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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Teaching in Amazing Thailand!!!!

I sit here today typing this article not just to put up my experience or to thank all the people that have helped me on this journey but also to give an idea to those who are looking at teaching in Thailand. I am willing to guide and help anyone through the process including the paper work for the visa. However It should be known that am not a visa agent nor do I know anybody in immigration or any government office. Am just a teacher who is willing to guide or help other teachers. I know the process as I went through it recently and if you follow the steps properly and have all the required documents you can get your non immigrant visa  without any issues.

I have been searching for a teaching position in Thailand for a while now. Got myself added to few of the groups for teachers or teaching in Thailand on Facebook. Opened an account on Ajarn.com and also used other websites like teachingthailand.com , ajarnjobspace.com and so on. I think my biggest disadvantage was I was searching for the job sitting in India. Most schools prefer to meet the prospective teacher in person. So it is my suggestion that you do come down in person and look for a job.

I do not wish to kick up the native and non native argument again. However this is what I feel - A native speaker who is not a teacher or is just choosing to teach because they wish to live in Thailand is not a person suitable to teach. I do belief non native speakers can be just as good at teaching English as any professional native speaking teacher. The problem is that a decent number of non native speakers who desire to teach are also just doing so to be able to live here. When I went to give my TOEIC test in Bangkok I was waiting in the line and few non native speakers ( do not wish to mention their countries) were registering. Now the person at the registration desk asked them - Would you collect the TOEIC score by yourself tomorrow. A pretty simple question, however all three of them just could not comprehend the question even after it was explained a few times with hand gestures too. It is such non native speakers that are giving a bad image to the genuine and qualified teachers too. I also feel approving a TOEIC score of 600 is okay for an admission to an University abroad but for a teacher the requirement should be a minimum 800 out of 990. I have a TOEIC score of 960 out of 975.

I would like both the native and non native speakers to realize that this is not an argument or debate between us. It is about providing education to the next generation of Thailand. We need to stop fighting and work together. In my personal experience I have made some real good friends on facebook both native and non native. All of them have always been there to reply to my queries or help me find a job and so on. So lets all just decide to work together and be impartial, as there are unqualified ( i dont mean just a degree) teachers among the native as well as non native speakers. Lets be united as one against those who are not qualified to teach irrespective of country, race or colour.  

Thailand Teach -
I met Robert Newton through one of the groups of Facebook for teachers. I use to keep pestering him about coming and volunteering for him after I get a job in Thailand.  He is a wonderful human being, very down to Earth and giving. Robert is in to providing volunteers to teach at the schools they are connected with. These schools are often under funded being in the rural area however the kids at the schools are really bright and eager to learn. I have added the link to the Facebook page of Thailand Teach-

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thailand-Teach/289975994428274

If you wish to make a difference then do try to get in touch with Robert and volunteer whenever it suits your schedule. I say so because I have taught at these schools and when you see kids eager to learn but the school can not afford a qualified English teacher due to lack of funding, it does touch you within. I personally hope to volunteer more often, finding a balance between my job and volunteering is what am working on.

My Story - 

As I mentioned above I had been applying for a teaching job for any add or post I saw on websites and social media and finally got a lead  for a teaching position at a school in Lopburi. The teacher who was teaching there was leaving and they wanted a replacement. After about 20 days of applying for the job I suddenly get a call on my cell in India for a telephonic interview. Well I did get the job too. The school sent me the basic outline of the contract, things like the wage, the duration, hours and that they would pay for the visa and work permit. I was in regular touch with them. I resigned from my job at a school in India and applied for the visa. Now after having resigned, applied for the visa as well as buying my flight tickets, I get a call from the school telling me to be at the school the next day or else I do not have the job any more. Well that was a great shock for me. I immediately messaged my friend Robert (who lives in Thailand) to call and speak to the school and try to convince them to wait. Well that did not work out. I do not have any hard feelings against that school or the person who took this absurd decision at the last minute. I have forgiven them and I thank them for what they did. It is because of what they did, that I got to know and meet a wonderful human being as Robert Newton and his wonderful family nor would I have got the wonderful job that I have at a school in Singburi. 

