The end of the semester approaches at a steady rate. Sometimes I want it to come faster but not all at the same time. It has been raining a lot here too. My colleagues and I joke you know it’s raining when you see kids wearing sandals to school. A coworker of mine even asked why I was so militant with my whole outdoors mentality because I walked to school in the pouring rain. It isn’t far at least to me, about a mile walk taking anywhere between 15-20 minutes. It varies depending if I need to play frogger as I walk to work. Briefly looking at my time here in Taiwan, I can say I learned a lot. I still have so much more to learn though. There is not enough time but I can learn what I can with the time given to me.
If you have been reading my blogs, I have struggled with my job going back and forth. One day I want to leave the next I will stay, I couldn’t figure out what was what. I have concluded that teaching with my school which is a cram school, I can no longer teach there. I have learned that I don’t like that I don’t have room to invest in them as an individual’s. I see them three times a week for two hours at a time. You figure that would be enough time but it is not.
My yoyo class, I see them everyday for 2.5 hours at a time which allows for more investment. The barrier to the yoyo class is the lack of English, so I play and show them how to do stuff. They are about 2-3 years old, if they are able to have a conversation in English with me it’s a plus. Aside from the lack of investment time into the students, I have seen too much of the business side of the school. I feel like I’m employed at a business corporation not an education institution. I understand that schools itself still needs to generate money to keep it going. I draw the line to where parents are being told one more semester and your kid will be better. Sometimes it’s vice versa, parents threaten to live the school if their child(ren) don’t move on.
Here is a rundown on what the parents pay from what I was told. One semester at my branch runs about 5 months. For the semester parents pay about 30000TWD (about 985USD). They also have a monthly fee of 10000TWD (about 330USD). You’re probably thinking that’s not much, it totals to 2600USD for 5 months. Now when you look at the pay for a local here they are paid below the US minimum wage. Imagine having to pay for your child(ren)’s tuition and other must necessities on below minimum wage. It is not cheap to do so.
When mid-July rolls around I will be leaving this sweet potato shaped island. I have learned many things during my time here. Upon my departure from Taiwan I will be going to China. By the will of God, I will be in China teaching at another school. I have already accepted the offer and am working on getting paperwork in. As time draws near I am slowly ending my time here and getting ready to start a new adventure. If all goes well with my paperwork to go to China, I will be in the city of Wenzhou teaching. I will go from teaching English to teaching math, history, P.E and spelling/literature.