James Parsons has spent much of his teaching career hopping between Korea and Thailand. He's dabbled in Thailand's property market and he's done more visa runs than you've had hot dinners.
Mike Thompson is an Asian American from California. He admits that his Asian appearance put many employers off when he started looking for teaching work in Thailand, but slowly he's turned things around. It hasn't been easy though.
When I first considered teaching English abroad, I bought myself a book called “Teach English Around the World’. It promised experiences beyond my wildest dreams and while the sound of teaching in exotic locations was undoubtedly appealing, Thailand was as far as I got. It’s therefore a great pleasure to talk to not one, but two globetrotters who have literally ‘taught English around the world’. Step forward Catriona and Fernanda - two fine ladies, both working for the British Council in Bangkok. It’s ajarn com’s first ‘double interview’ folks.
Court has taught English in Thailand for five years. He's a prolific writer of articles and short stories and an ardent supporter of something called Creative Commons. He's also hopefully about to return to the USA with his good lady wife. Let's delve a little deeper.
A familiar path that many teachers tread in Thailand is to start at the '200 baht an hour' language schools and work their way up. Eventually you might even be lucky enough to open your own language school. Donald Patnaude is one such man.
You don't come across many people who have held a DOS (Director of Studies) position for more than two or three years, but Anthony clocked up a whopping eight years in Bangkok as a language school hirer and firer. Worth a chat methinks.
Brian Hodge from New Zealand has only been in Thailand for a couple of years but he's already racked up an impressive list of employers including an orphanage, a temple school and a government university. Let's find out how the different teaching environments compare.
Let's have a chat with Garry Brown. He's a 56-year old Australian who describes himself as 'young at heart'. After seven or eight years shuttling backwards and forwards to Thailand as primarily a tourist, he made The Land of Smiles his permanent home for a further three years. After mixed experiences in Thailand's teaching industry, he thinks he's discovered TEFL nirvana......in China. Garry wonders what took him the hell so long.
Back in 2006, ajarn.com conducted an interview with Teacher Rico, as he set out to turn the Thailand TEFL world on its head and provide a forum for teachers to report their good and bad experiences with Thai schools (mostly bad). Two years later and Teacher Rico has decided to call it a day. Ajarn.com catches up with Greg (the teacher formerly known as Rico) and attempts to find out why.
Let's have a chat with Mr Barry Cowger. He taught for a couple of years in Europe and moved to Thailand almost a year ago. Even in that short time, he's experienced a couple of Thai primary schools and designed an English program that got approval from none other than the local mayor.
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