The Ultimate Guide to Teaching English in Thailand | Free Book | Part 4

This is part 4, to see Part 1 of this free book CLICK HERE.

Internet Connections

TOT, TT&T, TRUE, and other companies can give you ADSL broadband connections at home. It runs through your phone line at very fast speeds. Supposedly you can get 8 MBps, but I’ve never seen anyone get any more than 2 MBps in reality. Regardless of what you pay for, you’ll probably come nowhere near 2 – 4 MBps. That’s been my experience and that of my friends. Is anyone getting true 2 MBps? Four? Eight? Please let me know and I’ll revise this section of the book!

The cost for ADSL can be as little as 500 THB, so it’s quite affordable to hook your home or apartment up with high-speed internet. The problem is that you’re limited in choice to whichever companies can reach your home. Usually one can, but sometimes not. Ask around your neighborhood and see which company most people use for their internet and what their connection speeds are really like for downloads and uploads.

If you will work online or transfer large files you’re best to stay in one of four places for the best internet: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, or Patong Beach. These places, in that same order I believe, offer the fastest internet speeds in the country.

If you’re waiting for 3G connections in Thailand – so are we all. Supposedly Thailand will get 3G in 2010. Nobody is holding their breath though, it’s been ‘coming’ for 2 years now.

Legal Requirements for Teaching

Since 2006 the Teachers Council of Thailand has been putting into place steps of a procedure for licensing foreign teachers (and Thais). There has been a strong backlash against this effort and many foreigners have decided to go to other countries to teach.

The council was created in 2003 by the Ministry of Education. The council is made up of the Board, the Professional Standards Committee, the Welfare Promotion for Teachers and Educational Personnel Committee, and the Members of the Council.

Thailand has the distinction among Asian countries, of being the best place for quality of life if you are a teacher. As a result, the pay hasn’t been competitive with what teachers can make in other countries. When Thailand started to really tighten up the rules and regulations regarding teaching, a lot of foreigners decided it was time to go. There are still something like 7,000 foreign teachers of English in the country, as evidenced by their application for work permits.

The licensing of teachers involved those in public, private, and international schools teaching students at less than university level. Universities and private language schools were exempted.

Necessary:

1. 20 years of age or more.

2. Bachelors (minimum) degree in education or 18-24 credits in teaching (education).

3. Attend and pass a 20-hour training course about Thai Culture and Language, Professional Standards and Code of Ethics.

4. Completed application.

Prohibited Prospective Teacher Characteristics:

1. Improper behavior or immorality.

2. Incompetent or functionally incompetent.

3. Past imprisonment, or current warrant for arrest.

Part of the application process involves applying for police background checks from both your home country and Thailand.

US citizens can follow this procedure to get cleared:

1. Copy/paste this link to the FBI into your internet browser and follow all instructions:

http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/fprequest.htm


2. You’ll need to visit your local police department to get your fingerprints taken.

3. Make a money order or bank check for $18 payable to, “Treasury of the United States”. Paying by credit card is also possible if you download the credit card form and send it with your application.

4. Send your application to:

FBI CJIS Division – Record Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306


There is usually a 3-4 week processing time.

Thailand’s governing body for Teaching Licenses:

Teachers Council of Thailand

128/1 Ratchasima Rd.

Dusit Bangkok 10300

Telephone: 02-282-48262 and 02-280-6226

Website: www.ksp.or.th

If you don’t have the bachelor’s or higher degree (or the 24 credits) in teaching and education you can take a four-part professional education exam at the Teachers Council of Thailand at the cost of 1,000 THB for each section. Retakes are allowed until you pass.

The other option is to take 24 units of education subjects at universities in Thailand authorized to give them, or at any Thailand Ministry of Education approved universities outside Thailand.

