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Posts posted by benj005

  1. I bet your paycheck is much more than someone who works as a waiter/waitress in Thailand. Please don't venture to America, because they will treat you very badly if you don't tip. They rely on tips.

    The reason you came to Thailand is because it's cheap. At least treat the staff with respect and give them a decent tip for good service.

    Well said. Treat the staff with respect, if you have been treated with respect and afforded good service. If you don't like to monetarily tip then say a 'thankyou for the good service' direct to your wait staff

    BTW, I worked in restaurants and you don't want to know what happens to repeat customer's food when they don't tip. It's not pretty.

    I have heard this happens but I do not condone such actions.

    It happens. I don't condone it either, but people get upset when it comes to money. I worked with a lady who chased a customer out of the restaurant because he didn't leave a cent! The meal was $40 and he didn't leave a cent! The service was very good.
    • Like 1

  2. please don t picture me as cheap cheap Charly.

    I don t know from where u come from

    I m from Canada.And this police of tipping Is really coming bad.

    U r not "home"and before invasion of Farang,they din t know What a TIPPING was.

    So by importing u r Farang mentality here in Asia,u contribute to spoil...the hole thing.

    I work myself for Air Canada for Many years,has passenger agent at différents airports,give the best of myself to provide services to costumer and never receive tip.

    This was perfect to me.IT WAS MY JOB TO DO IT.

    Of course,when I stay in htl I always leave leave a tip on the bed for the room cleaning woman.

    preferebly from the first day.

    IT only mean that I appreciate her services.I do same in resto.

    but just to show my appréciation.

    So pls,think about other fa rangs will follow u after u r visit.

    We just leave $ for show We appreciate.

    TIP:before u leave resto,look on other tables What the Thai left as a tip.

    I bet your paycheck is much more than someone who works as a waiter/waitress in Thailand. Please don't venture to America, because they will treat you very badly if you don't tip. They rely on tips.

    The reason you came to Thailand is because it's cheap. At least treat the staff with respect and give them a decent tip for good service.

    BTW, I worked in restaurants and you don't want to know what happens to repeat customer's food when they don't tip. It's not pretty.

    • Like 1

  3. It really is a pretty awful system from my experience as a teacher and as parent. I accept that every country will develop its unique approach to education based on local circumstances and priorities.

    Recently I watched a video about early years in Sweden. They don't start formal school there until aged 7 and yet by 10 they lead Europe's literacy tables. Here in Thailand kids often start nursery at 2 which usually involves wearing a uniform followed by three years in Kindergarten and then 6 grades of primary. It seems they want to get a pencil into children's hands as quickly possible here and have them involved in formal, desk based and book-based learning as early as possible. What it seems to result in is a lot of hyperactive children who in subsequent years struggle to learn effectively.

    When I have raised these matters with managers, parents, even Thai academics involved in developing Thai education, I get fobbed off with the usual pish: this is the Thai way, it's what the parents want, etc

    This is the problem - the teachers can't learn and will not consider doing things differently. There is a very considerable body of educational expertise available which if applied could help to transform the system. There are many highly qualified people who could lead on its implementation. There really are no excuses.

    What is happening instead is not progress but a growing divide between the system here and everywhere else in Asia, and the rest of the world. It's getting worse and as technology transforms learning everywhere else in the world, Thai kids and their parents are being left behind.

    I presume your parents were learned people. My old man managed to get to University in London in the 60s.

    Now imagine your thai girlfriends father and his experience of thailand in the 1960. He may have been lucky to be one of the bare few to get to university.

    But bear in mind today in thailand thry are still moaning about learning by rote. Imagine how little these educationalists actually know let alone understand about modern schooling. They are largely clueless on a global scale.

    I don't think Thailand is the only country that learns by rote. It's an Asian thing. China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Singapore and so on. Maybe this explains why many students in Asia want to attend universities in America.
    • Like 1

  4. When I was going to school in the 50s and 60s...the US had a very competitive school system...promoting gifted students to excel in math and science...the public school environment was constructed to challenge and reward students for excellence...

    Today the school system is in serious trouble...money does not help...the education lobby in congress stops any meaningful reform and last I heard the US ranked 25 in the world...

