When your face just doesn’t fit
When a school wants to fire you, what can you do?
I had been working as a Maths teacher for just under four months at a Catholic school in Bangkok when the head teacher, who is always happy to deliver bad news in a very dramatic way, informed me that parents had complained about the homework books not being marked. This was just the beginning.
Thais and speaking English
Sent in by Steve
In Thailand they have a genuine disinterest to talk and communicate with foreigners. They're generally not eager to learn about other cultures. They are closed. Why? who knows. Maybe its because its a big country that houses everything that you'll ever need in your lifetime.
Coming back home
Can second time around ever be as good as the first?
Returning to live in Thailand is quite different from coming to live here for the first time. Instead of everything one encounters seeming exotic, one mostly senses the familiar.
Remembering the terrible floods
We will never forget the horrors of late 2011
A lot of Thais said the 2011 floods in Thailand were the worst in 50 years. Factories and businesses, agricultural crops and countless properties were damaged at a huge cost. Anyone who experienced it will never forget.
Old things from the village
Keeping the memories of those olden, golden days alive
My foreign friends and students who know my life habits ask me why I love old things; old houses, old wood furniture, and even pieces of an old rice mill that I keep underneath my old wooden house in Bangkok. It seems strange, doesn't it?
The Thai beauty myth
Why do so many Thai women fall for the whitening cream scam?
As a man, it never ceases to amaze me how easily women are fooled into believing the obvious scam that certain creams on the market will make their skin whiter. It's so obviously a scam yet there are so many women who fail to be deterred and go out and buy the products. Men are increasingly doing the same.
Work ethic vs life ethic
Is it possible to find the perfect balance?
It's just interesting to note that it is the relaxed attitude that keeps the East "developing" while it's our go-go attitude that makes us "prosperous". The same attitude that hinders them in business allows them to be happily content with life, whereas it's our work ethic that erodes at our physical and emotional well being.
A fulfilling moment
The story of teacher Salrich
One Filipino teacher I knew and admired so much did something great for his school. His name was Salrich. When his director told him to beautify a 90-metre long concrete school-wall, Salrich hesitated for a moment. It was a huge undertaking.
Why can’t Thais speak English?
Some of these students have had over 2,000 hours of English.
Considering that English has been the international language of tourism and commerce for I don't know how many decades now, and there are I don't know how many thousands of English teachers all over the country, why is the general level of English so poor?
Thai education shambles
Sent in by Ajarn Jim
Outside of MEP and EP programs, why are government schools fixated on NES teachers doing so much conversation? From what I understand, the English section of the university exams covers reading, comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar.
BA (1), Certificate (1)
British (male, 40 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.
Certificate (2), Diploma (1), BA (1)
British (male, 33 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Certificate (2), BA (1)
American (male, 61 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Ukrainian (male, 31 years old, native Ukrainian speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Certificate (4), BSc (1)
British (male, 49 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
BA (1), Certificate (1), Diploma (1)
Canadian (male, 51 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
British (male, 23 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Filipino (male, 23 years old, native Tagalog speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Filipino (female, 31 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.
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"
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.
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 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?
Renting an apartment?
Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.