Our guide to your new job
What we are looking for
Thailand has an infamous reputation around the world, as a party country with wild beach parties, bars where depending on the size of your wallet you could be Jenna Ortega, Timothée Chalamet or Yara Shahidi, a place where a “designer” handbag costs 500 baht or a pair of “Travis Scott” Jordans can be bought for less than 1,000 baht. As mentioned previously, we expect you to let your hair down but with around 14+ public/bank holidays per year plus weekends, this should never interfere with your teaching and school life.
Sharp Teach has offered you a job due to your successful interview, your qualifications and a feeling that you will be a great asset to any school. What we expect in return is that you give it your all, don't cry off sick on a Monday morning, don't turn up for work tired after a late night and never be unprepared. Just be as professional as your favourite teacher growing up, the teacher that still sticks in your mind today and then imagine a student feeling the same way about you.
It's a holiday!
Thai schools love shows, they love the chance to show off their talents, to impress their peers and will use up any opportunity to do this. The majority of school activities are based on traditional Thai public holidays, and you should expect some of your classes around these times to be shortened, switched or even cancelled. We appreciate you would have put a lot of effort and passion into your lesson and being informed 5 minutes before your students will be busy doing something else is bound to be frustrating. Although you might be upset, just take this time to catch up with some grading, prepare for next week's lessons or think of more exciting ways to teach your students.
In addition to these holidays, there will be school competitions, sports day and exams, you might be asked to assist the Thai teachers in these activities, tutoring the students, MCing, preparing props or just helping them promote their English Programmes with a few photo opportunities.
When's the holiday?
January 1st - New Year's Day - Western New Year's Day
March* - Makha Bucha Day - Buddha’s last significant sermon prior to his death.
April 6th - Chakri Day - The first coronation of the current Chakri Dynasty
April 13th-15th - Songkran Festival - Thai New Year
May 1st - Labour Day - World Labor Day
May 5th - Coronation Day - Coronation of HRH King Bhumibol Adulyadej
May 17th - Royal Ploughing Ceremony
June 5th - H.M Queen Suthida Bajrsudhambimalalakshana's birthday
June*- Visakha Bucha Day - Buddha’s birth month
July* - Asahna Bucha Day - Buddha’s first sermon/Buddhist Lent
July 28th - H.M King Maha Vajiralongkron Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuh birthday
August 12th - Mother’s Day - HRH Queen Sirikit's birthday
October 13th - HRH King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s The Great Memorial Day
October 23rd - Chulalongkorn Day - Anniversary of the death of HRH King Chulalongkorn
December 5th - Fathers’ Day - HRH King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s The Great birthday
December 10th - Constitution Day - Inception of the 1st Thai constitution
December 31st - New Year's Eve - Western New Year's Eve
*Date varies depending on the lunar cycle
The Thai School Structure
The Thai education structure has 4 key stages.
Prattom 1-6 (Primary/Elementary school) and Mattayom 1-3 (Junior High/GCSE) are compulsory in Thailand.
Know your audience
Thai students have the same passions as kids anywhere in the world, they love pop singers, sports superstars and fast cars/motorbikes. Your stereotypical sports stars, Messi, LeBron and Mbappé for example and knowing the basic football teams Manchester Utd, Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid will break down the majority of barriers with not only your students but with fellow teachers, taxi drivers and government employees. The best way however to get the students interested is to understand the local passions and heartthrobs.
Doing a little internet research into the following teams, pop groups, singers and TV stars will help you when you enter the classroom. However, with kids changing their passions as often as their socks, it’s probably best to use these examples as a starting block and then follow links from there to new and up-and-coming stars.
Male Thai Superstars
Vachirwat Chivaaree (Bright)
Metawin Opas-Iamkajorn (Win)
Female Thai Stars
Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul (Baifern)
Kanyawee Songmuang (Thanareng)
Although perhaps sometimes forgotten in Western cultures, teachers are highly respected members of the community, crucial to the future of the country. Being a teacher in any country should be a proud moment in anyone’s life, you have the chance to influence the future of an entire nation.
Think about the qualifications required to teach in the West, normally a bachelor's degree followed by postgraduate studies and teacher training, it's hard work, and most of us would have 2nd thoughts before starting. This is what all Thai teachers must endure before they can start work and although when they reach retirement they are very well taken care of, they start on an average wage of 12,000-15,000 baht, half the salary of a Foreign Language Teacher. With this in mind, please respect that you are doing someone’s dream job, probably have little or zero experience and doing it for a year or two to gain experience and then leave for home or another country. Please don't take this the wrong way, we understand, appreciate and respect that you have made the brave decision to leave home for another country and culture and have taken the opportunity to work here. The message we are trying to get across is that this is a teaching job, you will be in a real school, teaching real children who are counting on you to give it your all and educate them towards their future in life.