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puukao

How can schools keep farangs from leaving?

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1 hour ago, ozmeldo said:

Starting a new job in a foreign country. Entirely untested and you will make big mistakes your first three terms - far more if you're not really interested or taking what you are doing seriously.

 

Everyone makes what they are worth. The only exception is the guy stuck in Issan with a family that he can't move and those on a fourth waiver.

 

I now have come to the conclusion that teachers  that accept 30-40k wages is because that's all they'd be making in their home countries

 

That's  below minimum wage in my home country so NO.

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On 6/18/2018 at 8:03 PM, otherstuff1957 said:

Most schools call their foreign teachers "teachers" and their Thai teachers "kru or ajarn".  It's easy and clear.

 

There actually is a polite word for foreigner in Thai.  It is khon tang chat or khon tang prathet. 

Because they're speaking English to the foreign teachers and Thai to the Thai teachers.

The same way at gate duty they say "sawatdee" to Thai teachers and "good morning " to foreign teachers.

Farang is not an impolite word unless the context is impolite.

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Listening  would be top of my list. The Thai faculty don't listen or just don't care.

 

Got my new schedule for the Uni I lecture in yesterday. I told them I work online in the evenings many times but they still have me teaching from 7pm to 9pm and 5pm to 7pm. 

Where do they get off actually suggesting these times. I never agreed to these times at interview and according to Thai labour law, I don't have to work these hours.

However, they don't care and it looks like I am going to have to resign.

Same crap, different school and so it goes around and around, not listening and not caring.

 

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On 6/17/2018 at 8:08 PM, Rhys said:

... it is their system and they will muck it up the way they want, the way will, not much else.. deal with it the best you can.  Start with MOE  TTC...

 

The TCT, or Khurusapha, would be a great place without the guy in his white gloves. I haven't seen him in February and will hopefully not meet him next month. 

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On 6/20/2018 at 7:33 PM, duanebigsby said:

Because they're speaking English to the foreign teachers and Thai to the Thai teachers.

The same way at gate duty they say "sawatdee" to Thai teachers and "good morning " to foreign teachers.

Farang is not an impolite word unless the context is impolite.

But Mr. Otherstuff is right. A great example was a school in Ubon R., where we foreign teachers were never called "Farang", but Khun Kru Daangchat. Or by name, teacher xxxxxxxx. Yes, it's not impolite to call somebody farang, but it's often the tone that makes the music. 

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7 hours ago, thequietman said:

Listening  would be top of my list. The Thai faculty don't listen or just don't care.

 

Got my new schedule for the Uni I lecture in yesterday. I told them I work online in the evenings many times but they still have me teaching from 7pm to 9pm and 5pm to 7pm. 

Where do they get off actually suggesting these times. I never agreed to these times at interview and according to Thai labour law, I don't have to work these hours.

However, they don't care and it looks like I am going to have to resign.

Same crap, different school and so it goes around and around, not listening and not caring.

 

...what did you decide,  leaving?   Facing a similar situation...approached and volutold I would teach the GEN ED Freshman  RETREADS.. in the evening.. you know the kind, can't live without my cell phone, talks while you are teaching; the jumper, late arrivals, failed the course x 2 plus, and poorly motivated students.. leaving too...

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1.  i don't think more money will keep a farang, maybe one more year.  5-10k baht more per month isn't much, but i know that's relative.  if you really want more money, go back home.  we know this.  

2.  better lunches?  

3.  less hours, less than 18 i think would keep some more

4.  only need to be at school for teaching, not to sit around or help with other stuff

5.  IF they want to be at school and help with other stuff, GREAT!!  But not mandatory

6.  longer contracts with less chance of a school breaking the contract

7.  private office, or private space...

8.  more help in the classroom

9.  better computers

10.  more control over curriculum...

 

 

1 - More money will help to keep Farang teachers.  Mainly because when they are deciding on whether to change schools or not, they will consciously or unconsciously, make a list of pros and cons.  Receiving the same or more salary at their current school will put a tick in their pros box.  Salary is also a mark of respect, the higher the salary the higher that you will feel that the school values you (Particularly if it's given as pay rises for good performance etc).

 

2 - Lunches are pretty meh, everyone has different tastes and so free lunch might be great for some, but others might much prefer to buy their own even if they have a free lunch available.

3 - Less hours mean more money per teaching hour.  Also less hours mean more free time, which is great.  However, the main consideration for teachers is simply that their expectations are met regarding teaching hours i.e. The school doesn't try and sneak in additional teaching hours.

