Things I won't do for work
They say that everybody has a price
Although most of my TEFL experience has not been in Thailand, there is still a long list of things I won't accept in a teaching job. Talk numbers and cross my palm with silver because these are the things I simply won't do for work.
1) Long Commutes. Commuting is a biggie for me. I simply refuse to sit on the emphysema express for over an hour stuck in traffic, or the subway, or anything else if it takes forever to get to the destination.
2) Resources. If I make my own resources I intend to keep 'em. Sure the place pays my salary and the resources you generate technically belong to the school, but no way under gawd's black sun am I going to give up the time and effort I spent making things for class.
3) Photocopying. I won't spend my own money photocopying stuff and I expect to be reimbursed if I do. I don't care if the whiz bang new Canon has broken down and everyone has to wait. If I have to photocopy outside, then I want my money back.
4) Eating. There's a clause in my contract that says 'teachers are not permitted to consume the students' food at snack/lunchtime' as the school provides gourmet snacks and lunches from places like Deli France. Like hey, what about students eating my food? I have been known to sneak off food now and then, so arrest me or cut my hand off. And the little demons waste so much food. What's a piece of turkey on rye going astray?
5) Accept a probation period at a lower pay. I understand that a new job is conditional and may be terminated if the employer isn't happy. If you don't like me, FIRE me...but don't steal from me for three months in the process.
6) Change grades/marks. Unless clear evidence of error or very special circumstance can be shown. I calls 'em the way I sees 'em. If the school wants to change my grades, I probably can't stop them. However, I will not legitimize this process by doing it for them.
7) Knuckle under when presented with an attempt to force a contract change, or blatant failure to perform the contract by the employer. I'm a reasonable girl. I'll work with you. I understand that things are a little late sometimes. I at least try to not sweat the small stuff too much. I won't punt a job just because I never get the free Chinese lessons in my contract but I will not allow anyone to outright give me the ol' switcheroo on any significant part of our agreement and that includes pay, allowances, and major benefits. I'm no one's bitch, and I'm not going to let myself get slapped like one. If I'm still working there, I will quit. There are a zillion other jobs out there. If the contract is ending, I will raise all kinds of hell. I will always do everything in my reach to make it easier to abide by our agreement, than to break it.
8) Allow my home, telephone number, or free time to be unreasonably opened up to students and parents or school activities without my consent. Some schools simply assume that you'll be delighted to be on 24/7 duty answering calls from parents or kids, field all manner of calls to your home or mobile phones....you name it. When it happens, this nonsense needs to be brought to an immediate screeching halt. My space and my phone money and my free time are MINE, dammit. I am intensely jealous of them. I understand that some presence at school events, with proper notice, just comes with the territory. I don't mind, if it's reasonable. Some allowance for making yourself available to students and parents is DEFINITELY reasonable. Sometimes I genuinely enjoy socializing ....but this will be MY choice, not the choice of the school. However, when presented with a surprise I find intrusive, I'm as blunt as I have to be about saying 'No'.
The Chinese inability to understand the concepts of "privacy" and "personal space" is simply not my responsibility.
9) Dress appropriately. I understand why one can't flash mammary glands or legs or 'I love Mom and Dad' tats, but having to cover up head to toe in a bajou kurong thing is too much to bear in the stinking heat. It leaves me gasping and reaching for the deodorant. And how do the locals stay so fresh? Why do Asians never seem to sweat? What about people tripping over your skirt tail? Excruciatingly painful.
10) Bonuses. I've got to have the perks including the flights. And if I don't want to fly back to my homegrown cave then give me the cash thanks. I am not flying Ethiopian Airlines either.
11) Meetings. If they are not in English, I won't attend some three hour time waster when the key points can be e-mailed to me. No, I won't ask my friend to translate for me either. Hire me a translator and forget scheduling long pointless meetings on the last day of term because I'm flying back to my batcave. Same goes for any public holiday.
