The TEFL Industry
A rotting, putrid, stinking corpse
EFL teachers are put into positions of authority and responsibility, most at a time in their lives when they have yet to learn what it means to be responsible. EFL teachers must learn to teach properly. They must learn to love their work. They must learn to see it as a mission and an honor. They must learn to be accountable for their actions, or their inactions. In essence, they must learn to become fuller human beings.
The rules of behaviour
How to conduct yourself as a teacher
I got to thinking about some of my past employees, good and bad. Instead of telling you about of some of the more “interesting” interviews I have conducted, I thought I would write about what types of behavior and teachers schools and agencies here want and do NOT want.
The flipside of teacher agencies
Reasons that a teacher agency could be good for some teachers
Teacher agencies are just like people. Some are fun to be with and some you just wanna kick to the curb. Shop around, ask around. Check to see if the agency you are thinking of working with actually possesses a valid license from The Ministry of Education, many do not. Remember to keep an open mind and not to be too quick to judge though.
The A to Z of teaching TEFL in Thailand
A playful look at this sometimes crazy industry
Thanks to the combined efforts of the ajarn.com discussion board members, we've come up with the ultimate A to Z of teaching TEFL in Thailand.
The lowdown on teacher agencies
Why do teacher agencies have such a negative image?
Most agencies just drop foreign teachers off at a school and leave them to fend for themselves. They give teachers no curriculum, lesson plans, grading rubrics, textbooks, workbooks, realia or anything else to help them. The foreign teacher is left to deal with all of the linguistic and cultural misunderstandings that will inevitably arise, on their own.
As a refreshing change from someone writing about their ten years of hell in a Thai prison, you might want to take a look at Bangkok Exit written by Ryan Humphreys. Ryan gives readers a humorous warts 'n' all account of his first year teaching in Thailand at Sathit Wittaya School.
Bangkok vs Chiang Mai
How do the two biggest cities in Thailand measure up?
Read a terrific account from a teacher who gave up the Chiang Mai lifestyle to go and work in the capital Bangkok. It's very much a tale of two cities - and how one dedicated teacher fared in both.
No Saturdays, no kids, no evenings and no TEFL certificate
One woman's quest to find a teaching job through informal interviews
Kathy Willis from the USA contacted me to say that she was going to spend a whole week interviewing for teaching jobs in Bangkok. Yes sir, she was going to run a finger down all those banner ads on the ajarn.com homepage and hit the mean streets in search of suitable employment.
The TESOL diaspora
Making the outside world a home
I feel that the TESOL community, (if indeed there is such a thing as a TESOL community), is at a crossroads. Since so few of us have ever felt really comfortable living in another man's land, our story is not only one of alienation. It is also one of fragmentation, disillusion, and dissimulation.
My TEFL career
The ups and downs of over fifteen years 'in the game'
It's a been a long and often painful journey, but here's an account of 15 years in the Thailand TEFL business. My careers officer never once told me that it might turn out like this.
Certificate (2), Diploma (1)
Canadian (male, 55 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Filipino (male, 23 years old, native Tagalog speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
British (male, 39 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Certificate (4), Diploma (1)
Filipino (male, 32 years old, native Tagalog speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Diploma (3), BA (1)
British (male, 55 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Thai (female, 47 years old, native Thai speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Certificate (2), Diploma (1)
Canadian (male, 47 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
BA (1), Certificate (1)
Australian (male, 41 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
American (female, 24 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
British (male, 28 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.
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.
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.
The cost of living
How much money does a teacher need to earn in order to survive in Thailand? We analyze the facts.
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.
Fancy teaching freelance?
How easy is it to cut out the middlemen and rake in the cash teach students at their own homes?