Experience teaching in Thailand
Teaching in Thailand is quite different from teaching in other countries. Primarily, foreign teachers are required to teach English and subjects. To teach English, usually a bachelor’s degree with a teaching certificate like TEFL,TESOL and CELTA is required however, this is flexible depending on the school that hires. The next most important aspect is the teacher’s looks! The easiest way is to be blond, with blue eyes and a passport from an English speaking country such as USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. That is not to say others can’t get jobs, well they do get the leftovers. Filipinos generally teach the subjects other than English. Some Indians also work in Thailand. These are the exceptional Indians not the stereo types.
Where to get a teaching job in Thailand.
So broadly there are 2 types of foreigners seeking jobs. The so called natives and the non-natives.
For the natives it is relatively easy. For the non-natives it is easier if they know what to look for and can speak real English without a confusing accent and incorrect grammar. Read this earlier post on HOW TO TEACH ENGLISH TO THAI STUDENTS
Natives can look for jobs in these websites : http://www.footprintsrecruiting.com , http://www.seriousteachers.com and http://www.ajarn.com
I would also like to recommend craigslist.com as some of my friends got their jobs from here.
Non-natives like Indians, Filipinos, Africans and others can look for jobs at http://www.ajarnjobspace.com
http://www.seriousteachers.com , agencies in Bangkok and Craigslist.com. I suggest that if you are not blond and are a non-native then you need to get a TEFL from a reputed TEFL institution.
It is best to plan and execute carefully. Contact the numerous job agencies and scan the net, you will get lucky. some TEFL institutions also place teachers.
Visa and Work permits. Teacher’s visa
To teach in Thailand you must secure a non-b work visa. To get a non-b work visa you need to have:
1. Job offer letter from an educational institute, school or a university in Thailand
2. A valid passport – valid for at least 6 months
3. Educational documents – A Bachelors degree or TEFL/TESOL (degree is not always necessary but can be asked for my the ministry of education. The School may have to provide your documents to the ministry to get an approval.
4. Letter of approval from the ministry of Education.
5. School’s license or business registration, list of shareholders and school profile.
6. Teacher’s resume.
7. Police certificate verifying that applicant has no criminal record or equivalents or letter issued by authorized agencies in the country of origin. (The requirement of the submission of such police certificate is optional. The applicant must submit it if consular officer requests he/she to do so. This is a requirement from May 2007)
Salaries for Teachers in Thailand.
It all boils down to money. Salaries range between 15000 – 30000 for the non natives and considerably higher for the natives. If you can live with that then you will most likely get a job soon. My big advice is be flexible with working hours, location and salary. Offer what a native cannot. Often the natives demand a lot more so they may not be the best match for schools that can’t offer higher salaries. I’m not saying work for peanuts but the truth is get a job first, get some experience and then you can negotiate.
Qualified and experienced teachers with a Master’s degree in education or similar or CELTA can try the higher paying jobs in International schools where salaries can go as high as 100,000 bahts.
Good luck. Please post any questions you may have and I will be glad to help.
1.Prepare a good resume.
A good formatted resume will look clean, structured and have a photo on it. Highlight relevant teaching experience, education must be mentioned before work experience in the true Thai style.
Download this Thai style resume template here
2.Search for Jobs online
Send your resume to schools that have vacancies. Find them on Job boards like Ajarn.com. Create a profile on online job sites. This will make your resume available to employers who are searching for teachers in Thailand. Search and visit agencies.
4.Have a teaching kit ready.
As a teacher you must be prepared to give a demo-lesson instantly. Always have a flash card lesson which works best with potential Thai employers. you can make flash card or buy them from book shops like Se-ed in all the major malls in Thailand.
5.Dress smart for an Interview.
wear a clean light colored dress shirt and well pressed trousers/knee length skirt.
Take a shower before the interview and make sure you wear an inner vest as Bangkok or most of Thailand can get hot and sweaty. You would want to be showing wet sweat patches on your shirt.
6.Smile and be polite – adhere to Thai etiquette
Thai people respect teachers and your potential employer should be able to see you as a role model for the students.
Be on time.
In time is on time and on time is late! This rule may not apply to Thais, they tend to be more relaxed. It is quite likely that you may be asked to wait a few minutes before your interview.