Here are the previous posts of the OFW in Thailand Series if you want to read them.
I’ve received numerous messages from our kababayans on my previous posts about the working life in Thailand of Filipino teachers. As I have explained, Filipino teachers are highly in demand in different schools; government, private and international schools. The salary of teachers is dependent on their qualifications, years of experience and type of the school they’re applying.
I may also add that the benefits a teacher can get will vary from every institution. For example, health/accident insurance and holidays vary from school to school. A teacher or a teaching assistant working in international school may enjoy a long holiday of 4-6 weeks with pay during summer break. On the contrary, private school teachers may only have 2 weeks of break with pay. It may be different for teachers in government schools because they may only have an 11-month working contract. That means that the twelveth month which usually is the summer holiday will leave the teacher on a no-work-no-pay scheme.
To give you guys more details of what a Filipino teacher in different schools is like, I have interviewed good friends of mine, Filipino teachers, who have been in Thailand for years.
Here is the first one!
Current Position: Language Specialist in an International School in Bangkok
Years of working: 16 years
Course in College: Elementary Education, Associate in Computer Science
Salary Range: 30,000 – 40,000 THB (48,800- 65,000 PHP)
How did you find a job?
Let me first explain that 14 years ago as a foreigner applicant, it wasn’t as easy as it is now with other OFWs applying abroad especially here in Thailand. It was a tough process but I was very lucky to have found the school and got hired.
What are your duties and responsibilities?
My responsibilities as a language specialist are to support and teach students to learn English as a second language. International students in the school came from countries all around the world. There are students who came from places where English wasn’t taught. So, in order for them to do well in an International school, we have to help them improve their English level. That’s where we came in. We teach them in small groups or in one-on-one support during their class.
How many lessons do you teach per week?
I teach small-group kids for about 8 periods and the rest, I support them in class.
What grade/year do you teach?
Year 8 students
How do you prepare your lessons? Do you make a lesson plan?
We have an outline that we follow. From there, we make our lesson plans. My responsibility then is to prepare the materials that I will need before the class.
How do you describe the students in your classes?
Because the kids come from different countries, it’s also expected that they have differences in terms of the culture and practices in education. There are students that are very straightforward. They’re very firm in their decisions but very respectful as well. They will tell you what they want and they’re not shy about it.
How is your relationship with your colleagues in school?
It goes the same way with the teachers. We are a group of multinational staff in the school from Europe to Asia. They’re very lovely people and are very professional in their jobs. When it’s time to work, they work 100%, no less. Everyone is different so you just have to embrace it and learn to adjust.
One thing I could tell is that sometimes, we Filipinos, being Asian have this feeling of inferiority when working with other nationalities. We tend to step back. However, that shouldn’t be the case because, for them, we’re equals. So, being Asian shouldn’t be a reason for us to be shy and quiet. We have to socialize with them too. Well, that’s my experience anyways.
What do you like about working at your school?
At first, teaching wasn’t really my dream. I always wanted to be a flight stewardess but in the Philippines in the past, it will cost you a lot if you want to pursue it so I ended up in Thailand.
Now, I’m very comfortable here. I like that every year has different experiences and challenges for me to try. That’s why I didn’t get bored working here for a long time. Every year has something new for me that excites me.
What don’t you like?
I understand that because it’s an international school, they prefer native English speakers. However, we Filipinos are also trained and taught well in English. Furthermore, the salary scale isn’t reasonable for me. Just because we are Asian, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be paid nearly as high as the Caucasians.
How do you spend your time when you’re not working?
I travel, go to the beach or watch movies at home if I want to stay in. If I want to go out on weekends, I hang out and catch up with my friends.
Do you have other sources of income?
Yes, I have Art and Craft classes every Summer and other private lessons as well.
How long are you going to stay in Thailand? Why?
To be honest, I can’t say that I will stay long in school because now that I’m engaged, I think it’s time for me to slow down in life and focus more on my future husband and family. Probably, we’ll plan on setting a business. So, I can’t tell exactly how long yet because it all depends on how things will go.
What are your goals and plans, if any, working in Thailand?
My fiance and I plan to set a business in the Philippines, Thailand or anywhere in the world. That is my goal at the moment.
Overall, how do you describe your life in Thailand? What is your advice to our fellow Filipinos?
Definitely, my life is way better than in the Philippines. It is easier for Filipinos to find jobs here as long as the person is hard-working and with the right qualifications. At work, you have to be humble and learn to deal with different personalities. The cost of living here is very cheap.
Earning is easy because of the extra income you can get but still different if you are working in Europe or America. There are always new skills that you can learn. Even my start here wasn’t easy at all. But, I worked hard and showed my dedication to the school and they rewarded it with my education.
My advice is to really strive for your goal, whatever it is, however hard you think it will take. Don’t wait for it, rather walk towards it.
Thanks for reading!
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