Diary of a Thai football season
Following last season's relegation, how will Samut Prakan City fare in the Thai second division?
34 league games plus FA Cup and League Cup, including trips to Chiang Mai, Udon Thani, Phrae, Ranong, Krabi and Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Writing on the board
Where do you stand as a teacher?
Classroom management problems are more likely when a teacher is not keeping an eye on the class, so turning your back to the students is not a good idea. Teachers do that when they write on the board.
The Filipino issue
Are they native speakers?
In my opinion, Filipinos sometimes get agitated because of the general attitude towards them. I agree that it can get frustrating when your umpteenth job application is turned down. You pick up the phone to try to find out why your services are not wanted and you are told that the school doesn’t hire Filipino teachers.
Where can expat teachers in Thailand find mental health support?
Let me share with you a number of channels where support is available.
The No.1 thing to remember here is that mental health issues are just like physical health issues: lots of people have them. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help
Let's hear it for the laundry woman!
How you miss her when she's gone
The relationship with your regular laundry woman is special. She's the woman who makes sure you stroll confidently into the classroom or office with immaculate creases and a blaze of brilliant whiteness that is the envy of your colleagues.
16 teaching rules I live by
Some of these techniques you might find useful.
When students talk out of turn and are disrupting the flow of the lesson, I look directly at them and start a loud slow count from one up five. This generally works as the students have been programmed by their Thai teachers from an early age that a full count of five is swiftly followed by something highly unpleasant.
What you can learn working with colleagues from different countries
Everyone has something to offer you
Overall, I really enjoy having a true international environment at work. The chance to work and meet people from so many countries has improved me as a teacher and allowed me to learn a lot about other cultures.
Common law and common sense
In Thailand, the ‘rule of law' is often just a guideline and last resort
One of the biggest grievances of expats living in Thailand is the enforcement of laws. In every aspect of Thai society from murder to littering, there seems to be a casual enforcement of the law.
Are TEFL qualifications necessary?
Let's consider what can go wrong after TEFL courses.
One argument against qualifications is that teaching experience itself is enough to guarantee a good teacher. Not so. I have recently been learning French in an institution where my intermediate classmates are often poor performers in their out-of-class interactions. And for what reason?
Why become an English teacher?
A job that brings challenges and rewards every single day
When it comes to picking your dream job, some options just leap out at you. Wine taster, travel writer, movie critic: who wouldn’t fancy any of those? Teaching, on the other hand, is a more maligned profession.
One aspect of Thai culture that must be the envy of the world
We foreigners may see some aspects of Thai culture as idiosyncratic, but it truly warms my heart when I see even young people in Thailand getting along in spite of personal differences
Useful classroom management techniques
These ideas have all worked for me!
If you have something the students want then you have a big asset in keeping your class under control. I have developed a few games and props that the kids love and I will use them when they start to tire or lose focus on a more testing part of the curriculum.
Keeping your job application out of the bin
How to stand out from the job application crowd
Applying for jobs is always tedious and can take up copious amounts of time especially if you are tailoring each application for specific positions. I can't speak for all employers but for anyone applying for jobs I can offer advice based around what I look for when filling any position.
Why education reform in Thailand is imminent
The Thai MOE surely has to begin the formal development of rules and regulations.
If the Thai education system was in fact reformed where certifications and teachers qualifications were vetted, then so-called teachers would indeed have to resort to “flipping burgers” in their native countries simply because they have no real qualifications to represent themselves as teachers.
Life itself is irony
A teacher's journey - different countries, different jobs.
Believe me I am thankful to be a teacher in Thailand today. Ironically I had to leave Thailand to get the best job I have ever had here.
Grammar vs speech
Differing techniques inside the classroom
In my experience, students recite a grammar rule or know the rule or learn the rule and maybe even vaguely understand the rule, but then you ask them a basic question and they don't understand.
Are they binding, and if so, how?
Let’s face it, when a teacher realizes they made a mistake by taking the job, or have suddenly found another school that will pay them more money, they will try to get out of the contract. Many just up and leave with no word or thought for the mess they are leaving behind.
In loving memory of Kuya Ben: A teacher and a friend
I met Kuya Ben (Kuya means older brother) through a co-teacher a month after I arrived in Thailand.
We had our last dinner in one of those makeshift restaurants that come alive only at night along Thailand sidewalks. The buzzing sound of cars and passers-by made me listen hard as to what he had said. Lost in his thoughts and blank gaze, he told me that life is short. The past should not hold me back from life and its kindness.
Failures in sarcasm
When a lesson plan can all go horribly wrong
Even when I try to tone down my sarcasm, those rascally comments still slip from my lips! I know that my students are vaguely aware of sarcasm but they don't quite understand it and they certainly would never use it on their own.
