North Eastern woes
I am over in the North East of Thailand we had 4 Falang teachers including myself. At the end of June just after pay day our friendly Kiwi packed his bags and shot over to Ubon. Well the contract did say and does say one month's notice. At the end of July, well what do you know, the Aussie and the Brit packed their bags and left as well.
Now I love my job, my students and my school and put an advert on ajarn.com and hey presto, 60 applicants but not one native speaker. To tell you the truth it is not important if the teacher is a native or not, it is the person that is reliable, honest and keeps to their side of any agreement. I managed to rope in a Filipino and by a year's time if he sticks here and proves himself then he will get the salary of a native speaker. He has no TEFL [certificate], but his life experiences and his commitment in acquiring the 20 hour Thai Culture Course Certificate told me this guy is worth having. I agree whole heartedly with improving the educational system in Thailand though I wonder how long we all will go bald, with the frustrations of having ideas but not thinking them through as the Teacher's Council has painfully demonstrated over the past few months. At 48 I never dreamed of studying again. at 46 I got my TESOL that was hard enough for me but gosh a year of the Graduate Diploma the mind boggles about all the hardships that one may have to endure especially in traveling 10 hours one way to Bangkok every Friday night.
The school have asked me how we can attract native speakers. I plainly said they are only interested in the money especially in the middle of nowhere, but you can create an English programme seek only truly qualified professionals and pay them 35-40K plus housing. Just do not offer the course to 2600 students as it simply does not work. Well as we all know, Thais love to nod - and I got a nod!
However my main gripe is how does one prevent teachers from behaving dishonourably by not abiding by their contracts? The only solution I could think of is to retain 10% of their salary and pay it to them when they leave either at the end of their contract or by serving their notice period of one month. In addition the school pays for the Work permit and for the Brit well they paid a year up front for him and he left after 2 month's. The hardworking parents are being messed up by these unsavoury characters. Anyone got any ideas on getting great teachers that not only teach English but behave as respectable decent ambassadors of their own country, if so please send to the postbox