Teaching in Taiwan: Illegal teaching gigs

This is a continuation of my post about different teaching situations in Taiwan. I’ve already talked about my experiences teaching in a big chain school and working for a salary.

After a couple of years, I found myself in a new situation where the school who was sponsoring my ARC was paying me an excellent hourly rate, but for only a few hours a week. I was greedy and I wanted to keep those high-paying hours, but all told, they weren’t enough to pay my bills. I took on hours at a bunch of different schools to make up the difference.

Pros: I felt more free in this situation than in any other situation I’d been in and I loved it. I worked here and there for just a day or two a week, two-four hours a week. I showed up early and tried to do my job well and my managers loved me because the kind of teachers who want to work off the radar aren’t always the kind of teachers who give any kind of shit about teaching. When I wanted to take a whole week off, nobody complained because I was only missing a class or two at each school and because they wanted me to come back when I could.

Cons: But, I was teaching illegally and I felt very nervous about that. I know people and know of people who have gotten deported for teaching at schools they didn’t have a work permit to teach at, so it felt a lot more risky than teaching even at a big kindergarten with pictures of foreign teachers on all the advertising. (It’s also illegal for foreign teachers to teach kindy here.)

Conclusion: Ultimately, I looked for and found a better salaried position because I wanted to get my APRC and wanted to be working enough hours legally and making enough money legally to qualify in five years. The thing is, once I have my APRC, I can teach at all those schools legally, anyway, and I won’t have to worry about getting in trouble.

NB: I live in Zhongli in Taoyuan and there’s a really nice ratio of well-off people who want to learn English to foreign English teachers. If you want to live somewhere cooler, I don’t blame you, but the job market will be a lot more competitive.

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