What makes an ideal school to work for in Thailand?
The 'ideal' school:
1) Pays above 3000 dollars per month.
2) Has a good pension plan.
3) Provides at least two hours training per week to all teachers.
4) No more than 12 class hours per week. A teacher should spend at least an hour preparing for each class and an hour checking students work per class.
5) Provides good serviced apartments to all teachers.
6) Provides a pick up service for all teachers to take them to class (as most foreigners cannot drive in Thailand), I see many teachers taking motorcycle taxis. Do the schools not care about the safety of their teachers?
7) Free healthcare.
8) Experienced teachers to oversee classes and give constructive advice, no criticism.
9) A good disciplinary system, visiting the headmaster for a chat, then written warnings, then suspension, then expulsion.
10) Extra training for teachers that are struggling.
11) Bonuses for teachers who are doing well.
12) Listen to all advice and complaints from teachers and make adjustments to the school based on their advice.
13) Provide teacher only facilities, offices and smoking room.
14) Understand that teachers are humans too and will make mistakes. For example, although punctuality is important, in a city such as Bangkok with terrible traffic, it's not always possible to be on-time every class for a whole year.
15) Be realistic, even the best teachers earning 70000 dollars per year in the West are not always perfect.
16) Respect the fact that the teachers are from a different culture and may have different ways of doing things and seeing things. Never say 'This is Thailand'.
17) Pay teachers double for any overtime, or filling in for any other teacher.
18) Stay calm and respectful when dealing with teachers, especially if they are angry. You are the management, good management never involves shouting.
19) Great school resources, including bespoke computer based teaching, books, and lots of additional resources. Tasks that previous teachers used should be available to help new teachers create a good class.
20) Motivating. If the teachers aren't motivated it is the fault of the management and the school.
Actually most of the requirements for an 'ideal' teacher also apply to the management of the school. If the teacher is not motivated, creative, happy, calm, realistic, reliable, patient, resourceful, pragmatic, disciplined, then it is the fault of the school and the way it is run. Most western companies now understand this - one day soon, perhaps Thailand will!
It's crazy to put all these requirements onto teachers. Most people will respond well if you treat them well and give them adequate support. Putting a wish list like this on teachers and then setting them off in classes with no training, support and little pay is never going to work!