The three day long Thai Culture and Language, Professional Standards and Code of Ethics twenty-hour course is taught four times per month at the Private School Teachers Association of Thailand (PSTAT) in many provinces and in Bangkok at:

4/516 Sahakorn Village Soi 21

Serithai Rd. (Soi 57)

Klong Kum, Bangkok

10240 Thailand

The cost ranges from 3,500 – 6,000 THB

There are three types of teaching certifications the Teachers Council of Thailand issues:


1. Permit to Teach – a letter that is good for up to two years
2. Temporary Teachers License – to receive this letter one must pass the tests – this is issued in lieu of the actual teaching license card and is good for five months.
3. Teacher’s License Card – good for five years and renewable upon expiration.

To pass the course you need a 90% attendance rate, to pass a practical test and a one-on-one interview and participate in a group skills presentation and, in general, participate in the course through its duration.

Once you pass the course your application for the Thailand teacher license will cost 500 THB and, when it arrives sometime later, be valid for 5 years and is renewable upon expiration.

While you’re completing the various requirements for your Thailand Teacher License you will receive a one or two-year temporary teaching license issued by the Teachers Council of Thailand. This is given the same day you make an application for the Teaching License.

Work Permits

A blue covered work permit, about the same size as your passport, is necessary before starting work as a foreigner in Thailand. By law, it is supposed to be issued before work starts. In practice, that doesn’t always happen. Some leeway is usually given by authorities.

Not everyone teaching in Thailand has a work permit. Not by a long shot. It was estimated in the past that thousands of foreigners were working in the province of Chiang Mai without work permits. There have been some efforts in the last couple of years to find and prosecute teachers in Bangkok schools working without work permits.

Authorities would literally pull up on a school and block exits and examine work permits for all teachers found. Some foreign teachers were prosecuted, fined on average 100,000 THB and blacklisted from returning to Thailand. This went on for a number of months. There hasn’t been mention in the expat forums about it still going on, but it might well be.

Online estimates from years ago put the number of illegally working expats in the country at as high as 50%. I believe that has probably changed significantly during the last few years. As I said, a number of foreigners have left Thailand. I think after the crackdowns there was a mass exodus of illegally working foreign English teachers. I’ll guess that 25% are still working illegally, but it’s just a guess. Who would have valid stats on this type of thing?

Teaching with a valid work permit allows you to get one-year non-immigrant b visas, so getting a work permit pays. If you continue on with the same school after a year you can just easily renew your work permit and visa to go for another year. It pays to find a school you like and stay on. It cuts down on the paperwork and doing border runs for sure!

Work Permit Restrictions

If you have a valid work permit you’ll notice it states that your employment is good only at the place listed – not elsewhere. It’s not a work permit giving you free rein to work anywhere in the country. Actually, it’s illegal to even teach private classes separate from your workplace.

Do teachers still do it? Yes. Do they get caught? Not very often. I think as long as you have the work permit for your school position nobody really cares that you are teaching private classes that go against the rules of the work permit. If someone turned you in for it you could still be prosecuted, but it’s likely you could resolve it before it went to court.

TEFL

What is it? Do you need a TEFL, TESOL, CERTA, or ESL certificate?

A Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate is not always needed to work in Thailand, but if you’re headed to other countries you’re better off to get one as it will give you more options.

There is also TESOL which is Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, which is acceptable in Thailand and other countries as well.

Many companies offer these certifications. Is one any better than any other? I wouldn’t hazard a guess. I know many people who have a bachelor’s degree (in anything – literally), and they didn’t need the TEFL or TESOL certificate.

Will 120 hours of training help you teach in Thailand? I think it must.

Is it a good idea to pay for the course? Up to you. I think in-class experience, reading books, and finding information online is better than any course. But, I haven’t sat through them – so, as I said, up to you.

TEFL international is an international organization that oversees the issuing of globally accepted TEFL certificates.

Taking the TEFL inside the country you’re planning on teaching in is probably the better way to go if you’re going to get the certificate. TEFL courses in America, UK, and wherever you go can’t possibly prepare you for every country’s culture. Thailand is a very unique culture and I’d recommend doing the course here in Thailand if at all possible.

