stories

Hi all,

This space is not only about bringing awareness to the discrimination that non-Caucasians have faced during their job search in Taiwan, but also a space where you can have the chance to let your own personal story be heard. TADIT is a group that whole-heartedly offers support to victims of discrimination in Taiwan, and it is here that you can share your story. We believe that in writing down your story, allowing the internal feelings of victimization to seep out onto a blank canvas, you’re one step closer to not having to suffer alone. It always helps to tell someone, and so it is here that we welcome you to speak up and not suffer in silence.

You can contact us at tadit.taiwan@gmail.com if you’d like to share your story. We have a talented bunch of translators at the ready who will help translate your story for free and then we will publish your story here on TADIT. If you’d like to remain anonymous, we will totally respect your wishes.

As well as sending your stories in to us, we also really encourage you to read through the stories sent in by others. You can find them on the right column of our blog under the 故事/stories category.

The more stories we share, the better our chances of helping Taiwan shift its outlook on what, right now is a completely unequal society.

謝謝

TADIT

STORIES

NOT GOOD ENOUGH 不夠好

Name: Annie Chen

Nationality: Taiwanese-born American

Vision: Annie wanted to return to her Motherland to teach English,with the hope of rediscovering  her roots in the process. However, Taiwan-the home of her birth, a land she believed to be brimming with opportunity-let her down. She could sit back and let it slide or she could fight; fight for equality and in doing so, offer support and advice to other victims of discrimination. She chose the latter, and thus began her long, hard battle with discrimination and the creation of TADIT. Below is her story. Please read on to get more of an understanding at just how brave and inspirational Annie is. She will not give up, and neither should we. To live in an equal society is an ideal worth fighting for.


名字: Annie Chen

國籍:美籍華人

憧憬:Annie 原來想回到她祖國教英文,也希望同時可以發掘她自己的背景。不過, 她的故鄉、她以為充滿好機會的台灣,後來就讓她失望。Annie有了兩個選擇:她可以放棄,或者她可以爭取種族平等,也這樣一來可以向其它被種族歧視的受害者提出忠告和支持。她選擇爭取平等,因此起動了她跟種族歧視的苦戰,還有TADIT的創作. 下面有她的故事。請多看一下,更了解Annie是那麼勇敢與鼓舞人心的一個人。她一輩子不會放棄, 我們也不可以放棄。住在公平的社會是一個值得爭取的理想。

我剛到臺灣的時候,我充滿地愛我的發源地的國家,而且我也很高興我可以積極地影響和好好地教這裡的學生。我一直對教育有興趣,我也喜歡小孩,所以我覺得搬到臺灣去教英文是又好又完美的決定。那時我都不知道我會面臨的鬥爭會改變我與永遠改變我對臺灣的看法。

When I first arrived in Taiwan, I was full of love for my mother country and excitement to make a difference in the lives of the students here. I had always been interested in teaching, and had also always loved children, so moving to Taiwan to teach English seemed like a perfectly good decision to make. Little did I know that the battle I was about to face would change me, and the way I view Taiwan, forever.

幸虧我第一年不需要面對那個鬥爭。我找到了第一份工作是很順利的,學校是在一所比較小和有外國老闆的補習班。雖然管理是糟糕,而且管理情況讓我決定不久後就離職,可是這所學校給我很好的教育經驗,而且讓我相信我可以找到比較職業素質的工作環境。

Luckily, I wouldn’t have to deal with that for another year. I got my first job without any problems at a small foreign owned school. While management was atrocious, forcing me to move on after a short period, working at the school gave me solid experience and the confidence to search for a more professional environment.

