We are happy that you are interested in our school. The purpose of this document is to give you information about Super English and what working here entails. We hope you find this document helpful. If you still have questions, please feel free to ask Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page. Thank you for taking the time to read and learn more about Super English Language School.
Job Details - 250-300 baht per hour (some classes are paid at 300 baht per hour, regardless of overtime) - 300 baht per hour for overtime work (in excess of 25 teaching hours per week) - 18-25 teaching hours per week (two consecutive days off – Saturday and Sunday) - no office hours - a minimum amount of paperwork - one year contract - one year visa paid for by the school - all labor visas paid for by the school - teacher’s license paid for by the school - free accommodation in a shared, semi-furnished house (utilities not included) - 25,000 baht end-of-contract completion bonus - free internet at school and some teacher housing - monthly school sponsored Thai cultural experience, such as a Thai boxing lesson, Thai cooking lesson, etc. - full training - comprehensive orientation about Surat Thani and the surrounding areas
Who are our students? Our students are mostly children between the ages of 4-15 years old, with the majority of that group falling between 6 and 11 years old. Thai students in general are very enthusiastic, fun-loving and caring. Super English (SE) students are probably more fun-loving and enthusiastic than most. They are interested in the material and eager to learn. Most SE teachers come to Thailand and strike a bond with their students within the first few weeks. The students want impress and be friendly with their teacher. The English ability level of the students is mixed. Our biggest group is beginner, but we do have a good number of starter and intermediate students as well. Nearly all of the children who study at Super English are among the top of their class in English at their regular schools. The biggest challenge of teaching Thai kids is discipline. The children can get a bit rowdy at times and want to run around and have fun. This is partly a product of their regular Thai schooling, where that kind of behavior is strictly prohibited in the classroom. Once they are out of the Thai classroom, they sometimes go overboard with their enthusiasm. The disciplining that needs to be done is very light and no one should think that these kids have behavioral problems. That is not the case. At most, they need to be repeatedly told to be quiet or not speak Thai in the class. After all, they are just kids. They just want to party. All disciplining of Thai students can be accomplished very easily and in a fun way for both you and the students. We go over the various methods you can use during our training. Occasionally, we also have some high school, college and adult students. These are fewer in number but provide a good change of pace from teaching kids all day. The adult classes are usually small and their abilities range from no knowledge of English to advanced. Currently, due to high demand Super English is exclusively kid classes. We get offers for adult classes but they would require a teacher with the aptitude and willingness to do it.
Why do we exist? 1. Super English exists to provide the highest quality English education at a price that nearly everyone can afford. Super English is consistently the least expensive language school in Surat Thani yet offers more to its students than any other school and pays its teachers the same, if not more, than other schools, while requiring a lot less work. 2. We strive to be innovative in our approach to teaching and learning. Further, we aim to provide our students with the resources and tools they need to be best prepared for the future. 3. We are committed to the goal of ensuring that the children learn English and are prepared for a future in which excellence in both spoken and written English is of absolute necessity. 4. We exist to provide teachers with a school where they spend their time teaching, not doing paperwork. Further, we are committed to empowering each teacher to make full use of their creativity and not restricting them.
Who are our customers? We have two sets of customers: the students and their parents. Both have separate demands and wishes for how things should be done (and those wishes are usually in opposition to one another). Pleasing both parties can sometimes be a frustrating task but we manage it fairly well. This is another area that will be covered in training.
What are our goals? 1. To get the children to be happy and feel comfortable when speaking English. 2. To raise the students’ English verbal communication ability. 3. To improve the overall written and grammatical ability of the students.
Super English Schedule Super English hours run daily as follows:
Monday - Friday
First Class: 16:20 - 17:20 Second Class: 17:25 - 18:25
Super English opens at 10:00 a.m. and closes at 7 p.m. That means you will never teach any later than 6:30 p.m.
Again, anything over 25 teaching hours is paid as overtime. We don’t schedule you for overtime without talking with you first.
What are some of the unique features of SE? Super English strives to be the most innovative school in Surat Thani and a center for progress in the field of English education. We are very proud of being a home of creativity and vision. We are the first and only language school in Surat Thani to offer the following (we’re not sure if anybody anywhere does these things but somebody might): 1. Teacher Empowerment 2. Kids Club with guest speakers 3. Monthly Contests 4. Teacher Fan Clubs 5. Summer Listening Programs 6. Children’s Library 7. Summer Study Kits 8. English at Home Program 9. Super English University
These unique programs will be covered in training. More programs are frequently added. Super English does not sit still. We are always moving forward and we love trying new things.
Super English is also unique in that we promote the concept of “Fun First – Book Second”. We believe that the book is not the most important part of the learning process and should not be the focal point of the class. Instead, allowing the students to feel happy and confident when speaking English is more vital to their learning. We believe that the most important elements for learning in the classroom are the students, the teacher and the relationship that exists between the two. We give our teachers nearly complete autonomy in their classrooms so they can foster these positive relationships and teach the students in a way that is best for them. That often means putting the textbook aside and teaching them differently. This is a cornerstone of the Super English approach and will be covered thoroughly in training.
