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International schools in Bangkok

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by toodles90, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. toodles90

    toodles90 New commenter

    Thank you for all your insightful comments.

    Having signed up to ISR, I have seen so many negative comments about some of the top tier schools in Bangkok which is a little off-putting but I realize all schools have their faults and many of the reviews are dated but if possible, can anyone direct me to the schools that truly support their teachers alongside caring for the learning and progress of the child?

    There are many conflicting reviews all over the net about salary, but what I’ve gathered is that if I have four years experience, I should be earning around 100,000 after tax, does that sound about right? Salary is not a huge motivation for me but I would love to be able to save as much as possible as well as having a comfortable lifestyle.

    A worry of mine is that I would be traveling to Bangkok solo. I have seen many reviews from people who are settled with families, are there many solo females teaching in Bangkok and if so is it difficult to meet people there?

    Most of what I have read about living there is positive and it sounds like a wonderful place to live.

    I also feel that as I only have four years teaching experience, two years in the UK and two years in the ME, that this may not be enough to gain a position at some of the “better” schools. Is it common that most schools only employ teachers with more experience?

    Thanks again for all the helpful replies :)
  2. fordseries123

    fordseries123 New commenter

    This is simply not true.

    Clearly this poster is a troll!
  3. fordseries123

    fordseries123 New commenter

    As stated previously, the 100,000B mark starting pay is about right with someone with your experience working for one of the better international schools.

    Travelling solo can be quite daunting, but Bangkok is a safe city and ultimately it's what you make it. Plenty of clubs to join and sports to take part in, so meeting people shouldn't be a problem if you are fairly outgoing.

    The travel options both within Thailand and abroad are really, really great.

    Good luck.
  4. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    My comment was meant for that remark about spoiled teachers fromPuerta Del Vino. I selected quote but it didn’t catch.
    Bsmart19 likes this.
  5. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    We have a lot of single female teachers at our school. They seem to get on with each other and go traveling together often. We have a nice bunch of teachers in general. You can live high on the hog here for 100,000THB if your single. You can easily find a small condo for as little as 15,000/mo.
  6. percy topliss

    percy topliss Occasional commenter

    I think that some of your fears are justified for one who might be going away anywhere on their first overseas teaching post. Regarding pay, with your experience you should certainly be looking at 100K per month, clear. Some schools pay for your housing whilst others add it to the pay. In that case you should be getting 100K plus your housing. There are some excellent schools here in Bangkok, most of which run a very good induction program and which will take you around town to show you what living here is like, during this time you will get to know those that have travelled out with you. The bigger the school the bigger the cohort, so there is normally someone that you hit it off with.
    ISR is a quite good measure, to be honest. There are some very shoddy schools in Bangkok and, overall, the messages written on ISR will inform you of this, it is actually true that there is no smoke without fire in many instances. The better schools, though, might have the odd bad review written by a disgruntled teacher but the overall picture is normally ok. I like to look at schools every now and then and try to see if I can pick the ones written by teachers who have been sacked for being daft whilst in town or by administrators trying to salvage a very leaky ship. I have now been here off and on since 1998 and I have friends at many of the schools around town, places don't normally change much. If the owner is a money grabbing so and so then he or she will continue to be and you can normally pick this up in posts.
    I think that also, however, that new teachers can often expect too much. This IS Thailand, it is a fantastic and exciting place to live even to an old fogey like me, but there are always things that are different from wherever we come from, as long as people realise that and come with an open mind they tend to do well here. Those who don't go home, or keep doing two years in places that they do not make any effort to understand.....

    If you have any specific questions feel free to send me a message.

  7. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    Much sense written above by Fordseries and Percy- both demonstrating a very good understanding of BKK, I agree with all they say.

    I think there are, maybe, 10-15 "good" schools in town: secure employment, secure pay, keep the welfare of their staff in mind, invest in PD, stick to contractual agreements etc. Generally these schools are going to pay thb100,000+ to a moderately experienced member of staff (btw the poster who says that "no school" in BKK pays more than thb120k has absolutely no idea. Lots of schools pay a lot more than 120k. The big 3 obviously, the big name UK Curriculum schools, the established IB schools - all pay more than 120k.).

    As Percy says - ISR is generally accurate on which schools are good, however smaller schools may have fewer reviews. You could also try emailing the Principal's PA and asking whether they have a Staffroom Committee, or Staff social club, that you could contact - they'd give you a perspective on life at the school, however it is only one perspective.