在找第二份工作,我碰到了在我的未來我會面臨的問題。第二份工作的面試都很順利,可是我的之後的老闆問我願不願意讓家長第一和第二個星期坐在我的教室裡看我的教法。他說他不反對雇用ABC(在美國長大的臺裔),可是一些家長會在意。他一點都不懷疑家長旁聽後會在意。他的話讓我驚訝,可是那時後我覺得他的積極態度是很棒的。我順利地消除了家長的疑問很讓他們肯定我的能力。我在這所補習班工作兩年,可是因為我跟補習班的管理有“內部政治”的問題,所以我又開始找比較適合我的工作。

During the search for my second job, I got a glimpse of what was to come in the future.  The interview went well, and ended with my (future) manager asking me if I’d be okay with parents sitting in on my class for the first week or two. He told me that he had no issues with “ABC” types, but some of the parents would. He was confident that all their concerns would dissolve quickly. I was taken aback but impressed with his positive attitude. I would successfully ease the concerns of those parents and go on to work at that school for another year before making the decision, due to internal politics which I won’t go into detail about, to search for something more suitable for me.

那時我對我的教書能力和職業素質都很有自信,我在第二份工作升遷外籍老師的經理。我找工作找了很久。這個找尋的最後面讓我的心裡很難過,而且這個很沮喪的經驗讓我不想要再找在補習班裡的ESL教師工作。

Feeling confident about my teaching abilities and professionalism (I had been promoted to manager of foreign teachers at the last school), I set out on a very long job search. The search that would, in the end, fill me with so much heartache, it would discourage me from ever applying for an ESL teaching job in a school again.

第一個事件是跟一所已經倒閉的學校電話面試。我的朋友給我介紹,可是他只給他們我的名字,沒有告訴他們我的姓是陳。我通過電話面試,所以他們邀請我到他們的公司有現場面試,可是掛電話前,他們的員工問我[妳的口音聽起來是美國的,妳在哪裡出生的?]我很開心地回答我在臺灣出生,可是我過大多數的日子在美國,再加上我是雙國籍者。她回答得很緊張[噢,抱歉,我們只能雇用外國人!],然後她馬上掛了電話。我的反應是再打他們的電話,可是她不敢再接我的電話。我大吃一驚了。不久後難過代替這個震驚的感受,然後憤怒代替難過。這個是第一件事,而且我接二連三遇到了很多這種的歧視情況。

The first incident that occurred was a phone interview with a school that has since closed down. The school was referred to me by a friend who had only given them my first name, so they didn’t know about my very Taiwanese last name, “Chen”. The phone interview was successful, and I was asked to go for an in-person interview. Just before the call ended, the interviewer asked me a very pointed question. “Your accent sounds American. Where were you born?”. I happily answered that I was born in Taiwan but had spent most of my life in the US, and that I was a duel citizen. The response I received was a frantic, “Oh sorry! Foreigners only!”, immediately followed by the interviewer hanging up the phone. My response was to dial back the number, but she did not dare to pick up the phone again. I was beyond shocked. That shock would soon be replaced with sadness, then anger. It would be the first of MANY incidents of discrimination I would face in Taiwan.

我沒有準備面臨這種的拒斥。之前我沒相信在臺灣(我的老家)因為我的膚色不是白色,因此我會被拒斥。之前我認為我可以一邊教英文一邊再發現我的生根。因為我是一個亞裔在美國長大,所以之前我希望我可以在臺灣找到一個不能解釋可是知道存在的一種意識或感受。那時候我的感受是去向不明,無助與非常孤單。任何的東西不能準備面對這種的感受或我之後面臨的事件。

I had not prepared myself for this rejection. I had not believed that I could be rejected in Taiwan, my mother country, for not having white skin. I had believed that I could teach English, and at the same time re-discover my roots. I had hoped that I could find that part of me I always felt was missing, as an Asian American growing up in the USA. I felt lost, helpless, and very alone. Nothing could have prepared me for this feeling, or all that was to come next.

第一部分-恥辱的心

Part 1 – Shamed Heart

 

Name: Eric Ma

Nationality: American

Vision: To realize his dream of pursuing his career as a landscape architect in Taiwan. Eric later turned to the world of education, believing his ability to speak Mandarin would be an asset in finding a suitable teaching position. However, he was not prepared for what arose out of the situation.  Is one ever prepared to become a victim of discrimination?  He felt completely disheartened, but eventually feelings of shame gave way to anger, and ignited within him the fire to fight for equality. Here is part 1 of his tale. Stay tuned for part 2.