So here I was with my passport at the Thai embassy in India getting stamped for a two month tourist visa, had paid for the flight tickets for the round trip ( you need to buy round trip tickets if you are coming in on an tourist visa), resigned from my job at the school in India and I was left stranded by the school in Lopburi after confirming the job.  

I did discuss it with Robert and few other teachers who were teaching in Thailand and all suggested I should make the trip as with my qualifications I would surely get a job within a few weeks. Robert was very kind to have offered that I could come down to Singburi and volunteer for him while searching for jobs. I should inform you all that Robert does not run an employment agency, he helped me with giving me details of the schools in the area as well as taking me to some of them only out of the friendship we share.

I took the flight to Bangkok on 8th August. Took the airport link sky rail to Phaya Thai and then switched to the sky rail (BTS) for Mo chit. The Mo chit bus terminal is about 3km from the Mo chit BTS station. At the Mo chit bus station you can get an A/C bus to Singburi for 120Baht or a Mini bus for the same sum too. The advantage with the Mini bus is that it takes you to the small villages around Singburi. So you might just find a stop next to where you live.

Thailand Teach is at Bang Rachan, Singburi. That is where I was at too. I did volunteer at two temple schools for Thailand Teach. It was a wonderful experience. After about 2 weeks of applying to schools online, through leads from friends and the schools in the area, I finally got a decent offer from a school in the area. By now I was very fond of the area and its rural setting. I also got along well with everyone at Roberts home. So it seemed perfect to accept the offer and there I was with a job. A few days after I got the job and a day before I signed my contract with the school I got another offer closer to Bangkok for 5,000 Baht more than this offer. However I refused it as I had already given my word to the school. The next on my list was to change my Tourist Visa to a Non - B Visa. I had to get all the paper work ready and submit it at Chaeng Wattana Immigration Office in Bangkok with having 15 days left on my visa. That was a challenge but again I had some very nice people helping me and guiding the school on the paperwork. My school has helped me a lot in getting all the necessary paper work ready within a relatively short time.

I got my Non - B Visa from the Bangkok Immigration Office just a few days back with exactly 16 days left on my tourist visa. Phewwwww that was a relief. Have started the process for acquiring my work permit.

I would like to thank everyone that has guided and helped me through this journey. Have been helped by both native and non native speakers. I have made some good friends too.

Well besides being a qualified English teacher I am also a qualified martial artist and hope to teach the kids (and grown ups)  martial arts too.

You could check out my martial arts website below.
www.jukaado.com



I guess Thailand has decided to keep me after all !!!!!!

I am always here to help or guide those who are seeking help or guidance with regards to teaching in Thailand or guiding with getting the right paper work ready. Do get in touch with me if you have any queries. 

1 comment:

  1. Thailand Teach - Volunteer Programs - Or just come for a visit.

    We are very happy to have helped Farzaan. From now on I will refer to him in the many names local people have given to (Fozan). Being in Thailand you expect them to have difficulty with the letter R. They call me Lob instead of Rob.

    From the time (Tazan) arrived he has been very well received. (Fazan) truly cares and I am sure will make a positive impact on everyone in our area. Happy our children are included when (Indiaman) goes out on his training, even though he races ahead and leaves them all alone.
    We now replace the first word of (Furzan) training method "Train Till you drop" with words like Teach.

    Please fill in the blank with a word that you feel best describes (Tezan) "_________Till you drop" when you leave comments.


    If you come across anyone visiting Thailand or interested in virtual or on-site volunteering please forward our information. Happy to assist when and where we can.

    All the best,

    Robert and Pooh Newton
    and our new addition Ajarn Farzaan

    Thailand Teach / Volunteer Inn
    68 M. 10 T. Phochonkai A.
    Bang Rachan J. Singburi Thailand 16130

    Tel# 66 084 996 8617 - Thailand
    Tel# 416 410 2345 - CANADA

    robert@volunteerinn.net
    facebook.com/pages/Thailand-Teach/289975994428274
    volunteeralliance.org/users/thailand-teach
    th.linkedin.com/in/thailandteach
    twitter.com/ThailandTeach

    Skype - volunteerresort

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