Monday, 9 June 2014

Teaching in Thailand: Typical Day

Teaching in Thailand is a great way to travel the country and see new things and teachers are lucky enough to not only be able to take advantage of the weekends and long school holidays but also the various public holidays which are spread throughout the school year. This gives you plenty of time to travel but what about the standard mid week day which is perhaps not quite so exciting and glamorous. 

This is an example of a midweek day in the life of a teacher in Thailand along with some thoughts. 

**The content is based on the daily routines of a few different teachers**

7:00am - Wake Up 

I really should have woken up a little earlier, it's going to be a rush to take a shower and get all my gear together but it's fine because I only live a three minute motorbike ride away from school!

7.30am - Arrive at school

We have to arrive before the students meet for their daily assembly at 7.45am where they will sing the nation anthem, say their prayers and catch up on any announcements. Luckily as foreigners we are allowed to skip the assembly and relax in the staff room until classes begin at 8.30am. A perfect time to catch up on the breakfast and grab the coffee I missed out on earlier.

8.30am - 10.10am - Teach

Teach two classes of M6 students (18 year olds) They are generally quite switched on and I am very lucky to have them and not the M2 or M3 classes. Walk pass another teacher who is struggling to control the rowdy 14 years olds. I'm not sure how long I would last in there. 

10.10am - 11.30am - Downtime

A bit of downtime means preparing my lessons for my private classes after school. The school has a printer and no one's checking what you print so I take advantage and print colour flashcards for my P6 students after school. 

11.30am - 12.30pm - Lunch

Lunch Break. Head off with the other foreign teachers to a local restaurant so we can all analyse the morning and have a bit of a moan. Can't go wrong with 35 baht Kaprow Gai and it's cooked fresh unlike the food at the school canteen which has been sitting around for quite a while by this point. The other guys like to go out because they need a cigarette. I'm lucky I gave up 3 years ago.

12.40pm - 2.20pm - Teach

Another couple of back to back M6 classes. The students are fine and we get through the work quickly. I also teach some of the M1 students. They are also nice to teach because they are so young. If you are given the choice of what grades to teach go with M1 & M6 (M5 are ok too). These grades will give you the least amount of stress and are the easiest to teach.

2.20pm - 4.00pm - Downtime

The afternoon downtime. One of the advantages or possibly one of the disadvantages of teaching is the amount of free time you get. In an ideal world it would be nice to have a hobby you could do in the office but most teachers don't. The afternoon is spent messing about on social media, chatting with the other teachers and catching up with an episode of that TV show I downloaded last night. 

4.20pm - Hometime

Arrive home and immediately take a shower. Work clothes are then instantly put back on and I head off to my private class.

5.00pm - 6.30pm - Extra Class

My private classes mainly consist of primary school students and whilst this is not my preferred age group to teach the language school does provide an assistant teacher to help keep order. The class mainly consists of flashcards and basic communication. I Prefer the privates with the M6 students which are mainly spent listening to them gossip about teachers at school. I guess it's OK as they are practicing their English. 

7.00pm - Dinner

Grab some dinner from a small restaurant near my house. The food is inexpensive and they actually serve good portion sizes. I try not to spend too much money in the week so I usually skip a beer unless others insist on having one.  

8.00pm - Relax

Some other people like to go to the gym in the evening but I'm usually far to lazy and just want to relax at home. I don't have a TV so I'm always downloading stuff to watch overnight. I spend a couple of hours watching TV programs, catching up on social nets and possibly a Skype call back home.

10.00pm - Bed

Usually feeling pretty tired by this point. It's a long day because unlike in the west where jobs usually start at 9 we have to be at school by 7.30. Slowly drift off watching some random thing on the computer. 

Up again early in the morning. Weekend soon :)


  1. Lovely article. My school in their wisdom have mainly given me M2s and M3s to teach and they can be impossible to work with if the Thai teaching assistant doesn't come. Like you, I enjoy my classes with the M5s and M6s. I live quite far from my school, but there is a school bus which virtually collects me and drops me off at my doorstep. It still means getting up at 5:30

  2. I really like this beautiful blog. I appreciate your hard work. Its inspirational.
    Teaching English in Thailand