A Struggling Student Pays her Way by Teaching

 |  June 23, 2015

Many college students have part-time jobs so that we have extra money for personal purposes or buying extravagant goods, and of course we also feel less guilty because it’s our own money not parents’. For me, each month, my parents transfer 9,000 baht from their bank account to mine and I spend about 3,000 baht for my dorm room. Other expenses are for food, copies of study sheets and personal cares. My salary seems to be a bit lower compared to others, but most of us are facing similar problems; the money is never enough!


Let me tell you why…we are living like a small student community and in order to support our community, we need money. We are always asked to pay money for various activities our group agrees upon. Sometimes, to keep our bonds strong, as well as to follow tradition, we have to take our code sisters or brothers out to costly meals. Also, this is Chiang Mai, a cool city with many unique restaurants, coffee and bakery shops and night clubs. Obviously, it is impossible for us to not visit these places!
When we cannot afford this and do not want to bother our parents, we start looking for jobs. Plenty of part-time job are available out there, including barista, waiter or waitress, musicians, etc.

If you are serving at a coffee shop for eight hours, you will get only 200 baht. Or if you have enough talent to have a band, you will earn at least 250 baht for just an hour. Though you will earn more, don’t forget the cost of instruments, the time it takes for practice and of course recording and practice room rentals.

For me, one of the best ways to earn money as a student here in Chiang Mai is to become a teacher.
Normally, the lowest rate for being teacher is about 150 baht per hour (for one student) while some gain over 400 baht (for a small group). To make you see a vivid image, I am talking about private tutors at home and some tutoring schools as they welcome university students to teach there.

For tutoring at home, we are requested to prepare the lessons ourselves, depending on what students or their parents demand, or some may give us copies of school books. It is different when we teach at tutoring schools since we use their books for teaching, so all we have to do is making sure that all the contents are taught before the end of the course. You may wonder what we teach them. Here is an example, if you are teaching English, mainly it is about grammar, reading and how to do the English exam. We scarcely teach speaking since not many of us are able to speak fluently like natives.

It’s easy to start being a teacher. Facebook plays a very important role here because we have our Facebook group for sharing news and events. What we have to do is trying to keep an eye on it. Then there will always be a post looking for a teacher from someone, usually it is our seniors or juniors who are already teaching. Or we can just print paper saying what we can teach and stick it on the dormitory’s boards.

However, for the tutoring schools, you cannot just go there and teach. You will be asked to take a teaching test first, and only after that are you up for consideration on whether you can teach or not.

What I am most concerned about is that many of us haven’t studied anything involving how-to-be-a-good-teacher at all! We have only some specific knowledge like English, Chinese or chemistry. Surprisingly, that is enough to become a teacher in many places.
Being a teacher is more than just teaching, especially when the students are young. They will see us as role models. But some don’t even seem to realise this. We teach, get paid, and it’s just business.

Being a teacher requires psychology, loving and caring characteristics, and a lot more effort than we think in order to be a good teacher. We are wild and impulsive youths. We choose being a teacher because you pay well, so choose carefully a tutor for your children.

Now it is almost the end of the month, some are running out of money and waiting for new salary from parents but obviously not me!