Typically you will be teaching in a government or private school in a provincial town, with a population of about 100,000 people. These schools are comfortable, sometimes very well equipped and modern, they are also often large, with more than 1,000 students ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade.In the average class there are usually 50 students, which sounds like a handful but Thais are taught to be obedient and respect their teacher. Besides, you will be an auxiliary teacher to assist their usual English teacher (a Thai).
Life teaching at a Thai school?Thai schools comprise of three years in kindergarten, from ages 4 to 6, and five years in junior school (7-11) known as Pratom, after which they proceed to Mattayom (12-17 years old).
Some of the schools and classrooms have multimedia and modern facilities, in most cases you are teaching off a white board. Computers are available for internet aids, air-conditioning is a luxury but plenty of fans and ventilation suffice in the hot or humid season.
A significant portion of the learning week for kids in Thailand is taken up with non-academic endeavours, such as performing arts, handicrafts, ceremonies or cultural drilling. In most cases it’s conducted with fun, and a heavy dollop of national pride building. For example one day of the week is dedicated to Scouts, where all students show up in appropriate uniform and have life skills training.
At lunch time meals are provided, there are sometimes activities and sports after hours, and a liberal number of public holidays or special occasions when no teaching takes place. Usually a school will have playing fields, a library, and other amenities, depending where you are.
Life after work
The town you will be posted to will likely have a Tescos supermarket, perhaps a small mall with movie house, bars and restaurants for relaxation (Thais love eating and drinking after hours), a swimming pool somewhere, and national parks or areas of beauty within reach. Other foreigners will most likely be living nearby.
In these jobs the schools are clean, comfortable, hygienic and kept with pride, They are staffed by dozens of teachers who will certainly take great interest in you and be helpful in making you feel at home. Obviously you are living in the developing world, so don’t expect everything to be spic-and-span or super efficient, it’s all part of the experience.
Are you ready to make the move?
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