trick is, as i see it...to have a good person doing the hiring (and firing) of teachers. this is because if you have generalists teaching kids, they need to be dynamic and creative. if so, then they can teach young ones anything- regardless of specifics, at prathom level, its all about learning to learn.
the downside is that if you have one teacher for all subjects (non specialist), then you live and die by that sword, so to speak. if the teacher is lazy, or doesnt care, then ALL subjects get little treatment.
with many specialists, you can have a few bad apples, and still come out with a decent end-product.
^ yes. seen it.
and admin will have great xenophobe stories about how unreliable teachers are when they bolt out......funny thing most cant see their stunning incompetence as THE reason why theres so much turnover.
what you said above is to a T, my experience at st francis in bkk.
good school. just that the thai admin couldnt get out of it's own way.
just like kikiat said....you gotta take the crap to last eh
I completely agree with this as my last job was in an English program. I started off with the best intentions and worked my ass off to teach science and Math to P2 and English to P4,5 and 6. I found myself in a teaching program with few resources, little if any support from my Thai co-teachers, and an unreasonable and inexperienced boss from Singapore. How do you teach science to a room of wild p2 kids without a textbook? By the last month, I didn`t give a shit anymore and while my English students learned a few things, my other subjects didn`t get much out of the classes.
My two cents on this matter, I have a degree and nearly two years of teaching experience from the United States and as much as it pains me to admit it, the best English teachers I`ve met were people lacking degrees and more importantly, egos. It gave them the fuel to keep themselves in check and constantly aware of what they could do to stay better, whereas people with an extensive educational background already feel they know what they`re doing and thus, don`t keep track of their mistakes.
They tend to believe their education instantly makes them a good teacher. I had a bout with Ajarnfarang over this. He seems to believe the sun shines out of his ass because he has an Oxford degree.
I believe a criminal background check is all that`s necessary for secondary and elementry educations here.
Especially since in most schools, the Thai staff don`t take us seriously as teachers anyhow or listen to our feedback concerning what we feel our students need. Aside from EP departments, I don`t believe higher educated teachers are going to solve the problem of inefficient native teachers.
Last edited by Lotuslevi; 7th June 2008 at 09:21.
more time for wastin'
Looks like a good thread to take a pass on.
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Thank God somebody feels my pain!
i think schools need 3 level of criteria for employing ferrangs. School shouuld have their own competecy tests based on the ability of their students. a high performing english in an E.P or university progrram needs a teacher who knows thir stuff. inteermdiate studens need teachrs who can develop their weakness' in reading riting and speaking and beginners need teachrs who can teach them to read, develop confidence and can teach the basics of english. Unfortunately and a huge weakness in thailand is the lack of assessment and tracking of students. schools pretend their students are intermediate or advanced level english when infact whe you assess them you see a whole load of skills that aren't there. schools need to be honest with themselves and have a plan based on reality not on passing tests.
Criteria for Ferrang
Pratom level: Simple course on how to teaching reading, training in behaviour management and class techniques like differentiating work and assessment. active larning inthe classroom.
Matayom level; the teaching of grammar and applying it to the classroom. Use of drama and roleplay. the teaching of writing and use of I.T to nhance learning.
University and advanced adults. Teaching advanced grammar and its application. Opportuniies to speak. Useful phrases and idioms. conversation.
this is what I reckon a TEFL course should contain. a week of each of these and a week of teaching practise. Then people have least have the choice which type of students to teach. However training becomes obselete if the school insists on textbook eachingata levelway beyond that of the kids abilities.
Books at my school. Science 350 THB and Math 180 THB.
I do understand that many schools don't go for improvement but some do.
Last edited by Stamp; 7th June 2008 at 11:06. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
using the same science books. it isn't compatible with the Thai curriculum at times. But in a good program this isn't a problem, just something to figure out (which my co-teacher did superbly).
I understand the criticisms from the MOE. However most criticisms are about the Thai sections not the English sections which then gets translated into the farang is at fault (I've seen that last year).
Why a degree for Grade 7-12 Conversation classes and no degree for Grade 1-6??? The logic escapes me. You seem as equally deluded about the requirement for the 'Holy Grail' of a degree as all those schools which require a degree but no TEFL qualification, or even experience. I am a practising lawyer without a degree (I do have a Trinity College certificate). I came up through the system of Articles where you studied while you worked. Am I a lesser EFL teacher than a spotty gap year sociology graduate? It seems so. It smacks of academic protectionism and I believe deprives the profession of some bloody good teachers. I did a summer school years ago with the British Council in Hong Kong and a colleague had just passed his Masters in Applied Linguistics. He said. "What relevance it will have in the classroom is beyond me". I think that says it all.
I can understand the Thai Government wanting to get rid of shoddy 'backpacker' types but surely in all reasonableness the acceptable minimum qualificaton should be:
A TEFL/TESOL certificate from an established academic organization e.g. Cambridge or Trinity College (not some money-making Californian entity with a fancy name)
One year teaching experience.
Suitable references from a previous employer.
What more? There is a right way and a wrong way to teach English but it isn't rocket science.
All I can say to that is in my experience, it all depends on personality types. Some people with nothing more than a TESOL (which I think is a joke from my own experience getting one) start off right out of highschool with no experience and turn out to be amazing teachers while other people with MA`s turn out to be shitty ones. Personality types. You sound like a guy I sat in with during an interview years ago in Bangkok.
My original scathing diatribe was addressed to STAMP but thank you for your observation. I am semi-retired and decided to return to TEFL after many years. I had no idea what a rat-race it's become. Submitting applications via Serious Teachers or other 'foreign' recruitment agents is a waste of precious life because you are just a great swathe of on-line applications. By pure luck I found a little rural 'poor' school in Thailand and I will be volunteering for three months. They feed me and put me up. No more commercial rat-race, exploitative schools, onerous contracts etc. etc. and it gets me out of the shitty UK for most of the winter. What more could you want?