My life as a farang teacher

Postbox letter from Larry Gellar

I probably should have seen the writing on the wall when I was asked to sign a contract in a foreign language, without a translation. I should have just slowly backed away.


Where is Brian?

The search for a missing teacher

I’ve kept this article rather vague as to where exactly Brian lived, where he hung out, where he worked and who his friends were. I did this partly because I simply don’t have all that information and I don’t want to invade too much of his privacy. People who know him will surely recognize him by the facts mentioned in this article. If any of you have relevant information, feel free to share it with me. This is not a witch hunt; it’s just one worried farang looking for another.


Rubbish!

Please keep Thailand clean

If you ask yourself what this article is doing on a teaching website, it’s because I’m convinced that we should start teaching our children a lot more about all kinds of pollution and instil in them more respect for the environment. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a special course, why not have an English lesson once in a while debating the issue and asking students to come up with possible solutions.


Moral education

The Bangkok case

So what are the problems faced by Thai youth? Well, many of the same problems are faced by Thai youth as are faced by their North American counterparts, though in different degree and proportion. Unfortunately, statistics are few and far between and often unreliable.


Water wars

The infamous Songkhran festival

The Songkran festival, which could also be called Water festival, is the Thai celebration of the Buddhist New Year and officially lasts for three days. Although it seems to be immensely popular with Thais, many foreigners, especially expats, thoroughly dislike it. Why is that?


Unseen Thailand

Travels on Klong Takian

Why spend a Saturday afternoon learning to Kayak on a canal that few people have ever heard of before? Well, it is just sort of there. It was one of the few local canals that I hadn’t explored yet. Long-tail boats can’t navigate down its thin curves. They always break to a halt in frustration. Twice I tried to penetrate the canal to no avail. It felt like quitting in defeat before unhooking a precious bra strap.


The teaching river

the waterways of Thailand and ayutthaya

Truth be told, I have taken as many as 150 boat rides in Ayutthaya. My love of this city’s waterways first struck me in the year 2000. I had just flew into Thailand for a new teaching job. Luck was with me. The first place that I looked at for housing was located right beside the Chao Phraya River. I rented the small stilted bungalow on the spot. There was no reason to look for anything else. After years of teaching abroad I had finally found what I was looking for.


The pee, the nong and the wai

Aspects of Thai culture

Although ajarn.com has never shirked from handing out some just criticism on Thai education and culture I felt it was only fair to balance worthy criticism with worthy praise.


Rote learning and Thai schooling

Improving student language skills

To improve Thai-language skills amongst youngsters, Education Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng plans to cut rote learning and introduce more reading and writing. Mr. Chaturon said Thai-language teaching needed to undergo a radical change since children were not good at their mother tongue.


Go to Hell

Leading my students into hell

In Hell you can see human bodies with the heads of chickens, cobras, and toads. You can peek at naked people scurrying up thorny trees while red-clad demons stab them with spears, hungry crows pluck out their eyeballs, and rabid "soi" dogs bite their genitals off. You could have a better day, if you know what I mean.


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The Hot Spot


Air your views

Air your views

Got something to say on the topic of teaching, working or living in Thailand? The Ajarn Postbox is the place. Send us your letters!


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Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.


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How much money does a teacher need to earn in order to survive in Thailand? We analyze the facts.


Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Ricky Batten from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.


The dreaded demo

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Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?


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The Region Guides

The Region Guides

Fancy working in Thailand but not in Bangkok? Our region guides are written by teachers who actually live and work in the provinces.