Welcome to the Ajarn Forum - Teaching and Living in Thailand!
Established in 2000 with current continuous archives since 2004, we are one of the oldest ex-pat teaching forums in Thailand, and one of the busiest, a community of people who have some kind of tenuous link to or interest in teaching and living in Thailand.
You won't find a better one-stop information site for anyone teaching or thinking about becoming a teacher in Thailand.
Whether it's visa advice you are looking for, looking to rent an apartment, needing to know about TEFL courses, just wanting to vent about your school, or just wanting to socialise we have most bases covered and welcome everyone from the beginners to teaching to the seasoned educators....and even if you're not a teacher....or in Thailand for that matter.
Some absolute newbie tips.
LOS = Land of Smiles = Thailand
Click the Logo to get to the forum index!
See below for previews of our most active threads in the past 2 weeks.
PLEASE READ THE RULES BEFORE POSTING!
To post you must register. Once you have registered you need to activate your account through email. Only after this will you be able to see the 'post new thread button.'
Please contact LDMA with any enquiries about Ajarnforum.net and it's content, by using the Ajarnforum.net Contact Us form.
Please note that Ajarnforum.net is not Ajarn.com. The Ajarn.com logo and stylings are used with kind permission of Ajarn.com, but does not infer any ownership or control over the content or policies. Ajarn.com and AjarnForum.net share traffic, however Ajarn.com and it's associates do not own, or have rights over the content of Ajarnforum.net or vice versa. The content on the respective sites derives it's ownship is based on the domain where the content was originally posted.
ABSOLUTELY NO NAMING AND SHAMING SCHOOLS, TEACHERS, or ADMIN STAFF. Please be aware that negative consumer/labour opinions, can result in problems both for the original poster and the service provider under Thai defamation law, although Ajarn Forum is currently run from outside the kingdom of Thailand. All comments made are at the posters own risk.
Be genuine, read before posting, and don't march in all guns blazing as starting on the wrong foot can be off-putting. This forum's users enjoy a good debate and things can get heated.
Updated at 4:12 p.m. ET
This story contains a video some viewers might find graphic.
LONDON - A brutal attack in broad daylight near a military barracks in London left one man dead and two suspects hospitalized Wednesday after a shootout with police. British Prime Minister David Cameron said the attack appeared to be terror related. In footage caught by a passerby, a man with bloody hands holding a meat cleaver and a knife speaks to the camera in a British accent, saying: "We swear by Almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reasons we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye a tooth for tooth. We apologize that women had to see this today but in our lands our... [Read More]
Today was my first day being a real English teacher at my new school in Bangkok. How did it go?
It was a mixture of tragedy and triumph. Chaos and things going to plan. Sickness and perseverance.
First off, last night was rough. I started to feel a gurgling in my stomach. Something I had eaten that day wasn't sitting right. It could have been the super-spicy soup I had for lunch. The meat-on-a-stick I had has a snack at about 4 or the pad thai I got from a street vendor for dinner. My money is on the meat-on-a-stick.
I knew I had to wake up at 5:45 AM to be sure to be at school at 7:30. My clock is adjusted to going to sleep around midnight, and due to how excited I was, I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned. Worrying about this and that. So when the wake-up call came the next morning, it felt like I had barely slept.
There was a worse problem though. My stomach was on fire. I ran to the bathroom and well, I don’t know how to put this delicately, but “explosive” comes to mind. Maybe “brown river flash-flooding out my butt” (that isn’t so delicate), and again it was accompanied by major, severe stomach pain. I spent most of my 45 minutes before leaving to catch the bus sitting on the porcelain throne.
Two weeks ago, I was told my teaching assignment was still not finalized, but it's supposed to be in BKK, and we'd know for sure in a few days. A few days later, I was told it would be another 10 days, the final word coming down tomorrow. I'm only booked in my hotel until tomorrow. I went looking at places to live yesterday, which I was somewhat successful at doing, but there were a few listings I simply couldn't find because I am new in town and don't fully understand the whole street address system here yet... I wanted some help today from a local for day 2 of apartment hunting, the deadline being tomorrow for me to find a place...
So I call my contact...
