How will Thailand prevent their slide towards last place in the ASEAN economic community when they can’t keep foreign teachers? The Government in Bangkok make the request, but many educators can’t seem to accept the help that they are given. My recent experience in government schools demonstrates that old-fashion ideas are more important to the older generation than in teaching the children.
I was an English teacher at an elementary school in isaan until the school decided that my supervisor’s image was more important than the education of the children at the school. Instead of teaching the children full-time as informed, I was taken around as the token white teacher to seminars to teach English to Thai teachers, but really as an object to improve my supervisor’s image. I was told that I would get a certain amount of money for these events, though I received less.
I was always told about these seminars at the last minute and never told what would be discussed. I was offen abused verbally by my supervisor, her calling me “YOU! Do this!”, even though she knows my name. While reading something to the group of teachers, my supervisor would suddenly pull away the material if I was not speaking English to her liking. It must have been silly of me to think that my being born, raised and educated in the USA to the point of earning a Bachelor’s degree was enough to say that I know something of English. The end came when the director of the school said that it was better I go rather than a polite resolution between my supervisor and I be attempted. So much for an interest in the wellfare of the students.
If this Thai educator (and many others exist) knows so much about English, why is the government in Bangkok spending millions of Baht for foreign teachers? I guess that supporting older people’s egos is more important than children learning English and improving their lives. We can’t have that happen in Thailand!