A Roaming Educator Gathers No Ivy

Benefits: 7
Support: 6
Fun: 9
Facilities: 7
Safety: 9

Okay, I may have been stumped on the title to this review, but don't hold that against the teachers and administrators at Ivy. After a near half decade working the kindy and buxiban circuit in muggy Taipei, I felt a bit exhausted and frustrated by that scene. Specifically, the facilities were usually somewhat run down, the supplies and resources were often limited and the staff from administration and management were less than supportive.

My experience at Ivy was worlds different (read: better), and aside from a hiccup at the end of my journey (that should be rendered moot due to a departing ex-manager), I have mostly very positive sentiments towards this school. You should only apply for this sort of position if you're prepared to work diligently and dedicate yourself to the craft of education. This is not a job for those who are against preparatory work, extra time spent to fashion grades and give students extra work, or for the traveling backpacker who prefers to call in sick (read: drunk) to work on a daily basis. You'll be doing yourself and your students a disservice if you peddle your wares at Ivy.

To those who are looking to become better teachers; for those looking for a modicum of stability and the chance to feel like a teacher (rather than a dancing smiling foreign-faced monkey), this may be the place for you. Things have changed over the years, as funding has slowly disintegrated the dedicated English-intensive department. It used to have Literature, Public Speaking, Science, Math (and more) subject-focused foreign staff, not to mention an amazing few Taiwanese teachers. Whilst this department has dwindled in size and scope, when I left Ivy at the end of 2010 it was still a place that afforded instructors more power and responsibility that most other employers on the island.

A teacher at Ivy gets to plan his or her own cirriculum, from top to bottom, even including choosing the text books that are ordered and implemented during the school year. You'll be creating your own tests (quizzes and also 3 major midterm/final exams during each semester) and of course tabulating grades based on student performance on your own. You won't be expected to come in every other weekend to do demonstrations to attract new students, although there will be a few times each year when management plans dedicated events for bringing in new students. These are busy and intense times, but they are few and far between.

I came to Taiwan as a traveler, looking for adventure. I found a calling that, nearly a decade later, took me back to America, to work on my Masters in Education. Working at Ivy for 3 years was the fine polish, that made me into the teacher that I am too. The experience was invaluable, and if this sounds like something you're looking for, I recommend you tuck in your shirt, put on a tie and head over for an interview.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
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