Ajarn Street

We've landed!

I was looking for a job and then I found a job

When I shared our predicament with the world (via Ajarn.com) a couple of weeks ago, I was faced with two differing tones of advice; the positive and the cynical. The cynics didn't feel the need to "advise" as such. They were content with predicting our enthusiasm would flat-line in the face of reality. "I'd like to read the 6 month follow up" was one. "It will be interesting to see how long the honeymoon will last" tweeted another.

Well, almost immediately, the gods of good fortune appeared in the shape of a wonderful opportunity to teach children on a paradise island, working for a very kind and supportive employer at a small international school. This was more representative of the positivity we encountered in the form of emails and comments advising me that with a PGCE, I should accept nothing less than a small fortune at one of the prestigious international schools.

This school, which I shan't name, was in a genuine predicament whereby we were needed immediately. This simply wasn't plausible and with a heavy heart, we said no to the right opportunity at the wrong time. Spurred on by this interest and the positivity (and a little by the desire to prove the cynics wrong) I took being pro-active to a different level!

Jane is happy to be independent but I know she would prefer us to work together for at least our first job, until she finds her feet. She has a degree and is in the process of gaining a CELTA so it would be hard for us to work together at an international school anyway. I was, however, slightly concerned with all of the horror stories I've come across since I began to research. Every other article on Ajarn.com seems to be a criticism of the Thai education system or the lack of a best practice mentality in schools.

Then one fine morning last week, I received an email from a private Thai EP school that I had applied to way back at the start of my job search, offering me an interview. The only available date was at 8am on a Monday morning via Skype. I didn't even own a Skype account! So, I began researching the school and got my tech-savvy sister to set me up with the account and a webcam (in the end the interview was conducted as a voice only call, thank god) in time for the big day.

The interview went well and I was offered the job within the week. What's more, they contacted Jane and advised her that they would consider her for a position at their language centre on the same campus, when they begin their recruitment in January. We couldn't believe our luck! We will be earning close to international school pay and benefits, for teaching Thai kids.

I am aware that these are likely to be affluent Thai kids and that it will be a very different experience to one which we would gain at a government school but I'm still pleased that I will be surrounded by Thai children in my first teaching post. The Australian Director who interviewed me was upfront and honest about the many pros and cons that await me and I'm delighted to say that I am as keen, enthusiastic and positive as I ever was! To the cynics, I say fear not! Should I suddenly tumble off of cloud number 9, you shall be the first to hear my disgruntled account on Ajarn.com

Jane still has four weeks of her course left so she can't relax as much as I have but for me, the fun part of waiting has begun. The flights are booked and pre-work travels are being decided upon. For better or worse, Thailand, here we come!!!

Bob Smith


I am in the early stages of planning a move to Thailand in April to take the CELTA course at the IH of Chiang Mai, and plan to look for a teaching job thereafter. I would love to hear how your job worked out, since you had it secured prior to arriving in Thailand. Everything I have read said that's a huge mistake, and that you are often lied to about salary, vacation time, and benefits. Any and all insight that you could offer would be most appreciated!!

By Patricia, United States (2nd December 2013)

Great. But the fact that so many teachers in Thailand are cynics should at least nudge you to look into the reason why they are. And the reasons are many. No English teacher coming to Thailand ever starts the job in a despondent state of mind.

By Jeremy, Udon Thani (30th November 2013)

Or I hope Raif never finds himself 'happy in the haze of a drunken hour' - not in class anyway LOL

By philip, (27th November 2013)

'I was looking for a job, and then I found a job
And heaven knows I'm miserable now'

I hope the second part of this song lyric by The Smiths doesn't come true!

By Tony Mitchell, Pathumthani (27th November 2013)

Fantastic good to see your persistence paid off. Never listen to cynics get over here and enjoy it.

By Andy, Udon Thani (25th November 2013)

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