Parvez Amlani

Parvez Amlani

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.

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Lee Lepper

Lee Lepper

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.

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Sion Binalon

Sion Binalon

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.

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Karisa Blake

Karisa Blake

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.

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Mickey Sheehan

Mickey Sheehan

All hail the mighty khao pat gai

Boring yes, but never a dish to be underestimated


Phil Hall

Phil Hall

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.

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Jesse Sessoms

Jesse Sessoms

Species extinction

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.

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Mark Brown

Mark Brown

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.

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Parin Hemtanon

Parin Hemtanon

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.

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Nick Tarver

Nick Tarver

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.

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Kink Bundy

Kink Bundy

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.

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Charles Green

Charles Green

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.

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Ace in Asia

Ace in Asia

Secret classroom management techniques

Some tips for controlling students


In the beginning days and weeks, you have to be more stern, that's just the way it is. Don't be too playful. In fact don't be playful at all. You have to show the students that you mean business.

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Dr. A.E Schneider

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.

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Jocelyn Pollak

Jocelyn Pollak

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!

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John V

John V

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.

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Maya Dattani

Maya Dattani

What to expect when you move to Thailand

Life in the sticks and other oddities


I packed my bags and moved to Thailand to eventually become an English teacher. I was offered jobs in different parts of Thailand, but I quickly decided to move to a village in the North East region of Thailand, as opposed to a city. Moving from a city in Canada to a village in Thailand is a radical change but it's the type of challenge I was looking for.

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Todd Persaud

Todd Persaud

Get it down on paper!

The secret to managing office politics


Conflict in a workplace can pop up unexpectedly. This is why it’s necessary for you to write things down. This way, when it comes time to defend yourself or to shed light on the matter you can look back to your notes and bring up exactly what happened

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Blake Sibbitt

Blake Sibbitt

The best place to live in Bangkok for teachers

Onnud has got the lot!


In the past, all we had was a Tesco, Big C and the beer garden. It was pretty barren. But it's distance from the "city center" and subsequent lower rents, while still having access to the BTS, has made it a popular choice for expats.

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FIRE in Thailand

FIRE in Thailand

What does your retirement from teaching look like?

There's no excuse not to invest and plan.


Planning for retirement doesn't have to be complicated. All you have to do is spend less than you make and invest the difference for the long-term. That's it. I know you are thinking that's easier said than done, but start small.

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Steve Catchpole

Steve Catchpole

Peter and Nadine

When teaching careers end before they've even started.


Although teaching in Thailand can sound like one big adventure, I'm convinced that some people are not really built to leave home. Teaching in Thailand is just not for them. It's too much of a leap into the unknown.

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Matthew Pape

Matthew Pape

The worst type of foreigner

Why bash other people's lifestyles and situations?


I live in a closet with no air-con and a fan. I live off of a diet of air, water and noodles. Sure, I can't afford to travel, save for retirement, get my own place and I haven't seen my family for years because I can't afford a ticket to go home and visit them, but I am living the Thai lifestyle man!

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Joko MacKenna

Joko MacKenna

Monsoon!

Surviving Myanmar's rainy season


William Putnam

William Putnam

The value of a bohemian life

Free time v the pursuit of extra income?


As teachers in Thailand, we all try to maximize our earnings by taking on extra classes during our evenings and weekends. However, if we have no dependents or financial worries at home, is this really the best way to go about living in a laid-back place like Thailand?

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Benito Vacio

Benito Vacio

Back in the groove

How do Filipino teachers feel on returning home from teaching abroad?


Last month I shared with you my findings about the numerous reasons why many Filipino English teachers in Thailand have started returning to their country, the Philippines. This time, let us see what our Filipino friends have to say after staying in Thailand for 5-10 years and for settling back in their motherland.

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Peter Clarke

Peter Clarke

Interesting Thailand stuff - October 2016

A selection of hand-picked Thailand blogs and articles


Curt Crossley

Curt Crossley

The winning cover letter

And how to write a losing cover letter of course


The letter itself should be relatively short and to the point. I would suggest no more than 3-5 paragraphs. The first paragraph notes your interest in the specific school and specific job listed, and reinforces that your qualifications meet the qualifications sought by the employer.

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Paul Muir

Paul Muir

Thai cuisine and The Royal Court

Some fascinating historical aspects of Thai food


The contribution of the royal court to the cooking of Thai food is perhaps more significant than in any other nation.

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Nathan Murphy

Nathan Murphy

Is the drought over?

My experiences with water shortages in Thailand


I have lived with drought restrictions in Australia, but nothing like this. The dam at the back of the town has been bone dry, with any rain simply falling down the cracks.

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John Wolcott

John Wolcott

Why studying photography has helped me become a better teacher

Recompose, refocus and reshoot


Like learning photography, becoming a better teacher is more about learning from mistakes than it is delivering perfect lessons every single time.

