Well, let’s start with location since it is one of the key elements to happiness while living here in the Land of Smiles. The school is located in a great little city considered to be the hub of northeastern Esan. Some of the well known areas not too far from Loei, which I will touch on a bit later in greater detail, are Chiangkhan, Phu Ruea, Nong Hin, Phu Kradueng, Dansai, Na Haeo, and Khao Kho.

However, before talking about the points of interest (POI) in the surrounding areas, let’s first get to know what the immediate area in and around Loei is like. Loei has a handful of gyms, but one of the best is called Loei Plus fitness. It has everything you need from Muay Thai to an olympic-sized swimming pool with a slide. Another area to get fit or take a relaxing stroll would be in one of the two parks that are buzzing with activities and nearby markets in the early evenings. Whether you are into football, volleyball, tennis, badminton, basketball, or cycling, it’s all here. There are huge followings for each one of these sports.

If you’re more of a nature person, like myself, there is a small mountain just behind the city called Phu Bo Bit with stairs that run from the bottom all the way up to the top. If it’s a clear day, you’ll be treated to some great views as well as a burning workout. The top is also a perfect area to relax, have a bite to eat, take a nap, or meditate.

Understanding that not everyone is into fitness, I’ve added one of my favorite places to the POI list – Huoi Grating Lake. This is an elegant water reservoir, surrounded by rolling hills covered in a luscious green bamboo forest that has been turned into a recreational hangout. Order a ton of food and get pushed out to the middle of the lake on a bamboo raft to float around for the day. Eat, swim, sleep, eat some more, float around on a tube, mingle with other rafts, or read a book. It’s up to you. With a light breeze always flowing and the mesmerizing swaying of the surrounding bamboo forest, it truly makes for the perfect day.

Where are all my foodies?! Anyone that loves food, must be loving life here in Thailand. I went back home for a year and none of the Thai food in LA came close to resembling the authentic Thai tastes found in some of the luxurious restaurants around Loei. Although, truth be told, some of the best tasting foods are often found in the early mornings or evenings at what would be considered to be a hole in the wall restaurant or busy outdoor street vender. It’s all here. Every Thai taste you could ever desire – especially ESAN Food. Now when it comes to getting your Western palate satisfied, many of us locals tend to head to the Kebab shop, but don’t let the name fool you. It’s a foreigner-owned business that, outside of Kebabs, makes mouth watering chicken pot pies, curry dishes, burgers, mashed potatoes and gravy and so much more. There are a handful of other foreign-owned restaurants in the area that have some amazing dishes. I’ll leave those up to you to explore.

Surprisingly, not being a big city like Chiang Mai or Khonkhan, Loei has a large variety of entertainment venues to choose from. The biggest club in town is a place called Robot. It was closed throughout much of covid, but has recently opened up; and having joined the grand opening party, I can confess – it was off the hook! Great music, great atmosphere, and tons of friendly tables, always happy to cheers with a few of the local foreigners. Besides Robot, there are about 3 other major clubs in town and then quite a few nice bars and clubs 6 kilometers up the street near the local university.

OK. Now that I’ve provided a small glimpse of what it’s like here in Loei (there’s so much more here, but I’ll leave that up to you to discover on your own), let’s lightly touch on some of the POIs in the surrounding area. Chiangkhan is about an hour north of us and is situated on the mighty Mekong River that acts as a natural border between Lao and Thailand. In the day you can enjoy a few steps on the towering glass Sky Walk (which also has elephant rides and ATVs), take a ride up to a mountain top, relax at a myriad of nice cafes, or enjoy some Esan food while laying down in an open bamboo structure next to the river. In the evenings the main street adjacent to the river is closed down to vehicles and turned into a unique night market with an eclectic mix of street performers and tons of street food, drinks, and shopping. When you’re done with the walking buffet, you might want to burn some calories hitting some trails in Phu Ruea.

Phu Ruea is one of the tallest mountains in the area and plays host to some spectacular views. It’s about 45 minutes west of Loei and has multiple camping sites to choose from and plenty of trails to run, as well as a huge rock garden. If you’re into parkour this is a great spot to get your jumps on before watching a beautiful sunset tuck itself away behind the surrounding mountains. About another 40 minutes west from here, you’ll find yourself in Dansai.

Dansai is traditionally known for hosting the Phi Ta Khon Festival (It’s kind of like the day of the dead). Every year there are massive parades of people wearing the decorative Phi Ta Khon masks created by the locals. If you’ve never been here, I can tell you that it’s totally something to check off the Thailand bucket list. I would probably say the festival is a distant cousin to our Mardi Gras Festival back home; it can easily turn into an all nighter, lol. From Dansai you can find some of my favorite campgrounds, where I love to sleep next to a campfire and pitch my tent next to the cliff’s edge, to the northwest in Na Haeo. If you travel southwest from Dansai, you’ll run into Khao Kho, which if you’re a motorcycle enthusiast (which I am), you will fall in love with the long sweeping track-like corners that sprawl for miles and miles. Tons of camping here too as well as plenty of temples, wind farms, and activities to partake in during the day.

