The Perfect Schedule And Thoughts On Teaching

A view between two buildings of our old condo, taken in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on the 19th of July 2006. Part of the Dreamscape Series.

Things are settling down after an almost hella-day. Why do I keep repeating this made-up compound word? I don’t want to keep repeating the 1st three letters all the time and hella sounds better, I got it from Southpark I think…

Even though I went to bed earlier yesterday, I felt still more tired than before. Let’s just say that the week hasn’t been the best. Also, it’s started raining. It finally stopped but it is a lot colder.

I don’t know why the media is painting such a bleak picture of Taiwan, but I have had no problems with phones or the internet. In fact, I was able to upload all of my pics in the last day to my Zooomr account. Maybe we are lucky, I wouldn’t want my building to fall on me.

Well I still have a few more things to do before heading home tomorrow night and trying to take it easy before going to a party in Taipei on Saturday and having new year’s in Hsinchu.

  1. Start work on my final exams for this semester. They are due next week. I have a total of 7 exams to create.
  2. Make a few calls that I have been putting off.
  3. Publish a few stories that I have been editing for the last few days on my blog, including the next chapter of Galactic Rim.
  4. Take some pictures of my Watsons luck babies with an LED light
  5. Go to the RT Mart and get some salmon and papayas. I was finally able to figure out that they were cheaper at the RT Mart than the fruit stores.
  6. Download a few French lessons for my FSL class tonight.

That’s it for the moment, I think.

* * * * *

I have figured out the perfect working schedule for me. Our job is good, but I have thought a lot about the office hours that are unpaid in full time teaching positions and I have come up with a good schedule. The best way to go is hourly paid teaching posts, those will require a minimum of prep time and office hours.

  • 8AM-12PM Work part time at a Kindergarten or language school. Five times a week, four hours, that is 20 teaching hours right there. Beware though, it is illegal for foreigners to teach preschool (ages 3-6) and there have been raids to curb these activites since March 2003.
  • 1PM-5PM Work part time at a buxiban or elementary school. That is another 20 hours.
  • 6PM-9PM Work part time in another language school. Since these are peak teaching hours, you have to make sure that you get a better hourly rate here. Or work as a private teacher. All of my tutoring is done within this period. You could also work block hours in a buxiban. You can accept a lower rate than you normal hourly private teaching rate for these, if you get block hours. Most bushiban’s peak hours are between 4 and 9PM.

Conservatively, I have estimated that this would almost certainly triple my current salary. 3 nights a week, I finish work at 9PM, so adding another two wouldn’t really overwork me. And the perk of this arrangement is that you completely cut out all office hours by working part time at a few places. Just make sure that one of the schools can provide you with an ARC. You need to work 16 hours a week for a school to do this for you. The downside is that you will get taxed at 13%. Unless you work for a school that is recognized.

Why do this?

Almost certainly, it will take a while for you to find the right job. We have been here for a few months and have realized this. Finding the perfect job is almost an illusion; a better one will be almost always lurking around a corner in your mind.

I have also been slowly developping my private teaching work as much as possible. Ideally, I would work part-time at a school for 16 hours per week, and run my own classes during afternoons and nights. But to get there, you need to know students. To know students and their parents, you need to meet them. The best way to meet them is to be their teacher. 75% of my tutoring has come from the parents of my students. Someone also in the administration of the school had recommended me. It also helps that as a teacher, I am liked by the students and the parents, even though I am stern.
I know of a teacher at an American school who only works there part time and runs her own classes. Her hourly rate for her classes is 2400NTD. She teaches 8 students in total per class, charging each parent 400 NTD per hour. Using the model of the HCFB, each child would have 2 times a 2 hour class per week. I have calculated that she could teach 8 children in total per week for a monthly wage of over 300000NTD. Some buxibans offer classes from 12 to 4 as well. Doing this, she would be able to teach another 5 students per week. That would mean an extra 200000NTD per month. Things can easily progress enough that you need more than one teacher or bigger classes. To stay within the HCFB model, smaller classes are preferred.

You can easily see where this is going. One thing that is very important is to make parents pay in advance for their classes. I have had numerous classes delayed or postponed, though none have been postponed indefinitely. Making the parents pay each week or each month in advance makes sense; it entices the students and the parents to be there and be on time. Running your classes will also cut down on your traveling time.

In total right now, my wife and I have 3 classes oustide of our regular job.

* * * * *

Featured Photographers

me!, me on flickr.

Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

2 thoughts on “The Perfect Schedule And Thoughts On Teaching”

  1. She’s charging a lot. The parents must really be satisfied with her work. Also, the fact that you’re out in an area with fewer foreigners may help. For buxibans, $250/hour is considered expensive. I charge $220 and include materials for free. Most HFRBs charge $200/hour.

  2. Hey, thanks for the info.

    Probably, the parents must be satisfied with her work. I do not know her that well, but I have talked with her a bit. But still, things are looking good. We will be making a move to Taipei within the next few months and jobs & ARCs will be secured.

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