Try TEFLThailand.com for course locations within Thailand. Their certificates are good in Japan, Korea, and China as well as other countries.

More Clarification:

TESOL – common in the USA. Teaching English in non-English speaking countries.


TEFL – common in the UK. Teaching English in non-English speaking countries.

ESL – English as a Second language. Teaching English to students in countries using English as a 2nd, 3rd or less language.

CELTA – Certificate for English language teaching to adults is a TESOL certificate course that has been around for a very long time and many people recognize the name.

More on Teaching in Thailand

In the past, you could teach without a bachelor’s degree. Today it’s still possible, but the number of schools that will take an applicant without a bachelor’s degree from their home country is smaller. There are a number of Thai English schools that need English teachers at any rate, and teachers without degrees can still get legal employment at some of the language schools – with a work permit.

A bachelor’s degree is not required by the Ministry of Labor. A school can vouch for the foreign teacher applicant so a work permit can be issued. For any government schools or schools with a good reputation, finding work without a bachelor’s degree will be more difficult. Your best chance is to look in small towns because they often have difficulty attracting foreign teachers who want nightlife, beaches, and shopping.

Fake Documents

In the past, it’s been rather easy to pick up a fake degree or RSA certificate on Khao San Road in Bangkok and get a work permit to teach. Many foreigners have done so.

What is the risk? Unless you make someone angry that knows you bought your degree somewhere, the risk is small. Within Bangkok, there were a number of checks of foreign teachers’ documents at schools, but outside of Bangkok, nobody is reporting this happening that I’m aware of.

The risk, if caught is that you’ll spend some time in a Thai jail, have a court case, be found guilty, fined, and deported – blacklisted from ever setting foot back in this lovely country.

Is it worth it? Some still think so.

I’ve always kept my passport in my possession. In fact, it’s the US law that I must. However, with the work permit, some people recommend not letting the school keep it. I let the school keep mine so I’m not worried about losing it. If they lose it – it’s their responsibility. It’s one more thing to keep track of and I just don’t want to worry about it. Up to you how you choose to handle it.

To get the work permit issued you’ll need to get a non-immigrant b visa issued. Your school will (should) help you immensely with this project because it would be quite a chore to do it on your own.

VISA Requirements – Here’s what you need:

1. You’ll need a non-immigrant b visa. If you don’t have one you’ll need to go to a Thai embassy or consulate in a neighboring country. Malaysia, Cambodia, and Laos, are the usual destinations.

2. Bring a copy of a letter from your school stating that you have been offered a teaching job.

3. Your Thai school will have a number of things they must give you copies of to submit with your application.

4. You’ll need passport type photos for almost all paperwork you do in Thailand so always have 10-20 of those on hand. You’ll need some for this application too.

5. There is a fee which either you are paying out of pocket, or your school will reimburse you for. Find out which before you go. Most schools will reimburse you later for it.

Often the embassy or consulate, though you’re carrying every single paper you could possibly get from your school, will request some other paper you don’t have. It’s a game that many expats have been put through over the years. Each place you go to get the non-immigrant b visa has different requirements, so it seems. Ensure the school calls the exact embassy or consulate where you’ll go and gets a complete list of what you’ll need or you might face some runaround. If you don’t do this your overnight trip might turn into a three-day trip.

Be aware that Thai embassies and consulates in other countries take Thai holidays – and plan accordingly! There are many Thai holidays that just seem to pop up unexpectedly.

Tip: Go early, before 10 am. Some places can get you the visa that same afternoon. Other times an overnight is mandatory. Try your luck by arriving early, you might be pleasantly surprised.

I said, might!

Tip: Never submit your original degrees or RSA certificates. They might be lost. Make copies of everything – and sign them. Signed copies serve as originals.

In order to get your work permit issued, you will probably have to get a medical certificate from a Thai hospital. This may or may not be required, and it’s nothing to fear. You’ll go to the reception area of a public or private hospital, or maybe a private clinic where a doctor may, or may not, examine you. You’ll pay a small fee – less than 1,000 THB, and get a certificate of health. In the past, I’ve paid something like 90 THB each for these at a private hospital.

