Return of the demo lesson

Let's cut to the chase. You've done the resume, shown your certificates, dug out a half respectable photo - harder for some than others but still a challenge at the best of times because if we were all photogenic, we would be models not teachers. You’ve provided several references that are actually connected to teaching. Then comes the desired experience teaching Thais and the understanding of Thai culture. Then there is the insistence that we are aged between 21 and 27, drop dead sexy, and furthermore be able to sing, dance and entertain (equity certificate required) provide magic tricks ( magic circle membership needed) plus actually live in Thailand.

It’s now the time we want you to do a demo class! Any organisation that asks for a demo lesson or class should be viewed with suspicion. There is the odd exception and I mean odd, but as a rule of thumb, if you can provide all of the above, then that should be enough. Any half-decent employer will check out all that you provided and this actually gives me reassurance that they know what they want or even what they are doing. I always feel pleased when one of my references calls me and says “we had a call from such and such asking for a reference about you, and we gave it both over the telephone and in writing”

But wait. Some employers still want a demo lesson. Ok I'm an old hand. If I'm asked to give a demo I will sometimes agree to it, but demo lessons are at 2,000 baht an hour minimum time 3 hours. And money up front! The phone goes dead as the caller passes out in shock, or just figures out they've been busted. Alright I'm a bit of a sneaky old sod as well, I've agreed an odd free demo lesson from time to time and found myself at some poorly equipped office. Then in wanders a group of locals between the age of 3 and 95 and obviously of mixed ability level. Look, if you can't see a scam now, I have little sympathy for you.

However the more students the better because that's about five private students in my book - and they will actually learn something. So for my freebie, I'll find out names, addresses, ability, and what they really want. Thanks. That's an evening or weekend bonus for me over the next three months, and they will get a real classroom with full facilities and teaching that will build on what they know. For the more advanced students, I will advise them on university placements, visas, even where to stay, who to talk with and what university is best if they have both the ability and desire to study in the UK.

So when you have done the whole song and dance routine to get an interview and then out comes the request for a demo lesson, smile and say no - or better still ask for 3,000 baht an hour.

Ian


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