Last on the surrounding POI list, and probably the most famous, is Phu Kradueng mountain. People travel from all over the world just to get that iconic shot near the cliff’s edge with the well-known tree branch hanging in the background. It’s so much part of the culture here in Esan that Loei city has built a replica of this exact sight to where you can take that iconic shot without having to endure the 5 hour arduous hike to the top. I’ve been to the top 4 times now. The first time I made it in 3 hours, but that was 14 years ago, lol. On my latest runs, I have taken the time to indulge in the eight different restaurant-filled resting points along the way. Plan for 1 day up, 1 day to see all the breathtaking cliff views, 1 day to see all the miraculous waterfalls, and 1 day to go back down. And finally, 2 weeks to recover. Tip: rent the bike. That is the only way you will be able to cover enough area to see everything. To be honest I could talk about Loei for months. There’s so much to it that there’s no way I could ever begin to put it all into words. It’s something that has to be experienced – lived – shared.

Well, that was a bit long winded, but I just wanted to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before you commit to residing here for no less than a year. Let’s now talk about the school and the requirements.

The School / Program

The school is the biggest government elementary school in the entire region. There are only three levels that are currently open; 1st – 3rd grade. Each grade level has three classes. Two of those classes are labeled IEP (Intensive English Program) and the other labeled GCC (General Chinese Class). We meet with the IEP classes 6 hours a week: 4 hours for English, 1 hour for math, and 1 hour for science. We meet with the GCC 3 times a week: 1 hour for English, 1 hour for math, and 1 hour for science. We currently are running at one teacher per grade level, however, as the program gains momentum and popularity, we will increase staff as necessary.

Currently, there are only 17 contact hours per week per teacher. However, as the program develops, you may be assigned more contact hours per week, but your hours will never exceed your contractual obligation of 20 hours per week.

Class sizes run from 28 to 30 students. The maximum number of students per class will never exceed 30. There, typically, will always be a friendly Thai assistant in the classroom to aid with classroom translations and discipline if needed. If not needed, they are happy to take a back seat. Each class is equipped with two large AC units which you can turn on anytime you feel hot. I know many schools only allow you to turn on the air after a particular time of the day, however, if you are hot and the air has yet to be turned on, simply close the windows and doors and turn it on. Each room has a modern computer, printer, and projector. All teaching documents have been stored on a special IEP folder located on the desktop. You will be provided with a student roster that has student numbers, nicknames, and pictures.

All teaching material is digitized and ready to use in the classroom. Each student, for all three subjects, has a student book, workbook, and notebook with their number and name written clearly on the front. While it’s OK to bring in extra material, from outside the course book if you deem it necessary for math and science, I’m certain you’ll find that the workbooks for these two subjects tend to be enough on their own. On the other hand, with English, we have so much time with the material (only having to push through 4 short units per term) that it is encouraged to develop student-centered projects and activities or play games that correlate with the target language from the course book.

All testing materials can be found in the desktop IEP folder located on the classroom computers and the teacher’s room community computers. All you have to do is make your prints from the community computer and then take them to the photocopier room for printing. From there, the grading sheet is automated, so just enter the scores and it’s all sorted. No long backbreaking hours spent with over-complicated grading systems.

The teachers room has a large AC unit, which we turn on whenever it is hot. Being Thailand, most of the year it is hot from the time you wake up to the time… well, it’s just always hot lol. The room is also equipped with multiple (working) community computers, printers, a refrigerator, a projector, personal desks, a dining table, and shelving. This is the area that we meet when we are at school. Note: that it is acceptable to venture off between classes to run errands or work from a nearby cafe if you prefer to do so. If you consistently perform well – work completed – and everyone happy – then you’ve got your freedom.

About the contract: You will be paid 38k a month for a full 12 months (if starting at the beginning of the academic year) and will not be required to sit at school for no reason, filling out paperwork, during the break. A break is a break. Go have fun with it and get paid while doing so. You will have your typical contractual sick days and business leave and the school will assist you with obtaining a work permit and non-b visa as necessary.


Alright, so let’s move onto the final part, which is what we will be requiring out of our candidates. Every applicant MUST have at least a Bachelor’s degree. If you don’t, there is no way that a government school can legally hire you. We are not willing to go the illegal route. While it is highly preferred that you have a TEFL certification (or equivalent) and teaching experience, we will consider applicants that do not possess these qualifications. It is a MUST that the applicant be a native English speaker (NES) with a nationality from one of the following countries: US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa. It will also be imperative that you have a neutral accent. If you are not a NES from one of the countries listed above and do not have a neutral accent, you will not be considered for the position. Candidates must not be older than 60, for that is the retirement age for teachers at a government school.

If you meet the requirements, please apply by sending the following:
Resume / CV
TEFL (or equivalent)
Passport Picture Page (to verify nationality)
Introduction video


Source link

Sign In


Reset Password

Please enter your username or email address, you will receive a link to create a new password via email.