Benito Vacio

Teaching in Thailand for keeps

The main reasons teachers get fired

It is often said that regret never comes first. Similarly, we only come to appreciate the value of something when we lose it. Losing a "treasured job" is a very good example. But what inculpable acts have our unfortunate colleagues committed in order to lose their jobs? Is it plain whimsical for employers to dismiss their employees? Must we hear and see more of these pathetic predicaments before we open our eyes so we don't commit similar blunders?
Well, we have all heard several cases of early termination of contracts here in Thailand? But have we personally thought of the most common reasons why teachers are forced by employers to terminate their contracts? To satisfy my curiosity, I have talked to several friends and they shared with me the main reasons why teachers get the bullet.
They said they have noted rampant cases, particularly in the project where we are teaching in now, where some of the best, the most efficient, or even the most ideal teachers are sacked from their jobs. Here are the most common reasons:

Failing to pass the probation period.
Using cell phones during class hours
Quarrelling with fellow teachers
Borrowing money from teachers and not paying it back.
Inflicting corporal punishment on students
Asking sexual favors from students.
Sleeping in the faculty room
Falsifying documents

The above reasons cause teachers anxiety, embarrassment, trauma and sometimes even a sense of injustice. It is my hope that these cases will serve as a wake-up call to all ajarns and make us more conscious of what we can do to keep our jobs.
Isn't it highly commendable when we stick to the rules of conduct of our profession, to follow what is stipulated in our contracts, and to observe the unwritten rules of teaching? Teaching is undisputedly the noblest profession. Infringement of its ethical standards is a no-no, especially to educators. As teachers, we are expected to be models of perfection. We are all accountable.

So, if we want to keep our jobs forever, give this adage a thought, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."


I think, first and foremost, Asian employers tend to lack profesionalism and as such it is quite probable that even the most well-behaved and professional employees who did not commit any offence or did not follow the much more inferior standards of Asia may also be at high risk for dismissal, due to whims of Asian employers. Unfortunately, Asia is not a beacon of morality or excellence as it appear to be. Rudeness and gross inefficency, mistreating of employees and inconsistent standards imposed on newcomers is also one of those things that Thailand and other region of Asia need to look into and improve on before picking on innocent, vulnerable newcomers . Asian employers also need to avoid abusing and victimising any vulnerable newcomers who are new to the often hostile Asian harsh work environment.

By WA, Asia (12th January 2015)

Thank you for the reminders. But next time make the flow of your writing interesting by including some practical advices and not just a plain preaching. Use some simple but concrete words too( we write to express and not to impress.)



By Chem, Bangkok, Thailand (28th July 2011)

Let me offer a suugestion to Mr. Vacio . Devote some of your literary " expertise " to your fellow compatriots' resumes . Most are atrocious, grammatically, when one considers that these these people believe they are professional candidates for positions as English teachers.

By george st patrick, thailand (22nd July 2011)

What exactly is the point of this essay? Are you warning teachers about what not to do? Because, just before your list you seem to be siding with teachers who do the right thing and then you suddenly switch sides. I guess you didn't take any advanced writing classes in your life where paying attention to the objective, coherence and flow of the written material are taught. Having not understood the aim of yours, I'd hazard a guess that it was about warning your fellow teachers. If that's the case, I can match all of the reasons of dismissal (of which some are absolutely absurd) in your list with unimaginably trivial, petty, stupid and pathetic real-life dismissals I've personally witnessed myself while working in Thailand.

By Felt Hat, zambia (11th July 2011)

There are some from ' The common reasons for terminating teachers' mentioned on this article that I think not really common or applied as reason to terminate a teacher...
1. How do we measure inefficiency of teaching in Thailand? In the Philippines inefficiency isn't really plausible as ground for termination cause generally, teachers have regular and special chain of seminars to help develop and upgrade them (public and private)... One reason maybe is ineffectiveness, teacher might be efficient on his/her work but he/she may not be EFFECTIVE as a whole, on the other hand a teacher might not be efficient but effective to teach for the kids...( many foreigners (farang) are considered under employed in the field of teaching, thus, they could be classified as inefficient teachers but their natural or normal conversation technique in teaching is considerably effective to the students. Moreover, teachers from other Asian country like Philippines, we can say we are applying the profession that we’ve learnt. However, our way or methods perhaps is quite high level to the thai students (that’s what I have heard from other teachers). Apparently it does not fit on the capacity and ability of students.
2. Using cell phone during class hours- It is really unprofessional and part of the codes and ethics in a teaching profession; however, as to my observation and knowledge I don’t think it’s a big deal for an employer to terminate their teacher because of it. There were numerous schools here in Thailand that doesn’t imposed strict rules, apprehending teachers in using cell phones.
3. If falsification of documents a major ground to terminate teachers- does that mean there were pinoys who made fake documents? That’s a shame!
4. Asking sexual favor from the student- KWATRO O KWARTO? Grade of four or do it in a four corner? This is not only administrative case but criminal case. I would agree that this is one common reason if I know a case akin to this.

By banok banok thailand, Northeast (5th July 2011)

Informative article and a necessary blog for holiday-makers-posing-as teachers. I don't agree with the "models of perfection" line teachers must follow, but I think there is some common sense information here for anyone wishing to teach anywhere. Well done.

By Jar, bangkok (4th July 2011)

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