News from up't north

Postbox letter from Geoff Richards

The good news is that because the Teacher's Council of Thailand is trying to rigorously enforce the need for all foreign English teachers to sit the tests for a TL, many schools are now finding it difficult to retain staff.


Can you teach science?

A simple question that led to a most unbelievable runaround

I got an interview for a science teacher position here in Thailand. The owner of the education employment agency started by asking me how long I plan to stay in Thailand. I said, "A long time because I like Thailand." He asked me what I like about Thailand. I said, "What's to not like about Thailand?"


Word of warning on a dodgy agency

Postbox letter from Mol

Unfortunately, the agency curse in Thailand has struck again. We have had the pain of dealing with a certain agency in Trang.


Does Thailand want to keep its teachers?

Postbox letter from Jonathan

I think it is plain to see that Thailand has to change the way it operates. The fat cat agency owners are making a killing ripping off teachers. The school directors are pocketing money to buy their Mercedes instead of buying what the school needs.


When your face just doesn't fit

When a school wants to fire you, what can you do?

I had been working as a Maths teacher for just under four months at a Catholic school in Bangkok when the head teacher, who is always happy to deliver bad news in a very dramatic way, informed me that parents had complained about the homework books not being marked. This was just the beginning.


Another demo lesson fiasco

Postbox letter from Lauren

I had a similar situation where I attended an interview with a reputable agency and was sent to do a demo lesson at one of their schools (not the school they needed a new teacher for). I was told to give a 40-minute demo from a book.


The school that once was

Postbox letter from Mr. Greenberg

A well regarded school, a school with a beautifully rich history, is now perceived as something else. Asked about the school’s services, a Thai faculty member, who asked not to be named said, “most of what is happening now is all for show.”


Let go of the past

Postbox letter from Mike

Stories where teachers and teaching agencies have come into conflict are all too common and allegations (on both sides) are difficult to prove/substantiate. Also, there are always two sides to every story.


Choosing the right employer

The joys of working for a teacher agency

I wouldn't say I have a "horror story" per se, but rather a three-ringed circus. I found the whole ordeal quite amusing for the most part, although the never getting paid on time or the correct amount, along with the constant harassing emails from whom I can only assume to be a mentally imbalanced employer did get a bit tiresome by the end.


We've found paradise at last

Ignore the sob stories and the doom merchants - Thailand rocks!

We've both been here about six months, have only done two visa runs, had both our employers apply for our work permits for us, have started saving money as we actually make a little more collectively than we did in South Korea - and are both loving life again. Life really couldn't be much better.


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