It's not so much that I've had enough of Thailand, it's just teaching really. A bit of background info before I start.
I moved to Bangkok at the tender, yet dangerous age of 22, I'm now 26. I dropped out at the end of my second year of an electrical engineering apprenticeship in York, UK. Yes, I know that was a bad decision.
I work full-time (Monday to Friday) at a school in central Bangkok and have an extra job on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings between 6pm and 8pm. The salary from the school is 43,000 baht a month and the other work brings between 9,000 - 12,000 baht a month depending on how many Tuesdays and Thursdays fall within the month.
The money is good seeing as I just came over here and completed a 4-week TESOL course and jumped straight into the classroom. Anyway, time to give teaching in Thailand some well deserved abuse..
The daily grind
Starting work at 7.30am until 5.00pm everyday and doing 24 periods a week is a millimeter short of being shafted in the ring-piece by a 12 incher. Some would say it's 10 inches deep already. (please don't visualize that) So usually I have five lessons a day, with some days waiting up to three hours just to scan my thumb on the scan-in/out machine at 5.00 pm so I can go home. It drives me insane.
I'd say a good 90% of teachers at my school are women over the age of 50 and in addition, they have worked there 20 years or more. So nobody is open to change.
They bitch and gossip more than Alan Sugar and Piers Morgan on Twitter, which is saying something. I would say a solid 100% of the time it's about me or the other foreign teachers getting paid double their salary, or how we get away with stuff, or why the English staff get a bigger budget on special days, or why we have little or no respect, or why we are trying to improve things (read that as 'interfering')
Need I go on? It just makes the daily grind of going to work much more dreadful. The fact is I have looked for other schools to work at but it's always been difficult to find a job with a big enough difference to merit pursuing a long-term career in teaching.
How I made my decision
When I moved to Thailand to try out teaching, I moved here with my best mate. We planned the whole thing together. However, he saw the light after eight months as a bit player in the teaching panto and decided more money could be earned elsewhere, while still maintaining a life in Thailand. He helped me make my decision.
So I decided to put together my savings and basically invest £10,000 in myself. I booked myself on to numerous courses, all of which are held in the UK and also a three-week course in Denmark to give myself a career in renewable energy (wind turbines to be precise).
This kind of work is done on a rotation system ranging from two weeks on / two weeks off or three weeks to one week or five to two, etc
The money is a decent sum too. The sector I want to work in is turbine blade repair, which on average brings in £2,000 a week. Doing this will allow me to live here and work away from Thailand in a job that is far more up my street.
The desire is dead
Unfortunately blade repair is a seasonal job running from April to November. This leaves me with two options; firstly, pack up and do one back to England or secondly, drag myself to the end of the school year (a decent bonus from school comes with that too).
I have decided to drag myself through to the year's end but my desire, effort and personality at school are all near non-existent. I don't let it show in the classroom, or at least I don't think I do, but knowing the end is so near is making everyday feel like a year.
Thanks for reading.
By the way. I'm not dissing teaching in Thailand at all. It didn't work for me under my circumstances but many of my friends here have carved out a very successful teaching career and still really enjoy it.
It just hasn't worked for me.