Friday, November 8, 2013

Teaching in Thailand

by Regin Reyno

One of the things you can do if you love traveling is teaching English (or other subjects in English) in other countries. A lot of countries hire foreign teachers to teach them English. Through teaching, you’ll be able to go from country to country and yet be able to have an income as well. It also enables you to stay longer in a place thereby fully experiencing the culture.
Teaching Heath in an international school in Thailand
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."  --Mark Twain
One of the countries that hire foreign teachers is Thailand. It is country that offers lots of beautiful places to explore and is the center of travelers in Southeast Asia, thus making traveling to nearby countries convenient.

Living in this country is very inexpensive. The cost of living is one of the cheapest in the world. So despite its accessibility and convenience, it is easy on the pocket.

I’ve been teaching here for almost 4 years already and was able to experience lots of travel opportunities. The cultures, food, language, experiences, people, are all great.

There are different kinds of schools in Thailand. You have public schools or Thai schools, private bilingual schools, and international schools.

If you have the opportunity, working in an international school is the best option. Not only do they pay more, but their system is better and they are more employee-friendly. The students can speak English very well so teaching is not difficult. 

Most international schools have administrators from countries like UK, Australia, USA and the Philippines. That explains why the system is better.
International School
Then you have the private bilingual schools. This for me is the second best option that you can have. The students can speak English a little bit and can understand fairly well. But what I like about these schools is that they are more stable compared to public schools. Most private bilingual schools offer work permits and pay 12 months, which means you have paid holidays; summer break, semester break, and Christmas breaks. 

The downside of these private schools is that, the owners and administrators are Thai-Chinese and the mentality of these people is money, money, money. So the concentration of the school is more on the business side-how to have more profit. The education part is compromised.

Private Bilingual School
A public school or Thai school in my opinion is the most challenging. Most public schools don’t pay their teachers 12-month salary. Which means you have unpaid vacations. The students can’t speak nor understand English and the classrooms are crowded.

But the good thing here is there is less pressure, since it's a government school. They are more lax with work hours and performance. Sa Tagalog pa, "pa petiks petiks lang".
Public School/Thai School
Thai School
Although teaching in Thailand allows earning, saving, enjoying, splurging, and traveling at the same time, (because of the cheap food, goods, and services) keep in mind that it is a job and not a career-unless you'll be able to find an employer that offers long-term contracts and professional development. (some international schools do that).

Accommodation in Thailand is cheap. It ranges from 1,500 baht (48 USD) to 10,000 baht (319 USD)/month apartments and townhouses to 20,000 baht (638 USD)/month luxurious condominiums. It also depends on the location. Downtown Bangkok is the most expensive while the provinces have the cheapest.

Some school offer free accommodation and/or free breakfast and lunch. That's also one thing you need to consider in choosing a school.
Bangkok Living
A fully-furnished apartment in Bangkok.

A simple but comfortable apartment in Bangkok.  
 Teachers' free  fully-furnished apartment in a private bilingual school.
  Hallway/balcony of the teachers' free fully-furnished apartment in a private bilingual school.
External view of the teachers' free fully-furnished apartment in a private bilingual school.
So if you want to experience Thailand or other countries, teach English and live there. You can have a fairly decent income and be able to experience the wonderful place and culture at a longer period of time.
My Classroom
P.S. Avoid agencies as much as possible. Find schools that directly hire teachers. Most agencies don't have sick leave and has a "no work no pay rule." You won't have paid vacations.

They have a percentage in your actual salary, so you'll not be receiving your actual full salary-and most agencies' salary are delayed. 

Some owners of these agencies are greedy, don't have integrity, and lack common sense. 

What are some other jobs you know that'll allow you to earn while traveling?

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  1. Wow! This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for.Your website gives the best and the most interesting information..Earning while Travelling! dee-mak Teacher Regin ikaw na! :)

    1. Yes, teaching English is really one of the skills that will allow you to earn while traveling.

  2. Wow! This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for.Your website gives the best and the most interesting information..Earning while Travelling! dee-mak Teacher Regin ikaw na! :)

  3. Hi, which school are you teaching?

    I am 25 Singaporean, and am keen to teach in Thailand. Currently I am doing my last module for my Bachelor Degree.

    Bernard Tan

    1. Hello, I left Thailand already. Teaching in Thailand is fun. You'll enjoy it.


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