名字: Eric Ma

國籍:美籍華人

憧憬:他原來要到台灣實現他當景觀設計師的夢想。後來,因為相信講國語的能力會幫助他找到教英文的好工作,而轉入教育界。不過,他對那個情況的結果無法做好心裡準備。有人可以做好變成歧視受害者的心裡準備嗎?他感到很灰心,但後來她的情感從恥辱感變成怒火,在他心裡燃起要爭取平等激情。下面有他故事的第一半,近期會有第二半。

我決定了要搬到臺灣住之前,我在美國有一份讓我非常滿意的景觀設計工作,那時我認為幾年後我會後悔這個搬家的決定。那時候是2009年。人們常說事後聰明,可是連現在這個決定還是很難做的。現在這個決定還是很難做的是因為我跟其他的有亞洲人的臉的英文母語者比起來,我是個例外。因為我是一個很幸運的人,所以我是一個例外。我現在了解連我的又認真又努力的態度,而且我也有毅力,可是我的優點還是不夠幫我找到我目前在臺灣的有穩定性與滿足我的需要的工作。

I had a satisfying job as a landscape architect in the US when I decided to move to Taiwan, a decision I felt I would regret later in life.  That was 2009.  People say hindsight is 20/20, but looking back, this decision would still be a difficult one to make.  The reason why it would still be a tough decision today is because I know that I am an exception from the masses of Asian faced native English speakers.  I am an exception because luck was on my side.  I know that my hard work and perseverance would not have been enough to get me to my current position which offers me stability and gratification here in Taiwan.

我2009年底到臺灣,那時我下定決心要找到一份關於景觀設計的工作,再加上那家公司是臺灣的,我也知道我至少會住臺灣五年。那時我想找一家設計工作室會覺得我的以前跟世界級公司合作過的經驗與我的英文能力都是資產,而且因為我願意做一份壓力很大的工作,所以他們也會接受我的收入要求。以後我沒有找到那家設計工作室。放棄我的景觀設計生涯是一個很難接受的決定。如果我用我的想像力的話,放棄我愛上的與我做了十年工作的痛苦是好像跟一位超級名模女朋友分手。

When I arrived in Taiwan in late 2009, I was set on getting a job with a landscape architecture firm here in Taiwan.  I knew that Taiwan would be my home for at least five years.  I searched for a design studio that would view my experience working in world-class firms as an asset, a firm that saw my English ability as something of value, a firm that could meet my compensation expectations for doing a high stress job.  I never found this design studio.  Realizing that my career as a landscape architect must come to a halt was a dose of reality.  Leaving a career I loved and had so purposefully pursued for almost 10 years was like breaking up with your supermodel girlfriend (I can only imagine. . .).

因為我沒有找到景觀設計的工作,所以我陷入臺灣英文教育界。我認為因為我是雙語者,我能幫學生不少忙,再加上我的教書能力比一位不會中文的白人好。我非常努力地找收入65000NT以上的英文教師工作。過程的開始是我花一個星期寄一堆有個性化的電子郵件到不少不同tealit.com上的很普通電子郵件地址。我每天很焦急地看我的電子郵件收件匣,可是回信都是沒有內容或一點興趣都沒有。我的感覺好像釣魚,可是用錯魚餌,每次收線魚餌不見,而且只能看一個生鏽的鉤子。我收到從一位男生叫Robert的電子郵件的時候,我就發現了我太幼稚。我們彼此寄給對方幾個關於約面試的電子郵件。一個Robert的電子郵件說,

This is how I fell into the English-language teaching world here in Taiwan.  I believed that being bilingual was of huge benefit to learners of English and that I had more to offer than a Caucasian who couldn’t speak Mandarin.  All my energy was redirected to finding a teaching position which would pay the advertised NT$65,000+.  The process began with a weeklong barrage of personalized emails to generic looking addresses on tealit.  Anxiously checking my inbox each day, the responses were either non-existent or full of disinterest.  It felt like fishing with the wrong bait.  You always reeled in to find the bait gone and only a rusty old hook left behind.  I soon realized how naïve I was when I received a final email from a gentleman named Robert, whom I had corresponded with in a handful of emails to try to set up an interview.  It read:

