Friday, 8 October 2010

What am I doing Teaching ESL in Thailand?


Why am I an Ajarn Teaching English in Thailand?

This is a common question that many English Teachers ask themselves after a few years of Teaching here in Thailand.

For the new Teacher / Ajarn here in the land of smiles everything always looks rosy. Yes, you remember those days well. The transition from Thailand tourist to Thailand Teacher. You've made it, and now you're a fully fledged Thailand expat living & Teaching in the bustling Thai capital of Bangkok.

But wait! What's gone wrong! A few years ago you used to like going to work, doing all that overtime, nothing was too much trouble for you. Now all you want to do is get your monthly salary and get back to your condo. Friday night can't come fast enough.

Yes, the above happens quite frequently to a lot of Thailand Ajarns. Those rose tints go dull and reality creeps in. You're no longer on holiday! It's a job, yes a Teaching Job and you've an obligation to the school and all those smiling Thai students. It's just the same old 9-5 grind that you tried to escape back home in the west. The only difference is that the weather is hotter, prices are cheaper and nobody speaks your lingo!

What is it that really hacks foreign Teachers off here in Thailand? Well we could make a very long list but for the purposes of this short post we'll just stick to the more common points...

Cultural misunderstandings

Language barrier

Lower pay compared to western salaries

Racism or perceived racism

Thai laws & regulations that discriminate against Foreigners in Thailand

Inept bumbling Thai management and co workers

Two tier pricing

Thai people trying to charge Foreigners extra

Thai Visa rules & Regulations


Those are just a few common points that cause distress to Foreign expats / Teachers in Thailand. The thing that should be taken into account is this. Most Teachers here in the land of smiles knew in advance that they'd be up against hurdles like the above. 

So why did they come and Live in Thailand in the first place? Beats the hell out of me. Maybe they were just in a state of denial with themselves or maybe they thought that they'd change Thailand and the Thai people? Who knows?

Having become disillusioned with Thailand, it's people, and the whole Thailand ESL Teaching scene. What happens next? Where do they go? Home maybe? No, they head over to Thailand internet forums like T***D*** There they take great delight in ranting and raving to each other about how unfair their lives are and how Thailand & it's people are conspiring against them! 

Birds of a feather roost together or like attracts like. The purpose of this article is to point out potential pitfalls that new English Teacher might face here in Thailand. Life & things are what you make them. Why make something bad when you can make it good?

Enjoy Teaching English in Thailand.