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.
Over and above the benefit of learning the language, listening to Thai songs will allow the learner to ‘get a feel’ for the country – how it thinks, how sentiments are communicated, the culture, the essence of being Thai, at least in the context of relationships.
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
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.
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!
I grew up on the west coast of the USA. We get rain, but we don't get thunder and lightning. I love experiencing it now. Don't grouse about it. Enjoy it.
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?
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.
Here's some of the more interesting Thailand-related stuff that I've found on the internet over the past three months. Hopefully there's something for everyone.
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.
Like learning photography, becoming a better teacher is more about learning from mistakes than it is delivering perfect lessons every single time.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
"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?
It's about time there was an update on the much-criticized teacher licencing laws. Please try not to laugh too loud.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!)
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.
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.
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.
Each learner and each learning experience is unique; yet educators can identify patterns in the learning process. Designing effective learning requirements requires a clear understanding of, and attention to, both commonalities and differences in the learners and the learning.
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.
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.
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.