Q1. Where did you move to and when?
I moved to America on August 4th, 2023
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
1. Low salary - about $1000 a month ( I have a masters' in math and 10+ years experience
2. The directors complaining about the "high salary" of farang and scolding them.
3. Students who would rather complain than study
4. The school cancelled the paid holiday in the Summer
5. There was no respect for my legitimate expertise or experience
6. Competing with cell phones and iPads
7. Everything needs to be "easy" and "fun"
8. Constant in-fighting between teachers
9. Being disrespected by "leadership"
10. Missing the food I have loved and cannot find or have to pay so much for in Thailand
11. Gate duty at 0700 am to 0830 am
12. Being constantly told what clothes to wear
13. Despite the fact that there is an entrance exam, many students who could not speak English found there way into the program and there was no warning.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
1. Much more salary, and many many holidays
2. I am teaching at a university, so I can actually get through a lecture
3. Money going into a retirement fund
4. Teaching classes I am more suited for and also a lighter load
5. I don't have a set schedule except for the classes I teach
6. Like a grown man, I can dress myself
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
1. I will miss how polite most people are in public
2. How will miss how kind the people are in general
3. Economical and sincere entertainment
4. The friendliness in general
5. The modesty inherent in some of the culture
6. The way that people respect their flag and country (for the most part)
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
It depends on the what the teacher is looking for. I would say if you are an English teacher, life may be a lot easier than a STEM teacher in a bilingual or EP program. If you are a STEM teacher (especially mathematics) I would say that I had a great time teaching students in China and the pay was much higher!
Q7. Anything else you'd like to add?
Remember, it's always hot in Thailand. If you are not a morning person, you will suffer. Going to work at 7 am in the jungle heat to be met by mosquitos in your desk is not great. Get used to the 'mai pen rai' attitude. If you want something mellow and stable, where there is just minimal effort required of students (and possibly you) it's fine. I imagined what it would be like to become a fixture in this school and stay for a long time, but I suspect your commitment, devotion and dedication will have to be their own reward.
Q8. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
I will visit, but I will never work for a high school again. Perhaps it's a possibility if I could teach at a university for a much larger salary.