Tip: Things change in Thailand often regarding the procedures for obtaining the various visas, work permits, and other paperwork. It’s always in flux. The information in this book is up-to-date as of today. Tomorrow it might change a little bit. The school you teach with can find out the current procedure more easily than you can find it on the internet forums.

Another thing to remember is that while rules regarding procedures for visa and work permit should be standardized and enforced uniformly at the various embassies, work permit offices and such. They routinely are not. Some say it’s like rolling the dice!

There are “visa agents” that offer to run your passport across the border for you and get the necessary visa. I would advise strongly against letting anyone run your passport anywhere but to a copier. Do the legwork and keep your passport in your possession at all times. Who knows what they’re doing with your identity? You might try to return to your home country and be thrown in jail as an imposter – of yourself!

Foreigners overstaying their visa are charged the rate of 500 THB per day of overstay. There is a maximum fine of 20,000 THB for this offense. Some expats overstay two years. Some six. If you overstay more than about six months you may have a mandatory court date where you’re assessed a fine of nearly any amount, but probably won’t exceed 100,000 THB. At times the foreigner is let off during court and need not pay more than 1,000 THB for an overstay.

If you’re lucky enough to make it to the airport and go through immigration there you might just pay the 20,000 THB and be on your way home, free to return to Thailand in a week, or tomorrow. Frequent overstayers are sometimes penalized with a blacklisting from setting foot back in the country, but it’s not often, as I understand it.

Changing Schools, Changing Work Permits

When you leave one school and move to another your work permit must be canceled and you need to re-apply at the new school. I’ve heard contradicting information about whether you need to reapply for your teaching license if you change schools. Some say yes, some no.

Summary

Becoming a legal teacher in Thailand as a foreigner is a frustrating process. If your school won’t help you and walk you through the entire process then you should probably go find a different school. For a foreigner to navigate the process on their own – it would be a nightmare.

Types of teaching placements

What are the different types of schools where English teachers work and how is each of the different types of English teaching jobs different?

Types

Private Language Schools

  • 2nd in numbers of jobs available
  • the highest concentration in Bangkok
  • in all major cities
  • air-conditioned and nicest rooms and facilities
  • major names: ECC, Siam Computer, AUA, Inlingua
  • open year-round, seven days per week except for holidays
    weekend classes are most full and teachers most needed
  • weekday classes are afternoon and evenings
  • weekend classes are morning to evening
  • contracts specify a maximum number of teaching hours per week (20-25 is average)
    pays well and don’t require office hours like government schools and universities
  • with year contract you can receive a couple of weeks of paid holidays
  • student ages run the gamut – young to adult
  • classes last 2-3 hours each with a break in the middle
  • smaller classes than government schools or universities (10-20 students on average)
  • no grading requirements usually
  • no unpaid English camps
  • no office hours
  • salary 25 – 35,000 THB per month for 20-25 hours teaching per week


Thai Government Schools

  • probably best overall position for most foreigners
  • the highest number of open positions across the country. Thousands of schools employ teachers.
  • large class sizes (20 – 50+)
  • no weekend classes
  • extra duties – a play; a Saturday excursion with the kids; an English camp once or twice per year
  • 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. standard hours
  • short classes 45 minutes to 1 hour
  • usually, have air conditioning – not always though
  • many tests, grading is necessary
  • everyone passes regardless of grades you give
  • can repeat same lesson with all same age classes, cuts down on preparation time
  • paperwork is off the scale – huge amounts of paperwork, and pink book grading nightmare
  • frequent changes in schedule, holidays, practices for sports day and everything else will leave you frazzled. Thai teachers go with the flow – foreigners have issues with constant change and last minute notice.
  • usually free or reduced rate breakfast and/or lunch
  • most schools have some sort of WIFI internet in the teachers room or at least connected desktop computers
  • 3 months paid breaks per year, some of which you’ll spend in office -but probably 8 weeks outside
  • many Thai holidays you’re paid for
  • about 36 weeks of teaching all year