Oh, no, Friday is when the paperwork is finalized, she tells me, but the school won't have an official decision until Monday. What if I hadn't called? When was she planning on telling met this? Why do I think Monday will come and they'll still be thinking about it? Arrrgh!!!
I just want to unpack and get my stuff spread around and stop spending 550/night on a hotel room.
A famous Thailand teaching agency is famous for printing fake degrees for its teachers now has 25 teachers in BKK that they are unable to place in schools, has taken to threatening a teacher who took off to work directly for a government school (not one that agency introduced the teacher to). Threats include you will never get a Non B, work permit or be able to work in Thailand legally.
...we need thousands more like this guy: those who will not tolerate the hell of other people:
by Kevin D. Williamson (CNN) I have the great privilege of writing the theater column for The New Criterion, the arts-and-culture journal founded by New York Times art critic Hilton Kramer and pianist Samuel Lipman in 1982. Some people have to be in an office at 8 a.m., but I get to be at the theater at 8 p.m. It is a pretty sweet gig.
The power of theater comes from its ability to surprise. Once or twice a season, I am treated to an unexpected discovery: While movies so often are cut, polished, CGI'd, and market-researched to death, even the most commercial piece of tourist-bait theater -- lookin' at you, "Evita" -- contains within it an element of unpredictability.
The audiences, unfortunately, are drearily predictable. It's the old one-in-every-family phenomenon: They will be late. They will talk. Their cell phones will ring, and some of them, by God, will answer them. They will text, and they may even play a few rounds of Words with Friends during the third act. They are the enemy. They are depressing not because their bad manners surprise us, but because they do not surprise us.
I found myself in the news this week after offering a surprise of my own at a New York theater: The woman seated next to me was on her phone throughout most of the show. (It was "Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812," in case you're wondering, a musical based on "War and Peace." You know what show you shouldn't see in New York if you have the attention span of a goldfish? One based on "War and Peace.") When she was not on her phone, she and her... [Read More]
There are some very fancy language schools in Bangkok (Wallstreet, Boston Bright, to name a few). They especially focus on fun. What is your opinion or expericences with those fancy schools? Do you believe that thai-students make great progress at this kind of schools?
I'm in the market to buy a used motorbike/scooter. I don't want to spend a ton of money because I am still new here and have start-up expenses and such. I figure there have to be decent bikes out there around Bt10K, but I'm not quite sure how to find them. Seems to me like many things in life, it's about getting the word out. I've put the word out at school and am doing so here. Even if no one reading this has a bike to sell in that price range, you may know a guy... or know a guy who knows a guy...
I'm also asking for advice as to the process itself. Riding up and down the roads here in Bangkok, I see tons of new motorbike dealers, but what about used ones? Where are the used bike lots? Every bike should have a "green book", right?
I have been pondering with the idea for a while now.
I have been back in Japan for 2 years now. I had planned to make open a backpacker's lodge, but the earthquake hit, I wasted a lot of time and money, and ended up teaching.
I teach in private high schools. I commute long hours on crowded trains. My wage is not so bad, and I have 4 months paid holidays per year. But I am just not happy here.
Tokyo is so hectic. The winters here really suck. Those things would not be so bad, but I broke up with my girl a few months ago - who had a 4 year old daughter who i adored. Since then, I really do wonder why i am here.
I am 45 now (yep! it was 10 years ago when i first posted here!) and although i have a bachelors degree, i have no certificates in education. that has never been a problem in japan getting teaching work - though of course, i can't get the top paying jobs in universities, etc. i know that Thailand is a lot more strict when it comes to being employed in schools, without education certificates.
so i am thinking of re-starting my private tutoring for japanese expats. i actually found it rewarding - more so than any other time i have taught before. i visited my students homes, and was free to teach them what i liked - and as it was up to me to get as many students as i could (and keep them) i used what i had learned in my earlier teaching years in japan, and developed other ways, which proved to work really well. i have learned a few more tricks since being back here, and feel i could do even a better job this time around.
As you might be able to tell from my full figured physique, I do love food. I’ve mentioned before how I can occasionally get frustrated seeing all this delicious looking stuff here in Thailand and not knowing the words for it. I get a little shy about ordering because I don’t want to look like an idiot, nor do I want to order the wrong thing and have them bring me a shoe with cheese on it.
