TEFL Teacher in Bangkok part 2


During my stay  in Bangkok I resided in Bangwa . There weren’t many foreigners in that area at the time, so I stood out like a sore thumb. One day I was on the bus and a mature gentleman by the name of Terry started talking to me. He was very trendy, likeable and fascinating. He gave me his business card and said I should contact him because the school he taught at was looking for a new teacher. By this time, I had learned to adapt in my own school, which was a very strict private school. I knew all their whims and fancies and I was at the point where I could manage quite well. The only problem was the fact that they were giving me the run-around regarding my work permit. I hated working without a work permit and would tense up whenever I saw the cops. I would imagine them asking to see my work permit, throwing me in prison upon realising I didn’t have one, and throwing away the keys. That image was enough to motivate me to call Terry.

He organised for me to meet his boss, Shawn. Shawn and I had a very brief conversation, not even about teaching but more about our travels. He then asked for my email address and said he’d contact me. I couldn’t tell what his impression of me was, but I was determined to try another school if that door was shut in my face. To my surprise, he did contact me and asked me to demonstrate a lesson. Another teacher by the name of Bernie observed me and gave good feedback. I was offered a full-time job and the rest is history. The major difference for me was the fact that they accepted me without even mentioning my race. You can see some of the differences between the schools I worked for in the table at the end of the article.

Any case, it was more advantageous for me to choose the second school, especially when they offered to sort out my work permit quickly. I resigned from my first school. My fellow teachers and students were sad to see me go. But the most surprising thing was when the supervisor, who had commented on me being black during my first interview, didn’t want me to leave. I was tempted to point out to him that I was still black. Anyway, we parted amicably and he said if things didn’t work out for me, I was more than welcome to work for him again.

Fortunately, things did work for me at my second school. I had amazing students, great colleagues and an awesome boss. I grew in leaps and bounds, both professionally and personally. I can honestly say that my job was one of the things that made my stay in Thailand memorable.


Private School Language Centre
8 hours a day on weekdays @ 200 Baht per hour 2,5 hours a day on weekdays @ 400 Baht per hour. (Off on Fridays)
Off on weekends work up to 5 hours per day on weekends @ 650 baht per hour
Holidays only during school breaks ie. March-April and October A week off every 6 weeks. Longer break during Songkran and Christmas
No resource other than text books. Each man for himself  Lots of resources and help with lessons from collegues
Holidays only during school breaks ie. March-April and October A week off every 6 weeks. Longer break during Songkran and Christmas
35-45 students per class 11-25 students per class
Syllabus way above level of majority of students Serious teaching of grammar and conversation for appropriate level
No teacher development activities and no bonus either Teacher development activities & 40 000 Baht bonus at year end

Published by Mbali M

I am a 30 something year old South African currently living in Sweden. This is a personal blog about my experience of being in a high control religious group, my departure from the group as well and how I have adjusted to life outside the group. I hope this blog inspires you to learn from difficult experiences in life and to use those experiences to propel you forward in order to help you reach your full potential and live your best life.

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