Several months ago, I wrote a comment on one of the article sections of the ajarn website, Just to refresh your memory, these were the comments. If you have problems with some students, it’s best you don’t bring them to the attention of the head of the section the students come under. Because, in almost all cases, you will be seen: a) as a nuisance and a nitpicker, b) you will be seen as inefficient, c) you have problems with Thai students, Thai attitudes and Thai ways, d) you will never be told that the real reason is that the head simply wants to enjoy the nice bits of his/her status and never wants to stick her fingers in the mud. The best way, if you want to survive and not be ‘a trouble-maker’ is somehow deal with the problems yourself. This way you can hope to prolong your tenure.
Ok now for an update. I did commit the mistake of bringing some first year students’ problems to the attention of the head of the section last year. By September, after four and half year at this university, despite ‘an excellent record of work’ as per the Dean; my contract was renewed for just six months - even though the Dean assured me that the contract would be renewed after March 2012, I started looking for other jobs from October 2011. This is how it went;
Employer 1 : Called in person. Completed application form. Was asked to complete a self- profile with education and employment history and achievements to date. Profile with originals of academic, professional certificates and courses attended etc submitted within two weeks. Following many telephone requests, was invited for an interview in March this year. Only one panelist was present as the other three were ‘away on urgent matters’. The panelist wanted me to attend the second interview the following week. I turned up at the second interview and I noticed another candidate. He had just arrived from a faraway town, wearing shorts and a tee shirt and carrying a back-pack. He said he was an American school teacher. He got the job.
Employer 2 : This was a local Catholic school. I was selected at the interview but contrary to what I was told before, they were prepared to offer only 15,000 baht per month as I did not have a ‘European’ appearance’ My citizenship in the UK, where I have lived for 38 years gaining all my qualifications/experience. were irrelevant in the eyes of this employer. Teachers of European nationality and appearance were paid 30,000 baht a month.
Employer 3: Got called for an interview at a local girls’ school. The female Head of English was pleased with me at the conclusion of the interview and said that she would let me know the outcome in three days. She also said that there were three vacancies and that there were no other applicants as yet. Nothing was heard after the three days. Upon inquiry, I was told that all the vacancies were filled. The school was closed during the previous three days.
Employer 4: Went for the interview at a large private school in the area. Interview lasted for 30 minutes. Many questions, many answers. No news of the outcome for a week. When I telephoned, I was told that they were only interested in teachers no older than 40 years of age.
My contract at the university where I worked was not renewed in March. I have given up all hopes of securing a teaching job in Thailand now and will be returning to the UK soon.