Why such a bad rap?

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Re: Why such a bad rap?

Postby jimipresley » 19 May 2012, 05:38

I'll add my :2cents: . Buxibans are utter shit. I've yet to meet a person who loves working at one.

There are very few full-time buxiban teachers, though. Most do a bit of cram school, supplemented by kindy/uni/elementary or high school/privates.

Working full-time for a buxiban must be totally exhausting and soul-destroying.

For a FOB looking to make a few bucks for a year or two, no worries. More than that, gut-wrenchingly horrid.

Edit: And I worked for a COOL buxiban. I was supported and allowed to discipline.
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This post was recommended by steelersman (19 May 2012, 08:13)
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Re: Why such a bad rap?

Postby Tomas » 19 May 2012, 08:06

Skater bum wrote:This is my Last post for here I think the OP has a better reality of what teaching here is really like. Don't be fooled but the recruiting videos on the internet and youtube. I would never use the word disgruntled either when talking about people you have never met. This is an exact quote from my co worker who I last worked with, I still remember it.

UK 34 years old - Masters degree in Linguistics. No idiot any any means.

" I have been living in Poverty for the last 2 years, I haven't been able to force myself to walk into Buxiban"

He choose poverty 8 years in the Teaching field killed him. He looked like a defeated man. He lasted 2 months I think if that.

I will never forget the look on his face when the kids came into the school all screaming and yelling.

I don't understand why people say their living standards are better here either. Taipei is Ghetto as hell. Worse than any Ghetto in North America for sure. The food is worse quality. The sprinkle MSG on their food in the soup the fried rice and I have even seen this advertised as a good thing. The meat is disgusting. The grocery stores have less options. Pollution, crowds of people everywhere. I haven't seen a living animal outside the zoo. Everyone takes their vacation all at the same time :loco: So prices and crowds are insane. You cannot escape the people anywhere you go. The sewers are just ditches beside the road. How exactly are the standards of life better here? I am missing something ?

Come and take a nice breath of Taipei fresh air. See for yourself.

Grain of salt my a**.


Good lord, what a miserable existence. I don't blame you for it, mind you, but you're deeply entrenched in a bad phase of culture shock. Your experience in Taipei matches about 5% of mine and that of all of my friends from foreign countries. Good luck to you.
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Re: Why such a bad rap?

Postby cfimages » 19 May 2012, 09:06

steelersman wrote:
headhonchoII wrote:
cfimages wrote:The most important factor to consider should be the quality of life and most of the teachers I know frequently mention the quality of life that Taiwan offers as being a major reason why they are happy here. Sure, you may not get rich (although you can still earn double the average salary quite easily), but there's a lot more to life than getting rich.


Quality of life? Compared to what? I don't think life quality in Taiwan is too amazing, but it's convenient, safe, predictable, easy to save money, easy enough to find a job if you need one, good health care, easy to bugger off to SEA every now and then AND has hot ladies .


I think people may be saying that it offers a better quality of life. However since many EFL teachers just finished university and may have never had another job, they likely don't have anything else to compare it to? Or maybe since many EFL teachers lack the experience to get a decent paying job back home, Taiwan appears to have a better quality of life? I think the idea that Taiwan has a better quality of life is largely a mirage. It doesn't offer job security, paid holidays, social security, etc. Not to mention that unless you are married to a local you have to keep teaching when an employer is unbearable or lose your ARC.

I think Taiwan is an OK place. Like heachonchoII said, nice looking ladies who even like ugly westerners. It is a fun place to come in your 20s. I am not sure that it is such a great place afterwards unless you start your own business.


If I were to compare my life here with what I'd need to do in Australia to have the same quality, it's no contest. Taiwan wins in just about every way. Better transport, better daily food options, better pace of life, a lot more convenient. Australia would win out on scenery (I grew up on Sydney's Northern Beaches which are some of the best in the world), and better live music options but that's about it. I seriously doubt I'd be able to be a self-employed photographer in Australia because the start up costs are just too high whereas in Taiwan I have been able to spend that necessary first couple of years building the solid foundation. If I were in Aust, I'd likely be working in an office somewhere and that's about as soul-destroying as I can imagine. Sure, I could make a lot more money but it would be at the cost of my sanity. I'd also have to spend a lot more money in order to live at the same standard as one can do in Taipei on as little as NT$30-40K.

FWIW, I didn't come to Taiwan until I was 29, and had lived in a number of different places and worked in a number of different fields (government, small business, corporate and NGO).
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Re: Why such a bad rap?

Postby Homey » 19 May 2012, 12:35

From what I see, the discussion seems to have branched out to include much more than buxiban employment. Nothing at all wrong with this as the OP and others need to understand the whole enchilada, but I clearly see them as separate considerations.

For most people buxiban work is crap. I've never met a buxiban teacher that loves their job. For me, I absolutely love teaching and I am good at it. I know how to break down the material and present it in ways the students can understand. I know how to make it fun and interesting, and my students love me, even the extremely naughty ones. Unfortunately, teaching is a small part of buxiban life. It's a business. Decision making and management is never based on education and what is best for the student, it's based on economics.

