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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Native English speakers: start respecting yourselves!

1. Earning a bachelor's degree is very expensive.
2. The cost of living in Thailand is getting higher.
3. Getting a license from Krusapa is much more difficult than in the past.
It is high time for native speakers to start respecting themselves and stop accepting ridiculous job offers. Stop allowing yourselves to be exploited by schools and greedy middlemen. Native speakers should not accept offers below 60,000 Thai baht and insist on 12-month contracts.

Jason


The tables have turned for NES teachers!

The tables have turned for NES teachers!

The C-19 pandemic and changes in the global labor market have resulted in fewer NES teachers coming to Thailand to seek work. Where once potential recruiters appear to have held all the cards, resulting in low wages and poor working conditions. It seems like the tables are turning, certainly for those of us that are NES teachers. Across the board, wages have certainly risen over the past two years, and one can find a relatively well-paid position if they exercise some patience.

I am teaching in a tier 2 international school with a package that includes a 70k baht monthly salary, yearly return flights to the UK, excellent health insurance and a provident fund. This is in Chiang Mai where the wages are lower than Bangkok. I have no doubt I could find a position in Bangkok that pays 80k baht or more. I have friends that have acquired similar positions over the last couple of years. That’s despite none of us holding QTS, though we all have some sort of teaching qualification, be it a PGCEi or a Masters. For too long we have under-valued ourselves, and under-valued the demand for NES teachers here in Thailand.

We have been fed the myth that a ‘low cost of living’ and Thailand being a ‘developing nation’ are reasons for paltry wages and poor working conditions. For those of you that are NES teachers, the time is now for you to make the change and improve your lot. There are plenty of positions out there, and you are much more sought after than you think. So, don’t be afraid to ask for an extra 5-10k baht a month, demand the best health insurance, and stop being taken advantage of!

Brendan


Any cricketers out there?

Any cricketers out there?

For anyone who loves their sport, do you know there is a thriving cricket scene in Bangkok? Currently, there are about 30 teams competing in three separate leagues. The type of cricket played ranges from 50 overs-a-side Premier League level to the less demanding 25 overs-a-side A and B divisions. Added to these there are T20 competitions and various 6-a-side tournaments. So basically for cricketers from all backgrounds there is plenty of opportunity to play and enjoy the game which took up your summers back home.

Siam Cricket Club - or the Siam Parrots as we are commonly known - is one of Bangkok’s oldest existing clubs with a history going back to the beginning of the millennium. We are a club founded by ex-pats and pride ourselves on our family atmosphere and our spirit of community. Many of the original Parrots were from Australia, New Zealand, UK and South Africa but over the years the club has attracted players from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Caribbean United States and even Canada. The club has also been instrumental in promoting youth cricket in Thailand itself and, for this reason, is well respected within the broader Thai cricket scene. Currently our club contains members from all around the world and in this sense we are a truly inclusive international community united by our love for the grand old game.

Perhaps most importantly, the Parrots are a club that places great emphasis on enjoying the cricket we play. We are a social unit that displays great camaraderie toward each other whether we win or lose. Our culture is rooted in the rituals and traditions of club cricket and we are open to players of all ages and all levels. Our ethos is cricket’s ethos – that of fairness and honesty.

The Parrots are on the look-out for players to boost membership and to help both our Premier League and Second XI teams prepare for the upcoming Bangkok cricket season. So if you want to play cricket, make friends and generally improve the quality of your social life, in your home away from home, we would love to hear from you. Just send an email to siamcc2022@gmail.com and we’ll be in touch.

Nicholas


Necessary qualifications for teaching?

Necessary qualifications for teaching?

Hi there, my partner and I would be very interested in teaching in Thailand. She has a degree but I am only degree level via a UK, NVQ level 6. This is officially seen as a bachelor degree level of training and I include the UK government paper to say this. https://www.gov.uk/what-different-qualification-levels-mean/list-of-qualification-levels. I have had conflicting reports that yes this is fine and no it is not. Does any one have any recent experience with this?

Paul


Any advice for teaching young learners?

I am facing difficulty with my 4-year old students who can't seem to hit that light bulb moment from what a letter sounds like and comprehending the meaning of the word. Jolly phonics is big on my school but I think it's lacking terribly in teaching the kids to listen, talk, ask questions. I feel like Helen Keller's teacher most of the time. Any sage advice would be greatly appreciated

Sandra


No effort can still mean a good grade

No effort can still mean a good grade

At my school everyone gets a grade of at least 50%. We have two written exams that make up for 60% of your total score (30 each). Then there's 15% for listening, 15% for speaking and 10% for work effort. Smart kids who don't make the effort know they can just do well in the exams and their final score will still be good. Lazy students will always get 50% for every category. Students who are smart and work hard only score a little higher (relatively speaking) than the smart and lazy kids. Weaker kids who try very hard also only score a little higher than weaker kids who don't care.