Be honest with yourself
Every teacher has made mistakes - including you!
I've read many teaching blogs down the years and I generally enjoy hearing about other people's experiences. However there is one thing I'd like to see more of - honesty
All hail the mighty khao pat gai
Boring yes, but never a dish to be underestimated
How many times have I been out for dinner with a group of Thai friends and that enormous bowl of khao pat gai has saved the day?
Finding a job in Thailand - the basics
From one newbie to another
If you're considering coming to Thailand on your own to find work as an English teacher, I promise you can do it.
Getting a job interview - part 3
Legwork and salary negotiations
I was finally being offered teaching roles but the salary was typically around the 20,000 mark and that was just too low to consider. On the other hand, in most cases I would be the only Westerner at the school.
Reflections on how technology has changed the way we travel
We have lost our identities; we are lost to ourselves. We are but a series of endless reactions to online stimuli. Before we have time to think and form our own perspective on anything, we are looking to see what our family, friends, and peers said; what the reviewers said; what the online influencers said; what the experts said.
The selfish generation
Covidiots and their dangerous ways
Unfortunately, the coronavirus has not brought out the best in us. To the contrary, it has brought out the worst in us. It has thrown the curtains wide open to reveal a human population so scientifically ignorant, many seem to be regressing back to a time of human sacrifice.
Beta testers wanted!
Testers who provide useful feedback will be given additional free materials as they are developed
California Accent provides over 300 TEFL lessons organized into 16 courses and 5 curriculums. These lessons are intended to be used by TEFL teachers in Thailand to supplement (not replace) the standard teaching materials issued by the provincial administrative organizations.
Teaching in Thailand post COVID-19
The 'new normal'
What does the future hold for education in Thailand? With the “new normal” in full swing, a “tourism reset” on the way, will there be any other meaningful changes in education, as some are hoping for?
Five myths about being a TEFL teacher
I'm sick of the moaners.....I really am!
I am sick and fed up of people coming out to Thailand with stupid misconceptions and then moaning about how awful it is to live in Thailand. Shut up and go home then!
How to gain teaching experience when you have none
Could lack of experience be the reason why schools aren't replying to your job applications?
When I realised that I was an inexperienced teacher, I decided to create my own life-changing “teacher training program”. These are things I did to pack my resume with relevant teaching skills and experience, which I believe helped secure my first teaching job.
The pee, the nong and the wai
Aspects of Thai culture
Although ajarn.com has never shirked from handing out some just criticism on Thai education and culture I felt it was only fair to balance worthy criticism with worthy praise.
My experiences of working in a college in Bangkok (part 7)
Poor facilities and poor student attendance make teaching difficult.
Many of the students had taken out loans to come to this school. The loans could often be too much for their families to repay and they’d need to drop out for financial reasons, and end up leaving the school with no degree and a staggering pile of debt that their families would struggle to repay.
- My experiences of working in a college in Bangkok (part 6)
- My experiences of working in a college in Bangkok (part 5)
- My experiences of working in a college in Bangkok (part 4)
- My experiences of working in a college in Bangkok (part 3)
- My experiences of working in a college in Bangkok (part 2)
- My experiences of working at a college in Bangkok (part 1)
The teacher mindset
English teachers are all business owners
In Thailand, I have found that people quickly get labeled and categorized as either good or bad, helpful or unhelpful, good teachers or bad teachers, etc. Then once you are labeled it is a long and difficult process of changing your projected image.
Dealing with the troublemakers
Discipline: tips on control in the classroom
Troublemakers. We have all seen them do their thing, causing mayhem and disorder in the classroom; perhaps you were even one yourself at some point during your time as a student. Troublemakers are the bane of every teacher's existence and they make our job go from difficult to pounding headache and hair-tearing proportions.
Dr. A.E Schneider
Things I learned about recommending students for graduate and professional school
Ways to truly support students’ path forward
Once applicants have accurately assessed their skill set, standing out amongst the crowd of outstanding applicants is surprisingly straightforward and achievable with enough hard work and preparation.
Three fun warm-up activities
Games designed to get students focused on using English and getting comfortable with their classmates.
Have fun with these games and consider joining in with your students! Great EFL warm-up activities really set the tone for a great class. Enjoy!
What I didn’t learn in my 100-hour online ESL course
I can see my skin through my dress shirt because the thin layer of fine linen is totally soaked through. In short, it’s too hot to care about anything academic.
Excuse me, haven’t we met before?
A satirical look at TEFL personality types
If you’re just an average teacher struggling along in a sea of two legged sharks trying to do your best give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, because you sir or madam are gold dust.