Working Conditions of English Teachers in Thailand
The working conditions for the ESL trained teachers in Thailand are pretty impressive. Any TESOL trained English native teacher who has enrolled for the “Teach and Travel Project” by American TESOL Institute can expect to get a descent job in Thailand after the completion of the course. The TESOL trained teachers are asked to take maximum 24 classes in a week which usually cover a teaching span of 20- 22 hours if none of the classes are repeated in a week. The duration of the class varies from one school to the other but usually, it is 50-60 minutes.
Thai schools are open five days in a week, from Monday to Friday. The teachers take class from 8 in the morning till 4.30 in the evening. Lesson plans are submitted on monthly basis. Thai schools remain closed on Saturdays, Sundays and on Thai National holidays.
The ESL teachers have to prepare a different set of weekly lesson plan for every grade of student. The TESOL certified teachers from ATI are expected to follow the rules and regulations of Thai schools strictly.
Dress Code at Thai Schools:
Dress code is an important aspect as far as the working conditions in Thailand are concerned.
Men are not allowed to wear informal pants like cargo or jeans ad golf shirts. Male teachers are expected to wear button- up/ collared short or long sleeve formal shirt. Teachers are expected to wear ties on Mondays and on special occasions like Teacher Appreciation Day. Some schools prefer ties every day. You also need to wear formal shoes of either black or brown color. Sandals or running shoes are not allowed. Males should be clean shaven and facial hairs need to be trimmed properly before you take class. You should also try to keep your hair short and presentable and if you are having long hair, you are expected to tie that properly before you enter the school premise. Visible tattoos, facial rings on lip, chin, nose, and eyebrow are not accepted. Male teachers are free to wear whatever they please once they are outside the school premise keeping in mind the dress code accepted in Thai society. In Thailand you are not allowed to roam without a shirt in public place unless you are at a beach.
Female teachers are also expected to wear formal dress in schools. They have to wear skirts of knee length or even longer with a descent unrevealing blouse or shirt. High heel shoes with open toe are accepted in Thai schools. Running shoes and sandals are not allowed. Visible tattoos and visible facial rings on chin, nose, eyebrow and lip are not accepted. Earrings are accepted but you are not allowed to wear them in excessive numbers (for e.g. 3 to 4 earrings in each ear). The female teachers should tie their hair properly. The female teachers can try out casual wear outside schools but do remember that revealing clothes are not accepted in Thai society.
The dress codes for working in Thai government schools seem to be too strict. But Thailand is very particular about the impressions and appearances. A teacher is expected to follow the dress code of the school strictly.
The ESL teachers are asked to participate in weekly English club and interact with the students. English club is conducted during the school hours along with the other various clubs that are meant for the students. The ESL teachers attend these clubs in groups with other foreign teachers.
The teachers are expected to monitor the growth of individual students, maintain a record of their weekly attendance, development of their language skill and other necessary observations.
The TESOL trained teachers are asked to perform the English 1 minute activity once every week which includes a sketch of 2-3 minutes short speech or message for the morning assembly in English. The speech covers topics like idioms, public announcements, tongue twisters, riddles, nursery rhymes etc. This activity is also carried out in group with other foreign teachers.
“Greeting activity” is conducted by TESOL teachers once a week. This activity is all about greeting parents and the students at the front gates of the schools from 7 to 8 in the morning. Each and every Thai teacher takes up this responsibility by rotation.
“Star Talk Activity” is performed by the teachers for 5 minutes before they start their class. This activity aims at providing a short introduction to the topic which they will be taught in that class.
TESOL trained teachers are also expected to provide after school English tuitions to their Thai colleagues once a week. These tuitions are either provided in groups with other foreign teachers or to individual candidates. These tuitions are not included in the scheduled 24 classes per week.
ESL teachers are also supposed to attend at least one English camp per semester. The dates for the English camp are decided and arranged by the schools. You need not take much preparation for this. The main thing is participation. English camps are usually conducted on Saturdays from 8 in the morning till 4 in the afternoon.
Teachers are expected to be in schools on all Non- Thai National holidays like Valentines Day, Christmas Eve, Easter, Christmas Day etc. Schools usually celebrate these special days and the teachers are asked to help and organize them on Western holidays as resident experts.