Q1. Where did you move to and when?
I moved back to England in early January 2024
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
I was there for about a year and a half and worked for three different agencies at three different schools in Bangkok or just outside Bangkok. It all just blends into one big city really.
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
I couldn't make teaching in Thailand work for me, not on 35-40K a month. I got tired of being messed around by teaching agencies and their empty promises and their inability to take care of their teachers. I was pretty much left to sink or swim at every school I worked at, and sort out the numerous problems myself. It wore me down until I decided enough was enough. And all the while, you're working out daily budgets to survive and to try and keep your sanity. I'm happy back in England but I bet my mental health took a battering over there.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
England is home! I just needed the Thailand experience to help me realise it. I'm amongst family and friends here. I'm earning a wage that I can live comfortably on.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
I really miss the Thai friends I made at a couple of the schools. These were people who really did do their best to help me out whever I encountered a bad situation. Most of what Thailand offers a low-paid foreign teacher, I just tolerated.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
Difficult to answer because although teaching in Thailand didn't suit me, it may well suit others. I always think it helps if you are something of a free spirit and have no real family ties back home.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
I might come back for a holiday but I'm not exactly aching to return.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
I'm sure there are some excellent teaching agencies out there but I never found one. I guess the more questionable companies prey on teachers like me who are short on qualifications but brimming with enthusiasm (at least in the early stages) Choose wisely who you work for if you go the agency route. Look for any reviews on-line and see if you can spot any red flags.
Anyone considering teaching in Thailand should not be fooled by its appeal, which can be experienced on a vacation there. The obvious beauty of the country makes a vacationing teacher imagine living there. But living and working there is a whole different ball game, as I imagine is the rule for anywhere abroad.