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What does teaching experience in Thailand get you?


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My teaching experience got me 8 levels up the master pay scale here in Hong Kong.

The OP's question was directly related to Thai teaching experience sufficiency levels, for gettibg a teaching job in the U.S.A., not Hong Kong.

Is your teaching experience in Thailand worth anything other than a "life experience"?

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The old adage this is Thailand springs to mind, I know of some who have enough credentials to teach here but not near enough to teach within homeland.

Thanks for your well thought out reply. I think we all know that however. But really...thanks....it reminds me of another "old adage"..."When you pay peanuts, you get monkeys."

As well also know, and know personally in my case, the Thai schools will hire people who don't speak English fluently, never mind "Native English Speaker", and people without actual University degrees. The TCT verification of said degrees has always been a joke, they may be correcting it, I honestly don't know if it's all talk and an idea or if in practice doing it?

But that's all fine and good. It wasn't my inquiry! I'm asking what the actual work experience, that of teaching in a Thai school, gets you as far as gaining experience which means something or does it mean nothing?

Thanks and again, kind regards.

It would not hold a lot of credibility I would think. My gf is a Filipino teacher, your comments about pay and monkeys pales into insignificance with their pay compared to yours as a westerner! My gf has been at the same school for 3 years, fully qualified, dual degree with 1/w masters completed and has been given 300 bht in rises in that time!

That is a true grievance!

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I can directly address the question.

A friend returning to the UK after teaching in a Thai private university for several years, was able to use the years of experience to skip some of the modules required to gain Qualified Teacher Status in the UK.

Official documents and certifying letters were required from the university.

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being a good teacher means instilling a love of learning in at least some of your students. you can learn to do this. in Thailand, it is not only a very difficult task to accomplish for many reasons and, not least of which, because of large classroom sizes.... but Thai culture and education in Thailand is more about obedience and compliance than about the occasional gift of a genuine learning experience. this may be why copying things, handing in homework, wearing uniforms, pretending to respect the ajarn etc etc is very important here. so it is really difficult to see how experience in Thailand is "teaching" is at all useful elsewhere. most of what I learned in the UCLA TEFL program before coming here was not at all applicable here. it really is a system to graduate those students who 'do the stupid stuff' diligently and are good at rote learning. this is good for training medical doctors and factory workers... but not the kind of folks that make western culture, economies and the people themselves what they are. so much so most Thai place a fairly high value on sending their children, as well as themselves, to faraway geographical locations where there are predominately western people instead of Thai. they call it going overseas etc to get a western education... but it's really about being in a different culture.

I believe we tend to discount how important literacy is. in most of the world, reading books ranks in the top 10 leisure activities, easily. usually only outranked by travel. in Thailand, outside Bangkok in particular no one hardly ever reads a book of any kind. I have to assume Bangkok is a bit better because I guess so, I have never lived there, and only visited briefly... but the only Thai readers I know of are all from Bangkok (and it is one fellow, only one guy, the same guy every time at family funerals that I meet). that's quite an indictment.

it shows up in everyday life. the ability to think in the abstract is what makes us more than just another mammal species with a consciousness. but we have language. and it is most powerfully developed by reading good books and gaining new perspectives. everyday life isn't as filled with this kind of abstract thought processing, it tends to be more concrete and 'real'...... which is how animals live. like my dog, who I keep well fed, happy and play with. I can't help it, I still think to Abhisit Vejjajiva, while Prime Minister saying, or reportedly saying, that the most important thing for the Thai public school system is that the students are happy.

that's how I treat my dog.

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I have many acquaintances and some friends who went back to the real world (the states) and taught after starting their career in TEFL in Asia. You have to get your requirements sorted out, but with so many alternative teaching license programs that isn't too hard. Truth be told many districts are begging for teachers at the moment. I'm not convinced the teaching experience here is THAT well regarded, but it is experience.

I'll come back to this topic when I'm home next year, looking at starting to teach there for 2016-2017. What you do have to understand that in some of the literature there is a sense that you have to break some of your TEFL habits before teaching kiddos back home. Sorry, throwing a ball around and prancing may not be very marketable. I'm not suggesting here anyone does that but it does seem endemic of the field.

