Teaching English in Thailand is a great opportunity that most people fall in love with. However, it’s not for everyone. Which is why you must consider carefully before committing yourself to the experience. Certainly, it will be difficult to know for sure unless you try it, however, there’s no harm in a doing a little research beforehand, just in case.
So, what should you be aware of before committing to teaching in Thailand? Let’s find out.
Teaching is effortless for some and a nightmare for others
You have to make certain that teaching is indeed the right path for you. You can’t just decide to start teaching simply because it will enable you to live in Thailand comfortably (although it is a very attractive prospect).
If you arrive and realise that you hate it, then you’re going to be stuck in a job that you loathe in an unfamiliar country. Don’t worry, most people who have never taught before in their lives love it and adapt well. However, you must give it some serious thought.
Does your personality suit teaching? Are you able to not take yourself too seriously? Are you a patient person? Are you able to be energetic and social even on days when you’re not feeling 100%? If you think you’re up to it, then you may just have what it takes.
It can get lonely at times
If you have been living at home or feeling especially dependent on others, then the desire to ‘fly the nest’ and move to the otherwise of the world is a powerful force. You will learn much about yourself and most people come out the other side a stronger, happier, and more stable person. However, it is important to recognise the fact that it can be incredibly lonely at times.
Yes, there is a strong expat community in Thailand, but you must make sure that you are putting yourself out there and trying to make new friends. You will make some friends for life, but you will invariably miss people from home. People who know where you are coming from and understand you best.
Fortunately, you can Skype of Facetime your family and friends whenever you want. But be prepared to feel terribly home sick from time to time. That said, the rest of the time you’ll be having far too much fun to care.
You must be respectful of the Thai monarchy and their culture
Thailand is a very proud nation with a beautiful cultural tapestry. And whilst they are some of the friendliest and most accommodating people on the earth, they do not take kindly to disrespect. So, you must be exceptionally careful when it comes to their culture and traditions, especially when it involves the Royal Family.
Thailand practices Lèse-majesté, which means to offend or speak ill of the Royal Family is a punishable offence. Now, that might sound rather frightening and unsettling for someone who comes from the west where you can pretty much say whatever you like and get away with it. However, there really is no need to worry. It is simple: show respect, learn the appropriate social etiquettes, and never say a bad word about the Royal Family. It’s none of your business.
Those are the three big things to be aware of. Everything else about teaching English in Thailand is awesome. So, if you’re still keen, then find yourself a reputable TEFL course and let’s get this party started!