    Students in general have been relegated to mediocrity by the school system...leaving no child behind...not promoting gifted kids as it may hurt someone's feeling...chaos in the classroom...criminal activity on campus...and teachers continue to milk the education system for their own personal gain...

    I was living and working in Washington DC when a recent graduate sued the public school system for providing him with a high school diploma when he was not equipped with enough reading skills to fill out an employment application...

    The losers in all this is the country whose public schools does not value the student enough to insist on the best education possible...think of what kind of leaders will rule these countries in the future...

    IMHO the lack of quality leadership around the world can be directly linked to poor public education...

    The American education system has its issues, and it is in dire need of change. I believe the system is bloated and we can achieve more with less spending, I also believe the issues that we are seeing now are a lot more complicated than we realize.

    1) The US is ranked 25th in the world, but when you look at the top ranked countries you will see that don't test everyone. Do you think Taiwan, South Korea, and China test their special needs students? America educates and tests everyone,

    2) America is a big country. Education in states such as Mississippi, Arkansas and South Carolina is horrible. In New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York education is very good. It really is like night and day. How can anyone compare South Korea to America? SK is 20% the size of California for gods sake.

    3) America has a diverse population while other countries are mostly homogenous. American classrooms are filled with many different cultures and races. No other country has this account for the differences that we do.

    4) The issues with education in America is cultural. This is something that people are less likely to talk about. Sadly, education in America is secondary. How can we blame teachers when they have students who are coming to school unprepared. They just don't care. You can't make someone do something that they just don't want to do. This is why Asians do so well when they migrate to America. Back home education is serious business. It's very common to study for 6 hours a day/ 7 days a week. Show me an American student who studies for even 3 hours a day.

    5) You say teachers are milking the system. I disagree. Teachers today are under assault from the politicians who want to dehumanize educators for political gain. The public thinks teaching is easy, and that they are paid too much. In South Carolina, starting salary is $35k. In NJ it's 50k, but the cost of living is very high. Compared to the private sector, teaching wages are awfully low. in NJ, the teacher pension is bankrupt. Governor Christie is always attacking educators. Making a living as a teacher is very difficult, and many educators need to work second jobs. Only a few are milking the system, and they should be terminated.

    The American education system does need to change. Today, we have highly skilled positions that are going vacant because our current workforce just doesn't have the skillset to work at these positions. What's the solution? I think we need to cut down on extra curricular activities, and put more focus on math and science. We need to get rid of the summer vacations, because our students are losing too much valuable time. It wouldn't be a big deal if our students continued their education in the summer, but we all know that this isn't the case. Most stay home and vegetate on the computer or play video games 12 hours a day, They go back to school and lose most of what they learned the previous year.

    Finally, I have a niece who is 9 years old. I asked about her homework, and she told me that she she gets 20 minutes in-class to complete her work. She only has homework for 20 stinking minutes a day, Her teacher should be ashamed of herself. We do have a dumbing down in our school system and it needs to stop.

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  5. I can only speak to South Korea because I worked there for 2 years.

    There are 3 type of schools to look at when attempting to gain employment. Private, public and at the university level. The Korean government has been in the process of cutting positions at the public level. There are less positions and the application is very lengthy. There are 12 pages that need to be filled out, a 3-5 page lesson plan, and an 800 word essay on why you want to teach in Korea. If you pass this phase, the next step is the 30 minute interview. It's a very difficult process and you're competing with thousands of people for the few teaching positions available. I don't know much about teaching at the university level. I do know that the jobs at this level have been on the decline, and there are less positions available. It's not as lucrative as it once was.

