Its that time of year again.

I liked Phil's comment about the prospect of rule changes to teachers employment being like the FA Cup draw. I find this time of year like the summer transfer window, lots of moves, contract changes, promises that get forgotten or ignored, the loss of a few friends to ventures new, and the new contract.... if you're lucky!

We all seem to be scrambling for something. It all depends on if that something is actually worth having. I count myself lucky inasmuch as I work with a very good group of people, plus there's a lot of variety. There is a lot of hard work put in by everyone and the responsibilities are shared. That's not saying there are not times when I don't become frustrated or annoyed at last minute changes, still its all part of the package one comes to accept.

Anyway this is the reshuffle time, the awaited new contract for some, bonuses for a few, and the Spanish archer for others. Sometimes I've seen some very good teachers cut, but that is the game here. More and more, your face has to fit regardless of ability. I know that the odd friend or two will be looking for something new, either by choice or by necessity and there is always that final option of going back from where we came. So now the jobs are appearing thick and fast, I take a inquisitive view on what's being offered, not because I want to move, but more to see what is being offered and where. Much will depend on your own personal circumstances, like I said, I like my flexability and variety with my life, but there are still some very good oppertunities out here.

Firstly though, please don't consider money as everything, a job is a package deal. Yes its nice to earn as much as you can, but there are some real gems where the pay is maybe not Premier League. I have always found that who I work with and the enviroment are the real deal and its worth knowing that the school will support you. My only bit of firm advice is, don't travel to far to and from work, unless you're a travel junkie, even with a good road, just remember the season's change here as well, wet and dry Bangkok/ Thailand are very different places.

Little things are important. Have a retreat somewhere where you can just be you, a place for some peace and clear thought, something from home to lift your spirits, an emergency supply of favorite food (chocolate for women) and a very good friend, sharing your woes with that friend will reduce your stress.

Above everything else, do try and keep your sense of humor. There will be good days and bad, times when you think its not worth it and you've been burnt in the pocket or in other ways. Life is different here, it will always be different here. You need a certain amount of self esteem, but with luck your friends and co- teachers will get you through when life sucks, and when its good it is good.

Ian


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