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experienced U.S. teacher wants to teach abroad

 
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joeysu



Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:59 am    Post subject: experienced U.S. teacher wants to teach abroad Reply with quote

i have my BA in Psychology, Masters in Educational technology and multiple subject teaching credentials. i have been teaching elementary school for 14 years in the US. i would love to teach in thailand and travel during my vacation time. i am set to take a leave from my current job for two years. realistically, what teaching position could i get in thailand with my current credentials and would i be able to get a better job with a TEFL cert? should i try to find a job through a placement agency before i buy my plane ticket or should i sign up for a tefl course in thailand and find a job when i complete my certificate since i will be in the country already. i have been advised to do the second option by a teacher in thailand saying that there are better jobs when you are there in person versus the teacher placement agencies will place you in schools that are not desirable. i'm just afraid to jump on a plane without anything set up beforehand. If there is anyone who can shed some light on what route i should take, i would really appreciate your advice. thank you!
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 705

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless you get a job with a top tier international school you will have to fly over thier with your own money. You could after arriving in Thailand apply to some of the lower tier International schools and probably readily get into one somewhere with time. With your experience I would try one of the top 5 international schools several times.

For the lower tier international schools and other Thai schools you will have to get used to teaching there. Thai students are not like western students as you will find out.
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joeysu



Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thank you for your advice plumpy nut! so to apply to these top tier international schools will i have to send them my CV's or what is the best way to try and get a job with them? you said you would try with the top 5 schools several times, what do you mean by that? thank you for explaining if you dont mind.

Yes i seem to be reading over and over again that Thai students are definitely different than the states. i teach in California which is all about high standardized test scores. even though i love it and my students show really great scores, i am just looking to teach abroad for one or two years for a change of pace and experience of a different culture. i'm not 100% sure that thailand is the right place for me but i'm drawn to the beauty the country offers and the friendliness of the people. i've been reading some negative comments about teaching in thailand but i'm trying to stay positive but at the same time gather all the info to make an informed choice. any additional insights would be appreciated.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?p=1065464&highlight=#1065464

.
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 705

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

joeysu wrote:
thank you for your advice plumpy nut! so to apply to these top tier international schools will i have to send them my CV's or what is the best way to try and get a job with them? you said you would try with the top 5 schools several times, what do you mean by that? thank you for explaining if you dont mind.

Yes i seem to be reading over and over again that Thai students are definitely different than the states. i teach in California which is all about high standardized test scores. even though i love it and my students show really great scores, i am just looking to teach abroad for one or two years for a change of pace and experience of a different culture. i'm not 100% sure that thailand is the right place for me but i'm drawn to the beauty the country offers and the friendliness of the people. i've been reading some negative comments about teaching in thailand but i'm trying to stay positive but at the same time gather all the info to make an informed choice. any additional insights would be appreciated.


Actually there are only 4 top tier school (I just found out). They are The New International School of Thailand (NIST), International School of Bangkok (ISB), Ruamrudee International School Thailand, and Bangkok Patana School (British International School in Thailand). Their standards are actually higher than western standards. These schools don't take students just because the parents pay a lot. They have to be good students or they're out.

There are other International schools or schools that go by the name International. I always got the impression that they were nice looking schools with good teachers, but the standards are not much higher than the rest of Thailand, although some of these schools seem to be genuinely interested in possibly making western standards.

To get into a top tier school in Thailand you might visit their website. The website should tell you how to apply, if not then I would call them and find out what they would want you to send. The same is probably true for the other lower tier "International Schools". With your experience you should be starting at a minimum of 40,000 Baht per month which you will find at a high end school. The competition for getting into the four top schools in Thailand is fierce, so keep that in mind.

I know some good English teachers that are licensed and came to Thailand for a vacation and have been teaching there for years and love Thailand, even though the students are dismal.
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MaiPenRai



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 380
Location: BKK

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Their standards are actually higher than western standards.


Lumping the education systems of every state in the US with each Canadian province, UK, Europe, Australia, etc, etc. into "western" standards... these places can and do have vastly different standards.

Quote:
These schools don't take students just because the parents pay a lot.


Sure about that one... I know that aint true

Quote:
Unless you get a job with a top tier international school you will have to fly over thier with your own money.


Not always true. I'm not at a "top tier" inter school by your definition and
my school pays airfare.

Quote:
The competition for getting into the four top schools in Thailand is fierce, so keep that in mind.


True.

Quote:
so to apply to these top tier international schools will i have to send them my CV's or what is the best way to try and get a job with them?


Most of the "better" schools will do the vast majority of their hiring via job fairs (see TTom's link to your previous thread for links to sites).

I know people who got jobs at the "better" or even "best" schools via connections after living and working in Bangkok for a year or 2, but it is not the norm. Sending your C.V to the school via their website will most likely only work if the timing is right (immediate opening because someone else didn't work out or left early or maternity leave, etc.). It cant hurt to try but dont rely on that method on its own.

Many of the "better" Inter school have both expat and local hire packages which can vary quite a bit. Keep that in mind that if you choose to come to Thailand first and then look for work.

Quote:
I've been reading some negative comments about teaching in Thailand


Most complainers bring their own problems with them. A lot of projecting goes on. There is crap about teaching in every country and in every school.

Many Thai students who come from rich/connected families know/think that school is not really necessary, so are not overly motivated.

On the flip side, many of the students who come from poorer families are less motivated because they may know that they will have to drop out and work to help the family or they know their family will not be able to afford a decent University or they feel that they will not need English to live and work in [insert random rural Thai city]. Not that different from most teenagers all over the world (change English to math/science/etc.).

