Adrift! Advice and info needed!

Since Saturday evening I’ve suddenly found myself in limbo once again, back on the single train with all the previous plans in tatters. Right now, in case you didn’t know, I’m in Taiwan but actually have little real desire to be here. No, I’m here because it was a place Em and I could both find work and we could save to help her pay off student loans. Don’t get me wrong, it’ a nice enough place and the money is good but it doesn’t have any special attraction for me beyond circumstances which expired a few days back. We had planned to stay here a while so we could learn Mandarin while saving and head to China later but to be honest, mainland China held no attraction for me beyond the smile it would have put on her face.

So I’m back to figuring out what the hell to do with the next few years and that’s where you come in. I need a mixture of information and advice and if anyone would oblige by leaving what they can in the comments then I’d be eternally grateful. Here’s the scoop…

For the next year I’ll be seeing out my contract in Taiwan. My schedule may be getting expanded to 29.5 teaching hours per week and at US$20 per hour I’m not about to skip out early. However I’m wanting to plan my next moves as early as possible and the main goal is to save enough money to head back to Scotland and get teacher certified as son as possible. This will more than likely involve at least one year teaching overseas first so I need to look at destinations. To my TEFL-teaching friends I make the following request – any information on places you’ve taught which a) allow a decent level of savings (US$1,200 or more saved per month would be needed to make it more worthwhile than here), b) don’t involve working in large cities and c) don’t work you to the death. Equally are there any places or employers you’d avoid like the plague?

If anyone arrives here who works or worked at an international school anywhere there’s a more general question – what’s it like? How’s the pay? The workload? The holidays? The social life? And how did you find the PGCE or whatever course you took to qualify? How long did it take and did you have time to work while you studied?

I realise all y’all are busy with your own jobs/partying/education but if anyone has time to leave a few words I’d be super-grateful. Not quite sexual favours grateful but certainly ‘drinks are on me’ grateful the next time our paths cross. Just having some extra titbits to help focus my mind on the future instead of the past right now would make a world of difference.

Thanks 🙂


2 responses to “Adrift! Advice and info needed!

  1. Well, you were there when I did my PGDE, so you know roughly what it was like for me. It is full time, so no other job is really feasible while you do it, but very manageable apart from that. The problem is that it’s totally do-able to have a part time job during the times you’re on campus, but when you’re on placement you are basically just working full time, for free as a teacher and you have shit tons of paperwork to get through in the evenings, which means you’d need a job where you can just take shifts when you want them.

    Working in the international school I currently work in is absolutely fine in terms of workload – if anything I’m wildly underchallenged. I don’t know what it’ll be like in a more high powered environment, but I’ll be able to tell you in about 6 months. However, I know teachers at the same school working 60 hours a week,with no life who are stressed stupid: it all depends on your working style and ethic.

    From the international schools I checked out in Thailand, you could be earning what I’m earning right now (about 1500 euros pm after tax), plus accommodation and a much much lower cost of living.

    Most international schools require “experienced” teachers, which means a minimum of 2 years teaching in your own country first. Teaching in Scotland is still very much a problem: many of the people with whom I studied are still stuck doing bits and pieces of supply because there aren’t enough jobs, but your first year of teaching (your induction year) is a given anyway, so it’s just the following year which is problematic and hopefully then you can fly the coop back to warmer climes.

    I hope that helps a little, I’m sure I could elaborate more if you wanted x

  2. Cheers, I do indeed remember the ordeal but needed details filled in 🙂 I wonder if international schools would accept two or three years TEFL teaching plus the induction year when it comes to experience? Guess it won’t hurt to ask. That could be a deal-breaker otherwise, if there’s no way to get the experience needed in the first place then I might be as well just doing a Masters in TEFL and sticking with this. Thanks, that’s given me some food for thought…

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