Hello all, Peter Clarke here, and I'm back again with a selection of links to interesting Thailand-related blogs and articles that I've found on the internet over the last couple of months.
The side effects of being an expat
Let's start off with a young American lady called Alana Morgan, who contributes to an excellent on-line blog called Paper Planes. Alana left her home in Seattle about three years ago and has been in South-east Asia ever since, mostly using Chiang Mai as her base. I was drawn to a blog that Alana wrote about the side effects of being a long-term expat - and it got me thinking about how much I've changed as a person. Alana discusses many points in her blog including the fact she now feels that she doesn't belong anywhere. She also feels that money has lost its value after being away from home for so long and her perception of time has changed. It's an interested read and I'm sure it will get you thinking about the changes you've gone through in your own expat life if you fall into that category.
Are you a mediocre teacher?
"Do you have what it takes to be a really bad TEFL teacher? Time and time again TEFL teachers are referred to as backpacker layabouts with no dedication, and every school can relay a tale of a certain TEFLer who left them in the lurch and now wary of every other foreign teacher who comes along. Follow this advice and you will most definitely succeed at being yet another mediocre TEFL teacher giving the rest a bad name"
Those are not my words but the words of Cornish Kyle as she discusses seven ways to be an exceptionally mediocre TEFL teacher.
Want to make serious money as a teacher?
We love blogs and articles with lists don't we? Well, here's a list that's going to spark many a debate in the teachers room - the nine countries in the world that pay the best TEFL salaries. I'm sorry to say that Thailand doesn't make the list (probably no surprises there) but who comes out as the top dog?
What do we think of it so far?
Collen and Cynthia from South Africa look like a fun, happy couple. They've been teaching in Thailand for just three months but they're ready to tell you all about it in their Flip Flop Travellers blog. Why did they chose an onsite TEFL course rather than an on-line course?Where did they decide to settle in Thailand and focus on finding a teaching job? What kind of teaching job did they eventually land? Not only do our intrepid, travel couple supply the answers to the questions but they've also included some links to blogs that helped them immensely when they were researching their move to Thailand.
Primary school memories
Now for something extremely funny - especially if you went to primary school in the UK (the rest of the world might not laugh quite as loudly I'll admit) - a list of 41 things that you can't possibly forget if you went to a UK primary school. Some of the 41 'memories' didn't really strike a chord with me (perhaps they are more for the child of the 90's) but I spit coffee all over the keyboard when I was reminded how kids would wet themselves with excitement when the teacher wheeled a TV into the classroom. LOL
Love your co-teacher
Opinions of Thai classroom assistants or 'co-teachers' has always been a seriously divisive issue. To some foreign teachers, they just couldn't do without their loyal Thai assistant, who brings a semblance of order to the chaotic classroom environment, whereas for other foreign teachers, the co-teacher is a sort of 'Satan's snitch', either dozing or fiddling around with their smartphone at the back of the class or running to the principal to tell him what an awful teacher you are at every possible opportunity. Although not targeted at those teaching in Thailand, here are some invaluable tips on how to get along with your co-teacher.
The lowdown on Hua Hin
Chris and Angela always produce great quality blogs for their Tieland to Thailand website, and recently they found the time to explore Thailand's favourite beach resort, Hua Hin (it's certainly one of my favourites) Actually this was a trip with a real purpose because it sounds as though Chris and Angela are looking for a 'second home' in Thailand - or at least somewhere to escape to for a few months a year, when the pollution in their beloved Chiang Mai becomes unbearable due to the slash 'n' burn farming. So what did they think of Hua Hin exactly?
Food, glorious food
Bangkok foodies, don't despair - I've got you covered this month as well. Taken from the Bangkok On-line website, where do the city's top, trendy young chefs go to when they want great food? Burgers, sandwiches, haute cuisine, fusion food - even mangoes and sticky rice - it's all here.
Chinatown on camera
We've all walked around Chinatown in Bangkok and we've all reeled off loads of photos. The place is a photographer's paradise. But I guess some just do it better than others. Take a look at Mick Shippen's Chinatown collection because he does such a great job of capturing the atmosphere.
Retiring in Chiang Mai
And finally a great blog (with photos) on one man's assessment of how much it costs to retire and live comfortably in Chiang Mai. Do you agree with Jonathon's figures?