So for example, lazy kids who do nothing will get 50%. Lazy kids who are smart often get between 70-80%. I still have to give at least 5% for work effort. Meanwhile, the students who try the hardest don't really get much of a reward. A kid can do literally sod all and still get 50%. Actually, that's a lie. If they're late paying their tuition fees, they get sod all until they've paid.

Brian


Drummer wanted

We are the Gang of Rock, two Germans, one Thai and one Dutchman and we have a professional studio with a drum kit near Sukhothai. We play with two drummers, one Thai music teacher who has little time and one German who still lives in Germany half of the time. We would like to get to know one more drummer who also loves to play in a steady band. My name is Ed Hüpscher my telephone# is 0861774232, my e-mail address is ehupscher@yahoo.com
If you would like to see us watch us on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2M5rF83uJ7A&t=2054s

Ed Hüpscher


Observations from a teacher recruiter's chair

Observations from a teacher recruiter's chair

I currently work for a school that employs about 20 native-speaking teachers. I've been working for this school for nearly 15 years. I started at the school when teachers were directly employed by the school. In fact, for a few years, I was the only teacher to be employed directly by the school. All the old teachers left and the new ones were sent to us by an agency.

When teachers were employed by the school, they generally stayed longer and were a better bunch. They were paid more and got more holiday, etc. I definitely remember them being a happier bunch. When the agency took over, we would go through teachers like no one's business. They were paid anything between 30-41K. Teachers who were allowed to come and go got 30-33k a month, and teachers who had to be there all the time got about 37-41k. I was on about 48K at the time and got a lot more holiday and freedom.

This was a farang-run agency who I believe went under during the pandemic. I hope to god they didn't rebrand and that they're nowhere near schools anymore. What I remember of the 8 years working alongside these agency teachers is that most were miserable. The agency was always on top of them. Often berating them and trying to find ways to take money out of their salary. I could be wrong, and the teachers I spoke to could have been economical with the truth but when enough people tell you the same horror stories, it's hard not to believe. Honestly, some of the stories I heard made me question my faith in humanity. How an agency with two farangs in charge could not only be so bad at their jobs, but treat their staff so abhorrently, really bothered me.

My school now employs directly again and I have a big hand in who we employ. Our starting salary is 50K and we get nice long holidays. Sure, we get the odd bad teacher now and again, but for the most part, 90% of the teachers who work or have worked with us are happy. I had to basically beg my school to take onboard my advice on who to employ. I told them to avoid hiring younger teachers. No offence to younger teachers, but they generally don't care as much and treat the job like it's a working holiday. We usually look for teachers aged 30-60 who are settled here, with spouses, kids and a home. They always seem very grateful to have a stable income with very few hassles.

If you have any hand in employing teachers, and you're only interested in warm bodies in the classroom and paying the very least, you're going to attract the worst kind. Shame on you for doing that. But if you actually take the time to read cover letters, read CV's and try to get a feel for the person applying, your life will be so much easier. Sure, it's a hard slog at the beginning to find decent people, but once they're there, doing their job, being happy and and wanting to show their loyalty, you have such a great work environment. It's very much just common sense with a side of decency. For the most part we employ good teachers. I'm most definitely not a recruitment expert. I'm just not a scumbag who knows how to interact with my fellow human beings.

Brian


Bring back real discipline

Real discipline (corporal punishment) needs to be brought back ASAP globally - if not for the teacher, but for the kids themselves. Not having consequences for actions and slack discipline does not help the kids in the long run. In fact it damages their social interactions, and their abilities to interact normally in society later on. You could say we owe it to them to administer strict discipline!

You simply cannot take a namby pamby approach as many so called educators have been writing about for years in their papers and getting praised and their works published. The reason being it resonates with the official snowflake agenda. You know the old... "It's barbaric, Oh you have to engage them", or the gaslighting approach they try on you.. well it's all your fault! You didn't do X or you didn't do Y. Always a story coz little Somchai is not doing well in his studies. Of course it's never his fault god forbid!

Finally, a lot of newly qualified teachers will say this or say that based upon their woke indoctrination, oops sorry the education they've been through at university. It's time to start questioning the official wishy-washy ways and restore discipline and real learning back into classrooms instead of fawning to kids wishes because you're afraid you'll be labelled mai sanuk!

Dave


A 12-month contract is a must

A 12-month contract is a must

A long time ago I used the services of one agency and got a 9.5 month contract. It was my first job. A year later, my school resigned from the services of the agency and offered a 12-month contract. Was this some kind of miracle? No. Simply put, the money for my hard work went to me, not to a greedy middleman. Of course, some agency employees will claim that 9 or 10-month contracts are the norm, but this is obviously not true. They just want to save their faces. Good schools and good agencies take care of their teachers and offer 12-month contracts.

John


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