Saturday, November 04, 2006

All Thai schools are not the same....

So in Thailand, there are four types of school. Now that I’ve worked in all but one of these different types of establishments, I feel I’m qualified to make some comments.

Government schools. As you may expect, government schools tend to be the least equipped. Class sizes are big – often in excess of fifty students per class. Some of the better schools in this group can offer modern classrooms and a decent salary though. Beware; many government schools have very old fashioned teachers and attitudes to foreigners.

Bi – lingual schools. Just like where I work now. Bi –lingual schools are usually modern in architecture and attitude. Facilities are good. Plenty of employment opportunities exist for foreigners here though salaries are usually not higher than the better government schools.

Private schools. These establishments usually exist on high streets and in shopping malls. They provide tailored lessons in private classrooms. They usually have a high turnover of staff and pay pretty low rates but they are a good source of temporary or part time work or a good start for new teachers.

International schools. For the real teachers, It’l schools provide a high salary. Most of them expect applicants to have a legitimate .degree in education. Needless to say, they have high expectations in terms of work rate and performance. Thai International schools still have a surprisingly high turnover of staff.

I don’t want to name names. Anyone spending more than a day outside tourist Bangkok will find at least one example of each of the above establishments. If you are really looking for work it’s best just to drop in. make sure you are dressed as a worker and not a tourist though. I know from my days of head teaching that appearances mean a great deal to Thai staff.

Right now I’m working in a bilingual school. I’ll provide more details on everyday life there soon.

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