If you’re a native English speaker or speak English to a high level, then you’ll have the ability to walk into numerous different English-teaching functions in Thailand. Most folks, however, head out to Thailand with the intent of teaching in a Thai school. There are several distinct types of school and even though you will most likely be able to find work in all them, some will probably be harder than others.
Working as TEFL instructor in an Global school in Thailand
International colleges in Thailand follow an global curriculum. This might be the British program, American program, Australian program or one drawn up by a company like Cambridge International Examinations.
Global school instruct their kids primarily in English although you might find French or German foreign schools which will use their respective languages in class rosetintedtraveler.com. The kids that attend these colleges are normally from a wide and varied background but for the most part will not be fully-Thai kids. The staff will be split about 50 percent Thai and 50 percent overseas, salary will be quite high and working hours will be similar to what a college in your home country would employ.
These colleges are rather rare out of Bangkok however there are quite a whole lot in Chiang Mai and a couple of others dotted around the country, mostly in areas like Phuket and Koh Samui where you will find larger numbers of expats.
TESOL teaching in a private Thai college
Personal Thai schools will instruct their children from Thai for the most part but it is also possible you could end up in a bilingual school, where children receive tuition from both English and Thai. They’ll be pretty formal (maybe even more so than many international schools) but salary will be quite good.
These schools are more common than global schools but will mostly be located in major cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
Working in a Thai government college
Thai government schools are found in every Thai town and city, right across the country. They are often well-equipped and funded but usually quite poor, particularly when compared to some Western college. Some did not even have a fan!
The children in those schools are almost exclusively Thai and the employees will probably be largely Thai too. Working in this kind of school will not pay in addition to a private or global school but will probably be a fantastic insight into Thai culture.
Thai temple schools also require TEFL teachers but have no money to pay them so that they do not actively recruit. If you’re trying to find a way to return then only approach one of those schools (most temples will have a school attached to them). This is the point where the children come to learn whether the family have no cash to pay for their education. Don’t expect any payment but do expect lovely kids and very friendly people to work with.