

I’m in my second year in the same school - got the job from abroad - it’s a franchise of a chain. I’m happy here and have a degree of freedom. The boss (& head office) are pretty enlightened although parents sometimes make unrealistic or old-fashioned demands.

The happiest teachers I’ve met work places with M-F daily classes that focus on fluency and function (as opposed to passing standardized tests) and let the teachers run the class the way they want to. Those folks who have taught for many years, would you agree?[/quote]

A fewQs for ckvw and anybody else who has an opinion;

1 Are those mostly chains, franchises or independent schools?

2 You said daily classes - is that the anchinban type thing with 1st and 2nd graders who come every afternoon except Tuesdays?

3 Are the bosses foreigners or Taiwanese?

4 Are they all in Taipei or are any elswhere?

5 How on earth do they reconcile the lack of tests, emphasis on fluency etc. with parents who want the kids to memorise patterns and long vocab lists, and do pages and pages of grammar exercises?

There are plenty of schools that fill the demand for “fluency and function”. Some (though not many) Taiwanese parents are looking for fluency and function over standarized testing and memorization.

The school you work for fills the demand for “tests, memorization, long vocab lists and grammar exercises”.

The English learning market is not singular; there are many different types of schools fitting different types of needs. The school you work for seems to fill the needs of the most common demand–memorization to tests.


In response to joesax:

1 All types - long-termers can be found in all types of schools with all kinds of curriculums, even big bad franchises like Hess. I just noted that many (not all) described regular classes and relative freedom in teaching methods.

2 Some, but not exclusively. I taught adult classes that met daily as well.

3 The big boss is always Taiwanese, right? I guess there are a few schools out there actually run by a foreigner, but they are few and far between. For schools with more than a few foreign teachers, I do think that having a foreign teacher supervisor who acts as a buffer between teachers and management can help with teacher retention.

4 I worked only in Taipei, so that’s my frame of reference.

5 As Muffin noted, there are more than enough schools offering such a curriculum and there is enough of market for some alternatives.

Another observation on this:

Some folks really clam up about their school when you ask them. They say they love their job, but when pressed for details, they give vague answers and change the topic. Many just say something along the lines of “I love my students” or “I can do what I want.” Sometimes, they don’t even give the name of the school “Oh, it’s place over in Mucha - you’ve never heard of it.” That’s why when people ask “What are good schools to work for?” I can’t name many schools.

Thanks for the helpful and interesting replies.

Perhaps I should add a little on the reason for my questions. I’m interested (as most teachers here are I suppose) in market demands, the extent of knowledge of current teaching methodology among parents, teachers and bosses, and the applicability of that methodology to Taiwan.

Muffin wrongly assumed that I was complaining about my school; in fact as I said, both the head office and the franchise owner use communicative methodologies. Nonetheless, parents outside of Taipei don’t seem to be as enlightened as some who live in Taipei, and maintaining the school as an effective business necessitates a small amount of compromise towards grammar exercises etc. I feel that these can actually reinforce learning provided that they are done within the wider context of a communicative methodology.

I’d be interested to hear anyone else’s comments on the real-world issue of maintaining a balance between teachers’ ideals and parents demands, and on any effective ways to educate parents as to what teachers think their children really need.