 

4 - This is a big thing for me.  Some teachers are happy to sit in at school all day, but personally to me this is a waste of time, and essentially changes the equation from:

Salary ÷ teaching hours = hourly rate

to
Salary ÷ contracted hours = hourly rate

 

5 - Additional activities are something which teachers usually don't mind doing, provided that it is utulizing their abilities.  The one thing which foreign teachers hate most, is wasting their time.  e.g. I love to help the students prepare for speeches or multi-skills competitions etc, however I detest doing morning gate duty.  This is not only because gate duty is outside of my contracted start time (And waking up in the morning is already the hardest part of work for me lol), but it's also a waste of my time as it isn't utilizing my English ability.

 

6 - I don't think that the contract duration would matter at all.  The school will get rid of a teacher if they don't like them, and the teacher will leave the school if they don't like the school.  Notice periods and contracts in general are only adhered to if the school & teacher respect each other.  Thus the employment relationship is significantly more important than the contract itself, the contract itself is only a false guarantee of security for either party.

 

7 - This might help, teachers would likely say that they prefer it, although I think it's more conductive to have an office environment where the teachers have the opportunity to socialize with each other.  As often it's the relationships within a workplace that make people enjoy (or not enjoy) a particular workplace.

 

8 - Many foreign teachers are scared that the school might not like how they teach, and so don't like having other representatives of the school sitting in or watching their lessons.  This is a divisive issue as many Farang English teachers don't have a lot of respect for their Thai colleagues, or simply believe that they are a superior teacher and thus will not take criticism well from Thai colleagues (And will fear that an assistant teacher will do exactly that, or will be assessing their teaching to report back to the school, and this additional pressure doesn't always go down well).  However, if they had a younger assistant teacher, who was there to simply assist them with translations and controlling the class, then this can be well appreciated.

 

9 - Most Farang teachers will have their own laptop, and so the quality of computers isn't going to be an issue.  Better wifi networks are definitely a bonus though, as unreliable wifi networks can be particularly frustrating, particularly if teachers need to stay in the office all day.

 

10 - At my school I have 100% control over what I teach.  In some ways I would prefer to be guided on what to teach, so that I didn't need to create my own lessons from scratch.  I imagine that other teachers get frustrated with having to teach specific topics etc (Particularly if they're having to teach from text books that are too far advanced for the students, which is often the case).  This is something where I feel that perhaps the grass is always greener on the other side.

 

But in general, what I feel are the most important ways to retain foreign teachers:

 

1 - Expectations/Communication - The employer must set expectations early and communicate any change in expectations well.  Often foreigners will enter a job with certain expectations that have been set during the hiring process.  If these expectations aren't met, then the employee will cease to trust the school, and will see their employment tenure as an "us vs them" situation, with the school as the enemy.  However if the school's expectations are communicated accurately, and if in general there is good communication, then the employees can feel that they are a part of the school rather than an outsider.  Just simple things, like notifying foreigners about upcoming scheduling changes, special activities, cancelled classes or deductions to pay for particular activites etc (i.e. My school takes 50 or 100 THB out from every teacher when a close relative of a teacher dies, and gives it to the teacher's family.  None of us really have any problem with this, so long as we know in advance (And are given the opportunity to withdraw from this, even though no one ever would), however every teacher (including myself) that wasn't told in advance have absolutely raged.  It's only a tiny amount of money, but it's the principal of having money taken out of our salary without our permission, particularly as then payroll usually don't have the English to explain why, and even if they did, it's been done without our permission).  Also things like school holiday dates, many of us will travel overseas to visit family or similar during the holidays, being able to book a flight 6 months in advance might mean we can save a month's salary or more on airfares once we include tickets for our wife/children as well, yet often we can't book that far in advance because the school can't designate exactly when the holidays will start/finish.  Western schools can usually give you the holiday dates 1-2 years in advance.

 

2 - Respect  & General Atmosphere - This seems like another no brainer, but Foreign teachers that can't speak Thai often live in a very isolated world, and so the little things can become big things.  e.g. Some of the teachers at my school would get really annoyed that the Thai teachers didn't say good morning to them when they came in the office.  Seems like such a small thing, but it was something that was important to them.

 

3 - Don't waste time - Things that waste Farang teacher's time are incredibly frustrating, however Thailand has a culture full of things which Western culture could potentially label as a waste of time.  Things like, having to attend meetings, seminars or even the morning assemblies, when you don't speak Thai, are a massive waste of time.  Likewise things like having to sign in at 8am when you don't have class until 11am, or even worse, when the students aren't coming to school and so it's essentially a day off, but foreign teachers still need to come and sign in.  Having to remain at the school when they don't have classes is another big frustration for many, although with good wifi this isn't necessarily too bigger problem.  

