Teaching in the sticks

31 cool and awesome things about living and teaching in rural Thailand

Before we get into the list I just want to mention that everything is written in good fun. Expats and Thailand veterans will understand more than first timers. Certain sentences and parts reflect my own specific experience more so than the general one. Some of it might come across as sappy, but I've had a very positive experience in Thailand and the glass is half full for me.


Discipline in the classroom

The 800-pound gorilla no one talks about

On more than one occasion last semester when I was teaching at the local high school I walked out of classes because I wasn't able to control an unruly crowd of 35 teenagers.


25 teacher mistakes / rules to teach by

Postbox letter from James

25 teacher mistakes to learn and live by - especially if you are a teacher in Thailand.


Cheating or helping?

Is it better to simply observe students and not try to fix things?

I learned a long time ago to not expect Thai people to think or behave the way we do in California. I've come to realize the futility of trying to impose Western values on this ancient culture.


Why can't Thais speak English?

Some of these students have had over 2,000 hours of English.

Considering that English has been the international language of tourism and commerce for I don't know how many decades now, and there are I don't know how many thousands of English teachers all over the country, why is the general level of English so poor?


Tips for the newbie teacher

Keep these points in mind and you'll cope far better

Don't get stressed by the job. Remember that you are merely the latest in a long line of farang teachers who have come and gone. There isn't enough time to make any real progress with students' English so just try and make it fun for them.


Home or away?

Where is the best place to do a TEFL course - Thailand or your own country?

A good question that occasionally pops up on social media is “should I take a TEFL course in Thailand or in my home country (USA, England, etc)? I’ve noticed that the question never really gets a decent answer, so I turned to a dozen or so of Thailand’s TEFL course providers and asked them for their input.


Get realistic Thailand!

Postbox letter from Ryan

I think Thailand needs to be more realistic about what it's looking for with TEFL teachers. You don't really need any qualifications to teach TEFL at the real TEFL level other than being a native-speaker and having a CELTA, etc.


18 red flags

18 points to consider carefully when choosing a school

From unpaid mid-term breaks to having to pay for white-board markers. What are the things that turn teachers off the idea of working for a particular Thai school - and are they justified?


Language school memoirs

Tales from an academic director / recruiter

I was a lead teacher, academic director and recruiter for a private Thai language school with several branches. I did this job for well over a decade and as you would expect - there's a story or two.


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Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Walter van der Wal from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.


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