12) Morning Exercise. This one's another bone for contention and a Chinese obsession. Bell dings and everyone shuffles out in class groups, lines up and awaits the music to begin. Now I don't have anything against exercise - horizontal or otherwise - if its in a gym or jogging, but I refuse to do knee to elbows wearing a skirt to Lady Gaga or jumping up and down to Michael Jackson. That's just losing face unless you're the PE teacher. Besides, that's what the TA's are for. They don't need the foreign teacher to be doing this and sometimes filming it. Worked with a girl years ago who was the size of a battle-ship. She was close to fainting every morning. Ended up getting a note from the doc.
13) Pictures and publicity. I won't ever allow my image to be pimped out without my permission. My old school had a picture of me on some promo stuff and I went completely ape shit. I told them they would have to pay me cold hard cash for the right to use my image on any material as I had NEVER given them permission to use my image in any way.
14) Dressing Up. I will NEVER agree to dress up like Mrs Santa, an elf or anything else! fuck that! I already hate that I'm expected to be happy about dressing up in a cheap, ill-fitting crappy costume that cost 20rmb and smile and dance and various other BS. I'll do it as long as I can selectively head-butt any child of my choice if they piss me off.
15) Summer / Winter holidays. As a teacher, I won't let a school guilt me into working over my winter and summer break unless I am 100% happy to give up my holiday time and I'm not flying back to my batcave.
"Oh but the students really love you and want to see you"
Awwwww............ that's sweet but unless I need some extra money I'm getting drunk and sleeping in till 2 in the arvo every day.
Article by Sentrix
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Would be nice to know from the author which country inspired the comment.
By DJ, Thailand (26th May 2015)
i see some of the commenters need to go back to their studies and practice up on reading comprehension. she was speaking about china, not thailand. thailand has its fair share of problems as well, no denying that. i have however taught in thailand for a few years, and ive seen some of what she is complaining about done here. the switcharoo with the contracts for example. at one school i taught at, i was told my day for gate duty was mondays. i said no problem. then it was mondays and wednesdays. i said, umm sure. then it was monday wednesdays and fridays. i said no. the director told me it was my duty, and i said it was not. it doesnt say it in the contract, so no, not my duty. i have no problem being at school to greet students, the other teachers did it too. but after a while, i was the only one doing gate duty, so basically i was the dancing monkey to show off to the parents. that i had a problem with. and oh god, the pictures. i felt like a b grade celebrity, always getting my photo taken while teaching, or talking with the students. ps, i dont like my photo being taken, its just a privacy issue. (it was also not in the contract) but the straw that broke my back was when they told me i was not getting paid for october break. i told them they could expect me to not teach the 2nd semester.
By teacher kewin, bangkok (22nd May 2015)
definitely, teaching isn't for you...you build your own company and make your own rules...
By beatrice granger, (23rd October 2011)
I cannot agree with Will Beukes, "Unless you are not fully committed in developing your fellow human beings, you are just not cut out to be an educator." - I trained, and continued to teach, in a 'tough' school in the UK before moving abroad.
The article is not about teaching, it is about personnel-management, which is almost totally lacking in some Asian schools. My two-years teaching in Taiwan taught me that their understanding of English is based on totally different cultural norms, for one thing that Might is Right. When discussing the terms of a renewal of my contract, I was told "You must agree because there are five of us to one of you." I stood-up and walked.
Reneging on contract terms seems to be a commonly-heard complaint, along with contract-interpretation that suits local language rather than the English version of it. My contract finished on a Wednesday "Oh you must teach your one lesson, that's in the contract" And at the same time be at Taipei airport to fly-out, because the visa expires the same day as the end-of-contract. There is little or no give-and-take and that, surely, is what the original-poster was talking about?
By Geoff Probert, Aranyaprathet, Thailand (2nd October 2011)
I agree 100% with the author.
As a qualified teacher with lots of experience, it is sad to see the way many schools treat their foreign staff.
From salary, to breach of contract and a million different issues in the middle, if you want a real teacher that is happy to work, treat the staff like human beings and not slaves!