Universities

  • lower pay (25,000 THB on average)
  • fewer hours to teach (10-15)
  • mandatory office hours
  • higher prestige for teachers at good universities
  • better identification with students – feel like they’re friends
  • good opportunity for teaching private lessons in evenings and weekends
  • must have a bachelors degree, if good school – master’s or more
  • little value placed on CELTA, TEFL, TESOL, etc.
  • most good universities in Bangkok and Chiang Mai

International Schools

  • highest pay
  • fewer hours to teach (10-15)
  • mandatory office hours
  • some prestige associated with these positions
  • teaching mostly foreign students and children of rich Thais
  • much paperwork
  • good opportunity for teaching private lessons in evenings and weekends
  • must have a bachelors degree, teaching certification – if good school master’s or higher
  • most good schools are in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, there are a few scattered International schools in areas with a high concentration of expats

Teaching English, Yes. But, Which Classes? Computers, Math, Grammar?

As you sit there, probably in your home country and picture teaching English in Thailand you may just be contemplating teaching the whole ball of wax to Thais: grammar, conversation, reading, writing, etc. There are actually many different English classes you can teach in Thailand.

Instead, the reality is you will specialize in some area. You might teach just conversational English. The entire class will be spent talking back and forth, reviewing various situations they might encounter in pubic where they need to speak English.

You might choose to teach just English grammar rules. You might teach a class for Thais preparing to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS so they can attend a university in the UK or USA.

Or, you might not really be focused on teaching English at all, but teaching in English such subjects as math, advanced math, computers, physical education, science, or something else. The English programs for government schools have all of these courses and even a drama class in English.

Though it sounds like the ultimate, teaching physical education in Thailand and getting paid as much as everyone else stuck teaching English in a classroom, it might not be your cup of tea as the temperatures climb past 37 degrees and there are few places to hide from the sun. If one of your kids goes unconscious (or worse) from heat exhaustion, then you’re really in the hot seat!

Makes teaching English a whole lot more exciting I think – yes? I chose to teach math and it was pretty boring to me, but not nearly as boring as teaching English grammar would have been.

If you end up teaching at a language school you might teach advanced English, English for special purposes, TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC, GMAT, GRE, IT or business English.

Hours

The number of hours you work actually teaching and physically being there in the office are two things to carefully consider.

The average number of hours expected teaching time with students per week is somewhere about 18 per week in a government high school English program. This is probably the average everywhere, though some universities give their teachers just 10-15 hours per week!

Though you’re only teaching some small number of hours per week you are probably expected to be in the office for 8-9 hours per day five days per week. If you’re making the average 30,000 THB per month, it works out to an inglorious $5-6 dollars per hour. If you add all the time you’ll be preparing lessons at home, grading at home, and filling out the pink book grading reports at home it might be more like $4-5 per hour.

But then, in the case of the government school positions you’ve got to factor in the 2-3 months paid vacation.

With that figured in the average government school teacher making 30,000 THB per month and in the office for 40 hours per week and doing 10 hours of work at home in preparation for classes is making, in American dollars: $6.25 per hour.

All in all – this is probably the best situation you’ll find as a teacher, and, supplementing your income by teaching another 10 hours per week in your off-time at 300 baht per hour (absolute minimum for 1 student per hour) will give you another $400 USD per month to spend.

There are people in the USA and maybe your country who work for less and have three times the cost of living.

Teaching in Thailand is still a great way to go!

Tip: You can try negotiating for fewer hours in the office if at all possible. It makes a lot of sense!

Tax withholding

To be honest I’ve had the tax withholdings explained to me multiple times at numerous schools. It’s always different and I gave up caring anymore. You will be better off to just take it for granted that the school you work for will take out tax and medical insurance. They tally it up somewhere and all the other teachers at the school are getting hit with it too so don’t let it get to you. Just ignore it.

