More and more, English teachers in Thailand are seeing ads saying "Teachers Under 45 Wanted"
No English teacher that has spent any time teaching in Thailand is surprised to see job ads in local newspapers saying "Thai national only. Must be 25 years of age or younger, female and attractive". In Thailand, Discriminatory ads like this are completely acceptable and legal. In the last few years though, more and more job ads for western English teachers are stating "must be under 45 years of age". Age discrimination? Sure it is. But why is this acceptable in Thailand and, if you are an older English teacher over 45 years of age, can you still get a teaching job in Thailand?
Why do Thais discriminate against teachers over 45? - Primarily, teaching English in Thailand is all about 'edutainment', meaning if you teach English in Thailand you must be an entertainer as well as an educator. Thais hate to be bored at any time so English class too has to be 'fun'. If it's not fun, they don't pay attention and consequently don't learn anything. But the prevailing thought in Thailand is, for a teacher to be entertaining and fun, they must be young. Not true, but that's the way Thais think.
Secondly, the retirement age in Thailand is 60 years of age and many middle-class Thais retire well before this, in their late 40s and 50s. When I asked 30-something Thai students when they planned on retiring, most of them said by age 45. Asking why so early, the replies I got were most of them figured they wouldn't live much past 60, so they wanted to enjoy retirement age while they could. I was shocked when I heard most didn't expect or want to live past 60 years of age, but this is often because, in Thailand unlike in the west, many elderly people are in very poor health and younger Thais nowadays don't want to be like that. Thus the discrimination against western teachers older than 45 too. Thais are presuming westerners will be frailer in their 50s and 60s like so many Thais are. (In actual fact, this isn't true about modern middle-class Thais either - it's only that many Thais are still living with the mindset their parents had about age in the 1950s and 60s, and it's difficult to change that).