So, a pattern is emerging. Several vacancies have been on the job page for Chiang Mai for quite some time. This time last year all of those positions would have been snapped up, but now schools can’t seem to fill them. Why is that? There’s a shortage of teachers. The teachers who are still around aren’t taking the poorly paid slave jobs that they were forced to take when there were loads of backpackers sliding into the teaching industry and keeping wages at an appalling level. Some schools have slightly increased salaries and some are simply settling for non natives. One school has a more competitive salary but who’d want to work at a Muslim school? I approached one school that was offering B25,000 per month with a counter proposal of B32,000, to which they replied “mai ow kap”. They filled the position with a teacher new to Thailand who had just arrived from their home country of Ghana. I wish that school luck; they’re going to need it I think.
Come on schools, think about it. You’ve had your time of getting native speakers for pennies. That time is coming to an end. The riff raff have gone. Are you going to settle for non natives with accents so heavy that even I can’t understand their English? Now is the time to face facts and pay a respectable wage.
To all the native speaking teachers out there, hold out! Apply for jobs, but tell them you want more. Tell them their pittance is not sufficient. Now is the time for our solidarity and we can do something about it.
Mr Crazy in Chiang Mai