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TCT licensing to be replaced by TPQI skills testing

Discussion in 'Qualifications & Courses' started by JimB, 26 Sep 2016.

  1. ttompatz

    ttompatz Just another teacher

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    In Thailand the hoops aren't that bad. Certainly no worse than Korea - apostilles, ARCs, LORs, TEFL for PS jobs, etc.

    For new entrants Thailand is pretty easy. BA, police check, pulse and passport.

    The problem is that far too many people after a couple of years, in spite of deciding to stay on as a teacher, can't be bothered to do any self improvement.
    "The next guy didn't so why should I?" The race to the bottom is the issue and they are the ones who have problems with moving goal-posts and trying to do as little as possible to hang on to their 30k jobs.

    The flip side of that coin...
    2 quick semesters of weekends and some on-line courses gets you a Dip.Ed / Dip.T or PGCEi.
    2 semesters (28 weekends) + a thesis will get you a legitimate M.Ed or related MA.
    Any of these will get you a license rather than farting around trying to get waivers. No moving goalposts to hit.

    The fact of life is that people with a B.Ed / PGCE Dip.Ed, etc. aren't working for 30k (unless they want to).

    A quick scan of ajarn.com jobs board shows more than a fair few jobs for qualified teachers at 50k+.
    There are several at 60k, 80k and for math/science teachers, 100k.
    B.Ed / PGCE + MA/M.Ed and some experience will easily land you a head position at 100k+ and while 100k isn't what you would make at home it does leave a LOT to send home. Certainly a better standard of living and better savings that you would get at home with similar credentials.

    .
     
  2. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    Your post is in no way off topic. The reason for me to settle down in Isaan, the lower northeast was my wife who's born there. Her parents are piss poor ( please Google where the word comes from if you don't know it) and their life would be a lot more miserable than it is now with our financial help or some food and other items people usually need to stay healthy.

    Both chew Betelnut since many years and none of my relatives, excluding my wife's brothers' kids, are using a toothbrush. They're too used to live a life in poverty and it makes me really sick when some low educated foreigners, especially the Asian guys come over with fake degrees and make a hell lot of money without even having the competency to chat with an NES about anything.

    It makes me angry when I read posts from guys who never even finished high school and became a teacher with fake documents available almost everywhere on the net.

    I get angry when Filipinos are telling me straight in my face that they only care about the monthly paycheck and that's all. I've experienced six Asian teachers at my former school who had no problem to take my real Thai Culture and Ethics Course that I've done in 2009 and paid relatively good money for it, just to photoshop it and use it to continue teaching, without even asking me. Four of them were not even here in 2009 when I did my Thai culture course.

    When I questioned one of them he just told me that it was a Filipino agency that conducted the course, but hell no, two Thai's made the course, a woman with a Doctorate and another one with a PhD.

    Then the final countdown. The only male Filipino faked a graph where I had a teaching experience and being liked by students and parents of 16 %. All the others all of them from the islands had at least 80 %.

    When the head of grade four where I had started saw that and confronted the head teacher, it turned out that there's never such a questionnaire and they're only trying to look better.

    These things finally led me to the worst decision to resign at my former school. When I found a sweet American teacher with experience who signed up for 26 K, with a Master's in education, she's just making 1 K more than the best p[aid guy who couldn't teach at all. When she took over the kids he taught in grade four she had to find out that they didn't even know the ABC. No conversational English was taught by the Asian clan and i had the feeling that I fought a war, being the foreign head teacher.

    When she left school, I was in tears knowing that nobody with a brain would sign up for 25 K and I made a huge mistake and opened the door for another cousin, brother, or a nephew from the clan.

    So please let me get to the point of my post. You can't feel comfortable when working at a government school that's infiltrated with a Mafia-like organization where they try to pull the strings and do all to give you a hard time.

    In my own personal experience, it's very important who you're working with and how the support for the school is.

    I do not wish that anybody from this forum has to sit down in an office and listen to Tagalog all day long. Even when students came into our office they didn't slow down or showed any interest to speaking in English with them.

    Only the salary at the end of the month was important. Sorry, I'm different and no only in for the money.

    To get to my final point. Many foreign teachers are the worst enemies of other foreign teachers.

    Please go to some "meeting points" where teachers hang out after school and listen to the gossip about somebody who couldn't make it on that day. Then you know exactly that you're the topic when you don't show up.

    I've worked with a guy from the UK, covered hid bought visa and work permit, even that he didn't have a visa, but when I had a very serious car accident, which wasn't my fault, he tried to get a 21-year-old "mate" in who's on a fake degree.

    i never blackmailed him for being imprisoned for 9 years after his armed robbery when they found his fingerprints on the used pump gun.