Just look around, salaries seem to be going down in the schools that have high staff turnovers. Such schools also seem to want to issue 10 month "contracts" and various promises are broken. Even your evenings, weekends and holidays seem to be the property of the school!
And after all this, teachers need to put up with ever changing systems that appear to tighten the noose around foreign teacher's necks!
Leaving the school campus to go to KFC (for lunch) for 30 minutes is not permitted in some schools (even when one does not have classes).
if you are absent because you are sick (with a note) you lose money.
Teachers are often told to do border visa runs as it saves the school 3,000 Baht for a work permit!
Many schools keep a percentage of the teacher's salary just so that the teacher does not leave - slavery without exit.
Many schools also tell foreign teachers that if the boss is not happy, their employment will be terminated immediately and the teacher has 24 hours to leave the country or immigration will be called to arrest the teacher. Slavery.
If you pay peanuts as a nation to qualifed teachers - at least let us work in a peaceful and friendly work-environment with REAL smiles!
Or is that too much to ask?
I can understand some might think the teacher that wrote the article is being arrogant however, if you have been treated like a slave you will understand that what she mentions actually falls within basic decent working conditions!
By Mr Grumpy, Thailand (30th September 2011)
I think you printed your name wrong I think it is Semtex you will up with a bang with your stupid attitude, I had to read your article twice, as I don't believe a Brit could be this stupid, your lucky they even gave you a job
By Charlie Wilson, Sisaket (20th September 2011)
the universal rule that the elite likes to keep the status quo...By Peter, Vancouver on 2011-09-17
Yes, I absolutely agree there are many factions involved in teaching esl for many different agenda. I really do appreciate your post and I understand where you are coming from. I really enjoy teaching ss that don't come from the "elite" as I agree the ss try harder as there is much more at stake. What I took away from the main article is real teaching vs. a puppet or show clown. A real teacher must be able to gain the ss admiration, but more importantly must be able to make the tough crunch academic decisions when needed and not crumble like a puppet or a good doggy preforming tricks. There is more than one side to teaching of course, there are the classroom participation protocols and there is also the office management side of the coin. I really do have to agree that as soon as we wean ss off of the dancing monkey as a foreign teacher scenario the better off we will all be, students and teachers alike. And I don’t mean we need to be overly strict or even implement a serif, master situation. More to the point is kindness with professionalism wins the day, and not sacrificing ones moral compass in the presence of people without one. I am not just talking about the ss either. I have become increasingly aware of more and more religious cult Christians entering the esl world pimping their at times sick and twisted idea of pay money to believe in god on the students. These are people that come from their own private churches or should I say ministries as they are not real churches at all. They come with private degrees, teaching certificates all issued in house. To cut it short teaching should be about language/linguistics communication not brainwashing. It Should be about the students and sticking to your principles.
By john, china (18th September 2011)
Who ever told you that teaching will be a walk in the park ?
It is a difficult , thankless job most of the time in all countries in the world !
Unless you are not fully committed in developing your fellow human beings, you are just not cut out to be an educator.
There are other more exciting jobs to explore,i.e :
- street vendor, prima donna, pamphlet distributor, dishwasher etc.
Good luck !
By Will Beukes, Bangkok, Thailand (17th September 2011)
John, I agree that changes are not made as much as they should. But I wonder. Is it a question of self-awareness or the universal rule that the elite likes to keep the status quo? It looks like elitism trumps Buddhism. The elite (and/or the military), even in the Western World, resists change too, but there are more democratic ways (media, unions, ombudsmen, fair elections,...) to RESTRICT them from acting like BIG bullies. They are a force no matter what because they have economic and political powers. I think in countries that are developing change is even tougher to occur. Look at how the elite project themselves on TV with those soap operasI I know many Thai teachers who cannot or don't want to speak English. Where they from those rich families who could afford a good education (or complain their way to get the right diploma) and benefit from those networks that get you jobs without having to compete with others? I think they are. I see many Thais from lower classes who can speak English and try harder. Of course, they probably did not get many breaks in life and, as usual, worked harder to get where they are. They would like change to occur. Of course, the situation gets even more perverted when the elite pretend or claim that change will occur, but the changes are superficial or not taking place at all. And, that takes place not only in developing countries, but also in developed countries (perhaps to a lesser degree). I have been crying over reforming the spelling of English for years. Many have done so for decades and centuries. Yet, the elite (and the lobbyists of the vested interest groups) have --and continue to-- prevent change from occurring! Backwardness is not just a fixture of the developing world, sadly.
