Beware Of The Pie Crust Promise
Here’s an all-too-common scenario for new, inexperienced, ESL teachers in Thailand:
You answer an ad for an English teacher at a school, for a regular teaching position or maybe a summer English camp. You do a phone interview, everything sounds good, you go down to the school or camp and do a face-to-face, and everything is still looking good, so you turn down any other job offers that come your way and then – WHAM! – the school or camp drops off the face of the earth as far as you’re concerned. They don’t answer your emails or pick up the phone. For whatever mysterious oriental reason, you are no longer wanted or needed by them and you couldn’t reach them if you aimed an armed missile at them.
It’s a heart-breaking experience, and quickly turns the most dewy-eyed optimist into a grumbling cynic as far as teaching English in Thailand is concerned.
I don’t really know why this happens so often here in Thailand; it’s happened to me and it’s happened to almost every farang teacher I know. I’d like to devote a blog to the explanation of this mystery, but it would take the combined talents of Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe, and Albert Einstein to figure it out.
All I know is that it happens, most often to newbies, and you’ve got to protect yourself against it, no matter how long you’ve been inhaling chalk dust in a Thai classroom.
Don’t let the ‘old heads’ here in Thailand scare you away from good teaching jobs with these kinds of stories, mate. The only reason I mention them here is because it is possible to buck this trend and find good, stable work, at a good salary, at some very fine schools, here in Thailand, and elsewhere.
One of the best ways to get your feet wet with a secure English teaching position here in Thailand is through TEFL International’s Special Thai Project.
This program guarantees you at least a five-month teaching contract in Thailand, after completing your TESOL certification. The beauty part is that your tuition is discounted way down, so it’s almost a giveaway. Once you graduate you are assigned a school and you stay there for five months. At the end of the five month contract you can renew it if you like, move on to another school if you want, or get your head shaved and enter a Buddhist monastery. To qualify you need to have any kind of a college degree and be a native English speaker.
So if you’re reading this, wanting to come to Thailand to teach English, but have been put off by the horror stories of farangs perishing on the beach from hunger after fruitless months of searching for work, you can simply email your CV & photo to Ms. Rose Dalangin, at email@example.com and mention your interest in the Special Thai Project, and she’ll let you know when the next batch of teachers is needed. TEFL International has been doing this program for the past several years and has placed hundreds of teachers in schools throughout Thailand, where they worked hard, learned much, and went on to found their own highly successful educational careers, either here in Thailand or elsewhere.
Now if you already have several years of ESL teaching experience here in Thailand, and have recently been burned by a job offer that fell through at the last moment, I have got the REAL DEAL for you. No bells & whistles, no smoke & mirrors. Just a solid opportunity to sign a year-long contract with an institution that backs up their promises with good money and benefits, and the chance to advance.
Disney English is very interested in hiring experienced English teachers for their language centers in China. If you are college-degreed, have at least 2 years of verifiable teaching experience, are under the age of 40, and are a native English speaker, you are practically guaranteed a job with Disney English right now. Just send your resume, showing you qualify, to firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll be getting a phone call within the week asking when you can start in China.
And if you don’t like the idea of working in China, just remember that Disney English is expanding, and they could very well be in Bangkok or HCMC by this time next year. So give it a whirl. What have you got to lose?
So there you are, two cast-iron ways to find guaranteed ESL employment. You won’t get handed a job on a platter, but if you can work hard and stay focused you will have an English teaching job by the end of 2011, or my name isn’t Brad Pitt.
(and girls . . . I’m available)