Eric,

很抱歉。我得告訴你因我們要避免家長有懷疑或疑問,於是我們比較喜歡白人當教師。

敬上,

Robert

Eric,

I am sorry to tell you that we would prefer Caucasians in order to prevent doubts or questions from parents.
Sincerely,

Robert

—-

懷疑?為什麼任何人會懷疑我的能力?念高中時,我是一位上AP課與在我的高中年級我的成績比100之95的學生好的尖子學生,我也上過一所世紀級大學。我可以確定我不會輸給臺北的白人。我的努力態度跟任何認真的白人是一樣的,而且我能玩得比白人瘋狂。因為我的個性很堅持,我一定不會接受我的能力不如任何的白人。我回覆Robert的回信是在下面。

Doubts?  Why would anyone doubt me?  I was an honor student in AP classes all throughout high school who graduated in the top 5% of my class.  Having attended a world class University, I felt knew I was certainly not less than the Caucasians walking around the streets of Taipei.  I studied just as hard and partied harder than any Caucasian.  In no aspect would I accept being viewed as inferior to any Caucasian because my personality would not allow me to.  My response to Robert reads:

Hi Robert,

因為我是臺裔,我得告訴你,發現臺灣是一個有落後思考的國家是很丟臉的。任何的工作位子應該只根據資格和經驗。雖然我的資格比大部分我的同輩好,可是在我的家人住過的國家因為我有亞洲人的臉我會受到處罰。這種的歧視是非常丟臉。臺灣的英文教育界需要像你這樣的顧主改變這種的落後思考。如果我們可以改善臺灣的英文教育,為什麼你們要退步或停滯?

敬上,

Eric

Hi Robert,

Being of Taiwanese decent, I must say that I am ashamed that Taiwan is still so backwards in thinking.  Any job position should be based upon qualifications and experience.  Although my qualifications can be said to be better than most of my peers, I am penalized in my own country of decent for having an Asian face.  This form of discrimination is really a shame.  It’s really up to employers like you to change this backwards way of thinking.  Why move backwards or remain stagnant when we know we can move in the right direction?

Sincerely,

Eric

—-

然後Robert沒有回覆,而且我不覺得驚訝,其實那時我想了因為我覺得這個情況很丟臉,他也覺得很丟臉嗎?我從來沒有忘記這種的感受。我從來沒有感受到這樣的感覺,我也沒有預期這個情況會發生。這個情況是灰心喪氣的。這件事破壞我的想要找到教師位子的意志。如果他們錄取我,這會救我的事後非常難過的日子,我的感覺好像是一種自由降落。這件事打擊我的個人價值和幻滅我,也讓我憤怒。在我的身體裡有火,不過那時候一個小火苗終於有足夠的燃料,可以讓火苗發揮真正的潛力。這個火不會毀壞。這個火會供應無數也受到歧視的人溫暖和安全。這個人生的章節是苦甘的日子,可是新的章節等一下就開始了。

I never heard back from Robert after this email.  I was not surprised.  I did, however, wonder if he felt shame because I felt shamed.  I never forgot this feeling.  It was a different kind of feeling which I have never experienced before.  Something I never would have expected.  It was disheartening.  It sapped me of all my will to find that teaching position which would have saved me from my freefall.  It attacked my sense of worth and value in society and disillusioned me.  It angered me.  I felt a fire from within.  A pilot light that was finally given the fuel needed to show the true potential of fire.  This fire was not to cause destruction.  This fire would provide warmth and safety to the countless others who have also been shamed, sapped, disheartened.  This chapter of my life was bittersweet, but a new chapter was about to begin.

