This is the place to air your views on TEFL issues in Thailand. Most topics are welcome but please use common sense at all times. Please note that not all submissions will be used, particularly if the post is just a one or two sentence comment about a previous entry.

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Poor pay means a higher turnover

Poor pay means a higher turnover

When you pay poorly you will always get either lower level candidates or high turnover. Teachers, like the rest, need money to live.

Years ago, I delivered sailing yachts all around Europe, the Med, from Europe to The Caribbean and the States, etc. The vast majority of these deliveries were through agencies. The pay meant it was long-term, non-viable. However, it was always sold as "But it's the lifestyle, right?" Sure, for a time. Long-term it was unsustainable though. Same with any job the world over. In that industry, there was always a fresh and regular turnover of yacht skippers sold on the lifestyle. Dress it up how you like, but until that underlying issue is addressed, it'll be same-old, same-old.

Russ


Ways to recruit more foreign teachers

(Regarding the news that the Thai government wants to recruit thousands more foreign teachers) I sincerely believe that the issue isn't just one of pay. Of course, professionally qualified native English speakers demand high pay, but that's not what 95% of Thai schools actually need. You don't hire chefs at MacDonald's.

More (and better) people willing to teach would be lured to Thailand AND STAY LONGER if the conditions were changed. And there are many ways this could be done. Offering a path to citizenship, reducing the ridiculous red tape and expenses, having government-approved contracts covering hours and pay, etc, offering health and accident insurance... the list goes on. Despite what you may have heard from one government official, there are no serious, meaningful attempts to recruit able 'teachers' from abroad - and there never will be.

Mark


Vietnam is calling

Vietnam is calling

(Regarding the news that the Thai government wants to recruit thousands more foreign teachers) First of all, you need to increase the pay with inflation. Consider the countries you're competing against for teachers, which are paying higher. Also, you need to make it easier for teachers to stay. As it stands, there is an education degree requirement for the teachers license; teachers with no degree in education can only get a couple of waivers, and then have to leave after a few years thus depriving the country of individuals who have a few years experience under their belt, who are familiar with the culture and the language, in favour of backpackers who mainly just want an extended working holiday. As it is, having no education degree, I have one more year here and then I'm going to have to bid my home in Chiang Rai a fond farewell, and set my sail in the direction of Vietnam.

Jonathon


Please support The Hope Fair

The first Hope Fair of 2020 will be hosted on March 26th at the prestigious Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel, in the center of town, a few steps away from BTS Ratchadmri.

The Hope Fair is renowned on the Bangkok scene for its selection of 100 artisans and entrepreneurs offering quality products and services which can not be found elsewhere.

For the past 5 years, the Hope Fair has provided a unique shopping experience to the public offering crafts, art, fashion, and delicacies such as smoked fishes, foie gras, cheese, tamarind vinegar, vegan bread and pastries along with other treats prepared with love for all to enjoy!

Don’t hesitate to indulge yourself with clothes, accessories, home decor, and organic cosmetics. Or make your life easier by learning about innovative tools to support your daily life. Parents can also spoil their little ones with educational games, clothes and fun accessories .

Furthermore, all the vendors - designers, artisans and entrepreneurs - donate to the Mercy Centre, an orphanage in Klong Toey which supports the kids of the slums with financial and material aid.
During the fair, the foundation will be collecting shoes, clothes, or anything useful that can be reused by the less fortunate. Make some space in your cabinet and bring your donation treasures on March 26th!

Stay tuned! : https://www.facebook.com/events/135214437695684/

Posted by Ajarn


I made far more as a postman!

Most government schools here are paying about 30,000 baht a month - and they want you to have a degree! When I lived in Australia, I worked as a postman for a while and I was paid $27 an hour, then after 8 hours it went up to 1.5 times your hourly rate. After 10 hours it went to double time. The problem in Thailand is that the students want everything to be fun but do not want to put in the hard work. Thailand has caused it's own problems and there is no easy fix. If you are wondering why I didn't teach in Australia, go and ask any teacher what it is like working there!