 

4 - Visas/Work Permits - Many schools aren't very good with paperwork for foreigners.  This paperwork is quite important for us, as although the system in Thailand is basically "Everyone is breaking a silly law of some description which carries a ridiculously high maximum period of imprisonment, but it'll only happen if you annoy someone that's hi-so", Westerners are used to the law being the law, and laws being enforced.  Thus, working without a work permit for the first 2-3 months of a contract can be pretty scary for many given that they can technically be thrown in fail for doing so (Even though in our hearts we know that'd only happen to African teachers, because Thai police hate Africans).  Therefore, simply getting the paperwork completed early takes a great load off our minds.

 

5 - Helping us - Most Farang teachers don't speak Thai, or can only speak a limited amount, therefore simply helping us with the simple things when we first start can make a huge difference.  Many don't even have a motorcycle, let alone own their own car or truck, so moving things like furniture, or assisting with the purchase thereof can be massive (Not financially, but just showing them where a good shop is and helping to negotiate the price).  Taking us to some of the local tourist attractions or similar, and in general just kinda welcoming us to the area and being a good host are really big things.  When I first came to work at my school, my head of department did all of the above for me and greatly improved the experience, as such I have felt a certain amount of loyalty to the school because of the great amount of respect I have for the assistance he provided me when I first moved here, and how welcome it made me feel.

 

Anyway that's all I can think of for now, a bit of a massive post lol.

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Oh and just further to that:

Language / Manners - Often Thai people will say "You must...", but in English we don't actually say that very often when talking to employees.  Instead of telling employees to do something, we will ask them to do it, and when it comes from the boss it's basically an instruction/order, but it is phrased as a question to be polite i.e. You must come to the meeting at 3pm vs Are you able to come to a meeting at 3pm? Or Can you come to a meeting a 3pm?  This significantly changes the feeling of the instruction and gives an opportunity for valid reasons to be raised on why they might not be able to come "i.e. I have to pick my son up from school at that time" when otherwise teachers might feel that they are placed in a very uncomfortable situation, when actually they don't "have" to go to the meeting, especially as it'll be entirely in Thai and not even the Thai staff will be asked for an opinion let alone the Farang staff, as it's really just a meeting to pander to the director's ego.  The difference is really just a miscommunication, as in Thai they would use "Dong", which directly translates to must/have to.

 

Oh and if "Must" is going to be used, then don't send some 25 year old administrative assistant to tell Farang teachers what they "Must" do, as the only time that an order like that is really appropriate is if it comes from someone who does have some version of seniority/authority else it's on the verge of demeaning.  It'd be like a student telling the teacher that they're in trouble lol.

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I have some friends who teach and work with many Africans and Filipinos.  They get along well, but they get a little frustrated when they hear certain phrases spoken to young children that would really make zero sense in the UK (or America, Canada, etc...).  The accent seems to be a problem for the director, and maybe a non-Native teacher should just focus on different strengths.  I'm not sure, clearly it's either to save money or there just aren't enough Native teachers to fill the roles.

 

Everyone knows everyone's salary, but I don't care if they know I make 2 or 3x what they make.  I used to tell some teachers, "If i get fired, you don't make more money." and "If I leave, the next Native teacher is getting the money and not going to give you money."  LOL.  Only a few friends I can talk to like this and we laugh...

 

another HUGE thing I forgot (I think):
 

1.  Other farangs who drag in their problems and complain to other farangs..

 

this can really get farangs out of the school.  Who wants to listen to some person complain all day and make being in the same room with them miserable......

 

let's not kid ourselves. the farangs who come to Thailand and work (and don't work, actually) are sometimes not the most stable individuals without some weird drinking/sex fetish that must be explained as they beg for 30 baht and then wonder why life has beat them down....

 

 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, puukao said:

I have some friends who teach and work with many Africans and Filipinos.  They get along well, but they get a little frustrated when they hear certain phrases spoken to young children that would really make zero sense in the UK (or America, Canada, etc...).  The accent seems to be a problem for the director, and maybe a non-Native teacher should just focus on different strengths.  I'm not sure, clearly it's either to save money or there just aren't enough Native teachers to fill the roles.

 

Everyone knows everyone's salary, but I don't care if they know I make 2 or 3x what they make.  I used to tell some teachers, "If i get fired, you don't make more money." and "If I leave, the next Native teacher is getting the money and not going to give you money."  LOL.  Only a few friends I can talk to like this and we laugh...

