Ten reasons to quit teaching English in Thailand

How soon will you be heading home?


Are you a new teacher in Thailand? How's it working out for you? Have you found a nice apartment yet? Scoped out all the cool places to buy coffee and street food? Fantastic. Welcome on board...

Here are the ten reasons you are going to quit teaching English in Thailand and either go to China or return home.

10 - You showed up for work to find the school deserted because of a national holiday... AGAIN!

It would have been nice if someone had told you that the school would be closed on the "holy floating a candle in the water" day! But, oh, no. It never occurred to the smarmy pen-pushers in the office that you could have actually made plans for this extra time off... like getting properly boozed up the night before or getting on a bus to that buddha in a cave that you keep meaning to go and take photos of and post on Facebook

9 - The Irish teacher you work with called in sick... AGAIN!

A shitty colleague has called in sick again and you find yourself in his classes presiding over students you don't know or care about with materials you don't understand... and don't care about! Your whole day is screwed with back to back lessons and nobody has even bothered to summon up the effort to climb the stairs and say 'thank you' for doing it.

8 - For whom the bell tolls! (It's 10:45... all the time!)

The cumulative mental anguish of looking at the clock on the wall of your classroom is starting to show. It seems to be stuck on quarter to eleven most of the time... even after lunch! Each slow, marching step of the second hand is another slap to your sanity. Half way through your last period of the day, the minute hand is actually going the wrong way... and it's only Monday!

7 - The sound of "I go to shopping!" makes your ears bleed and your mouth foam.

One of your best students, who you have been teaching for ages, can't answer a single question that starts with the word "Why...". It occurs to you how little impact you have had on every other student you have taught and now you are asking yourself... "Why?"

6 - You have dreamed about killing the Filipino teacher... AGAIN!

That happy, smiling Filipino hire is the most efficient backstabber you've ever met. Once again, she's managed to make you look bad in front of all the other teachers and once again, you can't quite figure out how she did it. You've tried to be nice but earning more money than her is an unforgivable sin. You're on her personal shitlist till the end of time!

5 - You show up for the new school year and the textbooks have changed.

As part of the effort to keep you busy during the summer holidays, the school has asked that you come up with lesson plans for the upcoming year. You comply because eventually the mindless web surfing in a sweaty staffroom has numbed your brain and you need something to fill the void till half past three. Fast forward to the first day of the new school year, you notice that the textbooks are a slightly different shape and color. The red mist is forming in front of your eyes...

4 - You start reminiscing about your old job back home.

A class hasn't shown up because of a school trip you knew nothing about. The internet is down and you're in the staffroom alone with only the coffee stained 'Living' section of the Bangkok Post to taunt you. It occurs to you that in your last job at home you could go to the lavvy whenever you felt like it. You could even stop working entirely and have a chat about last night's telly in the middle of the day! Not only that, sometimes you even left the building to have lunch outside!

3 - "I once had my appendix taken out and now I'm a surgeon!"

Everyone's an armchair teacher. Everyone! The parents can do your job better than you. Your employers don't mind telling you that they can do it better, too. Even the most vague comment you post online about your life is an insult to the noble profession of teaching English in Thailand! But worst of all is the new hire who can do it better. This idiot is gonna crash and burn in a few months but you haven't the patience to wait and watch it happen!

2 - You're teaching zombies! (Imagination is a crime!)

They don't look like zombies and you haven't actually seen them eat brains... although that prison food you walk past at lunchtime does look pretty suspect! But everything else about the students is zombie-like. The noises they make, the slow shuffling from class to class, the way they slouch in their chairs, the glazed, dead look into their mobile phones... suddenly you are looking a bit too delicious! It's time to flee.

1 - ONET!

Someone sent you an internet link to sample ONET questions. You are reading them and thinking that it must be a joke. When it slowly dawns on you that it's not a joke and that it's absolutely painfully clear that NOBODY in Thailand gives a toss about educating children - THIS is the moment you say 'sayonara, stoopids', pack your bags and bugger off. No wave goodbye, no last look over your shoulder... just a one-way ticket back to the world of being able to take a piss whenever you want to!

I left a few things off this list to keep it short. Did I miss anything that happened to you? What was the final straw that sent you scrambling to the cheapest dodgy travel agent on Asoke?


Comments

'The secrets to being happy and successful for English teachers in Thailand

If you don’t like your school, quit and go somewhere else

If you don’t like Thailand, quit and go somewhere else

If you don’t like teaching English, quit and teach something else

If you don’t like teaching, quit and find a new occupation

If you are not qualified or have the experience needed for the type of livelihood you want, get the qualifications and experience needed

Stop all your whining, whinging and ranting about how the world is not designed to suit your wants'

Or, just avoid scumbag locals and 'farangs' who come into education here and exploit the system for a quick buck.

Disgusting creatures.

By Craig, Chiang Mai (6 months ago)

You respond to an ad for a position as a Maths Teacher. After a month they send you an application. After your name; they ask if you "use alcohol." Then they ask if you can sing. Then the next one was "can you play a musical instrument.". I don't know what came next, because I threw it in the bin.

By Mark Kling, CNX (6 months ago)

The secrets to being happy and successful for English teachers in Thailand

If you don’t like your school, quit and go somewhere else

If you don’t like Thailand, quit and go somewhere else

If you don’t like teaching English, quit and teach something else

If you don’t like teaching, quit and find a new occupation

If you are not qualified or have the experience needed for the type of livelihood you want, get the qualifications and experience needed

Stop all your whining, whinging and ranting about how the world is not designed to suit your wants

By Jack, In a chair at home (6 months ago)

"Be careful, Mark. You'll have the sanctimonious elephant washers and self-hating farangs doing their nut that you can experience it all and laugh about it. "

That's good advice, Craig. I'll definitely be watching out for that! :)

By Mark Newman, Paradise by the surfboard... lite! (6 months ago)

" You show up for the new school year and the textbooks have changed.