What is the most difficult thing about teaching at SE? Discipline has already been mentioned as a significant challenge to working at Super English. The changes that occur are also a challenge. These changes could be new students being added to your class, select students not showing up for a week, students that need additional help, students coming in to try out your class for a few days, etc. These changes can affect the class dynamic and to cope with it requires a person who is easy-going, relaxed and wants to have fun.
Class sizes Class sizes at SE are limited to 15 students per class. In special circumstances, we might extend it to 16; however it would have to be with good reason. The average class size at SE is 8 to 11 students.
School Location The school is located in the very center of town, less than 30 seconds walking away from the night market. We are less than two minutes walking away from a large department store, many restaurants, a spa, etc. We are four minutes walking from the night ferries that travel to Koh Samui, Koh Phang-ngan, and Koh Tao. We are directly opposite a Buddhist temple. The school sits right next to the Tapee River, giving each classroom an impressive view, especially at sunset. Our location is by far the best in town.
Camps We have several camps throughout the course of one year. Most of the camps occur over the summer holiday from March- May. There is also one month holiday in October during which we sometimes have one or two fun camps.
Negatives and Positives to working at Super English • Super English (SE) teachers sometimes work a split-shift day Depending on the schedule, you might teach 2-3 hours (or less) in the morning or afternoon. SE classes do not begin until 4: 20 p.m., for which we ask you to be in the school no later than 15:45, so there is a good chance you will have several hours of free time in the afternoon. Free time is YOUR time. You can spend it however you choose. You DO NOT need to come to SE. This is a good time, though, to plan for your SE classes. • It’s easy to become frustrated in Thailand Many of the foreigners who have been in Thailand for a while can become quite jaded (this does not apply to SE teachers) and that can rub off on somebody new. It’s also easy to lose your enthusiasm with the kids because disciplining is a large part of teaching anywhere in Thailand. • Discipline All discipline is verbal. But telling the students, “quiet please”, every few minutes can become very tiresome. There are other ways of controlling the students but you must be the kind of person who is patient enough to handle kids. The kids are fun-loving, talkative, and some have difficulty sitting still. They’re kids, not psychopaths. We don’t encounter behavioral problem. Having said this, new and old teachers are still surprised by the unpredictable state of the student population. • SE is, or should be, a challenging place to work SE is truly concerned with seeing the students advance in terms of their English ability and making a positive difference in their lives. We encourage you to be as creative as possible. Finding what is fun and educational for students and implementing it is the challenge. It’s not always easy, but it can be the most significant and rewarding thing you do in Thailand. • No salary during training We do a short training without pay, usually 3-4 days but longer if you choose it. You get paid full salary whenever you teach, even if it’s your second day in town and you’re just trying a class to gain experience. With our system, you start earning real money sooner. Most schools do a two week or one month “training period” during which time the teacher gets paid half of their regular salary. This is regardless of whether you are being trained by someone or teaching alone. At Super English, you get full salary as soon as you start teaching. • Cultural negatives Thailand offers a culture that requires a large amount of flexibility and patience. It cannot be put into words. Simply be prepared to have your patience tested again and again, as well as your ability to be flexible. • SE is not necessarily a relaxed place to work (we think it is but for some it might not be) SE is the place for creative people who are sincerely concerned with improving the students’ English. We work hard during the week. SE is the place for people who are interested in breaking down commonly accepted ways of thinking about teaching and finding something new, innovative, rewarding and fun for the students. SE pushes and strives to find those new ways of learning. Over 100 jubilant kids come through the doors every day. 100+ kids does not equal calm, peaceful and relaxed but it does equal fun. You need to really like kids to teach in Thailand, especially at Super English. • Surat Thani is not a place for every one Surat Thani is real Thailand. It does not have a huge expat population, although there are probably well over 50 foreigners living in Surat Thani now who get together sometimes. Surat Thani is a quiet, peaceful town. In order to live here, you need to be able to feel comfortable with a good amount of down time. There are lots of bars, restaurants and other night life spots, but the people who do well here are those who can spend some evenings at home with a book or a movie. Surat Thani is what you make of it. If you go out, Thai people will try to talk with you. They are very friendly. • We sometimes work over Xmas Xmas isn’t celebrated the same way in Thailand as in the U.S., Canada, or the U.K. There isn’t any scheduled holiday, such as Dec. 24 or 25. Thai people work so the school must stay open. The school puts up decorations and, depending on teacher initiative, might have some kind of Xmas party. Regarding New Year’s, we are closed on Jan. 1. as it is a Thai holiday. • SE is a real job Many people, at SE and other schools, arrive and are surprised to find that we have serious jobs where we work hard. This is perhaps normal because most people do not primarily come to teach but instead to travel around Thailand. Also perhaps since Thailand has a reputation as a party country. Please note, however, that if you don’t want to be a real teacher (somebody who works hard to help their students learn and puts their students first), then SE is probably not the place for you. It is possible to do both; work hard and see Thailand. We strongly encourage you to do so, even going as far as facilitating/paying for it, incorporating travel suggestions into our orientation, and giving you more time to explore Thailand than anyone else, but you need to be prepared to work hard during the week. We expect you to do your best. The number one problem that most schools across Thailand encounter is that their foreign teachers do not see teaching as a real job. They see it as a convenient way to travel for one year. It is a convenient way to travel. But much more importantly, it is also a very real, serious job. We are trying to teach children whose future very substantially depends on their ability to communicate in English. That is an important task and should not be taken lightly. To put it another way, it is a long week if somebody is only here for the weekend. The people who do not come to teach are generally unhappy and soon leave.
