One woman's quest to find a teaching job through informal interviews
Kathy Willis from the USA contacted me to say that she was going to spend a whole week interviewing for teaching jobs in Bangkok. Yes sir, she was going to run a finger down all those banner ads on the ajarn.com homepage and hit the mean streets in search of suitable employment.
The very basics
If you send your application and don’t get a reply, it means that you didn’t make the shortlist. It’s usually useless to call the employer and try to find out why you weren’t contacted. There a big chance the employer found someone more qualified for the job or maybe you didn’t meet the job requirements.
Let's hear it for the good old head teacher
Why is the head teacher the topic of this month’s column? Because I became one at the beginning of this year, CE* 2006, at a newly opened branch of the language school I work for. Instead of giving a mission statement in this article and explaining in detail what my job involves and what the difficulties and the perks are, I have tried to make it a little more interesting and easier to read by putting on paper what others say about me.
How I select teachers to work at my school
First, I run a detailed and thorough advertisement on ajarn.com and a few other Thai web sites. I do not advertise outside of Thailand, as I do not accept applications from abroad.
Is it sometimes too easy to get a teaching job in Thailand?
A growing number of foreign teachers (particularly male) think that it's so easy to get an English teaching job in Thailand that all you have to do on interview day is turn up. Ajarn.com looks at a common mindset behind interviewing for TEFL jobs
How to perform well on the day
Interviews in Thailand seem to range from a Thai person simply checking to see if you have the right “look,” to more in-depth conversations between the candidate and one or two people responsible for hiring. I personally rarely spend less than an hour with a candidate for a job at my school, and often far longer.
Getting your foot in the door
Once an interview is scheduled, KEEP YOUR APPOINTMENT! You put yourself in a bad light by canceling an interview, or even changing the time, unless you give ample notice and have a very good reason for doing so. Changing your appointment time with a prospective employer even once is unadvisable; do it twice and you have effectively killed your candidacy.
Legendary scams, blacklists and the midnight run
I tested my marketability and checked the options available. My recently acquired TEFL certificate definitely opened up new opportunities. University job offers poured in from China, Japan, Latvia, Poland, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand.
Finding your way through the TEFL course maze
Teaching was no longer challenging. I was stagnating. Sure, I could always shake my life up with a weekend of debauchery, an occasional fling with a sexy female expatriate, or by traveling to a different city – and, truth be told, I often tried combining all three. But, at my core, I knew that I wasn’t growing productively. As a teacher I wasn’t developing. My methodologies had become stale. I needed a new bag of tricks. I needed rejuvenation.
Help in finding a job
As the head of a well-regarded English program at a government school in Bangkok, Thailand for the last 1.5 years, I have been largely appalled by the thousands of resumes I have seen, e-mails I have received, and the lack of interviewing skills of most teacher candidates I speak to.