Tax rates are usually something like 900 THB on 32,000 THB salary per month. Health insurance also comes out of your check and will be a few hundred per month in addition to the taxes.

Know this – the school you’re working for should be withholding tax from your pay. If they’re not, you may get hit with it later. Better to push them into doing it above board so you can rest easy later and not have 10,000 THB deducted from your salary at the end of the year. Have them write something up in the contract to look official if it’s not there already.

Security withholding

Rarely will it happen anymore, but occasionally schools will try to hold some of your pay back from you. They do this for Thais with various types of employment too. My wife had money held back at Kumon Learning center, and a hotel she worked at. They pay it back at the end, but, it’s something to be aware of.

As a foreigner, you shouldn’t stand for it. Just tell them, “no”. There’s not much they can do with “no” and usually Thais, when faced with it, give in – much preferring not to argue about it.

End of Contract Bonuses

Most government schools and other decent schools will offer you a bonus after one year of teaching that is equal to one month of pay. Whether you look at this as your own money being withheld every month without your consent, or some other way – if you plan to stay the entire year just bite the bullet and play the game. It’s nice to have 30,000+ THB at the end of the year if you wouldn’t have saved it on your own. At least you’ll have the means to buy a plane ticket back home if you’re through with teaching after just one year!

Thai Teaching Salaries

Just to let you know, Thai teachers with a bachelors degree start at 7,000 – 7,500 THB at a government school. If they retire at the school they might get 80% of what they were earning before they retired. Thais making 25-30K THB are doing really well for themselves and will usually have a house and a modest vehicle. An interesting fact is that, upon retirement, they can choose- monthly payments for the rest of their lives or a large lump sum payment and a reduced amount per month. Most choose the lump sum as you can imagine.

What is Teaching a Thai Class Actually Like?

I’ve taught students that were seven years old and straight up through thirty-five years. I had an easier and more enjoyable time of teaching the younger students, believe it or not. At the early ages, I found students easier to deal with. It’s possible I expected their bad behavior when it happened. With the older teens I was probably expecting better behavior, and so it wasn’t a great experience for me. Teaching adults was also a good experience – they were easier to relate to because they were closer to my age.

Some teachers thrive on teaching teens and wouldn’t think of teaching grade school students. To each her own.

Though there are differences in behavior between age groups, there is an underlying assumption that every Thai student, regardless of age, have about learning English.

It’s sanuk. It’s fun.

I didn’t understand this concept, coming from America where I’d label very few of my classes fun. Actually, maybe only gym class could have been called fun.

It’s better if you understand this now – rather than later. Thais insist on having fun. If you’re not having fun in your classes then you probably won’t’ be asked to return for the next school year. If you’re teaching private classes that aren’t any fun then you’ll lose students and not have any repeat students. Constantly trying to find a supply of students is tiring. Better to improve your classes!

If you’re not having fun while you’re teaching, the kids are not having fun learning. The entire school system is built around the concept of having fun while learning.

Your Co-Workers

Your Foreign (Farang) Co-Workers

Farang is a word that means foreigner. Don’t get upset by it because it does you no good. Get used to it and don’t look at it as a negative term. 99% of Thais don’t use it in a negative fashion – and ignore any that do… 99% don’t mean any harm when they say the word…

Foreign teachers in Thailand come in all flavors. If you’re looking for camaraderie – a group of friends at the school you’re teaching at that you can have a blast with in Thailand – you might have a difficult time of that, or you might luck into the right group at the right time.

There is a wide range of personality types that work as teachers in Thailand. We have the sex-tourist that can’t get enough and teaches because it’s the only way to continue to pay for their escapades. Others work on bedding their university and other adult students.

There are people with heart – the Peace Corps type, or volunteer types that are here for the genuine experience of being immersed in a new culture and want to do everything the Thai way.

