Submit your own Great Escape


Tyler

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Moving to China or possibly Korea next.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

A little longer than a year.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

I left when the floods hit Bangkok but the "no fail" policy set out by the Thai schools had been wearing on me for some time. They were constantly asking about how things could be improved but never acted on my advice.

For example: in the school I taught in, 2--3 different teachers would teach the exact same subject to the exact same class but at different times. There was no direction from the head of the English department (a Thai) and none of the teachers would communicate to each other about what they were doing. When I proposed a solution, they just shrugged it off.

Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?

The pay you get in Thailand is very low. Yes, it helps that food and living in Thailand is cheap but not all schools will cover expenses such as visas, room and board, etc. The little amount of money you make gets used up surprisingly fast with these expenses that are often covered by schools in other countries.

The pay you get in Thailand will be enough for you to get by comfortably. If you would like to go home for the holidays, you'll have a hard time of it.

I suggest getting private students on the side. You can make good money doing this.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

I miss so much about Thailand. At the top of the list is the food. Once I was able to withstand the full level of Thai spicy, I have had trouble finding Thai food that compares.

I also miss how cheap everything is. A meal on the street for one dollar, that often tastes great. A 20 min taxi ride across town for only five dollars. A giant, two story, three bedroom house for only three hundred dollars a month.

And who can't help but miss the beautiful south of Thailand? From the famous islands of Phi Phi to the lesser known islands.

Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?

Teaching in Thailand is a good experience. Thai kids are unbelievably cute and fun. However, if you are expecting to make a difference in the kids lives beyond entertaining them, I don't recommend it.

The Thai people do not like confrontation of any kind. They love to talk about you behind your back though. Because of the aversion to confrontation (and possibly for money reasons too), they have a no fail policy for their students.

You can have a student who hardly shows up to your class and when he does, he goofs off the whole time. Then, when he is taking his tests (not administered by you), the Thai teachers help him to cheat on the test. And, if he still gets bad marks on his test, even with the Thai teachers spoon feeding him the answers, he will still get an above average grade on his test -- even if you write down that he failed.

This is the root of the problem, I believe. If students who didn't get results, or even try, and they had to go home to their parents and face the music, some progress could be made.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Of course. Most likely for vacation though.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

If you do wind up buying a motorbike, be very careful. The Thais are crazy drivers. Many people get injured/killed regularly in automobile accidents in Thailand. On one night alone (New Years Eve) there were 150 automobile related deaths and 300 injuries. This was just from one night and only from automobiles.

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