By Peter, Vancouver (17th September 2011)
i agree with the initial post, you are bringing skill sets from very developed countries to an underdeveloped country and at times arrogant society. it is not you the teacher that needs guidance to develop and as a developed person with elevated thought half of the things we see and are asked to do in Asia are piracy to say the least. the three things that seem to be slipping the academic step forward in Asia are piracy, racism "anyone else ever being right", especially if they are a "foreigner" and honesty. china now has and enforces the policy of not asking a teacher in default of contract anything. the school just state something bad and that's it you are blacklisted from ever working in china again. it's not surprising at all to see developed buildings that have been copied from developed countries and cars, computers, war machines... the one thing that seems to be missing is the courage to stand up and move beyond the 3 aforementioned things. in other words the mentality, elevated thinking, enlightenment seem to be missing completely.
By john, china (17th September 2011)
are you sure you're looking for a teaching job? better find another career - on that gives you all the perks. by the way, i don't think you'll find a career that gives you an easy time of it. be realistic.
By swan princess, middle earth (23rd August 2011)
GREAT ARTICLE! SPOT ON!
By teacher, Thailand (13th August 2011)
I am now back in the UK, after leaving Bangkok in May this year. I am hoping to return to Bangkok after I have completed the PGCE course. However, I have been relieved of duty at a couple of schools because of my dress and not adhering to the 'no fail policy'. Bollocks to that, if the students get it wrong, they're graded as such. Being a farang from Cold Britain, the 90+ temps every day in BKK was a killer for me. Being overweight, a Diabetic and loads more medical conditions, the schools are just too hot. Even with air con, air con isn't everywhere. You step outside and within minutes you look like a drowned rat. They expect you to wear skirts, tucked in blouses and God knows what. I was covered up more than the average because I have LOADS of tattoo's. I believe farangs are on show for prospective students' parents. I worked for one school, left, then came back, he actually admitted to me that because I had come back, students' parents started to sign and re-sign their children. For an international school the pay was shite, having to pay for medication was a fortune, I left again after a few weeks.
By Wendy Livesey, Bangkok (11th August 2011)
With an attitude like that, it's hard to imagine why you'd want to be a teacher in the first place. Hate to break it to you, Sentrix, but you're in the wrong line of work.
By TP, Thailand (31st July 2011)
"Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third it is regarded as self evident."
Cultures that do not change (progress) are doomed to failure. Western cultures or Eastern cultures that are not willing (to embrace) positive (logical) change will regress. Thailand and its people have a lot of good to offer, but rigidity, a self-gratifying, arrogance or egocentric, and/or chauvinistic complacency (for all cultures and people) will (history proves it) to its fall. Look to make things better: more practical, more efficient, simpler! Isn't Buddhism about introspection?
ALL cultures can be improved. To preserve customs, practices, because they are part of one's culture (and just because) is plain dumb. Would a store that does not sell any widget A continue to sell widget A? Pride is nice, but blind pride is stupid.
Teaching problems vary from one country to another, that is clear. The West can teach the East AND the East can teach the West. Not only in teaching, but in many areas.
What the author expressed is sensible. She demands change because it makes sense. I think that there are managers and administrators (not just in Thailand) that fear change. To add to the list, asking for detailed dayplans is such a waste of time, unless of course, managers and administrators can "show" that good teaching is happening. If so, how many times have dayplans been refused? NEVER! That saving face culture has its advantages, but cultures that focuss on deeper and more important matters will be (and are) more developed.
