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Things to Think About Before Becoming a Teacher in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we're going to be talking about teaching in Thailand. It's a popular thing for many young people to do here in the Kingdom but it can be a little bit fraught with unforeseen issues, if you will. And what are we talking about with respect to unforeseen issues?

Well most notably, a lot of folks show up here and don't understand the whole work authorization procedure. So things like a business visa are necessary to come here but a business visa in and of itself does not provide work authorization within the Kingdom. In fact quite the opposite, a business visa simply provides legal immigration status for the period of time that the visa confers and it does not provide. In fact, in some cases they specifically stamp this on the entry stamp. It does not provide work authorization, a work permit is necessary.

So those looking to come to teach in Thailand are well advised to basically ask the question of the school that one is looking at coming to work for, “Do you provide a work permit?” And if they say, yes well then that's a good thing. But something to also keep in mind is immediately when getting here, it's not a bad idea to you know sort of stay on top of the folks that are in charge of getting one's work permit because it's not an uncommon thing to hear about teachers who would get here be told by the administration or by the various people who handle immigration and work permits for the staff that “yeah we're on it, we'll get around to it.” And then you know, three four, five, six, eight, twelve months later, a work permit is still not been forthcoming.

So something to think about is work authorization. In another video, we specifically discussed teacher-based business visas so I recommend checking out that video to understand that specific issue. But moving forward with respect to teaching here in the Kingdom, another thing to think about is the Thai Ministry of Education has increasingly been ratcheting up the requirements with respect to those who are employed in state schools. And it’s of note that those who are employed by Thai state schools, I think at this point and move forward are going to be required to pass some sort of English language proficiency examination something like TOEFL or IELTS before they're going to be granted their certification by Ministry of Education here to go ahead and teach in a public school capacity.

Another thing to think about with respect to international schools is primarily almost all international schools here that I've ever become aware of tend to only want to hire somebody with an actual teaching accreditation back in the United States or in the Anglosphere wherever, back sort of for lack of a better term in the Western world. So they're looking to hire actual accredited teachers, people that actually have an education degree at some point or some sort of certification associated therewith. So one who comes over here with just a bachelor's degree should probably not expect to be able to get into an international school environment.

And moreover, just through various friends and clients and colleagues, it's become my understanding that even then, you know, higher degrees of education are often required with respect to international schools and the same seems to go for universities as well.

Finally, another thing to think about with respect to working over here is living over here I see a lot of folks who will come here and go ahead and take a position with a relatively, I won’t say low but relatively modest salary, and then be under the impression that they can go ahead and make money part-time on the side doing various so-called private lessons etcetera. That may be a possibility but something to think about is ascertaining one's actual hours that they need to be at the actual facility teaching because in some cases, I do know teachers and specific types of schools that their hours move around not only in a day to day situation but week to week, month to month it would become very difficult to go ahead and try to schedule, sort of, off hours private lessons with any kind of regular frequency.

So all of this is stuff to think about with respect to teaching in Thailand. That being said, it can be a very rewarding thing and there's nothing wrong with being a teacher here in Thailand but just my sort of overall recommendation is do some due diligence, do some research, understand what you're getting into before traveling over here.