Global English TESOL graduate, Lea Hook was over the moon to be offered his dream job in Thailand. However, things didn't quite go according to plan on arrival. I asked him more about his Thai journey...
Your start in Thailand was a disaster. What happened?
I secured a Thai teaching job in the UK months in advance. On arriving in Thailand in the city, Krabi, with three days to go the agency called me and said he had ordered too many teachers for the school. Nine teachers went home frustrated and very upset.
But then things improved. Tell us how…
I decided to stay and find work, so I contacted another agency with an urgent position in a secondary school in Nan Province, North Thailand, near the border of Laos. It is certainly easier to find work here when you are actually in the country.
And so tell us about the school
The school picked me up from the airport in a luxury mini bus and drove me to Nan. It's a very quiet village, but it is surrounded in beauty and is such a friendly place. It's a little cooler here, too. I have 20 different classes per week, teaching 12-17 year olds.
The first week I did an introduction class all week, getting to know me, photos of my family, talking about the UK and Thailand with some games and fun.
I’ve been told to concentrate on speaking and listening and I have to plan the lesson with a new subject each week. No text books, no lecturing allowed. 50 minutes class time.
It’s like being a movie star…
The students here are so polite and friendly it’s like I make their day by just saying hello to them. It's like being a movie star, they all shout your name in between classes and want photos.
I opened up a new Facebook account and added about 400 friends over the past week. I post the best class of the day, photos or updates about the school. They can ask me any questions and I’m approachable if they want to know something. They love that. The head of the school thought it was a really clever idea.
I am glad I didn't go home like the others teachers. I love it.
Tell us about the pay and conditions
I have a good deal here: free accommodation with wifi and air con, I have a scooter here too, free food at the school, my visa is paid for and health insurance too. I spend about 100 baht a day (£2) and that's usually on chocolate or coffee.
My pay is 35,000 baht a month which is about £700, plus I get around 28,000 baht (£500) from some online teaching I do. This means I actually earn more here than I did in the UK with no outgoings at all. I get a lot of free periods.
Sometimes I have to rub my eyes and think this is so surreal I am teaching in a school of 2000 students, doing online work when I want and it's what I’ve wanted to do for such a long time.
Thanks, Lea! Good luck with the rest of your teaching career.
All because of you guys at Global English, it wouldn't have happened without your help and thorough support throughout my course and after.
Does you school have any openings? Great story you told. Nice to read about your grit in an industry that is littered with broken dreams and expectations for many.
Well done, sir!
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