A rare combination of education and fun

The story of how I got my full-time teaching break

After three months as a part-timer, my chance arrived when two of my fellow full-time teaching colleagues, Big Barry, a former scaffolder, and Londoner Jeremy, an ex-soldier and former plumber, both failed to turn-up.


Strange encounters of the foreign kind

Amusing recollections of foreign teaching colleagues

I thought I should write about some of the more interesting or obscure behaviour, that I have witnessed from foreign ex-pats living in Thailand, or have had related to me by others. Although I'm going to travel back a bit in time, so as not to put anyone's nose out of joint that I know at present.


My experiences of working in a college in Bangkok (part 4)

Settling in to my apartment and meeting my wacky teaching colleagues

The apartment had no windows, though a sliding glass door leading to a tiny balcony funneled in a trickle of sunlight. Worse than its size was its smell.


Different teachers, different styles

Sometimes showing the students tough love doesn't work.

My teaching colleague was just a bully who could only intimidate the younger students. ‘Find something unique that the kids are interested in, then you will be halfway there’ was some of the best advice I ever got.


The staffroom

Why do so many schools not recognize the importance of a good teachers' room?

It's in the staffroom that teachers grow their own skills, expand the range of the school curriculum, coordinate their efforts, and construct a coherent school culture. School administrators (who don't teach) are not aware of the power of a good staffroom.


A year in Ubon (part three)

The concluding episode from a first year teacher in Thailand

After work, late in the afternoon - back in my bungalow having packed my saggy suitcase with the few items I was going to need. I sat on one of the two chromed chairs in my compacted kitchen and couldn't prevent myself from thinking about the possible impending events of this coming evening.


Excuse me, haven’t we met before?

A satirical look at TEFL personality types

If you’re just an average teacher struggling along in a sea of two legged sharks trying to do your best give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, because you sir or madam are gold dust.


Get it down on paper!

The secret to managing office politics

Conflict in a workplace can pop up unexpectedly. This is why it’s necessary for you to write things down. This way, when it comes time to defend yourself or to shed light on the matter you can look back to your notes and bring up exactly what happened


Handling hostility in the EFL office space

The single best political strategy

Managing the politics involved in teaching requires you to just admit that you know nothing. Pretend that you are an alien from outer space. You have no idea how to teach. You have no idea how the system works and you need help at all times. If you don’t do this, then people want to use your sense of importance against you.


Sharing the classroom

Working with another teacher

I've come to believe that putting two teachers in the same classroom needs careful planning, and even then, the clash of egos is a minefield. It only takes one wrong step. With the cultural dimension added in, especially for a newcomer, things can become noxious frighteningly quickly.


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The Hot Spot


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What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.


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