    I wanted to talk about teaching at the private level because this is where I taught for two years. Private schools are called hagwons in Korea. They are everywhere. I'm talking 3-4 on every block. It's a very competitive business, and it can be quite stressful. Yes, the money is OK. It's not great, but the potential to save money is there. I was able to put away $11k a year. I had my rent paid. Also, my plane ticket to Korea, and back home was covered by the school. At the end of your contract you get an additional full pay check. You also get benefits, and a pension that's for by the school, so when you leave you get money back as well. That's if you secure a job with a reputable school. The problem is there are a lot of bad schools in Korea. I've met teachers who haven't been paid in months. Getting fired at the 11 month is popular because the hagwon owner doesn't have to pay for the airfare home, and they don't have to give the bonus. Teachers have been put in god awful apartments. I read about a teacher who had a huge mold problem, and the hagwon owner refused to do anything about it. I read about a teacher who didn't have a window in her little studio apartment. Not one window. Age discrimination is rife. Looking for a teaching job in Korea and over 35? Good luck. The majority of people who work in the private sector are mostly under 30. I’m 45 years old. I've worked in South Korea for 2 years, and I have a teaching certificate. I was ignored by 3 recruiters, because I'm now considered old. Most schools are only concerned about the look of the teacher. Teaching skills are secondary. I suspect older teachers are staying put in Thailand because they know that they would have a difficult time finding work in Korea due to their age.

    The weather is insanely cold in Korea. I've met some wonderful people, but overall people in Thailand are much nicer. I've been cursed at a few times when I was shopping. I've been bumped rudely a few times while I was walking in Seoul. The older people love to spit everywhere. It’s a very nasty thing to watch. There are always pros/cons to everything, and I know that Thailand has issues as well. You need to weigh both and decide which path to take.

    China seems to currently be the country to teach English, but the smog is a big issue for me. I have a friend who is teaching in China and he told me that it’s so bad it keeps him inside at times. I’m not willing to jeopardize my health. What are the long term health issues? I wouldn't want to be coughing up blood because I spent time working in China.

  6. Here we go again. More funny money for the bankers to play with. How many Euros out of a hundred are actually backed by real assets? Last week it was about three - and that's before Draghi announced the latest stimulus (sic) package, which won't stimulate anything other the banks' gambling instincts.

    The global debt bubble is ballooning out of control and the engines of growth - the US, China, Japan and Germany - are all running out of steam. Never mind Thailand - the whole bloody shooting match is about to unwind and this time nobody will escape the fall-out.

    Cameron warned last week that the world is on verge of a financial collapse. ,

  7. So the other day I was in Pattaya and I walked into a few real estate companies offices.

    I am in the market to buy a beach condo. I walk in and the staff is either on the cell phone or just plain ignoring me.

    I am dressed well and have the ability to buy a property so why is no one interested in making a sale.

    I asked one lady can you show me some rooms and she just said you can go on the website to look.

    I am like ok but how do I go about viewing the room? Can you show me something today?

    No you have to go online and look for a specific room then schedule a time to look. Ok I guess?

    But why can't you show me some options and go through the choices with me?

    This was the same attitude at multiple places I went to lazy staff with no interest in making a sale. Why is that?

    It feels like people don't like money because they have no interest in selling anything.

    Are they making money playing Facebook games online?


  8. Here is an idea:

    1. Smaller classrooms.

    2. Better teacher pay.

    3. Implement intensive reading and writing programs in grades 3-8

    4. Implement special ed programs to target at risk children.

    5. Implement city wide activities that encourage reading and writing. 6. Better train educators.

    Number 4 is very important because there are many children who could be classified as ADHD. They aren't getting the help needed to succeed in the classroom.

    I love your dream list.

    Unfortunately costs to parents might be significant.

    I worked at a school where tuition was over 100,000 baht per tern and additional donation expected but still nothing done for students with learning disabilities.

    All the students got passing grades so no problem exist. LOL.

    of a special needs teacher was hired they would need to be qualified to handle learning disabled kids with appropriate salary.

    I love your ideas but does this even happen in western countries?

    In America we have laws that protect special need students. The biggest gripe that people have is it can be costly. It's still a lot better than ignoring their needs. In Asia, students who have disabilities are shunned. This is why countries like Korea, Japan and China do so well on testing. The smartest students are only counted.

    We also do pullout which is very effective. Students who need help are pulled out of class and given intensive help in reading. They learn much needed strategies to become better readers and writers.

  9. Here is an idea:

    1. Smaller classrooms.

    2. Better teacher pay.

    3. Implement intensive reading and writing programs in grades 3-8

    4. Implement special ed programs to target at risk children.

    5. Implement city wide activities that encourage reading and writing. 6. Better train educators.

    Number 4 is very important because there are many children who could be classified as ADHD. They aren't getting the help needed to succeed in the classroom.