    I didn't report any of these scumbags because they had a family, but I will never cover up anything similar to this.

    To use my dear mom's words who passed away in my own arms in 2001. RIP.

    "Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are."

    Now, please replace friends with foreign colleagues and you get to the point.

    I haven't seen more backstabbing people somewhere else than at Thai schools where foreigners are trying to work as a team.

    They never think about people who're down and even use a sickness to get a better-paid position.

    Finally, the biggest enemies of foreigners in Thailand aren't the bargirls. Other foreigners are doing a much better job.

    Have a nice weekend and as good start next week. And please watch your back all the time.

    A bad reputation is sometimes coming from your "best friend" you hang out with to have some beers.

    Now I'm the one who went totally COT. Completely Off Topic and I apologize for it. Cheers- :cursing
     
  3. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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    ^Wow, that is quite a story. I do know what you mean though. You have to watch your back no matter what. If working with foreigners in Thailand is like some of the back biting and jealousy I've seen on a few Thai forums then I'm not surprised.

    I guess what I meant by hoops is the TCT testing. Isn't it enough to have a degree in Education? Would I also have to take these tests as a qualified teacher? Also, does that TCT test whether by multiple choice or a future skills test really test how a teacher is in the classroom? Better yet, how they connect with their students'? Doing the possible new method of skills testing sounds like a lot of extra work. Do employees not have to have an interview and even do some demonstration classes to get hired? I just find it all a bit overboard. Do you think the test will weed out bad teachers or unqualified ones? I'm trying to comprehend the whole testing thing.

    The hoops for teaching in Korea and China are because of the work visa and can be time consuming (especially when you have to do two medical checks including a marijuana test in Korea). However, at least they do check your background and credentials. I am not sure that all schools in Thailand even ask for a police check (at least before they didn't) which is a bit worrisome. I would think that having a B.A and some sort of TESOL certificate would be enough to get a visa and teach in Thailand. The whole visa process and having to leave the country after so many months seems like a headache. I easily (after some time of course) received a one year visa both in China and Korea and never worried much about it otherwise.

    I must say that I know of some great international schools in Thailand like NIST for example. I have a friend that works there. Trying to get into some of these schools would definitely be competitive, but never say never.
     
    Last edited: 22 Oct 2016
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  4. stfranalum

    stfranalum Well-Known Member

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    seems excellent and certainly a world better than a culture course involving learning to wai and what sabai dee means.

    lesson plans can show one's planning and writing skills
    the demo obviously can demonstrate skill
    and the interview wraps it up and can flesh out any demos that are on the borderline.

    ...for all the bologna that is teaching in thailand, this is certainly refreshing news.
     
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  5. Wangsuda

    Wangsuda Nonentity Staff Member

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    True that, and back in the day (15 years ago) when I started here, this was the greatest job in the world. When I compared what I did here to what I did in Los Angeles county, it was like night and day. 12-15 contact hours a week vs 30 contact hours a week. 90 students vs 180 students. It was like I was semi-retired. But gone are the days of ease. Contact hours are up. For many jobs, the months of pay have dropped from 12 to 11 or 10 (even on yearly contracts). As I stand now, I work just as hard as when I taught in California, but for less money. Yes, I am qualified. Yes I have continued to improve. But to be honest, it just isn't worth it anymore...at least in Thailand it isn't.
     
  6. Mr. Chips

    Mr. Chips Active Member

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    On the money as always Sirchai. Watch out for the foreigners.

    If everyone gets qualified, who will teach the multitudes for 38k?
    Most will go for the higher paying jobs. Then you'll really see some nigerians. Around and around she goes.

    This new program will be fantastic.
    Gov't schools won't have to shell out 60k + and more for licensed NES kindergarten teachers.

    No more farting around. Maybe us waiver guys will finally learn to teach. Maybe even learn to teach for sh..t! (most professional choice of vocabulary this week ..that was).
    All in fun.
     
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  7. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    The only teaching experience I had was to help out my uncle who'd made it to a principle of a high school in Germany. But it wasn't "official" and using the word tutoring would be more realistic, to be honest.

    I wasn't really into studying again and finally start at a primary, or high school, I wanted to see the world. My six months India holiday with four weeks Sri Lanka afterward really opened my eyes that Germany wasn't the land where I wanted to spend the rest of my life.

    You wrote that you started 15 years ago, I was approached by a school director in 2005 if I wouldn't like to teach English at his school, the biggest Anuban in the city with the best reputation.

    The salaries at this time were not more than 25 K, but considering the cost of living way more than 40 K can buy you now. They gave me six grade one and six grade two classes and I'll never forget the two years of my life.

