Thailand has become a top destination for teachers from overseas, according to a new survey of almost 200 respondents by the Bangkok Teachers Network. Nearly nine out of ten (88%) teachers surveyed would recommend teaching in Thailand to a friend or colleague and well-over six out of ten (63%) could picture living in Thailand long-term. These findings have been published just days ahead of the Bangkok Teachers Network (BTN) annual conference (9 November), with over 600 teachers attending this year’s event, which is being hosted outside of the capital for the first time ever by The Regent’s School Pattaya.
Principal of The Regent’s School Pattaya, Mike Walton, who is also Co-Chairman of the International Schools Association of Thailand (ISAT) Accreditation Committee and a former Chairman of the Federation of British International Schools in Asia, noted: “I have been Principal of Regent’s for nine years and it is no surprise to me that my colleagues enjoy living and teaching in Thailand. This is such a rich, welcoming and rewarding culture for students and staff alike and, in my experience, both Thai and foreign parents are highly supportive of what goes on in school.”
The attraction of Thailand’s international schools clearly has much to do with the quality of life enjoyed by expat teachers. Over nine in ten (92%) of those surveyed felt that teachers were highly-regarded within Thai society and a similar proportion agreed or strongly agreed that they enjoyed a good quality of life in Thailand. A large majority (83%) agreed or strongly agreed that they felt safe living in the country. About half (46%) of all respondents lived and worked in provincial Thailand and the remainder in Bangkok.
Not everything is rosy, however. The proportion of teachers who felt that in Thailand they could find the educational resources they required to do their job (36%) was less than those who felt they could not (41%). The same was true when it came to the question of sourcing professional educational services, such as well-qualified music tutors.
The following quotes were left anonymously by respondents to the survey about living in Thailand:
“Living abroad is tough at the best of times but Thailand seems to be a country that rewards positive, passionate people with an appetite for adventure and new experiences.”
“Living in Thailand has changed me in many ways. I have quickly had to adjust to new ways of doing things and a new way of life. What previously may have caused stress in the UK is just almost insignificant here. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to live and work here.”
“Living in Thailand has changed me and made me a better teacher. Resources and professional development aren’t always readily available and I have become more resourceful and creative in my own planning and teaching.”
“Living in Thailand has changed my values. I have been very impressed with the attitude to children and family here. I would like to emulate it wherever I go in the future.”
These findings come on the back of the recent survey by HSBC Expat Explorer 2013 survey results where Thailand topped the table in the quality of life findings.