I really can’t see the point of teachers complaining about salaries. Time after time there are instances of corruption, bad behavior by directors and coordinators, unruly student behavior with no disciplinary procedures. Each posting takes us nearer to truth about Thai education; students with the lowest I.Q’s in Asia, and compulsory falsification of exam results to try to hide it. Why has the salary dropped? It’s very simple, as many have pointed out; you’re not teachers, you’re ‘entertainers’ and how much is a ‘babysitter’ worth? That’s why you’re being offered 15,000 to 25,000 a month! Forget your grammar and bring into the classroom a set of bingo cards instead . . . . . the students will be happy and if the students are happy the parents will be happy. If the parents are happy they’ll keep paying the school and somewhere along the line you’ll be given a little bit of it to struggle by on, be seen as a good, conforming ‘teacher’ and will have no more problems.
If however, you do look on yourself as a teacher and especially for the older ones amongst us, why put up with it? Granted, Thailand to me is the nicest place to live in but not to work. How about the oil states, or China, or up and coming Vietnam? There’s plenty of work for the more mature teachers and perhaps teaching in Thailand should be left to the blond/e backpacking Henrietta’s and Rupert’s of the world for their one year ‘cultural’ experiences. Perhaps Thailand indeed gets what it deserves.
A year or two contract in the aforementioned places, then a visit to Laos on your return for a six-month Thai tourist visa and you combine the pleasure of living in Thailand without getting burned out or suffering a heart attack from the stress of teaching unruly class sizes of 50+, 26+ hours a week. I used to teach in Thailand and I see boatloads of foreigners leaving. One day I hope the Thai government will realize that entertainment and falsifying exam results might be part of the reason that Thailand is the bottom of the league table in education. They might then also come to the logical conclusion that singing and clapping hands all day with backpackers needs some serious reconsideration. Until then, au revoir Thailand.
John in China