This combined with the insane issues of 'face' and general Chinese culture make it a difficult situation to be in. One example of this I have personally experienced concerns glasses. Many students here, for some reason or another (polluting factories everywhere, contaminated water and food) have eye problems. when I first arrived , I was blown away by the percentage of students who can't see well. Anyway, I of course want to help. I see students that will never do well in school because they simply can't see the board. So naturally I think I am doing a good thing by notifying the parents. I would be very thankful if a teacher told me this information and it helped my son or daughter. Wrong! For some of these backward parents, this is perceived as a direct attack, and they experience a loss of face. The foreigner is saying there is something wrong with my son or daughter! How dare he! :loco:

This illustrates the often difficult situation a buxiban teacher finds themselves in. Sadly, the worthless 'teachers' that don't give a damn, and only care about drinking and screwing the hotties seem to do quite well, they just don't care. If you're a person that actually cares, and wants to help people and educate, then it's always an uphill battle and often frustrating. Doing the right thing will usually get you into trouble in this twilight zone. This is not to say you can't still be happy, but it's good to go into it with your eyes wide open.

Living in Taiwan is another story completely in my opinion and probably best discussed in another thread.
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Re: Why such a bad rap?

Postby ehophi » 21 May 2012, 06:21

the bear wrote:Btw....that should be "bad rap" (think Vanilla Ice) :cool: from "Record of Arrest and Prosecution"


Eggcorn alert! I think "bad wrap" is the eggcorn, though.

ESL at a buxiban is a short-term gig at best. Saving money and sanity simultaneously is difficult, there's little to no upward mobility, and you have to deal with kids or otherwise demotivated people, which sucks in any country.
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Re: Why such a bad rap?

Postby pastrychefofchaos » 21 May 2012, 10:35

I've had the same experience of students who can't read the whiteboard. Parents usually ask for them to sit at the front, so they seem to be aware of the problem, but nothing seems to get done about it. I've heard that many are being given special eyedrops in the hope that it will 'cure' them of myopia. Sounds like quackery to me. It is sad to think that so many students can't read the board in any of their lessons. What a handicap!

A recent study seems to suggest that a lack of natural sunlight is the main cause of myopia, rather than pollution, or too much TV, or computer screens. That does seem to tally with how the kids in Taipei live. I try to get my daughter outside as much as possible, but it's not easy to have an outdoorsy lifestyle here. I suppose pollution and computers are indirectly responsible after all.
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Re: Why such a bad rap?

Postby pastrychefofchaos » 21 May 2012, 10:35

Students themselves sometimes claim they can't see because of 'whiteboard glare', that the sun is coming through the window and hitting the board at an angle. But this always seems to happen to the same students wherever they sit, so that's obviously nonsense. One student once told me her mother would be angry with her if her mum found out she couldn't see properly. Not sure what to believe, but I do get the impression some Taiwanese have an odd approach to what should be straightforward issue. Can't read? Get glasses!
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Re: Why such a bad rap?

Postby pastrychefofchaos » 21 May 2012, 10:35

I've never had parents unhappy with me telling them about sight problems, but I do get the feeling they're not really listening.
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Re: Why such a bad rap?

Postby sandman » 21 May 2012, 14:20

Skater bum wrote:This is my Last post for here I think the OP has a better reality of what teaching here is really like. Don't be fooled but the recruiting videos on the internet and youtube. I would never use the word disgruntled either when talking about people you have never met. This is an exact quote from my co worker who I last worked with, I still remember it.

UK 34 years old - Masters degree in Linguistics. No idiot any any means.

" I have been living in Poverty for the last 2 years, I haven't been able to force myself to walk into Buxiban"

He choose poverty 8 years in the Teaching field killed him. He looked like a defeated man. He lasted 2 months I think if that.

I will never forget the look on his face when the kids came into the school all screaming and yelling.

I don't understand why people say their living standards are better here either. Taipei is Ghetto as hell. Worse than any Ghetto in North America for sure. The food is worse quality. The sprinkle MSG on their food in the soup the fried rice and I have even seen this advertised as a good thing. The meat is disgusting. The grocery stores have less options. Pollution, crowds of people everywhere. I haven't seen a living animal outside the zoo. Everyone takes their vacation all at the same time :loco: So prices and crowds are insane. You cannot escape the people anywhere you go. The sewers are just ditches beside the road. How exactly are the standards of life better here? I am missing something ?

Come and take a nice breath of Taipei fresh air. See for yourself.

Grain of salt my a**.

Damn! What a miserable existence you have! But really, I'm pretty sure I don't know ANYONE with as fucked-up a living situation as you have. It is NOT normal! You have really got the shitty end of the stick. I wonder why?
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Re: Why such a bad rap?

Postby bigduke6 » 21 May 2012, 18:27

Skaterbums story, is by far the outlying exception to anyone I know. While teaching is not a bed of roses, it is seriously not what he describes.

As for his colleague who preferred to live in poverty for 8 years than work in a buxiban.
What rot!

His degree must have been a Phd in Stupidity.
He would have been better off on the dole back in Blighty.
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