Michael A. Turton
|An outlet of the famous Lailai snack chain...do you miss this stuff?|
thanks to the Texas Department of Education, Region XIII Educator
|Returning to the United States after a few years in Taiwan
can be a
wrenching experience. When I got back and moved down to Austin,
I applied to the alternative teacher certification program there,
that with my diverse background and
wide range of skills, any program would be happy to have me.
my qualifications (ten years teaching English, experience as a teacher
trainer, former Peace Corps volunteer, high school and college teaching
experience, etc) I could not make the cut of 250 candidates out of
They apparently found 250 people better-qualified to enter a
teacher training program than this writer. The program's
position was that they could only take 250 because more trainees would
have problems finding work. This is in a state with a teacher
of 40,000 and growing.
Now you know why they are short 40,000 teachers in Texas. As if to underscore the stupidity of the system in Texas, Austin was forced to implement large salary increases the year I left, because the city is short hundreds of teachers. Perhaps I should be happy I didn't get the opportunity to work there....
The moral is: if you have strong qualifications, go to another state. The program in Texas has very serious problems.
Postscript: in May of '01 I ran into another person, a former Peace Corps teacher with teaching certification in three countries, foreign languages, MA in biology, who wanted into the program as a science teacher and was also rejected. What does it take?
|Trinkets galore.....and you forgot to bring some home, didn't you?|
|ost of you will not have
experiences as insane as the one I had with
the state of Texas, but here are some you will find quite
The hardest thing is not being able to share the experience. Most people will simply not be able to connect, and they really won't want to listen, either. Even if they would listen, they can't help you get a handle on it. That is why one of the best things you can do to make things better for yourself is AT ALL COSTS get your parents or other family members to come over. Fly to the US and bring them back at gunpoint if necessary. Try it with good friends as well. That way, you will always have someone close to you who has at least a dim idea of your experience here.
Basically, for the rest of your life, you will have to keep this experience to yourself, and share it only with other people who lived for a while in Taiwan or in similar circumstances. To a certain extent this will separate you from the people around you, who cannot share a really crucial part of your life. This is one reason why so many of us marry Taiwanese.Get on the net. I get lots of email from fellow long-termers who miss Taiwan. Such networks can be very sustaining.
|Remember this? Picking out sweets in from the vendors along Kenting Road at night.|
|Taxis lunge down Tihua Street in Taipei...you probably don't miss the traffic. Much.|
If you really loved Taiwan, as I did, this feeling will never
Deal with it.
|Remember the colorful shops.....|
Be sure to file your taxes in both countries. Bring back your tax forms -- foreign taxes paid are deductible from taxes in the US.
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