Opinion continues to be divided
Three things which seem unavoidable are death, taxes and debates on ajarn.com about the requirement for teachers of having a degree. Those without degrees generally argue a degree is not necessary, while those with degrees will normally make the case a degree should be required.
Real "wealth" is not primarily about having material possessions or money
Being a native speaker of the language people around the world use gives me wealth as it is an incredible source of international career opportunities.
Perspectives on becoming a student again
For the most part, I was teaching (in a variety of different capacities) during the years I was also pursuing my graduate studies. Now once again I am alternating between the front and rear of the classroom, and this can be an effective method to help one to keep the student's perspective in mind when the time of the day comes for one to assume the role of teacher.
Can second time around ever be as good as the first?
Returning to live in Thailand is quite different from coming to live here for the first time. Instead of everything one encounters seeming exotic, one mostly senses the familiar.
How poor countries benefit from foreign investment
Working in China (but maintaining a residence in Thailand) I could write volumes about what I think is “wrong” in China, but I also know that the country has implemented the biggest and fastest poverty reduction program the world has ever seen, and it has been done by going against the advice of most western economic experts and without foreign aid.
Adding to opinion and speculation about the teaching industry
When writing about the ESL industry and Western English teachers in Thailand or other Asian countries, it should be kept in mind the industry is extremely fragmented, unregulated and there is a startling lack of reliable statistics or data about the industry and the teachers working in the industry.
Reasons why people teach English and the possible career paths
Foreign ESL teachers in Thailand or other parts in Asia are a diverse lot and have many different motivations for teaching abroad.
Thoughts on error correction
As teachers, do we sometimes get too caught up in finding and punishing mistakes? Can more focus on creating quality work as opposed to avoiding errors improve the learning process?
Teaching English is a valuable contribution to our global society
I recently signed an agreement with a publisher for a new book which will focus on the private sector's role in poverty reduction in Asia. It is always exciting to have an agreement for publication for a writing project and poverty reduction is a topic I am passionate about.
A positive attitude can make a teacher's life in Thailand much happier
Some foreign teachers love engaging with Thai culture while others find each day a struggle to overcome culture clashes. All the teachers experience the same culture, so why such different reactions?
How to use teaching skills for career changes
While teaching English in Thailand or other foreign country might not be the normal path to climbing the corporate ladder, there are skills and abilities one can gain from teaching English that can be useful for individuals intending to eventually change careers.
How to become a more valued employee
Whether in the staffroom, lunchroom, shop floor, barracks, or around the water cooler next to the cubicles, the main topic of conversation has always been how incompetent the bosses and management were.
Is it necessary to have practical experience in order to teach it?
As a professor of Management and Business Studies, I have been asked a few times in the classroom, usually after lecturing on how to run a global enterprise, by bright and inquisitive students why I wasn't actually in management as opposed to teaching it.
Should we see ourselves as missionaries for Western culture values?
As foreigners teaching in a foreign country, what are the expectations and where are the boundaries?
Perhaps it's not such an easy question to answer
Should an individual accepting a position as a TEFL teacher think this is the first step in a career or should one consider it “only” as a job?
Nobody owes you a career. Your career is literally your business.
Are entrepreneurial attitudes and actions beneficial only to business owners? Or can all of us, teachers included, benefit from thinking and acting like an entrepreneur? Can a teacher think like an entrepreneur without starting his or her own school?
How to achieve your new year goals
It is the time of the year that many of us engage in an annual ritual of making New Year’s resolutions, which more times than not are broken before the end of the first week of the new year.
Impressions of teaching in China
While many in my shoes go off to the Middle East, I first went to Vietnam and then I found a gig in China working as a visiting professor for an American university operating in this country. It didn’t take long after arriving in China to realize that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore
Temptations to make predictions about the future is irresistible.
Will the internet, and now mobile devices that one can use to access the web at any location at any time, fundamentally change the role of the teacher/professor in education?
The downsides and the 'rewards' of living life as an independent expatriate
Becoming an "independent" expatriate requires far more self-reliance and ability to adapt than does staying in your home surrounded by family and friends or being a traditional expatriate and being supported by an organizational structure that usually spans both the home country and new location.
Observations on a country and culture I'd almost forgotten
I was pleasantly surprised at how friendly, polite and nice the people were. Maybe this was because I was primarily in smaller towns and rural areas, but even while in the airports in Chicago and Denver, it just seemed so easy to strike up conversations with the people I were interacting with.
It's all about the trade-offs
If one has a strong case of wanderlust, teaching English can be your ticket to getting paid to travel to world, or it can allow one to follow one’s significant other to different locations and still find work.
Trends and opportunities in higher education
If one can speak, read and write Thai at the level needed to study at a university, there are an abundance of educational opportunities available locally.
I wish I had the answers to Thailand's political problems.
It is difficult to pass up the opportunity to reflect on the recent tragic events that have happened in Bangkok and in other locations throughout the country. The ongoing political confrontations of the past 3 years do have an effect on all of us with a connection to the country.
opportunities in on-line education
What if one could have it both ways? Work in the West, live in the East. Get paid developed economy wages while spending on developing economy prices. Is this possible?
How religious traditions can have an effect on a work environment
A common source of friction for teachers working in Thailand is the perceived lack of detailed planning. In order to create detailed plans, one needs to feel fairly confident of being able to predict the future.
How attractive to a potential teacher is the ESL industry as a whole?
One of the most common tools used to analyze an industry's attractiveness is Porters Five Forces Model developed by the famous Harvard professor and management guru, Michael Porter.
You'll need to develop a thick skin and actually enjoy being lonely
While remaining a great distance from being a “successful” writer, I have formed a few opinions which I would like to share with other ajarns (or anyone else reading this) thinking of becoming writers.
What are some of the issues facing educators in a foreign land?
Studying culture is no substitute for the practical experience of working and living abroad, however having some mental frameworks in which to analysis experiences could be helpful in adjusting to working and living in a new cultural environment.
Getting on with employers, colleagues and fitting into the system
Most old hands have heard countless tales of Western teachers having trouble with their Thai (or Korean, Cambodian, Malaysian or Japanese depending on where the teacher is currently working) bosses. Much of this may have to do with unrealistic expectations.
Successfully working in a different cultural environment is a skill
While digging through hundreds of articles, both academic and otherwise, while doing background research for a book on expatriates in Asia, I found most writers and researchers made four key assumptions about expatriates.