In response to 'Traumatized by Thailand' (Postbox 24th May 2010)
Who is Mickey Davenport – really - Maria Diaz or Miriam Divero perhaps? I am curious why this poster would feel ‘traumatized’ for being paid 15,000 baht per month, when certified teachers in the Philippines typically make about 10,000 baht per month (12,500 PHP). It would seem then that a Filipino/a working in Thailand as a teacher is making 50% more than they would back in their own country. By contrast, an American working in a Thai school making 35,000 baht per month is making the same wage as someone working full-time flipping burgers for McDonald's back in the USA. An American or other native-speaker with a Western university education who is working in Thailand is typically making 1/3 of what they could earn at home. Supply and demand are partially responsible for salary variations here in the Kingdom.
Furthermore, in contrast to a Filipino/a teacher working in Thailand, Westerners generally spend most of their salary inside Thailand. People from the Philippines typically send a significant proportion of their earnings back home, which does not benefit Thailand.
Finally, any university-educated Westerner reading the Davenport post can easily spot the clues which suggest that it was written by a non-native speaker of English. Thus, even if a native-speaker is not a certified teacher, she/he can still produce and recognize a well-written English text. Without the ability to produce models of good writing and/or properly evaluate student writing, a teacher's value is considerably diminished.
The Thai education system is certainly far from perfect, and, being a human creation, imperfection will likely continue to feature.