By Peter, Canada (30th July 2011)
Wot a load of BS! Firstly male teachers shouldn't, and I wouldn't wear a tie!
2 months into the term, wearing smart tailor made shirts (550 baht each) in various colours to match school, (yello- Monday, Pink - Tues etc..) Short sleeved and Thai style, Black trousers (Tailored 700 baht) Black shoes. Haircut every four weeks. Showered and fresh smelling every morning. Then the director turns round and states he want all farang teachers to wear long sleeve shirts and ties! No problem that the male Thai teachers look like they have slept the last two nights in the clothes they have on. My reply was carefully worded , but in short, meant you can stick that up your A###! I am here to teach not pamper to some preverted ideas of a power mad head teacher or director. And it not the right gear when its 90 degrees and melting in the classroom! It is well known that students feel more comfortable when the teacher looks more relaxed (human) and not so hard nosed dressed. And have you seen those photos of male teachers looking so uncomfortable, as if they are in court pleading for forgiveness. No worries I know where the door is and the keys to my car!
By Peter, Bangkok (29th July 2011)
I'm getting ready to open another English school in BKK...if I ever had a teacher with your attitude....first I'd have to take out the ugly stick and beat the ugly right out of you.....you're in the wrong profession...and the wrong country
By Ajarn Yai, USA (28th July 2011)
There is a long list of things you wont accept? You ARE employed aren't you? Certainly there are things that go beyond the bounds of acceptable, but having to travel and dress appropriately aren't some of them. This isn't the forum Sentrix, where you and your friends hold sway and bully those that don't agree with you. You're getting told some home truths little girl!
By Ian, Thailand (28th July 2011)
"Thailand should live in 21st century..."
What are your standards to live in 21st Century? American standards or standards from UK. Such a western arrogance again. So, i can tell you USA have to catch 21st Century then as they are still teaching students in mid USA about what is written in the Bible and they fire teachers from the schools just because they discuss the Theory of Darwin at the classroom - not only high schools but surprisingly at the universities as well - and as an arrogant, western guy, you are talking about 21st century standards to me. Read some man, do not be ignorant and see what is going on in your country first. T-Rex, i do not know where are you coming from but if you want to change things, start from your home country man. It is not your country therefore you are not entitled to change anything here.
If Thai's do not like changes, it is up to them as it is their land not yours and if you do not like it, it is pretty easy, do not come to Thailand or even no need to speak about it for you, let's say, why do you bother yourself, stay where you are.
It is not about spying here, what do you want me to do, let people like you abuse kids at the classroom and i shut my mouth about it? We are talking about education here and of course, i will not let high western ego of the poeple like you screw the future of some innocent kids, nowhere in this world including Thailand.
Here, we are not talking about being a Thai or spy or an angry American who cannot find a job at McDonald's in USA - reason of being in Thailand or Asia as a teacher for most of the American guys - , we are talking about education and you have to be a human with an understanding to become a teacher first, right?
By KD Eryarar, Bangkok (28th July 2011)
'get a different job then, don’t become an english teacher in thailand,'....
'Thailand is obviously not for you......'
Such a 'load of bull'....have you guys considered working as a spy for the Thais teachers? Thailand should live in 21st century and adapt to new changes in and out of the classroom. No, the Thais don't like changes and leave it to you to promote 'Amazing Thailand' in the Middle ages with your 'holier than thou' patronizing expat attitudes.....who cares if you can speak Thai fluently, or have Thais as your mates or become a 'falang' monk?
By Larry the T-Rex, Indonesia (27th July 2011)
1) Long Commutes.- So if someone pays you a very large salary for part-time work, you will not travel 61 minutes to go there, but you would travel to a place that takes 30-59 minutes and pays far less? Think about it again. And sometimes when we start a new job, we have to look around for housing in the area. It could take a month or so with long commutes before something is found
2) Resources - If the materials were all from school supplies, they belong to the school. If you take them without permission, you are stealing. I don't care if you spent the time to make them or not, that's what your salary is for! If you paid for them, they are yours!
