My savings would not feed me for my entire stay in Thailand. Plus, I also had to pay my bills. I had found a place to stay and it was time to begin immediate searching of a job. I had a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and I was so sure that I would find a position in the field of communication. At that point, I was not that familiar with the local language. I could communicate but not effectively. At least my interactions with the locals did bear some fruits.
I was stuck in between choosing a job as an English teacher or as a tour guide. Okay, teaching English wouldn’t be a problem because I was a native English speaker plus my degree in Journalism would aid in proving that I could communicate effectively. Being a tour guide was also another option. I had never thought of myself being in such a line of work. As a tour guide, I would not only earn some cash, but I would also travel the entire of Thailand seeing its magnificent sceneries. The two jobs were fascinating, but I needed to make a quick decision.
Being an English teacher had a requirement that I should have a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certificate. Unfortunately, I didn’t have this certificate, and it was a mandatory requirement so as to get a well-paying job. I had to, therefore, look for another alternative or to engage in a TEFL course, so as to get that certificate. When comparing the two jobs, teaching was more favorable than being a tour guide. I was tired of moving from place to place, and TEFL had only one requirement. Teaching would give me the opportunity to interact with more students.
I enrolled at Chichester College which is in Bangkok not far from my apartment. The college provided 120 hours of training in the classrooms and an additional 6 hours of teaching practice. An added advantage was that after completing the course, they could employ you as a teacher. I saw it as advantageous to train at an institution that will offer future employment. The course was too easy, mostly because they taught the basics of the English language. The lessons that were helpful to me were on how to present yourself as a teacher. The course was beneficial, and I was able to learn the following;
Once I was through with the course, I put together all my credentials in my curriculum vitae. I did apply at Chichester College, and I was confident I would get a chance. During my time there I did notice that foreigners who spoke native English had a higher chance of getting jobs quickly in most institutions. Plus having a previous experience as a journalist in the US was an added advantage. I got a five-year contract at the university with a $2000 monthly salary. Teaching was an excellent experience for me. I was able to interact with my students and got to learn more about Thais.