To those who think that teaching here is some tough job. LOL. Seriously, have you met some of the people in this field? It's a McJob many times...I work at a decent school but gawd your average TEFLer out in the sticks in Nakhon Nowhere gets hired, qualifications be damned. Actually, happens a lot in Bangkok. No degree? Buy one! No experience, make it up! Criminal check screw that m8! Make sure you have a nice photo for your application. Let's just cut the crap shall we? How many, by show of hands, would love a bunch of TEFL teachers in charge of their kids all day? Bueller?...Bueller?

Seriously fellas, there's a reason the majority of people in our countries don't think of TEFL as a proper field. There's quite a bit of good research on this. In essence, the low barriers to entry, the fact that the field is so often commercialized, low salaries, low job security, lack of intellectual engagement with the field, and the transitory nature of it all lead to it being not so well respected. Sorry to burst your bubbles. Now, on the upshot some people find they love it and go on to get a qualification and go home or move to internationals. For that, I say good on ya I suppose.

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I can directly address the question.

A friend returning to the UK after teaching in a Thai private university for several years, was able to use the years of experience to skip some of the modules required to gain Qualified Teacher Status in the UK.

Official documents and certifying letters were required from the university.

That's good to hear, thanks. So often we miss out on specifics on the board, and glad to hear that your friend was able to get some educational credit for his work =)

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A picture of beer and a few laughs...the laughs will be free...you pay for the beer...cheers!

Would that be 'pitcher' and shouldn't it be 'pitcherful' in this instant?

Teachers have to set a good example...so only a "picture" of beer would be provided...everyone else gets the real stuff...wai2.gif

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Back to the point about the validity of Thai Uni credits for certification in the US. I'll get the links, if I really have to...but some of the certification bodies will view it based on your nationality. IOW, it may not be acceptable for an American to get a B.Ed in Thailand and come back and expect certification. It would be different for a Thai immigrant to the US, and they would likely just make that person take US History and a few courses like that. OTOH, I knew an American, who went to medical school at University of Guadalajara, and was accepted into residency at very prestigious Georgetown University.

I have also read recently, that a public school system in Kingman, Arizona has imported some Filipino teachers for Math and Science. Probably got them a license renewable for 2-3 years, while they take any extra coursework. Believe it, or not, they actually are on the same pay scale as native teachers.

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Why not study "off-campus" in your home country?

You could do almost all of a post baccalaureate ED program online (except for 6 credit hours of student teaching). It's very expensive...like 17,000 USD, and some of the schools are a joke (University of Phoenix)...it will get you certified, and allow you to be contracted.

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Why not study "off-campus" in your home country?

You could do almost all of a post baccalaureate ED program online (except for 6 credit hours of student teaching). It's very expensive...like 17,000 USD, and some of the schools are a joke (University of Phoenix)...it will get you certified, and allow you to be contracted.

Eh if you're in need of a license and you're American do a program like TeacherReady or something. Practicum can be done here in Thailand if you can get a mentor teacher and site, exams you have to do back in the states.

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As usual most of the posters replying here are the "all TEFLers are dickheads" brigade, with no actual knowledge of the requirements to be a teacher in the western world.

We all know that some TEFLers have "circumvented" the system by lying about their quals etc.

However it is untrue that if you can't legally teach in Thailand then you cannot teach in your homeland.

The qualifications required for TEFL teaching in Thailand are way higher than those in the UK.

I do not have a degree and thus am not able to satisfy the legal requirements in Thailand at present, but did teach there for many years previously when the rules were different and was then allowed to continue due to the "grandfather" system.

Back in the UK I teach ESOL in Colleges and Universities with an RSA CELTA but no degree. Many recruiters ask for a degree and a DELTA but that is what they would prefer and they are perfectly willing to take lesser quals, especially if the teacher has a good c.v. and references and especially hit them with a good demo lesson. Of course the better paying jobs go to those with the best quals but the demand far exceeds the number of teachers.

The various TEFL sites on the internet have dozens of TEFL positions in the UK, far more than can be filled by degree and DELTA holding candidates. Most of the work is in London and other major cities. So accommodation costs can be a problem.

You can also sign up with Protocol National or a similar organisation and you can get sub teaching work in schools. You will need to obtain a DBS, basically a police check, Not my favourite type of employment, if you think Thai teens are unruly, you will be eaten alive by the UK comprehensive school teenagers.

Rates of pay are around £16-20 per hour TEFLing or £100 plus for a day subbing in schools. If you can a fully contracted job with a good language institute you can look for £25,000 plus and benefits.

Private work is also an option and of course internet teaching is becoming increasingly fashionable.

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