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Julia Knight

Julia Knight

Would the NHS be so concerned?

Is Thai healthcare about care or cash?


I am pregnant with my second child and despite all the protests about how much I hated it the first time around and 'would never ever, not ever do it again' have found myself in the club.

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Cassie Lahmann

Cassie Lahmann

Thailand’s weirdest of the weirds

Some of the quirkier aspects of Thai culture


I want to be as respectful as possible when I discuss Thailand's quirks. I don't think I could have picked a better country to live in without having ever visited or knowing much about the culture.

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Lidya Belete

Lidya Belete

How to survive in Pattaya if you're not a sex tourist (or if you're a woman)

You can escape the unsavoury aspects if you truly want to


I came to Pattaya because of the ocean. I saw pictures of what looked like paradise, and thought I could live a life of quiet contemplation.

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Neil McDonough

Neil McDonough

Are we living in groundhog day?

And can you take advantage of it?


If the 20th century belonged to Europe and the USA, then perhaps the 21st century can belong to SE Asia and cities like Bangkok, can perform as well as cities like London, Paris and Frankfurt.

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Colleen Setchell

Colleen Setchell

Paws for thought

Sometimes Thailand is no place for the animal lover


I'm constantly amazed by how many stray dogs and cats I see on the streets around Koh Samui. Some are lucky enough to look half decent, others aren't that lucky. For those of you who don't know how things work in Thailand when it comes to strays, here's the run down.

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Zach Laan

Zach Laan

Grayscale

Potentially contentious issues in the LOS


"All in the game" is a great statement for Thailand. Omar, Avon, Stringer and the rest of the gang nailed it. Thailand is controlled by a few at the expense of the majority. The majority respond by doing what they can. It applies to all facets of daily life. For foreigners living in Thailand we're somewhere on the border of it all.

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Bob Sohigian

Bob Sohigian

The simple life of Sapa

Exploring Northwest Vietnam


From the moment you catch your first glimpse, your eyes become prisoners to the panorama. With its close proximity to China and the well renowned Himalayas, the main area in Sapa Town allows for the hilly, Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range to reveal itself.

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Marguerite Anne Tremel

Marguerite Anne Tremel

When life gives you mangoes

Go and make mango-flavored ice cream


A couple of weeks ago, I was walking down the street and a mango fell out of the sky right at my feet, a gift from the mango go-go gods.

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Carl Heaton

Carl Heaton

Running a niche website

Part four of ten ways to supplement your teaching income


Are you passionate about something? Do you have a lot to say on a certain subject? Are you an amazing cook or fitness guru? Running your own niche website is a great way of expressing your opinion and making money.

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John Quinn

John Quinn

A stroll around Chiang Mai's Eastern District

A fun-filled glimpse into the past on every street corner


I was sitting in a small garden coffee shop just behind my school sipping a cooling iced-coffee yesterday afternoon, when I started to think about the area surrounding me. Its history is the history of foreigners in Chiang Mai, as this area is where the first foreigners settled, lived and worked in the late nineteenth century.

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Scott Hipsher

Scott Hipsher

Are degrees required to teach?

Opinion continues to be divided


Three things which seem unavoidable are death, taxes and debates on ajarn.com about the requirement for teachers of having a degree. Those without degrees generally argue a degree is not necessary, while those with degrees will normally make the case a degree should be required.

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Elizabeth Frantz Larson

Elizabeth Frantz Larson

Back to civilisation?

Have I really been away for two and a half years?


I need a little intermission from Asia, from being abroad, from the frustrations. It's time to remember why I moved away again, time to take a step back and get out of the bizarre madness that has become my life.

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Auntie Nim

Auntie Nim

Old things from the village

Keeping the memories of those olden, golden days alive


My foreign friends and students who know my life habits ask me why I love old things; old houses, old wood furniture, and even pieces of an old rice mill that I keep underneath my old wooden house in Bangkok. It seems strange, doesn't it?

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Sascha

Sascha

Getting serious

Switching from a rural vocational college to a Bangkok university


So. Finally. After three terms it was time to say goodbye to Udon Thani, the vocational college and the Isaan region and to say hello to Bangkok and a private university.

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Geoff Richards

Geoff Richards

Small talk with big results

The art of teaching English forwards


"Hi, how are you?" "I'm fine thank you, and you?" "I'm fine thank you." Now, where have we all seen and heard this longwinded, nigh on nonsensical way of communicating before?

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Steve Crawford

Steve Crawford

The system is in one big mess

Things that seemed like a good idea at the time


Abel Cadias

Abel Cadias

Good morning campers

Themes and ideas for your English camp


Facilitating English camps has always been challenging and fun for me but ten years ago I had absolutely no idea how a camp worked or what it was tring to achieve.

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Ajarn Finance

Ajarn Finance

Time to invest outside the box?