  10. Brian, thanks for your thoughts and feedback, I do appreciate it. Good tip on observing a class, I had not thought of that but will definitely look into it. I have always had a notion that I might take up teaching some day, just didn't think it would be this late in life. All good things come to those who wait? Or be careful what you (I) wish for? Let's hope it's the former...:)

    Usually a school will allow you to observe a class if you tell them you are going into the teaching profession.

    In California you are required to observe the age level you plan to teach about 20 hours before starting the program.

    Thailand is requiring long term teachers to be licensed. May create more competition at the better schools. Teaching experience in America is valuable but at 46 might not be worth the delay in coming to Thailand.

    Teaching a subject at private schools in Bkk you might get 50,000 to 70,000 baht per month.

    I hear international schools pay a lot better but expect a lot more.

    I would expect a degree on elementary education would be more valuable.

    Being a native English speaker is enough to get Esl jobs.

    Teaching elementary school takes a lot of energy but the kids are adorable.

    Teaching Jr. High and high school is dealing with teenagers but rewarding when they mature.

    Starting at age 46 you might find the endless energy of primary kids wears you down.

    I came to Thailand 4 years ago when I was your age (but no education degree ). I started teaching English to K1, P4. Enjoyable and lost weight.

    I now teach high school math to teenagers.

    It is exciting when they get accepted to good universities.

    I feel happy being asked to write letters of recommendation for them.

    If you have the heart for teaching and love helping others then you will enjoy teaching in Thailand.

    My parents were in their late 50s when they started their business. They went on for 12 successful years until my mom passed away. I've always believed that age is only a number. Yes, there are obstacles but never use age as an excuse. There was a teacher who just turned 100 last week. Still teaching at 100!

    Most people who are trying to discourage you are talking from their own biographies. Just because they retired at 65 doesn't mean everyone has to follow the same path. I want to own a small store when I'm in my 70s. I want to be active and stay active when I get older. I've seen too many older people die after retiring.

  11. I guess I'm a horrible parent. whistling.gif

    I'm bringing my son (13 years old) to Pattaya in January. We'll be living there for at least a year while my husband works in another part of that hemisphere. Will we be traipsing down Walking Street? No. We'll be up in Naklua or down in Jomtien for the most part. But I do have a good friend that owns a bar on Soi 6 and I'll make sure that my son knows how to find a motorcycle taxi that will take him there should he ever be separated from me.

    I can't hide every seedy aspect of Pattaya from him and he's old enough to know what a girl in a short, short skirt and stripper heels probably is, but that doesn't mean we'll be hanging out in that end of town.

    Contrary to popular belief, that's not all there is to see in Pattaya.

    You are going to put a 13 year old kid on a motor cycle taxi!? Are you nuts? I don't care if he is 6 foot and weighs over 200 lbs.


    • Like 1

  12. I met quite a few older people in Thailand who were working at government schools with nothing but their 30,000 baht monthly paycheck. If you don't want much out of life I guess it's fine, but what happens when an injury sidelines you for a few months? I think most people are reactive and react to circumstances. Instead, being proactive is a much better place to be in.

    To the op. If you feel like Thailand has something to offer then do it. Keep your expectations low, so you don't get upset if things don't work out for you. Thailand is great, but it's not paradise. Especially on a Thai salary.

    Only the top tier international schools pay well, and they are very difficult to get into. Government schools are easy to get into, but the working conditions can be a bit deplorable.

  13. I have had the same experience once while feeding some Dogs with Left over chicken while I was waiting for the Boat to Ko samet, a Thai lady came

    over and quite rudely ask for the food as she has many dogs.

    I think she wanted the karma of the kind act.

    Bingo. They want the good karma. Being Buddhist this is what they strive for on a daily basis.
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  14. If you are not returning I can sympathize - Philly - what a sh*t-hole.

    I love returning to the U.S. - awesome (Boston) - and coming back.

    I'm in Doha airport now. :)

    Philly is just my last stop. I live near the beach in NJ. It's very quiet now. It's going to be night and day compared to Bangkok. No people. No action. Cold weather. Even the supermarket will only have 5 people. Very sad. Don't know how people live there.

    Boring. :(

    • Like 1
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