A few years ago, veteran ajarn blogger, Mark Newman, wrote a blog about why you will one day quit your teaching post in Thailand and either go to pastures new or return home. Mark stated 10 good reasons why you would leave and actually, eight of those reasons I could personally relate to.
There are 6 more reasons that I would like to add to the list.
11. The frustration of having had no real authority over your students.
You were once again told by the Thai head of staff 'not to bang the board eraser on the whiteboard!' And just like the last time you protested, if you couldn't bang the board rubber on the whiteboard, be allowed to shout at them or send any of them outside the classroom as a punishment, then what were you supposed to do to get them to shut up?
You immediately regretted asking as you were given the exact same insane advice - 'just ask them to be quiet, and if you really have to - bang a ruler on your desk'.
12. Nonsensical stipulations that never were thrown any light upon.
For instance, you were told in no uncertain terms that you were expected to be at an after-school teachers meeting on Friday at 4:45 pm, even though you only got paid until 4:30 pm.
Resentfully, you arrived on time and sat alone at the back, whilst the Thai teachers rattled on in Thai until 5:45 pm. Whereupon, the meeting ended and everyone exited without so much as a by-you-leave. You'd learnt one important lesson, you'd never ever go to another f***ing after-school meeting. And secondly, you'd see how you felt on Monday morning with regards to actually going back into the school.
13. The constant interference and prying from Thai teachers
A young gay Thai teacher stood in front of your desk and told you that the computers in the library were for students use only. Therefore, you apologised and explained that you didn't know and of course assured him that it wouldn't happen again. However, there was something else he found difficult to say. 'Er, and not look at lady' whilst he showed you the palm of his small hand. You had only gone to have a quick check of your Thai Friendly account, but had lingered a little too long as one hottie who had shown an interest had sent a selfie posing topless.
(So, the librarian had seen the boob shot, had she? That nosey cow!)
Two weeks later, the same Thai guy once again stood over you. 'Teacher cannot go to sleeping in library! ' again showing his palm 'Mmmm, not good!' What! You'd only fallen asleep momentarily or maybe for a few minutes, and anyway you'd just had to get a break from your co-teacher 'Talkative Tim' and now once again this same librarian had grassed you up! You'd lost it, 'Hadn't that bitch anything better to do than monitor me! 'Maybe she should find herself a boyfriend!'
Finally, you ask yourself if you really have to put up with this kind of harassment?
14. Morning duty was always a thankless task to say the least.
You arrived at 7 o'clock in the morning and it was already like the inside of an oven out there.
After which, you were obliged to stand in the direct sunlight and greet each and everyone of the students. Thereafter, most of your students returned your greeting - whereas only about 11 of the other teachers' students (about 2,000) were as gracious. Although, every last one of them managed to greet the Thai teacher who was also on duty.
Of course, she made it even worse by patronising you, shaking her head whilst tutting, alongside saying things like, 'Oh please, say good morning to the foreign teacher' However, not until the students had already started to walk away by which time it was too late.
After a while, you would start to sweat, next the flies would circulate - much to your annoyance. Within the final ten minutes, you would consider other options; one was to pretend to pass out whilst wrapping your hands around the Thai teacher's shoulders for support. Then making your excuses and stumbling your way to the medical room for a lie down before the first lesson.
15, That one particular foreign teaching colleague.
That afternoon, after morning duty, the other three teachers informed you that they only had morning duty once every five weeks during the previous semester, until Tim suggested to the Thais that the foreign teachers ought to do it everyday just like them.
This revelation was enough as you'd been harbouring a hatred for Tim for months - this closed the deal. The day after, when you came into the school, you saw Tim at the front gate absolutely beaming at the students, while you were recollecting yesterday's revelation - you snarled as you passed by him. Still he didn't even notice you, so heavily en-grossed was he in his morning duty. This was the man who claimed to have been, amongst other things, an army officer, a cat-walk-model, a sales manager coordinator with a national gas company, and after semi-retirement made a small fortune with his own landscape garden business. And these came after he'd studied to become a doctor of divinity, though having graduated he'd decided that it wasn't for him.
All this, and he'd already been in Bangkok teaching for a few years and he was still, only 42-years-old. The part about him having been in the army was probably true, because he'd reminisced about it so constantly that you began to share his trauma. That was, because his weekly verbal barrage had forced you to give some thought to receiving help for (CSR) combat stress reaction.
16. When you realised the old thing about 'What the average Thai earned', wasn't a fair comparative.
After you got a job at a new school and you weren't sure of the pronunciation, you got your Thai girlfriend to write it in Thai. Still, when you showed it to an owner taxi driver (between 15,000 and 30,000 baht a month) he waved you away with his hand as if he meant he didn't have the time (for a 10 minute journey!) When the truth was that he couldn't actually read it!
Not untypically having left school at 12 (once the government school education was no longer free) apart from the fact that he'd hardly ever been there in the first place. More to the point, khun Ploy the manageress (19,000 - 23,000 baht salary) at your language centre had gained a master's degree in English at a Thai government university (not credited outside of Thailand) although you'd sometimes found yourself elucidating things to her in your chick-scratch Thai. And Ploy's reasoning for her weakness in English was that when she'd been a student, she'd liked to stay home to sleep and let her friend check her in.
You (55,000 baht) received from a combined salary for working two jobs, which didn't present you with a hi-so lifestyle, in spite of that it'd be enough to buy a one-way flight ticket to your next destination.