    I had enough money to live a comfortable life for a few more years but finally decided to give it a try. My first week was breathtaking when a little boy decided to draw some funny stuff on my pants while I wrote something on the blackboard.

    I couldn't believe what I saw on my pants what the boy drew with a permanent marker the boy must have taken from the teacher's desk. I was shocked and had no idea how to react. I went outside and then decided to see the boss, just to let him know that such a job wouldn't really be "ideal" for me.

    But when I was standing in front of his office something in my head told me to go back immediately and continue, I told myself that it can't be that a little grade one boy wearing funny glasses was able to destroy the commitment I had made. I gave it another try and I had nothing to lose.

    So I went back to the classroom, went to the guy who wore glasses, took them off and said to him in German that I'd hang him on the highest tree if he'd do something similar again and from that time on he was my favorite student. A real brainy boy who's now a doctor and a friend.

    I just recently found some photos from a grade two lesson which was pretty advanced for their age. I drew a bus, with a bus driver named "Somchai" and 16 boys and girls sitting on the bus as passengers.
    Then a city sign from Sisaket and at the destination sign Bangkok, even with details that it's 570 km from Sisaket to Bangkok. Plus some more detailed stuff i couldn't do with any grade four classes at my current school.

    The lesson back then was divided into two parts and all students could follow, answer questions and we had a lot of fun together, without speaking one word of Thai.

    After three years at this fantastic school, I had already signed my fourth contract when an "American friend" who worked next door at a high school phoned me when we holidayed in Rayong. I had no idea that they offered him $ 1K if he'd find a guy who'd work for the agency he's employed and finally decided to drive to an interview in Bangkok, listening to the offer.

    It took only 10 minutes and I walked out of the agency's office with a signed contract making 15,000 baht more per month of course not knowing the downsides of agencies. But honestly speaking, they were pretty fair, paid 10 K for October, 10 K for April and when a colleague got sick we received 500 baht for an hour when covering his/her classes. But that was back in the old days and I'm afraid that all has changed.

    And i mean all, just looking at the jobs at ajarn shows hundreds of agencies, I assume most of them rip offs.

    So I found myself in a situation to have two signed contracts, immediately informed my current school that I'd resign ( still four weeks time for them to look for another teacher) and the head teacher told me that it would be okay, but I had to find out that my visa was being cancelled on the same day. Never trust spoken words, so I had to leave to Laos, drove to Mukdahan and got my Non- B on the same day.

    In my third year at this high school, I had a motorcycle accident and I luckily continued paying into the Thai SS and finally had full coverage. That was also the time when I found out that a motorcycle insurance only covers 12,000 baht of medical expenses. Mt SS paid another 90 K, or so, but my leg was completely a mess.

    After eight months on crutches, i went to a hospital with better doctors and they told me that all my bones in my right leg would have to get cut in pieces then put together and maybe after two years they could think of an artificial knee joint. Brutal news and I knew that only a good hospital in Germany would be the right decision, but I didn't even have an address in Germany anymore.

    And thinking about having two households with my small budget gave me a huge headache, to be very honest.

    Fortunately, I found a Brit who bought my Yamaha Virago, a real classic one with Screaming Eagle mufflers, a windshield, the license plate # 1 and a lot of other goodies for almost nothing.

    i used TVF and sold it within a week for 118 K to a Brit who really sent me the money without having anything in his hands. I guess I must have had a good name on TVF, I mean who else would do that?

    The trip showed my who my friends were and how good my family- sister brothers relationship really was. I wasn't begging to stay at anybody's place and finally ended up at a place for homeless people after I found a way to receive Hartz four, no idea seems to be the most common social help in Germany these days.

    My flight back was booked five months later not knowing that they'd not just give me an artificial knee joint, but also a very serious Staphylococcus Aureus bacterial infection where I'd almost lost my right leg.

    Good luck for me that I mostly stayed in this hospital, or karma for what I'd done in the past? Two guys got killed at the place for homeless people and all sorts of hard drugs were offered to me, i guess they could easily read how I felt.

    It was a high-tech hospital but filled with the dangerous bacteria. My angel was an older nurse who told me one day that they'd have to cut all out and the chances to keep my leg were slim. I took my modified wheelchair and finally found the guy who implanted the artificial knee joint together with a big piece of bone cement and the bacterial infection, where you need a Microbiologist to find the right medication, which can take up to two months.

    Four more operations were needed and I soon figured out that I won't make it to the flight date back to Thailand. Having all sorts of medical certificates didn't help me to postpone my flight back to Thailand, but Lufthansa finally offered me to buy a new ticket, of course for the ordinary price. I was screwed and helpless.

    Then my wife ran out of cash and I sent her my ATM card via an American friend's school address. To be honest, I had times where I just wanted to give up when iIhad to see a doctor 4 km away but couldn't afford a cab.

