How competitive would I be?

adpdying
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:28 am

How competitive would I be?

Post by adpdying »

Hello,

Looking to the future, I'm considering looking for a teaching job in Taiwan starting from 2021 (to allow me to complete two year post-qualification experience). I'd like to know how competitive I'd be when it comes to looking for jobs.

Here is my background:
2010 PhD Chemistry (UK)
2012-2015 Teaching at Chinese tier 3(4?) school. Mainly a mish-mash of different courses including Chemistry and Calculus on a US university pathway programme, and a lot of AP Calculus.
2018-2019 Teaching qualification (UK/PGDipEd Science/Chemistry)
2019-present Science/Chemistry teaching in UK state school KS3/GCSE/A-Level

I can account for all the gaps, I just haven't included them for brevity and because they are less relevant.

I'm only really interested in Taiwan as I want to live in a mandarin speaking country that isn't PRC. My mandarin is advanced. Single/no kids.

Any help/advice very welcome. Thanks.

marieh
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:33 pm

Re: How competitive would I be?

Post by marieh »

I would say incredibly competitive, especially if you're actually good at teaching chemistry and calc. Those are hard subjects to find qualified teachers for.

funteacher
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:39 pm

Re: How competitive would I be?

Post by funteacher »

You'll be competitive but since what you are looking for is so limited you won't necessarily find something good. You're at the mercy of whoever is hiring. You would be competitive if you were open minded with location, but you're not.

adpdying
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:28 am

Re: How competitive would I be?

Post by adpdying »

Well, that's interesting to know. I'm aware of the limitations I'm placing on myself. However, I thought my relative lack of post-qualification would count against me.

marieh
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:33 pm

Re: How competitive would I be?

Post by marieh »

adpdying wrote:
> Well, that's interesting to know. I'm aware of the limitations I'm placing
> on myself. However, I thought my relative lack of post-qualification would
> count against me.
Not with a Ph.D and those subjects. That said, my brain sort of glossed over the "only Taiwan" part. In that case, funteacher is right - you're limiting yourself to an extremely small pool with only one truly good international school on the island. If you expanded your search to China, you'd have much better odds.

adpdying
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:28 am

Re: How competitive would I be?

Post by adpdying »

Any information on how competitive Taiwan is in general? Doesn't seem to get mentioned as much as other neighbours in the region.

IE_sciteacher
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:05 pm

Re: How competitive would I be?

Post by IE_sciteacher »

You will be able to get a job in Taiwan with your credentials. The quality of school and package may be the big question mark, based on years of experience. I have found that the better the school the more weight they place on experience teaching compared to level of knowledge in the taught field. Top schools expect a competent knowledge of the subject but once that is checked they care more about the ability to teach the subject. Lower tier schools may get excited at the PhD as it would be a marketable feature for admissions.

adpdying
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:28 am

Re: How competitive would I be?

Post by adpdying »

Possible to take a job at a lower tier school and work my way up inside the country?

Thanks for all the advice everyone.

shadylane
Posts: 129
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:11 am
Location: SE Asia

Re: How competitive would I be?

Post by shadylane »

marieh wrote:
my brain sort of glossed over the
> "only Taiwan" part. In that case, funteacher is right - you're limiting
> yourself to an extremely small pool with only one truly good international school on
> the island.

True - there really only is the European option ;-)

To the OP - do they speak enough Mandarin in Singapore for that to be a possibility ?

adpdying
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:28 am

Re: How competitive would I be?

Post by adpdying »

No, unfortunately, despite it being one the official languages, and promoted due to the rise of the PRC, even younger generations of ethnic Chinese people generally have pretty crappy Mandarin.

I know, I'm not doing myself any favours, but Taiwan just ticks all my boxes.

shadylane
Posts: 129
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:11 am
Location: SE Asia

Re: How competitive would I be?

Post by shadylane »

Then send your CV to the American and the European schools there. With a PhD and as an experienced and fully qualified / certified teacher you stand a good chance of getting some interest.

There are other international schools on the island. Some of them are the kind that put people off teaching for life though, so be careful.

adpdying
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:28 am

Re: How competitive would I be?

Post by adpdying »

Those two, obviously, would be great. But they seem like a big reach for me.

How familiar are you with the other schools on the island? I've made a list of schools - perhaps I could run it by you?

Psychometrika
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:08 pm

Re: How competitive would I be?

Post by Psychometrika »

Taiwan is odd in that there are really no tier 2 schools which are the best fit for you right now. You could apply to the top ones but the competition will be fierce even if there are openings.

Are mainland schools completely out of the question? You could almost certainly pick up a tier 2 school position there that would allow you to build up an experience base while earning a vastly better salary than what the lower ranked schools in Taiwan would offer.

adpdying
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:28 am

Re: How competitive would I be?

Post by adpdying »

Yes, I'm starting to think that if my long-term goal is Taipei, the most effective route there might be through mainland China, despite my reservations about returning there. What would be some appropriate schools in PRC for my position?

eion_padraig
Posts: 401
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:18 pm

Re: How competitive would I be?

Post by eion_padraig »

There are a lot of jobs in China where you might be hired. The main thing is to get IB and/or AP teaching experience. Taipei American School and Taipei European School (these are the only 2 schools I'd consider working at in Taipei with the order I listed being intentional; only 1 down south Kaohsiung American School) both teach IB curriculum and TAS also teaches AP.

In China, I'd say if you can work at a school that primarily serves non-Chinese passport holders, you're better off. Also, I'd recommend the non-profit international schools and avoid the chain schools if possible. But again, that's an ideal situation in my opinion. I've had friends and colleagues move from schools in China to both of those schools.

The main problem is you're late to the hiring season, though you may be in luck as people may have decided not to make the move. The bigger issue is that the border is closed unless you have a Chinese or Taiwanese passport.

Eion

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