A little piece of advice

Starting your teaching career in Bangkok

Whatever you do, don’t start an ESL career in Thailand. Why? I’ll tell you. Unless, you come over on a substantial mattress of financial support you will be behind from the get-go and spend your whole time here figuring out how to make ends meet.


Wishes

Reflections on the Thai TESOL conference

Okay, I have to admit that there are a number of good, dedicated Thai teachers of English who do make a difference, but there aren’t merely enough. As long as the government keeps teachers paying a pittance there never will be enough.


Monty Python returns

Teaching can be rewarding, stressful, frustrating, or even downright funny

What follows are a few (slightly adapted) classroom conversations. Although they might be familiar to you, I hope you’ll find them entertaining.


A teacher's lot

A week in the life of an English teacher

As Friday is my day off, I consider Saturday to be the start of my working week. Yes, that’s right, I work six days a week, not unusual if you work for a language school. Unlike Thai schools, the weekend is the busiest time for language schools.


The teacher's diary

One teacher's descent into madness

The diary is the sad and heartbreaking four-week journal of Mr Jim Elmdon - a teacher who came, saw, and failed miserably. Keep a box of tissues handy.


The teacher mindset

English teachers are all business owners

In Thailand, I have found that people quickly get labeled and categorized as either good or bad, helpful or unhelpful, good teachers or bad teachers, etc. Then once you are labeled it is a long and difficult process of changing your projected image.


Teacher contracts

Are they binding, and if so, how?

Let’s face it, when a teacher realizes they made a mistake by taking the job, or have suddenly found another school that will pay them more money, they will try to get out of the contract. Many just up and leave with no word or thought for the mess they are leaving behind.


Ajarn lesson number one

The first steps to becoming a teacher

A teacher, me! Terror was my first reaction, yes I was used to handling million pound budgets and protecting the reputation of celebrities form the British tabloid, but teaching is such a responsibility!


Rules and goals for the EFL classroom

Be Informed — when a student walks into my class he/she needs to be ready

Student behavior is nothing more than the rules teachers establish to govern students. For many teachers, these rules have one thing in common - they all begin with the word "NO.” The problem with this rationality is when a teachers states what cannot be done, no positive statement is made as to what will be done in a class - all negative rules do is highlight the bad.


Heaven and Hell

Tips for teaching kids

Don’t think teaching kids is easy, it’s not. Tie everything down that’s yours. Keep it in your pocket, your bag, briefcase, socks, travel pouch, wherever. Learn to enjoy singing.


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