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Far away

12th November 2011

OK Thai school directors, bridging teachers, managers and let’s include the various shady hiring companies, you won and I now find myself in China. After working seven days a week, which often included triplicate time consuming lesson plan preparations, extra after-school activities, 26 x 50 minute classes of upwards of thirty students per class, no disciplinary measures and having to give 50% pass marks to failed students, it was time to take my leave. Details of the pressure, corruptness and overwork that foreign teachers have to put up with is already well known and after only three years I’ve had enough.

The main problem I found in Thai education is that it doesn’t want to change; it wants western teachers using western methods but insists that things should be done the Thai way, which means laziness, corruption and a cheating, ‘everyone must pass’ system. Should there be failings which there inevitably are, then it is always the teachers fault.

For anyone contemplating a move I have no hesitation in recommending China. I receive the equivalent of 42,000 baht a month and everything and I mean everything free on top, plus 20 x 45 minute lessons. A truly welcoming director and staff, plus students who simply want to learn. I will certainly come back to Thailand, but as for work? No thank you!  Within this short letter lies your answer to the Thai teacher shortage!

Phil says - Hi James. I’m glad to hear that you have landed a teaching position you are obviously happy with but I think it’s important to keep in mind that every country has its good and bad jobs. There are plenty of websites on the topic of teaching in China - some of them very professional and well-run - and they often paint a very negative picture of teaching in that country. I’m not saying it’s all bad. But I ain’t saying it’s all good either. Every country is what you make of it.

James

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About Ajarn.com

Ajarn.com was started as a small hobby website in 1999 by Ian McNamara. It was a simple way for one Bangkok teacher to share his Thailand experiences and pass on advice. The website developed a loyal and enthusiastic following. In 2004, Ian handed over the reins to Phil Williams and 'Bangkok Phil' has run the ajarn website ever since.

Ajarn.com has grown enormously and is now the most popular TEFL site in Thailand - possibly even South East Asia. Although best-known for its vibrant jobs page, Ajarn has a wealth of articles, blogs, features and help and advice. But one principle has always remained at Ajarn's core - to tell things like they are and to do it with a sense of humor. Thailand can be Heaven or Hell for an English teacher. It's always been Ajarn.com's duty to present both sides of the equation. Thanks for stopping by.