3) Photocopying.- paying for a few copies here and there is okay, but for a whole class because the machine is broke down, absolutely not. Schools should pay for that or provide enough books that you never need to make copies in first place.
4) Eating - 'gourmet snacks and lunches from places like Deli France' My, my aren't we spoilt rotten! Teachers don't normally get that here in Thailand! I'd be happy with a single free donut or two from the school. Gourmet snacks, geez! Where do you work, the world's most elite international school?
5) Accept a probation period at a lower pay - okay it works like this, the normal salary is x, but if you make it past the probationary period, the salary goes UP. It's not a lower pay, you see.
7) blatant failure to perform the contract by the employer - 'I will raise all kinds of hell ,,, I will quit. There are a zillion other jobs out there.' In Thailand, there are a zillion other white faces willing to take your spot the very next day, no problem. Your raising hell, will only cause you to lose face the the LOS. Thailand is obviously not for you.
10) Bonuses. 'I've got to have the perks including the flights' - Well, in Thailand, not many schools offer free flights to foreign teachers.
14) Dressing Up - Don't like to dress up, then don't teach in Thailand. It's like a teacher's fashion show everyday with expensive silk suits, especially at the government schools. Women must wear skirts/dresses and men must wear ties at most schools (to be respected).
By Lisa, Nonthaburi (27th July 2011)
Sentrix, just reading the comments on your article makes me laugh as it sounds like the staff room at a school. There are just too many apologists to make any changes in Asia. Some of these comments don't even see that you are writing mostly about China. They just give the standard knee jerk reaction which is so predictable. Dealing with Thai kids - easy. Dealing with Thai staff - trying. Dealing with other foreigners at school - mind bending and painful.......very painful.
By Toddy, BKK (25th July 2011)
If anyone having problem with following the rules of a school in Thailand, just get out of this beautiful country.
By DJ, Bangkok (22nd July 2011)
My list of various annoyances:
1) No on floor activities (What is a tie for? Floor cleaning?).
2) No cleaning snotty noses or other orifices (including wet eyes).
3) Pay me on time or I stop work.
4) Speak to me in English not tinglish please, I cannot speak 2 English languages.
5) Photos do not mean I have to smile like a circus dummy.
6) Run into me, feel my response!
7) If you don’t sound the ‘s’ you don’t get 100%!
8) Stop telling me to slow down, I can’t speak like a moron all day and stay sane.
9) A crap burger from 7/11 is not food!
10) Teenage angst is not an emotion I consider valid you little twat!
By Colin X, Bangkok (22nd July 2011)
get a different job then, don't become an english teacher in thailand, because they all come with most of those expectations... try your own country for that matter...
By jack dansey, thailand (22nd July 2011)
It looks like you are pretty pissed off Sentrix - or possibly we might call you Ego - Sentrix- still who cares about your list?
If you cannot do those stated in the list, there will be always someone else who can do it.:)
I really cannot understand this behaviour on teaching (in Thailand). What about another job let's say an office job? Will it be the same? or is it just specific for teaching?
What about your home country? How did you go to work - if you had one of course with this kind of list - when you were there? Teleportation?
C'mon, can you live with this list in your country? Or is that the reason where you are in Thailand as nobody cares about your list back home even McDonald's?
Keep in mind that, world is not turning with your Ego - Sentrix principals - lists in your life, especially not teaching which is a very positive and rewarding job. If you keep teaching (in Thailand) as low job - meta, you will for sure end at McDonald's back home pretty soon.
By KD Eryarar, Bangkok (21st July 2011)
Sentrix seem like a talented writer. However, It's not what you're saying that matters, it's how you're saying it - DEFLATING and negative at the very least!
Are you indirectly somehow providing solutions to all of your complaints/problems? There has to be a better way to get your message across to the thousands people who peruse ajarn.com daily.
By <3eLL, BKK (19th July 2011)
What will you do when when the work dries up? Because with that attitude it won't be long my friend ...
