My first year as a teacher in Thailand
The highs and the lows and what I've learned.
Now that this academic year is winding down, I reflect on my first year with a lot of mixed feelings. There have been a lot of awesome moments where I really felt like a teacher. I really felt like I was getting through to the students and I was the getting the job done.
An overview of teaching in Thailand
I thought this might be of benefit to new ajarn readers in particular
I was asked to fill in a questionnaire by my old university on the topic of teaching English in Thailand. Although it was intended to encourage applicants to take a Thai study program in Germany, the information might be useful for those teachers thinking of coming to work here in Thailand.
Teachers playing games in class
Is it a case of too much monkeying around?
Games can reinforce what has been taught earlier in a lesson and can be used as a filler or as a reward for good work. But to expect foreign English teachers to spend the majority of their time entertaining students, especially adults, is, to me, just not right.
Learn all your students’ names?
Surely you can't be serious.
It's never been my intention to become best friends with any of my students but I truly believe that a good relationship and strong rapport with students is absolutely vital in order to begin being an effective teacher. If I ever expect to receive the respect of my students (which is all the time) then the obvious thing for me to do is give respect to them as early as possible.
English program pitfalls
What are the disadvantages of being an English program teacher
Since I've been teaching in Thailand. I've by chance and not necessarily choice - always been placed in English Programs. English Programs are immersion-based ‘special' educative programs placed within government schools.
To use Thai or not to use Thai?
Why learning Thai has helped me so much in the classroom
My philosophy on spoken communication has always been that perfect grammar, extensive vocabulary and intimate knowledge of tenses are all totally worthless if the listener cannot understand the words that are coming out of your mouth.
The teacher fashion guide
Dress for success!
If you're thinking of coming to teach in Thailand then don't leave home without reading our indispensable guide to cutting a dash in the classroom. How many neckties do I need? Will the pony-tail have to go? From the moment you walk in the room, you'll be turning heads and not stomachs. On no, not all five Spice Girls please!!!!
Failures in sarcasm
When a lesson plan can all go horribly wrong
Even when I try to tone down my sarcasm, those rascally comments still slip from my lips! I know that my students are vaguely aware of sarcasm but they don't quite understand it and they certainly would never use it on their own.
How’s the project doing?
A progress report on the Nonthaburi Project
The Nonthaburi English Teachers Project (NETP) in Thailand began in 2005. It has existed for nearly 9 years now but I haven't read a personal account yet from someone who is a part of it.
Researching the unknown
Sent in by James
In my opinion, many of the text books used in Asia in general are far in advance of the student's capabilities. They assume a level of competency that few attain, given the ‘happy happy’ method of teaching and the no-fail emphasis.
Certificate (2), BA (1)
South African (female, 21 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Filipino (female, 28 years old, native Tagalog speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
British (male, 54 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Certificate (1), Diploma (1)
Filipino (female, 27 years old, native Tagalog speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Certificate (4), Diploma (1), BA (1)
Filipino (male, 25 years old, native Tagalog speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
BA (1), MA (1)
American (female, 30 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
BA (1), Certificate (1), Diploma (1)
Irish (male, 54 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Certificate (2), BA (1), Diploma (1)
British (male, 38 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Certificate (7), BA (1), MA (1)
American (male, 49 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Filipino (male, 45 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.
The dreaded demo
Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?
Will I find work in Thailand?
It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.
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.
What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.
Can you hear me OK?
In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?
If you like visiting ajarn.com and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?
Renting an apartment?
Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.