Well, here it is May already.
It’s a nice day in Taiwan. A Saturday, and I have to work.
A few weeks ago, I may have mentioned about an opportunity at my Junior High School. I was told they wanted to hire one or two foreign English teachers to co-head the English Department. Well, I went to an impromptu meeting, of which no questions were really answered.
I was asked to go on one particular day, but because of extenuating circumstances, namely the news of my Aunt’s passing away, I was not really in the mood nor frame of mind to do an interview, especially one that was not requested of me, but suggested by someone else.
Nonetheless, this week my supervisor had asked for my resume. Apparently, there is a new Dean of English, as well as a new Head of the School (President??). Anyway, the reason given me was that the new Dean wanted to get to know the teachers in the school.
So, yesterday was my ‘turn’. I was sort of wondering if I would be returning on Monday morning!! I sat down with her and we chatted for about half an hour. I was actually impressed, because, all during the ‘chit chat’, I did not detect any accent, Chinese that is. Her English is, ahem, as good as mine!
We found that we had a bit in common, including spending a couple of years in Vancouver, British Columbia. I found that this was not a ‘typical’ interview. First, as I said, I was told that this was something like an information gathering session, where she wanted to get to know the teachers in her department.
This was an interview for the position of Head of English. WOW! She actually was impressed with, not only my experience here in Taiwan, but with me. You see, I’m one of these people that like stability. I like to be able to put on my resume that I have been employed for ‘several’ years by the same employer.
I like to be able to say that I have lived in the same city and/or address for more than 1 year! I like to be able to give references that I know, not only know me, but will give a fair and honest opinion of me.
I got the impression that she was quite happy with having me in her department. She commented several times on my having worked for places since arriving in Taiwan in 2002. At first, the stability thing seemed like a negative, but as she continued, I knew she saw that as an asset to her department.
I really do take pride in my work. I put a lot of time and effort into what I do. I try not to, if possible, rely on the places I work for anything more than hours of teaching, and my pay. I have enough resources at home, that I do not need to use the school’s supplies (paper, computer time, printers, photocopiers, etc., etc.)
In fact, I even have my own ‘pencil box’ that all the kids just love going through. Other teachers have commented on it as well. It is actually a tool box! Inside, I have all the essentials any teacher would or could possibly need for any given class – except chalk! You name it, and I probably have it! Everything from pencils to pens, erasers to whiteout, tape to staples and staper. White board markers, date stamp, ink pad, paper clips, white board markers, etc.
So now, the question is that I must think about is, should I accept this position. The job would begin at 7:30am and finish at 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. Okay, so a full-time position.
My biggest concern, is that I have a lot of other classes that I would have to drop in order to accept this ONE position. Places that I have worked at for 8 years! People that I like, and they like me! Okay, so I don’t get ‘benefits’ from other places, such as holiday pay, but I have enjoyed immensely, the opportunity of working with these various schools.
It would be a bit less ‘take home’ pay, but then there are the benefits of a health plan, dental plan, vacation pay, and retirement plan. Hmmmm…
I would still be teaching, have a little more SAY and input as to what the classes would be learning. I could help to coordinate various other classes to give the students a more cohesive English Language Education.
I suppose I really shouldn’t or need not worry about any of this, until there is an offer on the table. Then I can ask the questions, figure out the benefits to me, and what they are willing to offer. It appears to be an opportunity not passing up, but, you never know…
For now though, I’ll relish in the thought that they like me, I’m obviously doing a good job, and that, my life in Taiwan could change in the near future.
Life is full of surprises. Opportunity only knocks once, right?