In response to Darrens letter ("Look before you leap, Ajarn Postbox, 9th January 2013) Your experience is not unique by any standard. Though I do not understand why you suffered the whole term. If no contract exists ( that is worth the paper it's written on ) which is doubtful - then I would move on to better things. A surprising number of schools will hire direct if you approach them (it saves them commission)
I myself have just taken legal action against an international school for a breach of contract. I signed a contract for 20 months and I left a secure position. Then this school changed its mind and just before Christmas called me in and said they were terminating my contract. Fortunately with a signed contract you are protected under Thai Labor Law when it comes to how a contract can be terminated.
Well I moved on and am quite glad not to be at that school anymore. The English standard was far below what I would expect from an International school and I am certainly glad I am not a parent spending hard earned baht for each term there.
I have found a very nice government school where the teachers have a genuine interest in helping the students and where the students have a genuine interest in improving. It is not the richest of schools but what it lacks in funding it makes up for in many other ways.
But I say to all teachers out there - don't be disheartened. There are many good agencies out there and many schools that will hire direct. Visit them in person and drop off a nice little resume pack with all your photocopies, certificates etc. It will work wonders.
'Stiff upper lip' as we Brits say.