How to land that teaching job
Five tips to make you stand out from the crowd
Time flies and before you know it, we'll be in the middle of the recruitment high season.
If you're currently looking for a teaching position to keep you busy over the coming year, then there are plenty of great opportunities out there, but there is also a lot of competition. In this post I'll be sharing a couple of ideas that can help you stand out from the crowd to land that position you're after.
1, What do you want to teach?
This may sound like common sense but a lot of teachers leave themselves open to teaching any level. The problem with this is that when you apply for a position you don't come across as someone with much experience.
Specifying the level you wish to teach shows that you have experience teaching, you enjoy teaching and you recognise your strengths (and weaknesses).
You will benefit from this in the long run because 12 months is a long a time when you're stuck teaching an age group you're unhappy with.
Finally, focusing on one area of teaching will help narrow your job search, enable you to tailor your CV and you will be better prepared for a demo lesson / interview.
2, The email
In order to make a favorable first impression your introductory email should be short and concise.
The teachers responsible for recruitment in Thai schools are usually teachers for whom teacher recruitment is just an addition responsibility they've been ‘awarded'. If they are advertising on a popular website such as Ajarn dot com, they will be getting hundreds of emails from perspective teachers (I once received over 1000 job applications from a single ad), so you need to stand out quickly.
Tips for standing out
- A clear message header
- A short introductory email which clearly promotes your selling points
- A CV attached as a Word document or PDF
- Links to any online profile, blogs, YouTube videos... that will support your application
- An appropriate photo
A photo is really important for schools in Thailand. It doesn't need to be as formal as a passport photo but it should be appropriate. Believe it or not, many recruiters still get a large number of perspective teachers emailing photos of themselves in beachwear, on nights out - and some rather disturbing selfies.
3, The CV (resume)
Keep your CV short (1-2 pages) and focus on the experience and skills that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
Obviously if you have an Education degree (or even a minor in Education) you need to make this clear on the front page of your CV.
But even if you've studied just one university course in an education related topic, you should still highlight it. It may just be one term during your Sociology minor that you focused on the role of education in society or perhaps you studied a single term on child psychology - you should still highlight it.
University education in Thailand is really important and any education related courses you've studied at university could help you stand out from the crowd.
Likewise with your work experience, include anything that relates to the position you will be teaching.
For instance, if your applying for a kindergarten position, you can should those two years of babysitting you did during college - but if you're applying to teach at a technical college, it will probably give the wrong impression.
4, Your online profile
Online profiles are a great way to present your skills and experience to potential employers. The Ajarn dot com online resume is ideal, LinkedIn is another great platform. I'd also recommend using a new website called branded.me which enables you to create a great looking CV.
If you have a blog, video blog or even an online photo album with teaching/learning/education content you should include a link to this in your opening email. This will show that you have genuine teaching experience, teaching is something you care about and you are tech savvy.
But be careful - your online profile could also cut your job hopes short. If your Facebook profile is full of photos from your nocturnal activities, make sure it's kept private and can't be linked to by the email on your application.
The quickest and easiest way to run a simple background check is google an email - if your Facebook page uses the same email as the email on your CV, you may have a problem.
Best to keep your professional life and personal life on separate emails
5, Demo lessons
Demo lessons are very common in Thailand. They provide employers with the opportunity to see you in actions before signing you up for 12 months.
If you are asked to teach a demo, find out as much as you can about the class and the lesson you are being asked to teach - asking questions, will also show the school you are serious about landing the position.
You can also ask what the observers are looking to see from your demo - is it just classroom management, is it your use of child-centered activities or maybe they just want to see your presence in the classroom.
If you get a chance to speak with teachers already working at the school, you could ask them what the school is looking to see from the demo.
Last minute vacancies
Finally, if you're not able to get a full time vacancy before the new school year begins do not despair. During the first month of the new school year most schools experience some sort of ‘complication' (such as a new teacher getting homesick, or a teacher that was great on paper turning out to be disastrous in the classroom) and this creates last minute vacancies. You just need to be in the right place at the right time.
Well I hope this helps and if you are looking for work at the moment, best of luck!
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All points in the article are relavent. The comments seem to based on after you got the job. if it is to good to be true than it probably is.
Personally getting the job is easy but do not expect to much.
Classroom control is a must. It also takes many attempts to get it right. My personal opinion which I learnt doing my education degree is fairness. Remember that Sunook does not mean "fun". It actually means interesting. If something is interesting it is normally fun. If you can add that to a demo lesson than you will find the kids saying to the teacher that they like you and when that happens you are pretty much in the door.
By T Mark, Chantaburi (1st May 2015)
Come on... these four replies are fakes, right? Jim called in 'responce' to an advert, Ana is 'expertise' in classroom management, Sandra taught 'midle' school and Joel hopes 'those advice' on this website will help him get positive 'result.' Surely these people aren't... reel!
By Mark Newman, Thailand (24th April 2015)
I find it difficult to believe anyone got 1000 applicants for a teaching job in Thailand.
Most schools have teachers teaching a range of ages so specifying a preference in near on pointless.
I doubt many schools have the time or inclination to check on line profiles.
I for one have worked in three different schools in bkk and this is how it worked.
first school- I was new to Thailand and teaching, I called in responce to an advert, met the head of English, had a chat and was then she asked if I would take the job. I thanked her and asked to sit in on a few classes first, which I did. I stayed there for three years
Second school- Met the American head of English, had a chat, offered the job. Left three months later due to his liees and failure to provide WP and Health insurance and his general attitude
Third school. Through an agent (who like many lied, cheated underpaid, charged tax and did not forward it to the tax dept) and I left after a month
Forth school. The third school liked me, sacked the agent and invited me back.
From my experience its all about getting your foot in the door and then being able to demonstrate you can do the job and more importantly the students enjoy your class and learn from it
Perhaps an article about how to deal with corrupt agents who charge tax and fail to pay it to the tax department would be a good idea
By jim, bkk (20th April 2015)
I am glad to read that because I love kids and I love teaching I am a grade 1 teacher in Montessori school I am expertise in classroom management and also a demonstration teacher in K-12 curriculum
By Ana RÃ´sita I. Teodorico, Philippines (10th April 2015)
Hi! I have been an english teacher for 5 years in mexico. I enjoy teaching business to different companies, but i have thought all levels, any ages. I studied all midle school and high school in the USA, and I just finished a career in international business here in Mexico. I would love to travel abroad and teach in the middle east. Could you please contact me. I would like to have more information, specially about teaching for companies.
By sandra samano, San Luis Potosi, Mexico (9th April 2015)
Those advice really help me to pursue my desire to teach in Thailand. I'm a Montessori preschool teacher for 15 years and I love to share my ideas and expertise when it comes to classroom management. I love teaching kids and it will be a great opportunity if my application will get positive result.
By Joel m. Fontanilla, Philippines (19th March 2015)