Teaching Jobs in Thailand can pretty much be split into two categories, private schools and public schools, colleges and universities. Each have their own pros and cons and the type you prefer pretty much depends on you. It’s not really a case of which one is better but really which one is more suitable for you. One thing you need to understand though is that not all teaching jobs in Thailand are equal!
Public School Teaching Jobs in Thailand
Public schools, colleges and universities are government run. As a general rule they are very over crowded with even the more upper class ones having fifty or sixty pupils in a class! That may seem like too much too deal with and it probably is which is why you get a Thai teaching assistant to help you. A lot of schools will also provide a microphone and speaker.
With such vast numbers in your class it’s pretty hard to get anything done and the amount that the kids learn is really limited which is why so many parents send their children to private lessons after school. It also means there are lots of teaching jobs in Thailand!
At public schools you work Monday to Friday, from around 8am to 3pm. You have a syllabus to teach from but a lot of the time it’s up to you to prepare your lessons which means extra unpaid work. For these kinds of jobs you will need a teaching certificate and quite often a bachelors degree as well although in rural areas they might not require the degree.
Having a bachelors degree means that you can apply for a work permit though, which enables you to have 100% legit work. This is important for some people but others don’t seem to mind.
You will also get a contract which means you also get paid throughout the school holidays. This is a major bonus although some schools get around this by only giving you a 9 month contract which means you won’t be paid during the 3 month summer holiday. So that’s something to watch for.
Pros: Fixed pay, paid holidays, weekends and evenings off
Cons: Too many students, no air conditioning, no real sense of achievement
Private School Teaching Jobs in Thailand
Because the education system in Thailand is pretty poor, many wealthier parents sent their kids to study extra classes on the weekends and after school. This means there are lots of small private schools in Thailand but in particular, Bangkok. Most big shopping malls contain private schools where the parents drop their kids off while they go shopping.
Many of these schools such as Inligua, Wall Street, English First, Berlitz, ECC and British American have branches all over city. The classes are generally a lot smaller, from single private students up to classes of ten. The working conditions are a lot better because they all have air conditioning.
With private schools such as these you will have a lot of classes on Saturday and Sunday and in the evenings from Monday to Friday. You can also have classes during the day but these will usually be for students who have just finished school or who are preparing to take the IELTS or TOEFL test to study abroad. Generally weekends and evenings are the busiest periods.
Private schools generally pay by the hour or by each period taught. Some give you a bonus for teaching on the weekends or for teaching advanced classes. A teaching certificate is required but many schools won’t care if you have a bachelors degree or not.
Pros: Easy to get a job, Smaller classes, more interaction with students, better teaching conditions, easy to take a holiday
Cons: Working weekends and evenings, can sometimes big gaps between classes
The Best Teaching Jobs in Thailand?
For me teaching in private schools was always a lot more fun and rewarding. It also paid more than teaching in public schools. It also suited me because I didn’t want to sign a 1 year contract because I always liked to go back to the UK for 3 or 4 months during the summer.
A lot of people complain about the gaps between lessons. For example, if you were really unlucky you could have a class at 9am and then have to wait until 4pm for your next class. That is an extreme example but it can happen. On the plus side though your school is usually in a big shopping mall so you have lot to keep you entertained. Plus if you have joined RealWritingJobs you can earn plenty of money doing some online writing jobs while you are waiting for your next class.
Private teaching jobs in Thailand are the way to go in my opinion, however don’t rule out working in a public school.