Teaching at my university
What does holding down a university job entail?
if you want to teach university classes like mine, in particularly regard to Thai classes, if they are school leavers they’re really as good a bunch of starters as you could ever hope to get. If you try and teach them in a systematic way, you will encounter difficulties – difficulties that might, at first, be inclined to plunge you into the deepest depths of despair.
Why not accept life degrees?
Sent in by James D
Is it cheating? Some people may feel this way, but read through this website and there are many posts supporting the fact possessing a university degree does not make you a better or worse teacher than the next teacher, it's down to proving yourself as an individual in the classroom.
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
You will always be an outsider
The dark underbelly of the Thailand TEFL industry
These questions lead to the dark underbelly of Thailand’s EFL industry. Let’s face it: the cowboys have invaded and they’re here to stay. Many English teachers are tourists who only want to extend travel by getting a quick paycheck. Some are fly-by-night sex-pats who have run out of cash. Many English teachers are fleeing a criminal past, or hiding from life back home.
A half year in review
Not surprisingly, I am still wrestling with the administration over issues of fair pay, planning time and sensible class-size and leveling. Despite everything, I am having a great time in Khon Kaen.
Sweet spastic, silly swarms
Back in Korea again
Korea was the same as when I left it. New swarms of hagwons proliferated like rabbits on viagra and cheap wine. Every street twinkled with the latest corporate offspring – doe-eyed upstarts of whatever educational franchise chain. Small, independent, family owned schools struggled to compete; while saturating the nation themselves oblivious to supply and demand.
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.
Are you certified?
Finding your way through the TEFL course maze
Teaching was no longer challenging. I was stagnating. Sure, I could always shake my life up with a weekend of debauchery, an occasional fling with a sexy female expatriate, or by traveling to a different city – and, truth be told, I often tried combining all three. But, at my core, I knew that I wasn’t growing productively. As a teacher I wasn’t developing. My methodologies had become stale. I needed a new bag of tricks. I needed rejuvenation.
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.
MA (1), BA (1)
French (male, 42 years old, native French speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
MA (1), Certificate (1), BA (1)
American (male, 56 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
MA (1), Certificate (1), Diploma (1), BA (1)
British (male, 53 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Cameroonian (male, 23 years old, native Dutch speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Certificate (2), BSc (1)
American (male, 53 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Diploma (2), BA (1)
American (male, 60 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
British (male, 31 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Certificate (2), BA (1)
American (male, 62 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Filipino (female, 24 years old, native Tagalog speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
New Zealander (male, 29 years old, native English 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.
Renting an apartment?
Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.
Fancy teaching freelance?
How easy is it to cut out the middlemen and rake in the cash teach students at their own homes?
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.
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"
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.
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.
The cost of living
How much money does a teacher need to earn in order to survive in Thailand? We analyze the facts.