 

Tired of Ignorance

Name: King Vert

Nationality: American

Vision: To be a catalyst for change so that all aspects of society can flourish in Taiwan. King believes that if we can eradicate all discrimination, Taiwan will soar and people from all walks of life will be excited to be part of such a diverse land. Like many victims of discrimination in Taiwan, King is shocked by the complete ignorance that he has frequently encountered. But he won’t give up. None of us will give up. Why? Because we truly believe that Taiwan is an inspiring, exciting country.  If we eliminate all cases of discrimination, Taiwan will truly be one of the best places to live in the world.

名字:King Vert

國籍:美籍

憧憬:他要當台灣的《催化劑》,讓台灣變成一個全社會都能興盛的地方。King是相信,如果我們能剷除種族歧視,不管人有甚麼背景,都會很開心地當這個繽紛國家的一份子。像其他受害者一樣,King平常碰到的無知是令他吃驚。但他一定不要放棄。我們都不要。為甚麼呢?因為我們全心認為台灣是一個令人振奮的國家。如果我們能清除種族歧視,台灣真會變成世界上最好住的地方之一。

因為我希望有朝一日(更快是更好)臺灣的現況會變好,我也聽說過中國有一樣的問題,所以我寫這篇文章。我是住在臺灣5年的男性黑人,從我和我認識人的經驗來看,我知道臺灣有太多黑男人與黑女人差不多每天受到冷淡的對待,而且他們不反對,他們就接受這種的對待。如果他們不接受的話,這個對待會讓他們生氣,他們就會笑決定算了或跟朋友們說,[臺灣人就是這樣]。他們受到冷淡對待後,就會繼續做生活的日常事。上述情況的問題是這三個方法不會解決問題或改善狀況,因此冷淡的對待會繼續再三發生。每個住在臺灣的外國人知道臺灣人喜歡白人比別的種族多,可是沒有人要為改善情況做任何的事,而且沒有人會說,[種族歧視是不好的,各種族是平等的,所以每個種族應該受到同樣的對待]。有可能人們害怕說上述的話或他們不知道怎麼表達。

 

I am writing this here in hopes that in the future, hopefully the near future, things will change in Taiwan, and not just Taiwan but also in China from what I have heard. My perspective as a black guy here living in Taiwan for just a few months short of 5 years, I know and see that there are too many black men and women here in Taiwan that are treated so indifferently almost, if not, everyday while living here and they just accept it. If they don’t accept it then they will get angry about it, try to laugh it off, or discuss among friends that “that’s how Taiwanese are”, and then just continue to live their normal, everyday life here. However, the problem with this is that this approach does not change anything, which means it will keep happening over and over again. Every foreigner in Taiwan knows that the Taiwanese prefer white people over any other race, but no one will do anything about that, and no one will go to say, “Hey you are wrong. We are all equal and should be treated equally.” Maybe they are afraid or just don’t know how to.

 

我要公開說我喜歡這裡,而且我在考慮要不要繼續住在臺灣比較久。我認識不少很友善的臺灣人與他們對我跟他們對別人是一樣的。所以我可以放心與我也可以確定很多臺灣人沒有種族歧視這種的偏見。

 

I will go public in saying that I really like this place, and I am really considering staying for a while. I have met some really nice people who will see you and treat you the same way, so I am sure and am relieved to say that not every Taiwanese is the same.

 

雖然我在上面的段落誇獎臺灣,可是我也要說明我希望會改變和我不喜歡的臺灣現象。非白人的外國人應徵工作的時候常會遇到種族歧視。他們用電子郵件或電話來應徵工作,他們面試之前,好像他們一定會被錄取,可是雇主看到應徵者的膚色不是白色之後,故事會突然轉折,雇主會告訴應徵者會打他們的電話,可是之後都沒有消息。如果非白人應徵者用電子郵件來跟雇主連絡,雇主會要求應徵者提供個人照片(這個照片要求是正常的),雇主一收到照片發現應徵者的膚色,雇主會馬上決定不要僱用應徵者。看到照片之後僱主不會跟應徵者聯絡,以免通知應徵者,[對不起,因為你是黑人,學校不要雇用你]。

 

However, with this said I will go and point out the things that I hope can be changed here. There are instances where a foreigner who is not white will apply for a job, maybe through email or phone, and it will be like he or she has already got the job until the employer actually sees that the person is not white and then it will be a different story. They will tell you that they will call you, but of course that is the last time you will hear from them. If you guys were communicating through emails back and forth, then they will ask for a photo. The minute you send your picture to them and they see your skin color, naturally that will be the way of email communication, they just won’t reply to just avoid saying sorry we can’t hire you because you are black.