Quote:
what teaching position could i get in thailand with my current credentials


Almost any... real question is what experience do you want. Do you want to work really hard and make quite good money working with mostly expat kids and rich entitled Thai kids... look into one of the "better" International schools. Do you want to "get away" from the classroom as you know it and try something different... look into working at a Thai school. Do you want to work in Bangkok/Chiang Mai or a smaller more rural city/village? Is money an issue? Do you want time to travel as well? Do you want to learn the language?

Quote:
40,000 Baht per month which you will find at a high end school


You had better be making more than 40,000 baht/mth if you are working at a "high end" school.

The real question is what do you want. I know teachers with similar credentials to you that are happy making 40K/mth working outside of Bangkok, but also know those who are making 100K+/mth in "better" Inter schools in Bangkok.

Very general outline:
Lower end Inter/private schools and most Thai gov. schools - 25-40K/mth
Mid range Inter/private schools and or better EP programs in Thai gov. schools - 40-80K/mth,
Top Tier Inter/private schools - 80-120K++/mth
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MaiPenRai



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 380
Location: BKK

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MaiPenRai wrote:
Quote:
Their standards are actually higher than western standards.


Lumping the education systems of every state in the US with each Canadian province, UK, Europe, Australia, etc, etc. into "western" standards... these places can and do have vastly different standards.

Quote:
These schools don't take students just because the parents pay a lot.


Sure about that one... I know that aint true

Quote:
Unless you get a job with a top tier international school you will have to fly over thier with your own money.


Not always true. I'm not at a "top tier" inter school by your definition and
my school pays airfare.

Quote:
The competition for getting into the four top schools in Thailand is fierce, so keep that in mind.


True.

Quote:
so to apply to these top tier international schools will i have to send them my CV's or what is the best way to try and get a job with them?


Most of the "better" schools will do the vast majority of their hiring via job fairs (see TTom's link to your previous thread for links to sites).

I know people who got jobs at the "better" or even "best" schools via connections after living and working in Bangkok for a year or 2, but it is not the norm. Sending your C.V to the school via their website will most likely only work if the timing is right (immediate opening because someone else didn't work out or left early or maternity leave, etc.). It cant hurt to try but dont rely on that method on its own.

Many of the "better" Inter school have both expat and local hire packages which can vary quite a bit. Keep that in mind that if you choose to come to Thailand first and then look for work.

Quote:
I've been reading some negative comments about teaching in Thailand


Most complainers bring their own problems with them. A lot of projecting goes on. There is crap about teaching in every country and in every school.

Many Thai students who come from rich/connected families know/think that school is not really necessary, so are not overly motivated.

On the flip side, many of the students who come from poorer families are less motivated because they may know that they will have to drop out and work to help the family or they know their family will not be able to afford a decent University or they feel that they will not need English to live and work in [insert random rural Thai city]. Not that different from most teenagers all over the world (change English to math/science/etc.).

The real issue most of the time is Thai management/admin (which is not that different from many schools in the "Western" world). Also, if the whole concept of "face" was removed, many of these problems would not exist in Thailand.

Quote:
what teaching position could i get in thailand with my current credentials


Almost any... real question is what experience do you want. Do you want to work really hard and make quite good money working with mostly expat kids and/or rich entitled Thai kids... look into one of the "better" International schools. Do you want to "get away" from the classroom as you know it and try something different... look into working at a Thai school. Do you want to work in Bangkok/Chiang Mai or a smaller more rural city/village? Is money an issue? Do you want time to travel as well? Do you want to learn the language?

Quote:
40,000 Baht per month which you will find at a high end school


You had better be making more than 40,000 baht/mth if you are working at a "high end" school.

The real question is what do you want. I know teachers with similar credentials to you that are happy making 40K/mth working outside of Bangkok, but also know those who are making 100K+/mth in "better" Inter schools in Bangkok.

Very general outline:
Lower end Inter/private schools and most Thai gov. schools - 25-40K/mth
Mid range Inter/private schools and or better EP programs in Thai gov. schools - 40-80K/mth,
Top Tier Inter/private schools - 80-120K++/mth


You've bee given mostly good advice on 2 different threads. You are lucky to have a CV that will allow you to compete for most of the teaching jobs in Thailand. Its time to decide what kind of experience you want and then make the leap.

NO need to do a TEFL certificate by the way.
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joeysu



Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I had received so many good advice. I have been researching different leads n found a lot of great info. ReiPenMai you have added to some great info also. So far I have applied with teachaway which is a teacher placement agency and I'm looking into search associates. I'm probably going to sign up w search associates even though I may not be able to make it to a job fair. I've applied w a few international schools by going to their websites. You've asked a few really important questions regarding what I want. When I first started I wanted one thing but it has evolved a bit now that ive been reading so much. I wonder if u can give me a bit of advice on it. I realize what I'm thinking can be a bit conflicting. i want experience over pay. I want time to travel. I also want the school to provide housing. So those are on the top of my list. As for school experience at first I wanted to experience something different then my experience that I have right so that would direct me toward the governmental schools in more rural areas. But looking into the programs and international schools it seems like a great challenge to experience that also. Have you taught in both types of school? If so how do u feel about each one? I'm open about which city to teach in. I think I prefer to be in a medium sized city versus the large bustling ones but the international schools seem to be in bkk n Chang Mai I think. I'm not oppose to either one though. Any advice?
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 305

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joeysu, four Bangkok international schools will be represented at the Cambridge job fair in February, including three of the top tier schools. I suspect that it would go a long way toward allaying most of your remaining anxieties about this adventure if you could personally meet, talk to, and ask questions of the schools' recruiters.

From reading both of your threads, I would suggest international schools as a first choice for you.

.
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