    Everyone has heard of the big 3 schools, they will give you excellent pay, excellent PD, and an excellent entry on your CV. They will also work you hard (not necessarily a bad thing), and may be beset with some rather unsavoury politics. A friend recently left a very small, fairly new, tier 2-3 BKK school to join one of the big 3. It has quickly become clear to said friend that life maybe far from rosy for all in the sun-lit uplands of the glamorous big name schools...,
  8. Bsmart19

    Bsmart19 New commenter

    Thanks! I was hoping you didn’t mean me!!
  9. fordseries123

    fordseries123 New commenter

    Toodles 90,

    One thing to be aware about is that many of the schools do not pay into a pension for you. Some schools give a bonus at the end of each academic year, some at the end of each contract and some only from when you start your second new contract. Please clarify this before you accept a job, as your bonus can be used for your savings or private pension.

    The 'big 5' here in Bangkok are good schools, but some of the Tier 2 schools are decent and as stated above, have less pressure.

    Let us know how you get on.
  10. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    Too true. It's often the case that the higher the tier, the more unpleasant / competitive the working environment. I can think of two notable exceptions.
  11. PuertaDelVino

    PuertaDelVino New commenter

    As usual, people pick out the handful of schools that DO pay well. I had two interview offers from Thai schools advertising on TES that paid 60,000 or 65,000 baht, one of which said it would pay your rent for the first month. These were not in BKK though but they did advertise on TES. Hence my quote. I agree a couple of maybe a handful of schools pay very very well but a lot don't because it is Thailand, the land of Smiles. Incidentally, I have been to Thailand and seen the place, and I left. Most probably those schools paying 120K a month (or even 100K + a month) will also probably have 120 applications for the one position I would guess, because it is Thailand, the land of Smiles. Am I right Perce?
  12. PuertaDelVino

    PuertaDelVino New commenter

    People have misquoted me. Firstly, I asked a question about 120k. I did not say they do not pay 120 and I DID say that I saw a school's payroll and it went up to 150K. Sorry, but I only say what I have seen. I don't make things up. I can't remember which school it was though but I think it was a rent-a-name school, possibly the one on the hill.
  13. fordseries123

    fordseries123 New commenter

    Which teachers on this thread stated that they should be entitled to detached houses? Or am I misquoting you?
    motorhomer likes this.
  14. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    Pay differentials is a very big concern of BKK int sch teachers, and understandably so - there's so much mythology and vagaries. We hear about fantastical sums paid in some schools, miserly peanuts at others, and most of us somewhere between the two. Most schools don't publish their pay scales so we don't even know what our colleagues at the same school as us are getting paid. Does anyone know of an anonymous forum / process where we could all post which school we're working at, where we sit on the scale, and what we're getting paid ? I say this because I am shocked to hear that there are schools paying less than thb100k/month, no-one at our school (with 5+yrs experience) gets paid less than that, yet most of us at our school think that we're relatively poorly paid !
  15. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    ISR is about the only main stream forum you can use in private to chat to other teachers.
  16. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    My school’s pay scale is on Google. It’ll take you to a pdf that gives a breakdown of the scale and the differences between being a local or overseas hire. In addition, the extras for positions of responsibility.
    ToK-tastic likes this.
  17. 402will402

    402will402 New commenter

    I'm looking for positions now but I don't seem to be getting much interest back.

    I'll be fully qualified in July (PGCE) with two years of ESL experience. Is this enough to mitigate any visa issues?

    I know I'm not the greatest of catches right now with my experience and such but I am just wondering if I am barking up the wrong tree and should look at another country to get my first few years of experience?

    Sorry for the thread hijack.
  18. fordseries123

    fordseries123 New commenter

    I would suggest doing the NQT year and then applying as your options will be far greater than. Without it, you will get jobs, but for the sake of another year or so it's worth hanging in there and then applying for the Tier 1 schools.
  19. Bsmart19

    Bsmart19 New commenter

    My school generally looks for 3-5 years experience and I know a lot of schools that are classed as tier 1/2 look for this. But there are schools that take nqts you just have to look carefully for them. You also may get lucky as schools get closer to the end of their hiring period and are looking for appropriate staff but don’t have a lot of experienced teachers applying. Your ESL experience will certainly be very desirable.

    I think if you aren’t getting bites you might need to consider how best to sell yourself. Or like a previous poster said, wait until you have your nqt.
    402will402 likes this.
  20. Camray1

    Camray1 New commenter

    Give us a clue where to find it?

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