One of the reasons I took the job with Reach to Teach Taiwan was because of their events for teachers. Carrie Kellenberger had told me that she and her husband (John Kellenberger, co-owner at Reach to Teach) live in Taiwan and said they could give teachers more support, including the events. This was another scam in its own way.
I went to two events in total. I was initially impressed at the number of teachers there, but I soon discovered that a majority of the people there were not Reach to Teach teachers at all! They were personal friends of the owners and staff. I was lead around at one point being introduced to people and in conversations with them, found out many of them were not teachers at all. I did meet a few of the other Reach to Teach teachers who were there, but my impression was that these events were large social gatherings for friends more than for teachers.
In one event in particular, it wasn’t so much an event as a drunk fest. The owners were both very drunk at both events. I saw Carrie come out of a bathroom with a group of people at one of these events and all of them had obviously not been in there to use the toilet. This became more obvious later when Carrie came near me to talk to a group and she was obviously whacked. When she came to talk to me after, one of her friends made a joke about her needing to wipe her nose. (Wipe, sniff sniff) Yikes!
After that event, I was invited out to a house party and both John and Carrie showed up. When the drugs came out, I left. No thanks. I am actually pretty open minded in what people do, but I was in a foreign country that advertised (both at the airport and on the visa application) that the death penalty applied to drug traffickers. I didn’t see any trafficking going on nor did I see who did what drugs (I was not dumb enough to stick around that long) because I thought the seriousness of drug crimes in Taiwan was quite obvious. I was surprised that they were so unabashed in front of teachers, but in retrospect think they were too out of it to even know what was going on.
I did learn a few interesting things by going to these events. First, I learned the owners run the business out of their house in Taiwan. This was obviously something they don’t want people to know because when it was brought up by someone in the group, it was obvious they didn’t want to talk about it. I got the impression they were all about image, nothing about real results or happy teachers.
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