23 September 2009

End of term

It is now the end of term for me here in Thailand; half the school year is gone. This term just finished has been a long one for me. I am starting to get itchy feet, and the ‘ways of doing things’ in the school that once niggled me have now grown to become irritations. There are things that I like about my current employment, and still have good days, but overall I’m more than ready to take my show on the road again.

Despite my urge to move again I have decided to stick it out until the end of the next term. It is seen as bad form to leave a school half way through the year and seeing as we have already lost one teacher to pregnancy it would be a bit unfair to leave now. As I am currently the only native English speaking teacher in the school any mid-year departure might not be well received; perhaps I’m overestimating my own importance here.

My reasons for wanting to leave are financial, my son’s future, and the school itself. I am receiving a low wage considering the fact that I have a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education; native speakers with this qualifications get the top-paying jobs in Thailand. My school seems to have no real understanding of this and pays me almost the same money as the non-native English speakers. One of the Filipino teachers is actually paid more than me despite the fact that his ability is English is poor ( some Filipinos have very good English, but this guy does not belong to that group). As far as my school is concerned the fact that I agreed to the original contract means that there is no reason for me to complain; maybe they have a point. In Thailand if you are prepared to agree to a low wage that is all you will get; there is no point complaining about it later.

Another reason for my wanderlust is my son’s future. Lopburi is a nice enough city, but the choice of schools seems a bit limited. I want a school with an English programme that starts in the early years. I want a school where my son is going to be challenged to develop and not just allowed to pass every subject because I have paid for him to attend there.

My final reason for wanting my next term to be my last at the school is the way the school is run. It all seems to be about appearances without substance. Students in our bilingual programme are not allowed to fail any subjects and disruptive students are not disciplined. During my first year in the school this niggled me, but now after a year and a half it irritates me greatly.

So I suspect that my next term will be the last at my current school. It has been an experience, and I don’t regret taking the job there in the first place. My current negative feelings though, tell me that it is time to move. I will miss the students, and there are some things that the school does very good.

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