    I had no job to go back to and just start working again, then needed a visa which I luckily got through showing my marriage certificate, but my friend who drove me to the consulate in Stuttgart even charged me more money than he needed for the ride, free food, etc, included.

    Then the last Op. God, they had to cut out almost all near my art. knee joint, do a skin transplant and various other nasty things, you better not experience on your own body.

    One day I found a relatively cheap flight, waited for my Hartz four money and let the place for homeless people straight to the airport in Frankfurt, only 120 km away. But on wheels a different ballgame.

    When I arrived at Ubon Ratchathani airport my sweet wife and son picked me up and we drove home.

    Within a week I had my former job where I should still be. But I fuckled up again and lef tthem in the rain, just because I listened to my "American beer drinking buddy" to take on the nasty job I've got right now.

    Sorry, for the long post, just wanted to let you guys know what can happen to you. And it happens when you don't expect it.

    After almost three years at this messed up institution, I've lost my love for teaching because I'm just a tool for the boss to make good money.

    I even have to use my own PC because the school doesn't have money............

    And going back Sunday in a week and set up my PC, maybe receive a different schedule doesn't give me a good feeling at all.

    To make a long ( way too long for all of you) story short: teaching 15/13 years ago was really something everybody would appreciate.

    But when all the agencies started to pop up like mushrooms and the first Asian teachers signed contracts making 10 K ( or less) a month, the shit started hitting the fan.

    I hope that it's just a midlife crisis, but if it continues that way, I'll definitely stop teaching in Thailand.

    And I really stopped making plans what I'll do in ten years from now on. The laws and regulations regarding us foreigners are so weird that not even Frat Freddie's cat would have an answer.

    Sorry for my long post that might annoy some of you, because it's not "topic related."/ G'Night.
     
  8. Gor Blimey Guvnur!

    Gor Blimey Guvnur! What the duck ! Staff Member

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    Blimey and yup off topic ...Somchai, I think this is a new essay record !
    But the near last para sorta sez you don't care what replaces what ...so back on umm urr topic again eh.
    Keep well time for beddies xxx GBG.
     
    Last edited: 22 Oct 2016
  9. stfranalum

    stfranalum Well-Known Member

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    this is why university teaching is the only job there that's worth the time.

    to make it worth it, you need to do overtime with privates or editing.

    teaching P1-M6 is indeed like you how describe. 100%
     
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  10. Stamp

    Stamp Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, after being a science/ math P1 - M3 teacher for 14 years in the same town, I'm not complaining. My reputation has grown and grown. I can get more privates than I can handle. Currently, my privates bring me about 70% of my monthly income.
     
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  11. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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    Let me know if you are interested in teaching in China. I also teach privates and make great money (60-80$) per hour. My school could be hiring for next school year as well. I'm just shooting that out there for you. There are pros and cons to working in China like the pollution for one, but if you can handle that aspect, then you can rake in some good coin.
     
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  12. Mr. Chips

    Mr. Chips Active Member

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    Great for you Stamp. I think that what is being missed here through all of this (I'll take blame) is that each of us has our own "personal" situations. As Sirchai stated, some teachers have certain salaries because they choose to. There is additional income and they are happy where they are. In my case I was approached by the school to teach. My children are in the school. Just staying legal and following the laws.
     
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  13. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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    That's awesome, Stamp. :)
    Petchaburi is such a sweet little place as is your home. I hope to visit again soon. :)
     
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  14. Stamp

    Stamp Administrator Staff Member

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    Most welcome!
     
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  15. Hey_ewe

    Hey_ewe Well-Known Member

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    I hope that is the case. I was just about to take the PKT, when Khrusapa unceremoniously dumped them, offering no alternative for quite a while.

    There are quite of teachers who might fall into the catergory of “The next guy didn’t so why should I?” and will do the bare minimum to stay here but there are also a lot of people, who want to develop themselves as teachers but not surprisingly balk at the prospect of spending a lot of money on taking a PGCE 300k is a huge investment. Especially when the end result is working in the same school on the same salary, for the vast majority that’s a job with zero security.

    Fortunately, the various universities offering DipEd courses are a cheaper option. They do not necessarily make someone a better teacher, as it seems near impossible to fail. I attended my graduation ceremony a full 2 months before I had finished the course! You get out of it whatever you put in. I have an ‘A’ level in psychology and took a psychology module at university, so I didn’t find it challenging and I enjoyed some aspects of the DipEd course.

    What makes things worse, is when there is no official guidance from MoE, Khrusapa or schools. People are left in limbo, not knowing what will or won’t be accepted by Khrusapa. A large number of people wait for others to test the water.
     

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