Teaching Abroad In Bangkok Thailand
Updated: Oct 4, 2019
In this article I have listed some details of my first teaching job in Bangkok.
Read on to find out how I did it and how you can too! Here I share some insight into what it was like to live in Thailand.
My teaching job started out at a Summer Camp in Bangkok at an International School. I had an interview, discussed my experience working with children and my plans to teach in Thailand. I was offered a 4 week paid placement at the school for the month of December. This camp served as a job trial and at the end of the month I was offered a contract as a homeroom teacher at the Kindergarten for two years.
My working hours were based on a full-time two-year contract with a work Visa, monthly salary and rental allowance included. The work days were typically 7:30 am - 4:30 pm Monday to Friday and included two months of paid vacation and sick leave. The starting salary was 60,000 Thai Baht per month. I worked in the Nursery and the Kindergarten. I had two Thai Teaching Assistants and around 15 - 18 students per class.
The school offered a one-month salary advancement so I could place a deposit on an apartment and organise everything in time for the next semester. This was a high paying role for an entry level and the International sector will usually pay a higher salary to foreign workers than the local schools. If you start out with no experience or without the appropriate qualifications the wage is around 30-40,000.
As a homeroom teacher you will see these kids more hours out of the average week than their own parents due to their careers. If you want to teach in Thailand, Kindergarten is a good place to start, it will help to find a community and build on your confidence. Having prior work experience in childcare or other similar fields will help you get noticed in an increasingly competitive market.
The demand for teachers has made it much harder to find work, especially at International Schools without any prior experience or training. I did not have a degree in education when I applied though I did have volunteer teaching experience in Southeast Asia and a Bachelor Degree in Arts majoring in Human Services which permitted me to obtain a work visa.
As a teacher you are in charge of your classroom, lesson planning, grading, providing feedback and working as part of a team with the faculty. A role as a nursery or kindergarten teacher is similar to a job in child care where you are expected to help teach the children basic life and communication skills whilst also teaching the children a second language.
Many schools will also have a third language, usually Chinese, which the children will also learn. Students are enrolled in extra-curricular activities including dance, martial arts, music and sport and it can be overwhelming once you realise the pressure which students are under from a young age. Education is really important in destinations such as Thailand and students are expected to be high achievers. As a homeroom teacher you can also offer emotional and behavioural support and build a compassionate and positive school experience for your students.
Bangkok is a city that never sleeps. The bright lights of the streets are always drawing you out for adventures. Cheap and incredible street food, live music, shopping, markets, parties, wandering from place to place; you will soon learn that very little time is spent at home here. When you are searching for a place to stay - Bangkok has it all!
There are many rental options that come furnished and you are required to pay rent in advance as a deposit. It is a good idea to have the contract checked over to ensure that the Thai translation matches the English version before signing it as the landlord will refer to the conditions in the Thai contract if there are ever any disputes.
Remember to negotiate the monthly rental rates and feel free to ask for furniture where applicable. My landlord had multiple apartment buildings and a storage unit filled with a variety of furniture and was more than happy to provide a desk, chairs, TV and bed frame to suit my needs.
Renting a place that is close to the train line will be beneficial in the rain season and will reduce costs associated with taking a moto-taxi to and from the station.
Bangkok presents you with a bewildering amount of choices when it comes to living. Condominiums, Apartments, Studios, Hostels, Guesthouses, House Sitting to name a few. I would recommend finding a place close to where you will work; the commute in and out of the main areas of Bangkok can be brutal.
My first apartment was almost a two hour commute each way before eventually relocating closer to the city. You can still find low-cost apartments and sharing with other teachers will get you more for your money as most 2 - 3 bedroom apartments are spacious and condominiums often include a pool and gym.
One of the most incredible places for food on the planet; the list of options to eat is seemingly endless with street vendors selling meals for about $1. In Thailand, locals will often greet you with a saying that means 'have you eaten yet?' Sharing a meal is a largely a cultural experience in Thailand and if you get the chance to check out a local beer garden order sticky rice for the table and enjoy the community vibe.
It is a great way to spend a Friday evening with friends. For a quite weekend you will have more cafes to chose from than you can even begin to imagine - air conditioning and free WiFi will surely be a highlight! If you want to try the local coffee and tea you can find vendors all over the city; its sweet & best served ice cold.
Most weekends my plans were surrounded by food, coffee, night markets, more coffee and cooking meals together. If you are searching for home food comforts - Bangkok has them all! Major international food chains are everywhere and you can find grocery stores and bakeries in every shopping mall.
You will find an abundance of fresh tropical fruit and vegetables for a cheap price and a trip to the local wet market is a must for anyone who wants to buy produce at its very best!
Find a community group, volunteer, meet up regularly so that you have friends and support whilst you are working in Bangkok and travel together to all the wonderful nearby islands. Bangkok is an incredible place to base yourself. South East Asia is known for being one of the cheapest regions to travel. Visit the surrounding countries via airlines such as Air Asia, Jetstar Asia, Nok Air, Cebu Pacific and Tiger Air for cheap fares all year round.
My favourite trips were to Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia. You can take the minivans or buses to almost every corner of the city and the train system makes for a one of a kind experience. The sleeper trains also cross the boarder to neighbouring locations and you can wake-up in a new destination for less than $30. Public transport is frequent and cheap!
Some of my favourite places in Thailand are Hua Hin and Krabi but most of all I could spend all my time happily wandering around Bangkok city and still never see it all; it's amazing!
Teaching is hard work, you will have long hours, papers to grade, parents to please, children to educate and a new working environment all within a foreign country. The students are a pleasure to work with and you will be humbled by how the local community welcome you to the city.
It is a challenging work day but it is so rewarding; you might even find you end up travelling the world as a teacher! Teaching in Thailand allows you to live and work in a location which is affordable, exciting and constantly inspiring. I encourage you to consider what teaching abroad could do for you; be prepared to put in the hard work and enjoy it!
Teaching is hard work, you will have long hours, papers to grade, parents to please, children to educate and a new working environment all within a foreign country. The students are a pleasure to work with and you will be humbled by how the local community welcome you to the city. It is a challenging work day but it is so rewarding; you might even find you end up travelling the world as a teacher!
Teaching in Thailand allows you to live and work in a location which is affordable, exciting and constantly inspiring. I encourage you to consider what teaching abroad could do for you; be prepared to put in the hard work and enjoy it!
Check all updated security and travel information including
the current working visa requirements before travelling to Thailand.