Firstly, why are there so many politically correct, self righteous people who take offence to different opinions, alternative trains of thought and change?
So, who thinks that all western teachers can teach with the same standards, convictions and work ethic? Do you think that someone with degrees in education can’t teach more proficiently than someone with a degree in engineering? Do you think that the teachers intending to stay for a one year working holiday, and who are not concerned about renewing their contracts, are going to apply themselves as much as the teacher who lives here and has a family to support? Do you think Aiwa speakers are as good as Bose speakers? You either pay for the quality or you settle for mediocrity. At least you’ll have some music. Long Term Expat (if you really are that), as far as “kicking back” is concerned, I don’t.
This is truly the ugly face of the west: backpack mentality teaching. I’m building a life here. I am contributing to society as well as providing for my family. Have you ever heard the following? “Wow! Teaching is easy, and I’m so much better at it than the Thai teachers. I don’t need to improve or put in too much effort.” Backpack teaching is such an asset to Thailand, don’t you think? It’s no wonder that schools get non native foreigners to teach English. At least they put in an honest days work and don’t kick back. If you teach then you should be striving to be the best teacher that you possibly can. As far as dictating salaries to schools is concerned, well, I’m not. I’m informing them of what it would cost to employ me, not you. If you’re happy with what you get then stick with it. Good for you. I happen to fall in the category of Both, hence I cost more.
Let’s talk more about money for a moment. Mr. Disappointed, you might learn some things about the Thai education system. My school had, stress had, an English programme. I found out how much the student fees were and deducted the salaries of all foreign teachers. After three years the school made a clear profit of over B3 million. This is a government school mind you. Not bad for a non profit organization. Unfortunately, the programme ended because the school couldn’t entice a replacement native speaker and settled for a Frenchman to save a couple of thousand baht per month (how greedy is that?). Of course none of the students, or I, could understand his accent so the parents complained and the programme was axed. What did the school spend this B3 million on? They acquired several electronic whiteboards. O.k. this is good, but alas only the Thai teachers get to use them. Never mind, it’s still good for the students.
The new director of the school had a Chinese fortune teller come into the school, and from his mystical advice the director had his office extended at the cost of B375, 000 while the students sit on broken chairs. The point is that every school cries “poverty” when recruiting westerners, when in fact they make a nice profit out of you. If you think they only pay what they can afford then you are extremely gullible. Of course they’re entitled to make some money. The schools need money albeit to be wasted on the director gaining face. I don’t have a problem with them making money from me, but I’d like to see the money spent wisely though.
Here are some facts that are not common knowledge, and your school will probably deny (one again, Mr. Disappointed, you might learn something): The government pays its schools a monthly budget of just over B19, 000 to pay for the foreign teacher’s salary. I’ve seen the advice note from the government to the school (fortunately I can read Thai). This amount is our minimum salary by law. If the school wants to pay you more it’s up to them. Do they want Aiwa or Bose? Student’s fees are more for the students that study with you and as a result the schools make money. Did you think they made a loss? In addition, if your school lays you off for any reason other than gross misconduct then you are entitled to severance pay. We do have some human rights here. These are the facts that you probably didn’t know and are now either in shock or denial. As I mentioned before, if you’re in an English Programme then they make millions, and the director is laughing all the way to the bank (let’s not forget how rife corruption is in this country, and how most school directors manage to afford top of the range Mercedes on their salaries). They’ve been playing us like a tune.
So, now you’re no longer ignorant about school monies. Whether you want to be naïve or not now is your own affair.