 

外國人是什麼意思?我覺得外國人的意思是在國外出生,可是好像在這裡我的看法是不對。臺灣人遇到一個說英文說得很流利與長得像亞洲人的人,臺灣人會說,他是美國ABC(華裔),可是並不是外國人。反過來說,臺灣人遇到黑人的時候,他們會說,[你看!黑人]或因為要避免外國人聽得懂,所以用臺語說,噢郎。每個黑人都非常討厭被叫噢郎,因為噢郎是非常不禮貌。臺灣人叫菲律賓人菲律賓人,日本人是日本人,韓國人是韓國人,等等,可是他們遇到白人他們會說,[你看!外國人]。

 

What is the meaning of 外國人 (foreigner)? I thought it meant being an outsider not being born here, but it seems like I was wrong because when they see an Asian looking person and they seem to be speaking fluent English, then they say oh look they are American born Chinese ABC, they are not foreigners. When they see a black person they say oh look 黑人 (hei ren), or in Taiwanese pronunciation so we won’t know what they are saying (O lang), a black guy, which all blacks hate by the way. It’s extremely impolite and doesn’t mean foreigner. Filipinos, they call them Filipinos and so forth, but when it comes to a white person “oh look, foreigner”.

 

為什麼臺灣人盯著外國人?我覺得盯著別人是不禮貌的,而且不要盯著別人是每個人都應該知道的常識,可是臺灣人真的不知道這是不禮貌的嗎?我可以理解他們很少看到黑人或這次是他們的第一次看到黑人,可是我還覺得他們盯著黑人看的樣子非常不禮貌。有時候父母讓我生氣,因為他們的孩子沒注意到黑人在附近,竟然是父母指著黑人告訴孩子在他們的附近有黑人。我可以接受小孩的瞠目和他們會指黑人,可是我如何解釋父母的行為?人們怎麼可以對黑人問,為什麼你是黑人?黑人怎麼能回答這種離譜的問題?人們怎麼覺得這種問題是可以問的而且並不離譜的?人們怎麼不知道這個世界有黑人?有一次一個計程車司機告訴我他不知道這個世界有長得像我這樣的人。我有更多沒有說的遇到無知臺灣人的故事,可是我已經厭倦而不想繼續寫了。

 

Why do they stare like that? Isn’t it common sense to know that it’s impolite to stare at people? I can understand sometimes they say that they don’t see a black guy so often, or at times it’s the first time to see someone black, but, even so, you don’t stare at people like that–it’s very rude. The parents anger me sometimes. Sometimes their kids didn’t even notice that there is a black guy close by, and they will be the first to point it out. I may accept the staring and the pointing from the little kids, but what should I say about the adults? How can you ask someone why are they black? How in heaven’s name can someone answer that question? More so, how in heaven’s name can someone ask that question and think it’s ok to ask this? How can people not know that there are black people in this world? A taxi driver once told me that he did not know this world has people that look like the way I do. There is so much more to write about the ignorance that I have encountered with Taiwanese, but I am tired of writing.

 

我有幾個朋之所以離開了臺灣,是因為他們沒辦法再接受上述的種族歧視,可是我不會跟著他們走。我覺得人看到不好的事,他們應該反應,而且不做任何的事是不好的。如果人就回自己國家與對他們國家的人說,[如果你不是白人的話,你不要去臺灣],做這樣是不對,因為不會改善狀況。臺灣是又棒又美妙的地方,而且有朝一日我們會完全消滅臺灣的種族歧視,那天,臺灣將會比大多數的亞洲國家適合居住,也大概是全世界最適合的。

 

I had friends that left here and just because they cannot take it anymore…but I won’t follow them. I believe it’s bad when you don’t do anything. Like I’ve said, this approach changes nothing. They will go back and say to everyone, “Don’t go to Taiwan if you are not white.” This is wrong; it is truly a wonderful place here and the day we get rid of all discrimination from within this country, it will be one of the best places to live in Asia if not the entire world.

