Ageism alive and kicking in Thailand

Ageism alive and kicking in Thailand

Well here we go again as usual. Ads for teachers must be under 30 years old. What is it with Thai schools and younger teachers? I left Thailand last year after teaching here for almost 7 years. I am 56 this year and would no doubt be struggling to get a job. I started my life after leaving school with the required A and O levels, then serving my country with the marines. Then I spent 4 years studying engineering, starting and running my own company, working as a senior engineer for a company, plus many other things I studied and learnt in my life. I have found that as I have got older I know so much more, when I was younger I was still learning and wasn't as savvy as I am now.

Early last year before I went back to England I got a job at an Islamic College and all they spoke about was my age. Long story short, I got the job and the teachers were very impressed with my teaching, the way I prepared lessons for the kids, I always made them interesting and fun and the students really enjoyed them apart from the usual suspects and we have all had those dummies who have no interest in learning anything unless it plays music or they can text with it.

One thing I will say is I thoroughly enjoyed working in a Muslim environment, the kids were smarter, more eager to learn and would compete against each other to speak excellent English. My Mathyom 6 classes were very clever students, there were some non Muslim students but they had to pass a test in Mathyom 4 if they wanted to stay there, if they failed the test they had to leave the school.

The Thai teachers really warmed to me after I proved to them I was a good teacher who really did care about doing a good job. After all this, my age didn't seem to be a problem anymore and was offered contracts to stay and work for them direct. Just goes to show that age is a bonus, as knowledge comes with age. All you older guys, don't give up looking and go the extra mile to show your worth to the schools you are working at or are hoping to work at.

Stephen Salter


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