I have just been reading about the changes to the law for unqualified teachers and thought i might give my opinion….as an unqualified teacher. I’ve only had about two years experience teaching in Thailand and I lived in Bangkok from late 2008 to mid-2010. In my limited experience it was surprisingly easy to find employment without a degree.
When I moved to Bangkok in 2008 all I had was a college diploma and a 40 hour TEFL certificate. My first port of call was the agencies, all of which offered me numerous positions across the country. Then I went to the language centres, again the most important thing to them seemed to be my appearance (im 25, blonde haired, blue eyed), which was kind of disconcerning, but i wasnt about to complain.
Throughout my time in Thailand I worked in numerous jobs, a semester here, a semester there and for most of them no paperwork was ever done. I worked in a primary school for one full academic year. They managed to get me a visa, work permit no questions asked.
Ive not been in Thailand since 2010, and after reading a bit on ajarn.com, teaching does certainly sound like a much harder thing to get into now. By contrast however, I have a large number of friends in Thailand, teaching English, without a degree. The general consensus from them is that there is a shedload of work out there at the moment and they’ve had very few problems in finding employment.
I had messaged one friend saying i was heading to Bangkok later this year to do a TEFL CELTA with one of the well known agencies. his reply was: “Lot’s of work over here, but choose the school carefully….don’t even bother with a TEFL certificate.”
When he said “choose the school carefully” it kind of made me think about how few qualified teachers must be available to these schools if unqualified teachers can just pick and choose where they want to work? Personally I don’t think that the situation in Thailand will really change for a number of years. Thai schools will always find a way around whatever regulations are put in place.
I am still heading to Bangkok to study the CELTA after which I’m studying for a bachelor’s degree at one of the universities in Bangkok commencing in October. I am absolutely certain that i will still be able to work alongside my studies and have a relatively comfortable lifestyle. So maybe I’m wrong, maybe it is impossible for me to work out there now, but I seriously doubt it.
Ajarn.com says - the question is Rob, is there the ‘right work’ for unqualified teachers? Or are unqualified teachers getting the stuff no one else in their right mind would want to do - and probably for good reason.