By I had your attitude once ..., (18th July 2011)
I agree with some of the above, but the "popular attitude" shining through the story is not my thing. A lot of native speakers are too proud, cocky and full of it, and let's face it, most Thai don't understand squat when most British and Australians open their mouths...., but then again, a lot of schools are sh*t, school owners/managers are corrupt, so you have to get lucky to find the right school.
I for instance, will never work for an International School again. Let's face it, it's all a money making scam in Thailand, nobody gives a rat's ass about the students. It's all about cash and BKK students don't give a sh*t about getting educated. They rather hang out in the internetshop shooting stuff on the screen, stuffing their mouths, putting on make-up and checking their hair every 5 seconds.
I am there for the students and I am willing to travel one hour if the school is a good one, regardless the salary, but the Thai attitude sucks.....
I check Ajarn.com on a regular basis and I do see the same schools and language institutes popping up every time and I can guarantee you it's not the salary why teachers are leaving. For 50 K a month in an aircon room, I would kiss your ass and lick your shoes, so I guess it's not the salary why teachers leave....
Anyway, good luck to each and everyone of you, you'll need it in Thailand. For the coming 30 years NOTHING will change, only the rich will get richer.
By J., BKK (12th July 2011)
Well needless to say I really do like/agree with it. But actually from your comments #10 - #16 I either disagree in whole or in part.
By Donald Patnaude, Bangkok, Thailand (12th July 2011)
By Al, Thailand (12th July 2011)
I think we have been living the same life reading your post.
Where is the school? Its on the other side of the rice paddy, about a kilometer to walk to school each day from the main road with no motorbikes in sight. But the kids are great. Right....
Who pays for the work permit and visa? You pay, we no pay. Right....
What is the salary? Its 30,000 Baht a month. Ok, no problem. What about the holidays? We don't pay November, March and April. Ok, so it's 22,500 Baht a month for 1 year average? No...Mr...its 30,000 Baht a month. Right.....
What are the requirements for the post? You must have M.Ed and be native speaker. No problem, what does it pay? It pays 25,000 Baht a month. Right....
What do you want me to teach? We want you to teach critical thinking. What do you want them to think about? <blank stare> Up to you. Right ....
Teacher...why you give <insert name> a D for English? He speaks no English and never opens his mouth. Oh..maybe he is shy but is thinking in English. Maybe teacher can give him a mark for thinking in English. Right.....B+
Can teacher dress like Santa Claus next week? I am Muslim. We not know, how long teacher is a Muslim? I turned Muslim yesterday between lunch time and going home time. Good for you. Right.......
Thailand is great, the kids have been great, but I always felt as if I am being done in by one school or another by having them take advantage of my goodwill. I don't think anyone minds doing things for free from time to time, but like everything else, you feel that people abuse it in the end.
On another note. Thailand either lowers the requirements for teaching or ups the salaries for what they are looking for. The current imbalance it going to prove costly in the long run. You only need to look at the Ajarn jobs site to see who is looking for teachers every other month. Either those private schools are growing very large or they can't hold teachers at the current requirements matched to salaries.
By William, Republic of Isaan (10th July 2011)
Yes, you have to say "No" quite a lot. I've found that new teachers here are wanted a lot 'cos they'll just do what they're told. (Also cheap labour)
The old hands might say no. These are what the Thai staff call 'The angry teachers'. Not at all. Just been here long enough to know what's what.
Call me negative, but work is work. I keep myself to myself. I go to work. I do my job, and I go home. I've seen too many people making too much of an effort and getting stung. We're teachers. Not actors or magicians. By all means make it interesting. But don't degrade yourself by pretending to walk into an invisible wall for laughs. No man should ever do that.
By Liam, Republic of Manchester (7th July 2011)
Guys, please don't turn the comments thread into a discussion forum. We already have an ajarn discussion forum where you can debate issues. The comments section is for comments on the article not for posters to debate issues with each other.
