Teaching jobs in Thailand – How to find & when to apply
People come to the LOS (Land Of Smiles)for many things, the weather, the beautiful beaches, the local people and some come to Thailand to teach. Teaching in Thailand can be an awesome experience. In our opinion Thai children are some of the most creative students in the world, they are eager to learn and are fun to be around.
However, in our opinion, the Thai education system does seem a little outdated and requires a complete overhaul from the top down. That being said, the Thai teachers try their hardest to do great jobs with little reward (in terms of wages). The system does seem open to corruption and there are many stories in the news of this happening.
Why teach in Thailand?
Ok! So now your thinking, why would I want to teach in Thailand? Some of us at kraboo.com do work and live here. The wages range from 35k (Thai government schools) to 80k – 100k+ THB (international schools). Those working in Thai schools follow the Thai education curriculum and those in international schools follow the school base country curriculum (British follow British curriculum, American the American curriculum etc). The cost of living here is relatively low, you can rent a relatively nice apartment/condo for around 10k THB or lower, food is cheap if you shop around the Thai markets. It can get expensive if you only want western food or your trying to extend your holiday into your working life. The author of this post works in a Thai government school, and the reason why he likes to teach at the same school (4 years) is not the money or the school, but its the children who make him want to stay. They truly are fantastic. They are polite, creative, attentive and they really do have a great attitude.
What is it like teaching in a Thai school?
Teaching in a Thai school is much like any school. The average day starts at around 0730 hrs, with morning assembly at around 0740 hrs. Lessons start at 0810 hrs and finish at about 1500 hrs in many schools. The average teaching hours are 20 hours per week, but be expected to preform other duties such as gate duty and other home room teacher activities. Most schools will also have some kind of English camp during the year as well.
The relationship between Thai and foreign teachers is normally good, although we have heard of some schools department heads giving foreign teachers a bit of a hard time. If you can get around the Thai way of thinking, then you will fit in well. Yes, you may have to bite your lip sometimes, but in general working in a Thai school is a good experience.
What do I need to be able to teach in Thailand?
The first thing to understand is that if you don’t know what you need to be able to teach in an international school, then your probably not qualified to do so. To be able to teach in a government school, then the following basic criteria is normally required:
- Degree in any subject (Degree must be accredited, you also need the transcripts)
- TEFL, CELTA or similar certification to be able to teach English. If you are teaching another subject, then normally a degree related to that subject is required.
- Native English Speaker (NES) is preferred to teach English. Although some schools do hire Non NES if they have a valid TOEIC or similar.
- Police clearance, preferably have 1 from your home country if you have never worked here before, or get 1 from the Royal Thai Police.
- You must be currently residing in Thailand. Most schools won’t even reply back to you if you are not.
As you can see from the list above the requirements are not extensive. We do want to point out though, that in the past many people have been teaching without a degree or they have managed to get 1 illegally. The practice of obtaining fake degrees has now seen a huge decline and we warn anyone who does this to stop and consider getting a real degree.
Where to find teaching jobs?
So, your in Thailand and you have all the necessary paperwork. Great, but where do I find the jobs? To be honest finding a teaching job here isn’t very hard. There are numerous websites for teachers wanting to find work. Here is a selection of the sites:
- ajarn.com (international and government schools)
- teaching Thailand
- tes.com (international schools)
- tieonline (international schools)
And many more, a quick search engine browse will bring up many sites. You could also visit schools and try that approach. Be very wary of using craigslist. As we are sure you are aware there is always someone trying to steal your money through some type of scam. Never ever pay someone to get a job. You may of heard of agencies that employ bad tactics when employing teachers, all we will say is, make sure you do your homework on any perspective employer before you sign any contract.
When should I look for jobs in Thailand?
The normal hiring times for government schools is March/April and September/October of each year. This coincides with the semester/year breaks. However, schools do also advertise outside of these dates.
The normal hiring times for international schools is based around the school academic year, for example:
If your looking for a job in a British international school, then the hiring time will normally be the same as it would be in the UK. Looking on some of the international school websites above will help you.
For international schools we also suggest looking on the school website.
What should I expect during the interview?
This depends on the school or agency. At the very least expect some sort of 1 on 1 chat, followed by a demo lesson. Make sure you dress correctly, for men, don’t turn up in nothing less than shirt, tie, trousers and shoes, for Women, skirt, blouse and shoes. You could try and negotiate a better salary during the interview process, nothing ventured nothing gained. Most schools, will place you on a 3 month probationary period, which is the period during which you get your visa and work permit. A lot of schools will offer 10 month – 1 year contracts so please bare this in mind when searching for jobs.
To conclude, teaching in Thailand is very rewarding. The Thai people are great people to be around and the students are fantastic. If you can commit to a job which is both fun and satisfying then teaching here is for you.
Feel free you leave your comments or experiences below.