I have very recently moved to Vietnam after four years spent teaching in Thailand. The level of English here in Vietnam as their second language is way ahead of Thailand. Thailand hasn't left first base yet.
Which country offers more for the English teacher?
Living and teaching in both laid back Thailand and fast paced South Korea has made for an interesting perspective on life in Asia. The two extremes are hard to compare but I think I should at least try.
Is this Thai tradition pain or pleasure?
In many schools in Thailand, Thai teachers, as well as foreign teachers, take turns in standing at the school gate to greet parents and students. Two or more teachers are assigned, depending on the size of the school, to do this each day.
I made the mistake of bringing some first year students' problems to the attention of the head of the section last year. By September, after four and half year at this university, despite 'an excellent record of work' the university decided to let me go.
I was thinking of finding myself a teaching job in Thailand. However, after a lot of searching, interviews and demo lessons, I gave up.
English in Thai vocational schools
I came here 1.5 years ago and it was all planned as a 10-month experience. I had a high paid marketing job back home in Europe and everybody told me that it was crazy to leave my career and become a ‘teacher' here in Thailand.
I am a non-native English speaker from Europe but I've been teaching here in Thailand for five years now and never had a problem with documents and being employed as a legal teacher. But now my school have told me that according to The Ministry of Education website (which I cannot check because the info in question is only available in Thai apparently) - I need to satisfy all of the following requirements.
What about all the teachers forced out of Bangkok? The ones paying for hotels not knowing what is happening. Many schools haven't even bothered to help their teachers in the slightest. Just kept them in the dark and hope no one will say anything. Not even a phone call to ask 'are you okay?'.
Let’s be honest and say that professionally qualified or not, we are/were here because it’s a great place to live and let’s not pretend that altruism in helping children, or to improve the Thai education system is why we came here.
Let me say that for the seven years I have been here, the first five were excellent, but I have seen a drastic change for the worse over the past two years.
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