So you’ve made sure that you have the right qualifications to be an English teacher in Chiang Mai and you want to get started? Well, that’s excellent! Let me help you out with the exact steps of how to land and keep that job. From your resume to how to thrive within the Thai school culture, I am here to help you. Let’s get you that job!
How to Prepare
Remember when we talked about the requirements for being an English teacher? I discussed them with you guys here.
Please make sure you have all of your necessary documents ready to go;
- A copy of your TEFL Certificate;
- A copy of your Bachelor’s Degree;
- A copy of your passport;
- A copy of your resume.
Please refer to my first blog post for more information about the TEFL Certificate and the Bachelor’s Degree.
If you have previously completed a TOEIC test, bring a copy of the results with you as well. If not, hold off doing a TOEIC test until your school asks for it.
If you want to be super prepared, you can prepare your 10-minute lesson demo, which you will probably have to do anyway and bring your flashcards and lesson plan with you as well. But we will get more into that later.
Let’s Talk CV
My best advice for your CV is to just keep it simple, it’s not rocket science. They will probably not even look at it. Your CV is just there to show how qualified you are.
To help you to create your own CV, I have an example of mine that might be able to help you out. I will also go over the necessary information with you.
Under personal information list your full name, your age and contact details. Personally I didn’t list my nationality, as a Dutch nationality might not be the most wanted nationality for an English teaching job. However, you can list it if you prefer to do so.
Next to my personal information, I posted a picture in my English teacher clothes, with a smile on my face.
Under that, you’ll want to list your qualifications and experience. Use your TEFL training to elaborately explain which classes you’ve learned to teach and list your Bachelor’s Degree.
I have proceeded to list some of my volunteer work experience and ended with a few references. A good trainer at the TEFL course will allow you to list his name and contact details as a reference. I also listed my friend who was an English teacher in Chiang Mai and one of my students.
Normally they won’t check your references, but it’s nice to have them.
Now that you’re set and ready with your documents, let’s get you a job!
Walk into Schools
As I mentioned before, the best strategy is to walk into schools with your documents ready to go. Just go straight to the information desk and ask for the Foreign Teachers Department. Make sure you look presentable and have your documents with you.
Examples of schools to look into are:
- DARA academy;
- The Prince Royal College;
- ABS Bilingual School.
When they have a position open, which can happen any day, they can ask you to come back for a demo. If you have your preperations with you, you can offer to do the demo right then and there, or you can come back on another day. Sometimes the school will want to instruct you on the topic of your demo and what they will be looking for.
Teach a Demo
Teaching a demo can be as easy as you want it to be. Bring a lesson plan and flashcards with you, to show how prepared you are. You have probably learned how to make a lesson plan during your TEFL degree, so that should be easy.
I wouldn’t prepare a lesson plan specifically for the demo – you can if you want to -, I would just give them a full lesson plan and only take half of the vocabulary and go to the first two steps of the lesson plan.
Choose any topic you like, take five flashcards and show how you make the kids elicit the vocabulary words and use the words in sentences. I wouldn’t worry too much about it, Thai schools are usually quite easily impressed. If you got the demo, you usually got the job. Sometimes the boss might criticize you, just to show you who’s in power, but usually, you’re hired.
How to Keep that Job
The biggest thing I’ve learned while living and working in Thailand is to never, ever stress. There are big differences between Thai and Western working cultures and if so desired, I might even write a follow-up on my top tips for surviving the Thai school working culture, but in short, stress will be your number one pitfall in a Thai working environment.
It’s very important to trust that you’re safe and they’re not going to fire you that easily. Don’t let cultural differences get to you and turn to other foreign teachers in case there are issues or confusions.
If you want to know more about that, make sure to stay tuned for my next post!