 

another HUGE thing I forgot (I think):
 

1.  Other farangs who drag in their problems and complain to other farangs..

 

this can really get farangs out of the school.  Who wants to listen to some person complain all day and make being in the same room with them miserable......

 

let's not kid ourselves. the farangs who come to Thailand and work (and don't work, actually) are sometimes not the most stable individuals without some weird drinking/sex fetish that must be explained as they beg for 30 baht and then wonder why life has beat them down....

 

 

 

 

What do you mean with weird sex fetish? ladyboys? But to get back on topic, it helps a lot when the Thai teachers are talking to the foreigners in a way that they show respect. And not calling a foreigner "Farang" in a very bad tone.

 

  I've never experienced something similar before, the current Thai staff at my school do not seem to be interested in talking to any of us.

 

  That could be through too many people coming and be going, because of an agency. But you'd at least expect that they communicate with some "long-stayers." 

 

  IMHO, if the Thai teachers talk bad about foreigners how should the students respect them?

 

  Thai teachers who appreciate working with foreigners who are honest seems to be very important to me. Young Thais should wai older foreigners first, not vice versa. 

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What do you mean with weird sex fetish? ladyboys? But to get back on topic, it helps a lot when the Thai teachers are talking to the foreigners in a way that they show respect. And not calling a foreigner "Farang" in a very bad tone.

 

  I've never experienced something similar before, the current Thai staff at my school do not seem to be interested in talking to any of us.

 

  That could be through too many people coming and be going, because of an agency. But you'd at least expect that they communicate with some "long-stayers." 

 

  IMHO, if the Thai teachers talk bad about foreigners how should the students respect them?

 

  Thai teachers who appreciate working with foreigners who are honest seems to be very important to me. Young Thais should wai older foreigners first, not vice versa. 

As you know, I’ve been around a while but have no ‘respect’ problems with students. I think some times you get what you deserve!

It must be remembered that to some Thai teachers, we are worrisome as their speaking skills are below par. Some have ‘questionable’ degrees/doctorates from places like India but have no ‘indian’ accents! To me there is only one reason for that!!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I've never had any problems with teachers speaking negatively about our Farang teachers.  Sometimes they have been a bit jealous of the fact that our starting salaries are on par with what a teacher with 10-15 years experience makes, even if it's our first job teaching, and then we refuse to do a lot of the administrative duties that are mandatory for the Thai teachers.

However, aside from those (Which are legitimate gripes), I haven't heard anything negative, and generally find the atmosphere to be pretty positive.  Admittedly though, only 3 teachers in my department have been at the school for longer, so I've earnt my stripes.

Never had a problem with other Farang sharing their problems, everyone has their frustrations that they need to vent, and often by sharing them the teachers do get to know each other better, which can help the working relationship.  If someone repeatedly does really dumb things, or things that make you uncomfortable for whatever reason, then you're getting to know them and finding out that they perhaps aren't the type of person you want to associate with, but that's life.

Although if you more just mean teachers with a positive attitude, as opposed to negative attitudes, then I agree completely.  As there are some people who dwell too much on their problems and are constantly depressed, who always see the glass as half empty.  This can at times be infectious and create a less enjoyable workplace, but it works in the reverse too, where lots of positive energy can feed off each other and make for a much more positive and enjoyable workplace as well.

In general, I think that most of the things which will keep foreigners at a school, are much less reliant on the director approving in contracts etc, but rather just general improvements to respect and communication within the foreigner's department.

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On 6/30/2018 at 5:15 PM, thequietman said:

Listening  would be top of my list. The Thai faculty don't listen or just don't care.

 

Got my new schedule for the Uni I lecture in yesterday. I told them I work online in the evenings many times but they still have me teaching from 7pm to 9pm and 5pm to 7pm. 

Where do they get off actually suggesting these times. I never agreed to these times at interview and according to Thai labour law, I don't have to work these hours.

However, they don't care and it looks like I am going to have to resign.

Same crap, different school and so it goes around and around, not listening and not caring.

 

They may listen but I'm sure what they are thinking is that you are arrogant. They have employed you; you signed an employment contract; they provide your visa and work permit, but you complain that they won't rearrange classes, and hence the whole university teaching schedule, for you so that you can teach online for another company/school (without the appropriate listing in your work permit for this work).

 

Where does it say in Thai Labor Law that you don't have to work these hours? I'm interested as this will close down all language school's if true.

 

 

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