Okay. Ajarn. I followed your advice. I saved some money, packed all my certificates, transcripts, police criminal record check and impeccable work references, and headed to Thailand to work as a TEFL teacher. I thought I had everything covered, except just one thing. Nobody actually tells you the truth here. Nobody. I'm actually quite impressed by the amount of total shit spoken by institutions. I signed up to do a TEFL course in November. I was assured by the chap who interviewed me before I even left London that I would "have a full time job and permit within about 3 weeks." Okay, it's not their responsibility to find me work, they provided an excellent teaching course and the instructors could not be faulted.
However, The fact that they must have known that NO schools or institutions actually hire people full-time until at least March means they were proactive in offering us misleading information simply to fill their November course placements. That's £1000 well spent! As a result of this misinformation those of us remaining in Bangkok following the course have wasted hours and hours of our time, and thousands of baht of our money looking for jobs that are simply not there. My advice. Just ignore the advice completely when training providers inform you that it is easy to find work in Thailand - and simply sign up for the February course instead.
Part two of my whinge. Many teachers inform us on this site to steer clear of agencies. Um, not too sure whether or not you've had a chance to check the vacancies on your website yet, but they are all linked to agencies. ( yes, even the ones that list the contact as the name of a school!) Simple fact being that you pretty much don't get to work in Thai state schools unless you go through an agency. Just try it. You will be referred to an agency and the school will inform you they have nothing to do with the hiring of foreign teachers. I know, because it's happened to me pretty much every job I have applied for. The upshot is - 3 months after successfully completing my TEFL course. I am still working part-time for agencies and schools - getting an excellent reputation by the way - my permit is about to run out, and every job I apply for is another agency apologising for not being able to offer full time work. Simple fact is, it's really hard to get a decent job here. Don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.
Phil says - thank you for your letter to the ajarn postbox. It's a shame that you couldn't put your name to it but never mind. Having read your letter twice, I'm convinced it's written out of anger rather than by someone who has a full grasp of the facts. After all, you've only been here a matter of a few months. It would be impossible to become an expert on the Thailand TEFL scene in such a short time. Incidentally, you have been working here and applying for jobs during what is undoubtedly the quietest period of the year. Very few schools hire in December and January. And that is also written on ajarn.com and something it seems you failed to read and take on board.
I deleted the part of your letter where you claim that the TEFL course certificate you obtained is hardly recognised by any of the schools in Thailand. In my opinion (and that of many others) the TEFL certificate you obtained is probably the most recognisable and widely-accepted certificate in the world. To say it's hardly recognised by any schools here is completely inaccurate. And how many schools have you applied to and actually got an opinion of whether they value the certificate or not? Fifty? Hundred? Because that's how many you need to survey before you are able to make such a bold statement. I could go on but if I analyzed every sentence and pulled apart what you've written, I would be here all night.