As part of the effort to keep you busy during the summer holidays, the school has asked that you come up with lesson plans for the upcoming year. "

Tough, why did you not have lesson plans for the last year of that textbook?

By lloyd turner, Bangkok (6 months ago)

I agree with the above. I've only realised recently that there is a no fail policy...
Also, I'm a bit f*cked off about the racism, 'the Irish guy sick again' but it's probably true LOL

djbarry

By djbarry, Nontaburi (6 months ago)

I thought my last straw was a few years ago. I was working for a 'farang' agency so thought it would be a great learning experience. Turns out it was not a good experience at all. I should have known better. When you meet the boss that you're gonna work for and he's a vertically challenged man, find some info out about him first. I didn't and that was my bad. There was also his deplorable obese sidekick. We used to call them 'Fatman and Robin'. Not nice I know, but they were what I think Hillary was referring to when she coined the phrase "basket of deplorables". This trend of BS I was seeing all the time spurred me to go home.

Luckily, two years ago, my friend called me out of the blue. Asked me if I wanted a job. I told him thanks, but I can't. He assured me that he was head of the English department and everything was run accordingly. No BS. He needed a teacher who'd be reliable, liked by the students and who was a good worker. As he was the one selling the job to me, I had the ball in my court. Two years later, and I haven't got a single complaint. Literally not one. I'm also doing online work where group classes are 22 dollars for 50 mins of teaching. The money, relatively speaking, is good right now.

I've experienced all 10 of the things Mark's mentioned above. I really didn't care. The only one that bothered me was non-teachers telling you how to do your job. That would annoy anyone in any profession.

Be careful, Mark. You'll have the sanctimonious elephant washers and self-hating farangs doing their nut that you can experience it all and laugh about it.

By Craig, Bangkok (6 months ago)

My last straw at one school was being forced to participate in a secret santa (in a buddhist country).. only to be berated (by my coordinator) on the fact that my gift didn't look expensive enough.(i thought it was supposed to be secret)

By sam, Senegal (6 months ago)

Wages are now less than they were 20 years ago and living costs are shooting up. You search the job pages on popular sites such as ajarn but wages are being offered as low as 25k a month, and all you have to do is work from 7am until 5pm for half a Mc Donald's salary. All this is on a 10 month contract with very few benefits.

The visa situation is murder and the arrogance of the staff in Chaengwattana makes you realize that there are much more appealing countries to work in.

There are no Filipinos in your school, but some of the Thai staff are the most difficult, insecure and childish backstabbers that you have ever met. (some are also nice).

The plastic pompousness is slowly wearing you down. You begin to question if this is Thailand or Victorian England.

The culture of blame and the ill founded pride goes from being slightly amusing to intolerable, especially when you realize that everything is usually the fault of a foreigner.

The no fail system makes you wonder why you're even here in the first place.

All in all, you realize that there's little future here.

By Steve G , Bangkok (6 months ago)

Post your comment

Comments are moderated and will not appear instantly.

Featured Jobs

Teachers for EP Positions

23 hours ago

฿40,000+ /month

Bangkok


Native English Teacher

1 day, 23 hours ago

฿50,000+ /month

Bangkok


NES Teachers for Private School

2 days, 8 hours ago

฿40,000+ /month

Ratchaburi


Secondary Maths Teachers (Vietnam)

4 days ago

฿70,000+ /month

Various locations


NES Kindergarten Teachers

4 days ago

฿60,000+ /month

Bangkok


Corporate ESL Teachers

4 days, 1 hour ago

฿600+ /hour

Bangkok


TEFL Courses & Training

Get off to a good start...

Take your course
in Thailand!

Training Directory

Featured Teachers

  • Carrey


    Diploma

    South African, 31 years old. Currently living in South Africa

  • Karen Mar Grace


    Diploma

    Filipino, 23 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Alesha


    BEd

    Indian, 37 years old. Currently living in India

  • Slava


    BEd

    Russian, 25 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Anders


    Phd

    Swede, 49 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Brien


    Diploma

    Filipino, 22 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Joni


    BEd

    Filipino, 30 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • YE MIN


    BA

    Myanmarese, 25 years old. Currently living in Myanmar

  • James


    BA

    American, 26 years old. Currently living in United States of America

  • Barry


    BA

    Australian, 53 years old. Currently living in China

Sponsors

English Planet

To be internationally recognized as the leader in quality English language training.

Smartys

Vacancies for in-house and corporate teachers at the finest schools in Suphanburi City

BSI Broker

Brokers for ajarn health insurance and for all your Thailand insurance needs.

Siam Computer & Language

Competitive teacher packages with benefits and bonus incentives

Kajonkietsuksa School

First bilingual school in Phuket. Vacancies for kindergarten, primary and secondary teachers.

Kasintorn St Peter School

Progressive English program school near Bangkok employing NES and Filipino teachers

Inlingua Thailand

Premier language school with many branches and corporate training.

Space available

Become an ajarn dot com sponsor

The Hot Spot


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?


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!


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 dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

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


Renting an apartment?

Renting an apartment?

Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.


Can you hear me OK?

Can you hear me OK?

In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?


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.