Definite Positives • Higher salary We pay 250 baht per hour for up to 25 teaching hours. Anything over 25 hours per week is paid as overtime (300 baht per hour). In a regular month, a teacher will almost certainly make over 23,000 baht. It would only be below that figure if classes are cancelled or the teacher’s schedule is less demanding. 22,000 baht per month is the current starting salary at language schools in Surat Thani. A SE teacher working a 25 hour week will make 25,000+ per month. The usual teacher schedule is between 21 and 24 hours per week. • Higher completion bonus Upon completion of your one year contract, SE will pay you a 25,000 Baht bonus. This is higher than the amount offered by other schools in the area and is not subjective, in that none of the bonus is performance based. • Long vacation break available Our contract, for visa purposes, must be a one year contract. It cannot be a 6 month contract or 9 month contract. For you to get the Immigration visa, you must sign a one year contract. Our regular courses will end in late March/early April, depending on the Thai schools calendar. From late March to May, we have summer camps. We ask that teachers stay for our camps in March. After that, the rest of the time is yours. We figure that most people will want an extended vacation so we make that available and encourage you to take it. We want you to have time to really see Thailand. You will need to return to SE in May to complete your one year contract. • No paperwork We require very little in terms of paperwork. Other schools require attendance, evaluations, daily typed lesson plans, monthly typed class profiles, monthly typed class procedures, monthly tests, typed and updated monthly semester syllabi, graded homework, etc., etc., etc. We only require the following: daily attendance, evaluations for every 30 hour course (a paper which you can fill in with checkmarks and optional comments), and hand-written lesson plans only during your three month probation period. The aim of this system is to allow the teacher the utmost time to be creative and come up with new, great ideas for the students. We feel that being loaded down with paperwork is not the aim of a Teacher (capitalized on purpose). We want you to have as much time as possible to prepare something great for your class. We want you to have the freedom to do your best. That is what SE is about and what the students require from you: always do your best. • Location SE’s location is outstanding. We are in the very center of town and located close to several noteworthy places. The night- market is less than 20 seconds walking from the school. It’s full of food, snacks, fruit and other surprises. The Pizza Company and Ristorante Milano (the only real western food restaurants) are 2 minutes walking. We are located right next to the river. When not in the rainy season, each classroom has a fantastic view. We are less than 3 minutes walking away from Sahathai, a department and grocery store. We are near several convenience stores, fruit stands, pharmacies, restaurants, legitimate massage spas, etc. We are 4 minutes walking away from the night-boats which sail to Koh Samui, Koh Phang- ngan, and Koh Tao. We are 4 minutes driving away from Thaksin Hospital, Surat Thani’s best medical facility. • Opportunity to explore your own potential and creativity SE encourages creativity and empowerment amongst its teachers. If you have an idea, let’s discuss it. Nine times out of ten, we’ll try it. If it works, then we know that we have succeeded. If it doesn’t work, then we have still succeeded because we have found what doesn’t work and learned from the experience. • City contacts Although we have only been open a few years, we have been able to establish a good supply of contacts. There are friends of SE throughout the city. If you need something, we will be able to help you or put you in touch with a person who can help you. Some of our customers include doctors, mobile phone shop owners, computer shop owners, restaurant owners, judges, police, city officials, government officials, etc. • Air-conditioning We have air-conditioning in each classroom. That doesn’t prevent them from getting a bit hot sometimes, though. It is hot in Thailand. • Reading library and DVD library We have small, but interesting, reading library available for you to borrow from. There are probably around 100 books. We also have a DVD library for teachers, which probably has around 150 movies. • No surprises Peter hates surprises, especially when it comes to work. Of course, it is impossible to avoid surprises in a work situation, particularly in Thailand. However, we hope to have provided any prospective teacher with as much information as possible before arriving. There will still be surprises, of course, but hopefully only good ones. • Free wireless internet SE has free wireless internet for all our teachers.
Super English students are able to communicate at the highest proficiency level in English.
Super English provides the most fun educational stimulating productive English language education.