Stewart


Name calling

Name calling

I have been called a farang, barang, gaijun, laowei and probably a few others (I was always struck there does not seem to be any catch-all informal phrase for Westerners in Vietnam). I find these terms are used far more often in a descriptive than an evaluative way. I have used them myself often enough. But of course they can, like any word used to classify people, be used as an insult.

It is probably a good idea to acknowledge the differences in acceptable behaviors coming from a more racially heterogeneous country where race and nationality are considered separate and a more racially homogeneous country where race and nationality are intertwined.

I remember one time I was in China (in a fairly small city without many foreigners) at a zoo. There was a little girl who was pointing at the animals and calling out their names (In Chinese of course). She would point and say, tiger, bird, monkey, and then pointed at me and yelled LAOWEI. Her mother tried to apologize, but instead we had a good laugh about it. Take your kids to the zoo and see all kinds of exotic animals, lions, tigers, monkeys and white people!

Maybe I should be more judgmental of the local cultures where I live, work and travel and be offended more often, but I am not sure how that would make my life here in Asia more profitable or enjoyable.

Jack


Whiteboard work

It’s interesting how we often take issues around boardwork for granted, even little things like how best to stand and write. Of course, so many seemingly ‘little’ things can end up being consequential.

I’m also reminded of a post by Anthony Ash called “Whiteboarding: the input session the CELTA forgot” which points out how this area can be neglected on TEFL courses and presents some really excellent whiteboard techniques. Finally, there’s an interesting resource on Twitter: the #ELTwhiteboard hashtag. It’s got about 600 posts tagged that way, most of which consist of EFL teachers the globe over sharing snapshots of their own whiteboard work from a lesson.

That hashtag shows how much of a class often goes ‘through’ a whiteboard, and how many different things it can end up as a canvas for. For example, in some of these pics you notice what is clearly students’ writing, perhaps from a board-race or class presentation. So there is another suggestion about how to approach your whiteboard: be careful not to guard it too closely; perhaps set a target of getting students using it at least once per class.

Matthew


As long as work is interesting.

As long as work is interesting.

I lived in Bangkok on less than 40,000 when I first arrived, and then later on a bit more than 40,000, and occasionally much more. For me, living in Bangkok on 40,000 (or less) was a pretty good life, but making more than that was better and making multiple times 40,000 was even better yet (but not multiple times better). But other readers might have had different experiences or have different viewpoints.

Personal opinion, as long as the work is interesting and your personal life is OK, making a decent salary is important, but having a high salary less so. Why not try to eventually have interesting work, a good personal life AND a bit more than an average income. It doesn't seem an impossible goal over one's lifetime.

Jack


Be thankful for what you have

I've been teaching in Thailand these last 14 years and everything has turned out so well, so far. At first some things appear difficult but once you are settled in your school and get adjusted to how things are, the day-to-day work becomes easy and routine. A piece of advice especially for the native English speakers, don't expect preferential treatment so you won't get disappointed. We Asians settle on our own without expecting free airport pick-up or any other similar sort of assistance. We don't complain and we never do. If you get lucky and get special assistance from your school/university, be thankful and grateful. But don't be so demanding. This is Thailand! Life isn't all beds of roses here, but I'm sure it's pretty much convenient living and working here than anywhere else in Asia.

Roy


The bait and switch Skype experience

The bait and switch Skype experience

My partner and I are going to Thailand in March for three weeks. We are getting hitched there and while holidaying I have a few interviews already lined up. I hate Skype interviews. Done that before when applying for a position in China and it's daunting! You read one thing on their ads and they will say things that don't match at all in those Skype interviews. Not my game for sure! Both interviews I am going to are from ajarn and I didn't even contact them! They saw my profile and hit me up. Lots of other school contacted me but I get pretty annoyed at how they don't show the salary on their ads nor do they want to say what it is via e-mail. They want to discuss salary over the Skype interview. No thanks! I wasted so much time on Skype interviews when I was seeking a position in China that now I can't be bothered wasting time, especially with 10+ years experience teaching.

Letty


Showing 10 Postbox letters interviews out of 644 total

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