 

我寫這篇文章的目標是公開大部分人知道卻不敢說出口的事。

My purpose here is just to say out loud what most people know but don’t really want to say….

 

Levelling the Field

Name: Jon Hales

Nationality: British

Vision: To level the field. As a British-English Caucasian with a degree in English Literature, Jon had no problem finding a teaching job in Taiwan. Many Caucasian teachers in Taiwan find employment easily based solely on their skin color, and thus are oblivious to the prevalent discrimination against non-Caucasians.  Jon is an exception.  Quite simply, he cares. He is a passionate, enthusiastic teacher who believes that equality, diversity and multiculturalism should be at the core of every education, in all societies. What an encouragement, to read how strongly Jon feels about an issue that doesn’t directly affect him. Let’s take a leaf out of his book.


名字:Jon Hales

國籍:英國

憧憬:保證所有人都有一樣的機會。由於Jon是一位拿到英文文學學士的英籍白人,因此來到台灣之後就找得到教學的工作。在台灣,很多白人老師因為他們皮膚的顏色容易就找到工作,以此他們對普遍的種族歧視還是盲目的。Jon是一個例外。簡單地說,他在乎。他是一位熱心的老師,相信不管在哪一個社會裡,平等與文化的多元性都要位於在教育的核心。雖然歧視的問題不會直接影響到他,但他還是有強烈的意見。真感人!應該將他當作我們的榜樣。

當從英國來的年輕(說實在的,“比較”年輕)白人的老師,住臺灣並不難。在臺灣我一共在三所學校教過英文。我有英文學士學位和之前學完一門週末TEFL課程,可是我沒有真正的教育證明書,雖然我沒有教育資格,可是這三份工作我沒有問題或挫折找到。我個人從來沒有受到任何的工作場所歧視。

As a young (well, fairly young!), white, male teacher from England I have it pretty easy in Taiwan. I have taught at three different schools and I didn’t have a problem finding those jobs despite having no teaching qualifications (aside from an English degree and a weekend TEFL course). Personally, I have never experienced anything close to discrimination.

不過,我跟大多數這篇文章的讀者也看過他們的朋友,家人或同事在臺灣受到歧視。我的未婚妻是在臺灣出生和在美國長大的華裔,她很多次受到種族歧視。

However, I, like most people reading this, have been exposed to the inherent discrimination here, especially since my fiancée (born in Taiwan, raised in the US) has experienced it on numerous occasions.

我剛到臺灣的時候,我跟一位幫外籍老師找英文教師工作的經紀人見面,我記得她說的話讓我非常驚訝。雖然我沒有那麼多關於教英文的資格,可是我很積極地告訴她我擁有的證件。因為她覺得我的外貌很好,於是她認為我會很順利地找到工作。那時候我以為她在說笑話,可是以後我發現她說的話是真的。我在我目前工作的學校開始教書的時候,他們開玩笑說因為家長會喜歡我的外貌,所以我的教書能力並不重要。說真的,這所學校非常重視教學品質,而且他們說的笑話都不是真話,都是笑話。不過,如果我們從他們的笑話來看,我們可以發覺一個很深入的實事。

I remember being surprised when I first arrived in Taiwan and met with a recruitment agent. Eager to play up what credentials I had, I was reassured that because she was happy with the way I looked, I would have no problem finding work. I thought she was joking but it turned out to be true. Then, when I first started working at my current school, they joked that my teaching ability didn’t matter because the parents would be happy with the way I looked. Actually, this school does take it’s teaching very seriously and of course it was meant as a joke, but behind those jokes and flippant remarks lies a deeper truth.