By philip, (7th July 2011)
I see. You profoundly disagree with me because....You reported two agencies for, what? Violating contract terms? Oh wait, that doesn't happen in China. The FXB won't allow it. You reported them ....because the University didn't have any clown suits in your size, making effective teaching impossible.
By Brad, China (7th July 2011)
By Brad, China - Brad I profoundly disagree with you. Under the FXB act the experts bureau acts under Chinese Labour Law. I have personally had one agent black listed from the FXB in GZ. Now I am working on my second.. The Labour Law in China is a strict as it is in Canada. As for myself, I am currently teaching International law at a university, and I am in constant communication with the director of the FXB in GZ.
By Kanadian, Meizhou, Guangdong China (7th July 2011)
No surprise that those most willing to wear the "Chicken suit" ( for the benefit of the children), fail to recognize the English writing form known as "Satire".
Rousseau, Piaget, Vygotsky and Erikson all recommend wearing clown costumes when teaching children. That's why you'll find one in every Western classroom (sarcasm).
Your enthusiasm, though noble, is in no way a substitute for actual ECE teaching knowledge. China is not Thailand. Contracts become toilet tissue at their whim. Standing firm on agreements between parties is an intelligent thing to do. Give the Girl a break.
By Brad, China (7th July 2011)
Agree with the dressing up thing 100%. There are lots of things I will do and have done for schools and I have absolutely no problem with having a laugh and a joke IN CLASS for the kids benefit, even if the joke is sometimes at my expense. However, getting tarted up in drag and singing some cheesy song on stage just so all the kids can have a damn good chuckle at the idiot farang is just too much for me I'm afraid. Call me a killjoy,but some of us still have some degree of respectability
By Paul, Thailand (7th July 2011)
Sorry. Not funny. Met too many teachers in Thailand like her, and worked with a few. Expect everything handed to them for doing the minimal amount of work and no interest in learning anything about Thailand or the Thai way of doing things.
Never understood why people like this just don't go back home. They obviously don't like Thailand, the Thais don't like them and many of the farangs don't either.
By Reeves, Bangkok (7th July 2011)
Judging by your rants and raves, I'm sure the school and students would be better off without you. If going the extra mile is too much and you would rather be drunk and sleep till 2 o'clock than you have no business being here anyway.
By Greg, Thailand (7th July 2011)
Lol. You nailed it Sister. Point for Point. Welcome to China.
By Brad, China (7th July 2011)
I think the article was written very much tongue in cheek. I'm sure that Sentrix isn't quite as hardnose as she makes out. However, there are many good points in there and many that I hadn't thought of but would certainly go along with.
I think in any job it's good to practice the art of saying no from time to time. If you get the reputation of a 'yes man' then there's that wonderful old expression - "work the willing horse"
You don't ever want to get the reputation as the willing horse.
By philip, (7th July 2011)
Oh man! I feel bad for you students. What an attitude. So sassy.
By Jonathan, Chiangmai, Thailand (7th July 2011)
Extra activities are what I enjoy doing!!! I'll dress up as Santa and spend a whole morning entertaining the kids!! Why? Because I love it and the reaction I get from the kids is worth it! Teaching to me is a way of life and not just a job!
By Chris, Thailand (6th July 2011)
Hmmm..., could've been written by a foreign teacher here in Thailand. With hour-long rides on the bus twice a day, to a private school that pays like a Mac-job back home, and yearly pay rises that work out to an extra cheeseburger a day, plus fortnightly demands of Saturday and Sunday work, despite the fact that the employment contract stipulates 'not more than five Saturdays per year' (no mention of Sundays). Add to that the need to get up at 4:30 a.m., just do be at school for gate duty at 7, and the fact that the Thai teachers at the "Exchange School" cannot speak, nor understand English, while despising all native English teachers, just talking favourably all the time about the only Filipino teacher (who always its at his desk in class, dozing off)... Thank gawd, I (unofficially) stopped working full-time two months ago. If it weren't for the love of my work and the kids, I'd be doing online work only.
By Tom, Thailand (4th July 2011)