There are student volunteers that convince their parents this would be a great way to earn credit for their university degree who aren’t really very interested in experiencing Thai culture, just Thai nightlife.

There are the rejects from farangland that are at odds with aspects of their home country and escape to Thailand in search of greener pasture, less stress, easier living. Sometimes these people fit right in, and sometimes they are liabilities here too.

There are professional teachers that love teaching and come to Thailand qualified to teach, ready to teach, and are superstar teachers in Thailand. They make nice money and usually stay for a long time because they’re making as much money in Thailand as they were making in their home country and with a fraction of expenses.

There are the retired folks that realized they did nothing fun in their lives so they come to Thailand, teach, and don’t end up doing anything fun here – just griping about every situation and how it’s different from their own home country.

There are the alcoholics and drug-addicted that come because the cost of living is cheaper. Beer and rum are cheaper. It’s a lot more fun to be an alcoholic in Thailand than it is in other countries apparently.

Thai Teachers you Work With…

Thai teaching assistants are a mixed blessing… when you first start teaching they are probably a good resource to have. They can run interference for you until you get caught up understanding the Thai English accent and eventually understand some Thai on your own.

Sometimes the assistants have taught the course you’re teaching for the first time, for years before you. They can teach circles around you, but, they are assisting you because their English is poor and they want to have the time working directly with you.

There are Thai assistants that are outright jealous of foreign teachers’ high pay. Why? Well, the Thai assistants usually only make 5,000 to 7,500 THB per month outside of Bangkok. It’s probably the same in Bangkok. These are university graduates, that are looking to gain experience in a classroom and either aren’t ready to take a full-time English teaching position themselves, or no such position exists at the school and they take the assistant job to get some experience working directly with a native English speaker (you).

Teaching Various Age Levels

Primary Grades 1-6 (Prathom 1-6)

I found Prathom 1-4 to be great fun. The kids love to learn, are eager to show you what they’ve learned, and it’s easy to create fun lessons for them. In Prathom 2 I think we spent more time singing English songs than we did other types of learning, and the kids learned a lot of words like that.

Prathom 5 and 6 were, quite possibly the worst experience I had teaching in Thailand. I just couldn’t get along with the few class clowns and they were relentlessly idiotic. we had some fun classes, but These few guys would never quiet down and get with the program for a lesson that required listening closely for any amount of time. Quite a trying time.

Mathyom 1-6

Mathyom 1 and 2 were not bad for some reason. Apparently, the kids think they’re beginning to grow up and they need to show some restraint. This was a good age group to teach for me and, while I only taught a few classes to cover for other teachers that were absent, I had good experiences.

Teaching students from Mathyom 3 and 4 was fairly easy overall as well. The classes at the government high school English program I taught at were set up with smartest testing kids in class A, next group in B, next C, and lastly class D.

D class was tolerable, and I had a lot of great experiences teaching them because they wanted to learn and get up into class C or B next testing period.

C Class was like F-Troop. I don’t know what happened to the boys in that class but there about 7 degenerates out of 9 males. The girls were lovely, and sadly, were stuck with the horrible boys. I spent a whole lot more time disciplining the 7 jackass boys than I did teaching. It was a horrible situation made worse by the lack of discipline among rich kids. The parents of these boys were high powered people in town and the boys knew they could do whatever they wanted and pass the math class too.

You too may have to deal with some incorrigible kids in your classes, but probably never 7 at a time!

Adults

I had a good time teaching English to Thai adults. Some were university students, others were business people that wanted to improve general conversational English and English directly related to business conversations they had daily.

Usually, adults wanted to have one on one learning time, and some university students came in groups of 2-4 to cut costs.


Teaching adults in your off-time can be fun and you can find out a whole lot about what is going on in whatever city you are in. There are many things Thais know about the negatives happening in their city and if you find the right ones, they’ll share it all with you. It’s a great way to practice English and it’s – fun. The number one requirement for kids or adults is that the class is fun enough to sit through for the duration.

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