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BANGKOK 20 October 2018 05:50
Melpomene

Mid Life Crisis ??

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Ok so the thread title is a tad over-dramatic !

 

I was hoping to get some advice from the members of this forum about making a career change into teaching. I’m particularly interested to hear from anyone who has moved into teaching in their forties from another field.  I have a degree and a few years back completed a CELTA in preparation for this.  My wife and I are moving back to Thailand later this year, so I’m considering my options.

 

My reasons for wanting to teach are :

 

  1. Most importantly it’s something I’ve always wanted to try.  I absolutely loved the CELTA I completed.  I’ve considered going full steam ahead and looking to secure a place on a PGCE in UK before we move and aiming for an international school position in my degree specialism.  However, I’m in my mid-forties now, so am looking to slow down a little.  Whilst I’m not quite ready for the scrap heap, i’m not sure I want to take on quite so much.
  2. I’m looking to improve my work/life balance, my first career has been extremely stressful and it’s starting to take its toll on my health.  I want to get out of the rat race in London before it’s too late.  We could probably just about afford to retire now.  However, I also feel I’ve got plenty left to give and an additional 40k+ per month would make a big difference to our living standard.  Therefore, a nice teaching position, without too much stress and plenty of holidays for a few years until my pensions kick in sounds like an attractive way to spend my last few years working.  I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m just looking for an easy ride as I’m not, I’m a very professional individual and would be extremely committed to whatever role I secured.  I’m just looking for a job that doesn’t involve 60 hour weeks and 3/4 nights in a hotel.

 

So I’m really interested to hear if anyone has faced a similar situation and made it work ? Am I dreaming to think that teaching jobs exist that would keep me mentally engaged and give me a reasonable level of autonomy without the stress attached.  Or would I just be replacing one rat race with another consisting of disinterested Thai teenagers and grumpy admin staff ?

 

Many thanks for reading - all comments/thoughts welcome.

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It is more that you are looking at a 30,000 baht a month job, not a 40,000 baht a month job.

 

A Celta etc is nice, but together with your degree will only get you a temporary waiver, which can give you up to 6 years of teaching. It is meant as time to get a degree in education. 

Teaching can be very stressful if you don't know how to handle a class and maintain discipline. A lot also depends on the school, some are supportive.  Many are not and leave you out to dry.  

 

Of course if you have a interesting degree and teach at a university things might be a bit different.

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4 hours ago, brewsterbudgen said:

I did a CELTA in Bangkok in 2005 and have been teaching here ever since. I was 46 when I did the CELTA and I had never taught before. At first I was pretty much living off my savings as I only earned 35,000 a month which doesn't go very far in Bangkok. But in time I was promoted, moved into corporate teaching and then exam preparation (IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC, GMAT, IGCSE etc). Now I make around 80-100,000 a month if I include IELTS examining. I've only taught in language schools and businesses, so there is no requirement for teaching licenses etc - just a degree, CELTA, professionalism and an aptitude for the work.

Go for it and good luck.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app
 

....one of the lucky one.... well deserved..

 

 You're just going to have dive in here with the rest..... yes you will find all that you expect and more... Aim low

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I did the same in my early 30's and changed career from a marketing manager to a business teacher after doing a PGCE in the UK. You should be able to get a job at an international school relatively easily. However, some schools do ask for a minimum of 2 years experience. On the other hand some places like to hire NQT's (newly qualified teachers) as they are cheaper. It's hard work especially in the first few years when you are building up your teaching materials and learning how to do the job. Thankfully any issues from badly behaved students are very rare. Overall I'd say if you enjoy it then it can be an extremely satisfying job. Good luck.

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OP a few thoughts...

 

> you are in the age band for peak earnings. It could be very bad timing to ditch your career in the UK for teaching in Thailand

 

> if you come to Thailand at your age now, you could find it financially impossible to retire to your home country, and very difficult to do so in Thailand (depending on your current savings, investments, assets, expectations of inheritance, and willingness to be a pauper in your retirement)

 

> the teaching business in many counries is deep inside the rat-race that you want to escape (the UK being a prime example)

 

> most farang government school teachers in Thailand are driven to it through poverty, not love of education

 

> you can see from looking though the history of this forum that there is a huge amount of unhappiness in the farang teaching "community" in Thailand

 

> if you do decide to come, make sure that the PGCE you do gives you QTS - Qualified Teacher Status - this will help your career as a teacher enormously and open far more doors, in Thailand and around the world,  than a standard PGCE.