很多學校對白人老師比較寬容,而且學校可以接受白人老師的很誇張行為。我親眼看過一些白人老師有不可思議的惰性或懶惰的行為,無能,威脅或用暴力手段對學校員工,不願意遵守規則或老闆命令,挑釁,常常遲到,有酒癮,而且很多人告訴我他們也遇到這種的白人老師。反過來說,很多ABC(在美國出生的華裔)和CBC(在臺灣出生,常在國外長大)常被學校讓他們等到工作和約快結束才續約,學校給他們很多壓力達成很難達成的目標,收到比較低的薪水和學校直接說因為他們是華人,所以不願意雇用他們。很多臺灣的英文教育學校會因為老師的種族,膚色或樣貌,所以決定不雇用很好的老師,而且學校應該只以老師的能力來決定要不要雇用他,可是很多學校用不公平的雇用方法。能力的意思對我並不是資格,其實是積極和熱情的態度,教學能力,老師要一直改善自己的教學能力等等。因為上述不公平的雇用方法存在,很多臺灣學生沒有受到他們應該受到的好教育,再加上父母的辛苦地賺的錢常付不夠好老師的薪水。

It sometimes feels like as a white teacher, you are given carte blanche to get away with murder. I have personally witnessed several occasions when teachers displayed unbelievable laziness, ineptitude, aggression towards the school, defiance, tardiness and even alcoholism, and I’ve heard plenty more stories to support the trend. On the flip side, excellent ABC and CBC teachers can be made to wait until the last minute for the school to renew a contract, put under more pressure by the school to get results, offered lower pay or just refused point blank.

The fact is that while discrimination based on ethnicity, skin colour or appearance persists, and teachers are not selected (as they should be) solely on ability – by which I don’t mean qualifications, but passion, commitment and skill – a lot of Taiwanese kids aren’t getting the education they deserve or that their parents work very hard to give them.

臺灣父母需要發覺如果學校就根據老師的能力雇用教師,這會改善臺灣教育品質,而且會讓臺灣教育變成比較會接受各色各樣的人和文化的教育制度。

Taiwanese parents need to realise that by levelling the playing field so that ability becomes the sole criteria for hiring, they will pave the way for a better and more tolerant education system in Taiwan.

我不算是合格的教師,可是我覺得我的責任還是為了學生和家長拼命地教書。因為老師常在學生的旁邊,因此老師的行為會影響孩子的成長和發展,於是老師的責任是非常重要的。

Despite not being a qualified teacher, while I am here and teaching I feel I have a duty to my kids and their parents to give it everything I have. After all, a teacher – especially one who is with their class on a daily basis – plays an important role in the development of those kids and it is a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

我要跟你分享一個故事我的未婚妻幾天以前告訴我。她在教她的7歲男性學生的時候,學生突然開始笑和向教材點書裡面的黑人男孩。我的未婚妻問他為什麼他覺得圖片很好笑,他回答不知道,可是他說自己從來沒有看過黑人。因為他沒有黑人的老師或朋友,等人,他不知道黑人是什麼。

I want to share a story with you that my fiancée told me a couple of days ago. She was in the middle of a personal tutor session with one of her students, a 7 year old boy. Suddenly, he started laughing and pointing at a picture he had seen in the textbook. It was a boy with black skin. When she asked why the picture was funny he didn’t really know except that it was something he had not really seen before. He had no frame of reference – a teacher, a friend – for that boy in the textbook.

很多臺灣人覺得西方社會是應該仿真的模範。 雖然西方社會有很多缺陷或問題,不過西方社會的核心是接受不同的人,多元文化主義,多元性與平等機會。教育場所是最適合的地方教臺灣人西方的價值觀。

Despite its’ many imperfections, Western society is often held up as a model for Taiwan to emulate. Well, at the core of Western society is tolerance, multiculturalism, diversity and equal opportunity. What better values for Taiwan to espouse and what better place to begin to install these values than a school.

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2 thoughts on “stories

  1. Pingback: Teachers Against Discrimination in Taiwan | Language on the Move

  2. 我是一家有二十年補習班的負責人. 在我這從來沒發生以上所說的事. 其實絕大部分的台灣人是很溫和的也不會種族歧視. 如果是好老師找工作是不難的.

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