Dear Bob the Teacher

Dear Bob the Teacher

Dear Bob, thank you for your interest in the position of native English teacher at our school. Your qualifications and presentation were fine and are just what we want. We would like to have you join our team.

At the interview you indicated that the salary offered (33,000 baht a month) was not enough and you suggested that 40,000 baht was the minimum that you could work for. Unfortunately, the salary we offer is the most we are prepared to pay and, actually, it is in line with other schools like ours. We hope you understand and we wish you luck with your future as a teacher in Thailand.

In an effort to clarify our position, I'd like to explain the reasons behind this...

Firstly, if we pay you 40,000 a month then, of course, the other teachers are going to want that too - teachers who have been with us for a long time.

Next, by paying you 33,000 baht (and NOT 40,000 baht) we are saving the school 84,000 baht a year. That's a considerable chunk of change and can be better spent on a new Jacuzzi for the owner's bathroom.

Also, it's worth pointing out that it's a buyers market. We have had a lot of applicants for this position and they seem happy with the salary that we are offering. They didn't have a TEFL certificate and they were generally a bit scruffy, but they seemed more than happy with the beer money allowance.

As fine a candidate as you are, there are things we look for in an interview and this is where you tripped up. Let me explain...

Our ideal teacher is someone who is quite young and inexperienced. These candidates usually don't complain about the pointless and time consuming duties and tasks that will be added to the burden of your 25 hour teaching week.

In addition, we give precedence to people who look like they will show up on time and don't take any sick days. In your interview you seemed far more concerned about being a good teacher. That's very sweet, but it's not what we're looking for.

Also, in your interview you seemed very keen on some new teaching methods you had picked up and frankly that had us a bit worried. We're a traditional Thai school and anything that amounts to a change in the status quo should be feared and rejected outright. It's not that we don't appreciate your enthusiasm, it's just that, well, we have a way of doing things that haven't failed us now for a century and, hey, if it's not broken, why try to fix it, right?

Next, your ambitions in the classroom are laudable, but in our experience of hiring foreigners, the ones that make the most effort in the classroom tend to be the ones that quit and bugger off home. If you had said at the interview that you were prepared to coast through the syllabus and do what you were told, we'd have been a bit more enthusiastic about your application.

Going through the paperwork involved with each new hire is a pain and if you skip town after a few months because you don't like the way we do things, then, well... you can see our dilemma!

Finally, we don't really like foreigners. Hiring them is a necessary evil and we do it because we have to. That resentment carries through to the way we treat our teachers and our general attitude to them. I'm afraid that with your general level of above average competence and awareness, you'll see through this very quickly and leave.

Good luck in the future and if you change your mind and decide that, actually, you can withstand the pain of our meager salary, then we'd be happy to give you a chance. In addition, we'll act very smugly about it, knowing that we have you over a barrel and can virtually blackmail you into doing just about anything.

Thank you for your interest,


Every public school in Thailand


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