 

Good luck.

 

 

Edited by My Thai Life
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2 hours ago, My Thai Life said:

OP a few thoughts...

 

> you are in the age band for peak earnings. It could be very bad timing to ditch your career in the UK for teaching in Thailand

 

> if you come to Thailand at your age now, you could find it financially impossible to retire to your home country, and very difficult to do so in Thailand (depending on your current savings, investments, assets, expectations of inheritance, and willingness to be a pauper in your retirement)

 

> the teaching business in many counries is deep inside the rat-race that you want to escape (the UK being a prime example)

 

> most farang government school teachers in Thailand are driven to it through poverty, not love of education

 

> you can see from looking though the history of this forum that there is a huge amount of unhappiness in the farang teaching "community" in Thailand

 

> if you do decide to come, make sure that the PGCE you do gives you QTS - Qualified Teacher Status - this will help your career as a teacher enormously and open far more doors, in Thailand and around the world,  than a standard PGCE.

 

Good luck.

 

 

This is very good advice - heed it.

 

Remember to expect nothing and you won't be disappointed. International schools aside, it is the appearance that is important, not the substance. If you can roll with this and forget all ethics that you currently have, then you will move through the system fairly easily.

 

Start asking questions about methods or trying to make changes or improvements will land you in hot water and you will be regarded as a trouble maker.

 

For topping you up until retirement, I would say go for it but it is stressful if you let it affect you.  Good luck.

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The stress level of most things in life is or can be an internal feature of you... something you bring to the table. 

 

Your biggest problem is always your biggest problem, no matter how big or small it might be...

 

Think of it this way - - back in the 50s and 60s, a 'mid life crisis' was called a 'second childhood'...

 

Relax, good luck and if it is something you always wanted to do, go for it... you seem like an analytical fellow. 

 

"You will still be here tomorrow but your dreams may not." Cat Stevens... 

 

When I met a friend from my youth, later in life - - [we had often talked about 'following our dreams as a life path'] and I asked him if he had done so... he told me he was surprised how many of his dreams were nightmares... 

 

So, you roll the dice and take your chances -- or you don't. 

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1 hour ago, kenk24 said:

The stress level of most things in life is or can be an internal feature of you... something you bring to the table. 

 

Your biggest problem is always your biggest problem, no matter how big or small it might be...

 

Think of it this way - - back in the 50s and 60s, a 'mid life crisis' was called a 'second childhood'...

 

Relax, good luck and if it is something you always wanted to do, go for it... you seem like an analytical fellow. 

 

"You will still be here tomorrow but your dreams may not." Cat Stevens... 

 

When I met a friend from my youth, later in life - - [we had often talked about 'following our dreams as a life path'] and I asked him if he had done so... he told me he was surprised how many of his dreams were nightmares... 

 

So, you roll the dice and take your chances -- or you don't. 

"You will still be here tomorrow but your dreams may not." Cat Stevens...    May be Cat's song, but I think the Rod Stewart rendition is far superior ?

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You might be able to land a teaching job but a big day to day factor is where you will live and where the school is located. Commuting in and around Bangkok...and outer Bangkok IS a nightmare!.

The stress of the job may pale in comparison with getting to and from work in Bangkok traffic.

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Apart from the 'age' aspect, this mightn't be particularly relevant for you since the final outcome involves China rather than Thailand.

 

My brother did a CELTA course in Chiang Mai earlier this year after 30+ years as a chartered physiotherapist in UK, with an MSc. He is 58 and wanted a change. After completing CELTA, he passed a Yachtmaster course in Lanzarote.

 

As far as the teaching was concerned, he was certain that he didn't want to teach schoolkids - adults were his preference and he didn't even consider looking at schools in Thailand. 

 

He took a job for 2 months with the BKK branch of his CELTA school and during the course of that he applied for and was offered a position at a Chinese university, which he accepted and is now in-post. He loves it although it's early days yet - he seems to have taken to it like a duck to water. He certainly seems to have regained all his old enthusiasm for life, something that life in the UK had drained from him.

 

 

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If you wish to make money, consider teaching in Japan, Korea, or Saudi Arabia.  If you don't care about the money, then teaching it Thailand is dandy.

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If you can, then I would say without a doubt try and do a PGCE and come here fully qualified. The money is 3 or 4 times what TEFL teachers make plus benefits and the working environment is drastically better. 

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