Laura Thomas

Teaching English in Thailand - the upsides and the downsides

Teaching English abroad is a journey filled with trade-offs, each offering its own set of adventures and challenges.

Life's got this funny way of teaching us that every choice we make means leaving a bunch of other options behind. It's like a cosmic game of trade-offs, where what you give up for something else is what they call opportunity costs – the real cost of a decision.

So, if the idea of jet-setting as an English teacher is tickling your fancy, let's dive deeper into the pros and cons. Here's a more detailed and friendly look at the wonderful world of teaching English abroad:

The Upsides:

Easy Peasy Entry: If you're a native English speaker, breaking into the English teaching scene is like entering a laid-back beach party – no VIP pass required. Sure, having a degree is cool, but it's not a non-negotiable deal-breaker. So, whether you're fresh out of college or looking for a mid-career switch, the door's wide open.

Jet-Setter Life: The allure of being paid to explore different nooks and crannies of the world is the ultimate dream. Teaching English gives you the golden opportunity to go beyond the guidebooks, immerse yourself in diverse cultures, and still bring home the bacon. From samba in Brazil to the Great Wall in China – the adventure never ends.

Chill Work Vibes: Picture this – less corporate chaos, more serenity. Teaching English usually comes with a side of lower stress levels. Make your way through the basics, and you're good to go. No looming disasters that can't be fixed. Smooth sailing, my friend.

Do Your Thing: Creativity gets a front-row seat when you're an English teacher. You're not just following a script; you're the director of your own show. Injecting your personality into lessons is not just allowed; it's encouraged. It's like being the cool DJ of the language-learning party.

Feel-Good Feels: There's something undeniably rewarding about being an educator. Helping people learn and grow, even in the smallest ways, feels like you're making a positive dent in the universe. Being a teacher isn't just a job; it's a badge of honor. So, wave that teacher flag high!

The Downsides:

Not Rolling in Dough: Teaching might not make you the next Bill Gates. Especially in countries like Thailand, the salary might not have you swimming in gold coins. It's more about the experience and cultural richness than the hefty paycheck.

Not the Coolest Job: Among the expat crowd, being an English teacher might not be the glamourous gig that gets you a standing ovation. While you're rocking the classroom, others might not see it as a career that's turning heads.

Career Ladder Shuffle: Climbing the career ladder isn't as much of a thing in English teaching. Whether you've got one year of experience or two decades, the pay and respect might not see a massive overhaul. It's more about the journey than the destination.

Brain on Snooze: The initial thrill might take a backseat after a while. While some folks revel in the intricacies of grammar puzzles, for many, the subject can become a bit like a broken record. But hey, there's always room to spice things up and find new ways to keep the excitement alive.

Skill Stagnation: Teaching English is like having a unique set of superpowers, but they might not translate seamlessly into other industries. A couple of years on your CV is fantastic, especially if you've embraced the local language and culture. However, after a decade, it might not be the golden ticket to switch lanes in the professional world.

Teaching English abroad is a journey filled with trade-offs, each offering its own set of adventures and challenges. It's a path that resonates differently with everyone, so before you pack your bags, consider the nuances, weigh the good and the not-so-good, and decide if this is the adventure you're ready for.


I'm sorry to say but this article is an example of what it means to be banal.

How many times have readers been put through this (or similar) narrative? It seems as if there are writers who are simply ridding of the coattails of overused topics that circle in the sky...round and round they go.

Ms. Thomas, I'm sorry to say that your contribution has no value, but it has already been discussed in various ways, over and over...and over again.

Try to level up, Ajarn.


By KnoxRox, Gulliford Courthouse (5th February 2024)

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