Thailand offers a lot of options for teachers, particularly when for those who teach English. However, if you are looking to have this as a long-term career, it’s going to be a smart thing for you to do some research in order to prepare before you go and teach English in Thailand.
First of all, you have to know that in order to for you to work in Thailand as an English teacher you most likely have to get a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate. You’ll need this in order for you to get your teaching license and after that, a work permit. A TEFL certificate also allows you to make negotiation on your salary. In addition, you must also aspire to obtain a working Visa to evade legality problems. You could already deliberate this with your employer as you apply.
Oh, wait! Are you not an English native? That’s alright. If English is only your second language, but you know you’re qualified to teach, you can get TESL (Teaching English as Second Language) Program, which is basically the same as TEFL, except it is for those who have English as their second language.
A great benefit of teaching overseas with an organized program is it is going to deal with your work permit and work visa duties for you. The government will require you a lot of fundamentals for getting a work permit, which includes contracts and other official procedure signed by the school’s director, and typically, the school wouldn’t be hands-on in taking care of everything for you.
The process can be complicated. First of all, you need to obtain a Non-B Immigrant Visa and then transforming it into a work permit.
Of course, another important consideration before deciding to teach English in Thailand is to know how much pay you will get. Okay, the only qualifications you need are that you are fluent in English, and maybe for some, have a degree. This might sound like a good career opportunity; however, you may have to deal with some drawbacks. The typical monthly salaries in Bangkok will just be around ฿30,000 or approximately US$900.
Compared to western’s standards, this may sound too small, but since you are living in a developing country, you have to adjust and to know that the cost of living here is way lower. For a lot of people, the idea of living a holiday lifestyle is crushed when slammed by the realities of living the life on a shoestring. On top of this, there’s a small chance of career growth, and it is going to be difficult to save for the future.
Oh, and just a quick advice, try to be sensitive in terms of discussing salary with your fellow teachers, particularly with the natives. Like I mentioned, foreign employees tend to have higher paycheck compared to the locals.
Dealing with Students
As you start to spend time with your Thai local students, you’ll initially see that it’s not difficult to get comfortable with Thai students as they’re generally very accommodating. However, you have to remember that Thai students tend to get bored easily so you have to make sure you know how to add fun to each class you have. Be creative and add some fun games in order to keep their attention. Prepare yourself for the significant aspects of the local culture in order for you to be easily able to deal with your student’s interests.
Public or Private School?
Public schools offer a Monday to Friday class schedule with small compulsions during the nights and weekends, and the chance to celebrate every public and local holiday. Language organizations normally pay higher but may ask you to work even during the nights and weekends as most of the students are business experts or students wanting to learn English after regular school. Furthermore, you’ll have more chance to earn more working on a private school compared to working in a public school. But then again, you may want to expect to deal with more workload.
All in all, you have to keep in mind that the work itself can be very tedious at times, and a lot of people cope with how the education system of Thailand works. Always try to simply go with the flow rather than trying to change things in order to make them similar to what they were back home. Of course, it’s not always easy to adjust at first, but in time, you will be easily fit in.
To travel, live, and work, particularly to teach English in Thailand is probably the best way to truly experience what the country has to offer, so if you have the opportunity, consider that option.
Do you have other tips you want to share that I forgot to mention? Let us know in the comment box below!