You lucky so and so

You lucky so and so

Don, you are a lucky so and so. Any vacancies at your university? I get B25, 000 per month for twenty three classes. This is pretty much the norm in Chiang Mai. My original posting was aimed at teachers in Chiang Mai, not all of Thailand. From Long Term Ajarn Expat’s last posing we can see that you have a salary in excess of B40, 000. From this we can deduce that you are probably in Bangkok. Here in Chiang Mai things are a bit different: we have to manage on B25, 000. Sounds like a lot, but it soon gets swallowed up, especially when you have a family.

The costs of living here isn’t that much less than in Bangkok, I know because I’ve lived in Bangkok. The wage to cost of living ratio in Chiang Mai is the worst in Thailand. Don’t bother telling me to move; my wife wouldn’t leave her family. I wish I had you’re salary. It would mean that I wouldn’t have to borrow a couple of thousand from a Thai colleague nearly every month. She’s cool about lending me the money though as she earns more than me and doesn’t usually go short at the end of the month. Yes, that’s right, a Thai teacher earning more than me. She’s just a teacher and not a department head or director. Most of the Thai teachers who have been working here longer than five years earn more than me as they get an annual wage increase; however, I teach more classes than any of them. It seems that schools are only interested in employing those who are here short term or have a pension; obviously they want to pay as little as possible which is why there is such a huge turnover in teachers every year; nobody can afford to stay here and teach. The man with a family needs to teach evenings and weekend (every hour God sends) to make ends meet.

Some people seem intent on keeping the status quo. I prefer change and progress for the better. The recent changes in attitude by the M.O.E. pertaining to western teacher’s qualifications, has been both a change and progress for the better. Stop! I can’t bear hearing “Some teachers with PhDs in education can’t teach for toffees, but some teachers with no qualifications whatsoever are brilliant.” This is clearly an exception to the rule, if we assume the qualifications are genuine. It’s true that some people have a naturally gifted and have great presence in the classroom, but surely you can’t believe that this person would not benefit and develop into a better teacher with training.

Far too many people feel threatened by teachers with educational qualifications in excess of a TEFL certificate. I can’t imagine why as there will never be an influx of PhDs in education coming to Thailand as the salaries are insufficient to justify such a move. Ah-ha! There it is, isn’t it? No wonder you feel that salaries should stay as they are. Are you terrified of being supplanted? Or is it because you’re in Bangkok which obviously makes you far more deserving of a higher salary than the likes of a mere Chiang Mai commoner like me? I’d like to see how you’d get on with B20, 000 less per month. You’d wet yourself after five minutes.


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