The deep bow and the silent fart
Where does respect for teachers actually come from?
I don't care about students bowing to me when I enter the room. That is learned behavior. And whatever is learned can be unlearned and replaced with something more practical, like coming to class prepared to learn English by bringing your pen and notebook; like paying attention while the teacher is speaking
We work for the room
ESL ghosts of the past
There's been so many bad experiences, I don't know where to start. Forget the times I was ripped off hundreds of dollars from unscrupulous Korean hagwon owners and Taiwanese recruiters. That might take too long and it's another column entirely. I'm still trying to forget the time when one of the nine million Mr. Kims barged into my class and, in front of the students, told me in Korean what a horrible teacher I was.
Why don’t we ever learn?
ESL teachers, bar girls and the sex industry
I hoped that I would never feel the need to write about bar girls or the sex industry, but these two stories stood out for the simple reason that both of them involved ESL teachers living and teaching in Bangkok.
Advice you can truly use
Don't listen to those barstool experts!
Having been warned-- or advised-- that appearance is very important here in Thailand, (just as important as Japan, Korea, or Taiwan I suppose), I set out on job interviews. Most of the advice for teachers on the Thailand websites struck me as either superficial or downright absurd.
Diploma (1), BA (1), MA (1)
Thai (female, 33 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Australian (male, 49 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
BA (1), Certificate (1)
American (male, 67 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Certificate (1), BA (1)
British (male, 25 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Filipino (female, 23 years old, native Cebuano speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
BA (1), Certificate (1)
British (male, 51 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Certificate (2), BA (1)
British (male, 60 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
American (male, 44 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
British (male, 36 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Filipino (male, 33 years old, native Tagalog speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
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.
The Region Guides
Fancy working in Thailand but not in Bangkok? Our region guides are written by teachers who actually live and work in the provinces.
Fancy teaching freelance?
How easy is it to cut out the middlemen and rake in the cash teach students at their own homes?
Find out how employable you are in Thailand as an English teacher. Is it a case of 'welcome aboard' or "Mom, I need you to send some money again"
Renting an apartment?
Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.
Hi, I’m Tony Dabbs
I was a licensed life and health agent in the USA for many years and now I'm ajarn.com's health insurance expert.
E-mailing for jobs
E-mailing potential employers in Thailand can be a very frustrating experience. Teacher Chris is on hand to give you some top tips.
The cost of living
How much money does a teacher need to earn in order to survive in Thailand? We analyze the facts.