Yesterday, I hung out with some new friends and the topic of food came up and one of them mentioned rice porridge. I’ve never had anything similar to rice porridge in America, but I remembered back when I was young in Indonesia and rice porridge was one of my favorite things to eat. It’s delicious; my Filipino friend who was talking about it shared my enthusiasm. Most importantly, he told me not only the Thai word for it: jok, but also where to find it in my neighborhood. I went home counting the hours until breakfast where I could wander over for a nice Bt20 (60 cents) bowl of jok. No chance that I would forget the word; it’s the first three letters of my name!
Well, this morning being Mother’s Day in America, I had an appointment to Skype with Mom. This is the first time we had Skyped, and it was really cool. Technology is wonderful. Again to compare this overseas journey to my last venture to SE Asia in 1990, back then, we exchanged written letters that took 2 to 3 weeks to cross the Pacific.
Anyways, after the call, I headed out in search of jok… You’ll have to watch the video to see what happened next.
I would like to think that I can take my savings money, jump on a plane to BKK and within a few weeks have a teaching job that I can live off comfortably. Along with that would come the fun of living in Thailand as a teacher, having weekends off to see the country and enjoying the sunshine, food etc.... It's a very nice idea but I get the feeling that I'm deluding myself to some extent and that I could be in for a shock if I think it's going to be that easy.
How many other new teachers / returning teachers have the same idea and what do you think your chances are?
A little different here than in Thailand. In case anybody's interested ..
Took a plane to Tijuana, $300 RT. Took a taxi from TJ International to the Otay border crossing, 300 Pesos (12:1), 2 kilometers. Waited in line to enter the USA for about 3 hours.
Reentered Mexico in about 10 minutes. 290 Pesos for 6 months.
A great hotel room. 400 Pesos, pretty deluxe, nice and quiet. Went shopping in musical instrument shops all day, flew back the next day.
Whole trip cost $370. A lot more than a visa run in Thailand, but 6 months .. not bad.
Now that I have renewed my visa once I can apply for citizenship, 7,000 Pesos, about a year's wait. No test. there was a time when there was an exam that included language and constitutional/history questions.
So things are looking up. My SS covers my living expenses with change left over. I'm playing in two bands, one Rock, one Blues. Believe it or not I'm earning more with giging per night than I did in Texas.
Ordered True Visions Gold for Premier League football on a six month contract: 15/12 to 14/6.
The football season has finished and True hasn't got the rights for next season so I want to cancel so that I don't pay any more than I have to. I am trying to get a final bill so I can pay to the end of the six months.
Went to True's office in Latphrao to cancel in April. Told them I am happy to pay-up until 14/6 and also to arrange a date to take out equipment. I was told it wasn't possible to cancel in April and to come back in May.
May 11 - Returned to store. Was told that I couldn't cancel in-store. They phoned True Customer Services whilst I was in-store. I spoke with them and they said they would get engineers to call me to arrange a date to take-out the equipment. Asked why I was cancelling. Told them I was only interested in PL football.
May 13 - No call from True. I called customer services. Was assured that cancellations people would call me. Asked why I was cancelling. Told them I was only interested in PL football. I was offered a discount 15%. Not interested.
May 17 - Still no call from True. I again called customer services. Was assured [by the same woman] that cancellations people would call me. Again offered discount. Told them not interested.
May 21 - Still no call from True. I again called customer services. Was told the same BS about cancellations will call blah blah. Asked them to once again explain the cancellation process. Was told I couldn't cancel until 15th May which is one day after the end of my 6 months agreement. Obviously this seems to me like a blatant... [Read More]
I am considering moving out to Thailand next year to complete a TEFL course and then hopefully find a teaching position shortly afterwards. Not really too fussy on where I would teach initially as I appreciate I am getting into this on the ground floor and would be happy to just gain a teaching role to gain experience and hopefully earn enough to cover living costs (I believe 30,000 baht per month is an achievable amount).
I do not have a degree though and I believe this would prevent me from securing the most sought after teaching positions, that's fair enough I wouldn't really be looking to move over for financial reasons it is more of a lifestyle choice. I'm 35 years old and in full time employment in the UK but have been to Thailand a few times now and fallen in love with the place, really fancy trying to combine business with pleasure and taking up a teaching job in the Land of Smiles.