Teaching in Thailand

The word expectation is very strong. When expectations are not met we are often disappointed. Assumptions tend to involve common sense and seem to be less harmful to us. Or are they?

1. Foreign Assumption: If I sign a contract it will be honored.

Thai Assumption: We will do what we want now that we got you here. Maybe we will have honor.

2. Foreign Assumption: Those who have power are concerned with education for young people.

Thai Assumption: Why benefit a country or people when you and your buddies are making lots of money? Besides, your kids will get your job courtesy of our corrupt network.

3. Foreign Assumption: Schools value knowledge and expect you to contribute yours.

Thai Assumption: We don't care just put on the factory uniform. You’re lucky it's a shirt and tie.

4. Foreign Assumption: In a very hot country you can drink water in class as you are speaking a lot.

Thai Assumption: You'll be fired for drinking water in class and no food allowed in the staff room.

5. Foreign Assumption: You will get your bonus and have a job next year as you honored a contract.

Thai Assumption: We don't care how long you have been here. We can pay less as you have too many years. We invented a new rule to not pay your bonus it’s called subject to change at any time. Get a lawyer!

6. Foreign Assumption: People you work with will be professional and not interfere with your life.

Thai Assumption: Professionals have degrees. If we can hire whitey for less, get away with it and create fear to control then that's all that matters...profit, profit, profit.

7. Foreign Assumption: Merit is emphasized in a country of merit.

Thai Assumption: Ha ha ha ha. Family name and money is first. Who cares if a kid's lazy and dumb? More money for penalty fees. So we lost a poor intelligent student...no biggie.

8. Foreign Assumption: Honesty is a part of the school process—especially religious schools.

Thai Assumption: Honesty doesn’t pay the bills or allow for expansion—we need to build another school.

9. Foreign Assumption: Accepting corruption means you are not corrupt.

Wrong Assumption: Real teachers cannot do the wrong thing for long it goes against our code.

I came to Thailand as I had friends from my college years who traveled through Asia. They all enjoyed Thailand, however, none of them worked here.

I think it would be safe to assume that if a single teacher wants to save money and do what is best for the future than Thailand is not the country to work in. Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Korea and the Middle East seem to have a better idea of labor relations and the rewards are much better.

The common Thai practice of ignoring corruption or the attitude of calling it a compromise is really quite unbecoming of the culture and nothing to be proud of. If people with power do nothing about corruption then they are no better than the corrupt. The sad thing is that young people are learning corruption in certain school systems that have no accountability for the youth and characters that they are developing.

It may be safe to say that any assumptions in Thailand are probably not a good thing to have.

Dude Abides

Read more letters

Send your letter to Ajarn.com

Featured Jobs

K1 Homeroom Teacher

฿58,000+ / month

Chiang Mai

Full-time NES Teachers

฿47,500+ / month


Fun Native English Teachers for June Start

฿42,000+ / month


English Teachers for June Start

฿35,000+ / month

Suphan Buri

English Teachers for June Start

฿35,000+ / month


English Teacher for Public School

฿50,000+ / month

Pathum Thani

Featured Teachers

  • Rhae

    Filipino, 25 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Louie

    Filipino, 29 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Ritchel

    Filipino, 25 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Jaycel

    Filipino, 32 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Marnie

    Filipino, 45 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Charivic

    Filipino, 26 years old. Currently living in Philippines

The Hot Spot

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting ajarn.com and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?

Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.

Can you hear me OK?

Can you hear me OK?

In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?

Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Ricky Batten from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.

Renting an apartment?

Renting an apartment?

Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.

Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.