Some interesting ideas for your investment capital


Although generally positive, 2010 has seen considerable volatility in world financial markets that caused investment jitters on occasion and the forecast for 2011includes more of the same.

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Tim Cornwall

Tim Cornwall

Thinking sustainability

Making students aware of the world around them


The core aim of the Compass Education program is to help students examine and come to understand key questions and concepts centred around who we are; where we are in place and time; how we express ourselves; how the world works; how we organize ourselves; and finally how we can go about sharing the planet.

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Matt Smith

Matt Smith

The perfect storm

One needs to check the weather before one heads out on an adventure


There was one final story I wanted to relate here, because it was my greatest adventure in Thailand. Or was at least my most memorable experience, at any rate, because it was the closest I have ever come to kicking the bucket.

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Ben Finklestein

Ben Finklestein

Sukhumwit nights

Where to find the best Bangkok streetfood


Sukhumvit Soi 38 is easily accessible via Thong Lor BTS. Most stalls are open Tuesday-Sunday 6PM-2AM.

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Ken May

Ken May

Lost Stories

Experiences with one of Thailand’s most progressive educators


He single-handedly broke every stereotype of the Ministry of Education. He was outgoing, inquisitive, articulate, globally aware, and willing to debate ideas about education. I resolved to formally interview this man one day and tell his story.

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William Blake

William Blake

The taking of responsibility 1-2-3

An alternative look at Thai culture


Much has been written about the Thai culture, some of it well researched and gleaned from many years of experience. This article is unashamedly neither.

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Jason Alavi

Jason Alavi

And it's goodnight from me

Feathers have most certainly been ruffled


Steve Tainton

Steve Tainton

The long weekend

All work and no play make Matt a real salaryman


My submission omissions of late have been due to my recent career change. As I no longer work in the teaching industry, I feel I can better serve this space with short sketches of my life in Japan than with longer submissions on broader topics. So here goes

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Tazza's Thailand Tales

Tazza's Thailand Tales

The Thai culture course

How to scam, exploit and demoralise foreign teachers


Day one of the course began with the typical smiles and greetings. The venue laid on a nice little breakfast pack for each of us and well wishers waited at the doors to greet us with: "Hello, thank you for coming!". (Like we had a f***ing choice!)

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Greg Hill

Greg Hill

Thai culture course experiences

How to scam, exploit and demoralise foreign teachers


Here's a complete breakdown of my time spent on the Thai cultural course. Actually I've decided that it was nothing but a teacher's council money spinner. It had little to do with improving a teacher's performance in the classroom and just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, the foreign participants were given an impromtu dance class.

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Matthew Noble

Matthew Noble

Those new year resolutions

Some resolutions related to teacher and others not.


The first one is to relax more and try to really enjoy teaching in this land of sanook. I knew about sanook before I came here to work- it was partly the great sense of fun in Thai culture that attracted me to it- I just didn’t know that for a Thai person it quite properly should infuse just about everything worth doing.

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Taiwan Troll

Taiwan Troll

Culture shock

Adjusting to a new life abroad


The transition to life in a new country means adjusting to a foreign culture. But what is culture? What is it that we are confronted with? Culture is a set of shared, accepted behavior patterns, values, assumptions and common experiences. It defines the social structure, the expectations and the norms of communication for a society.

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Brian Hill

Brian Hill

Intelligence

Intelligence is not fixed at birth.


Over the last 25 years we have more than doubled our understanding of how the brain works. All the new research is good news for humans, but it severely dents many long held beliefs.

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Seth Leighton

Seth Leighton

Transitions in Thailand

The grass isn't always greener on the other side


Bored with teaching? Sure there is a better way to make a baht in Thailand besides the TEFL game? Well, I just finished a six-month stint working in the marketing department of a large Thai furniture company.

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Miss Education

Miss Education

The school song

Homage to a cheerful tune


Covering classes was not a stretch, it allowed me to walk over to the ‘teen’ division of the campus. Being the other farang female the ‘high school’ kids always were attentive when either of us had to fill in.

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Teachers Tales

Teachers Tales

February 2003

A bulging toast-rack full of buttered TEFL slices


Featuring this month what makes a good teacher great, the greatest TEFL teacher story ever told and let's hear it for the dreaded visa run

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Ian McNamara

Ian McNamara

Divine right

Can anyone realistically teach English?


Some people believe that every native English speaker is born with the ability to teach English. Unfortunately a high proportion of people with that belief appear to want to be teachers.

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The Hot Spot


Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.


The cost of living

The cost of living

How much money does a teacher need to earn in order to survive in Thailand? We analyze the facts.


The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?


Air your views

Air your views

Got something to say on the topic of teaching, working or living in Thailand? The Ajarn Postbox is the place. Send us your letters!


Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Ricky Batten from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.


Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting ajarn.com and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?


Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.


The Region Guides

The Region Guides

Fancy working in Thailand but not in Bangkok? Our region guides are written by teachers who actually live and work in the provinces.