Facing challenges as a black teacher in Thailand
For the sensitive minded people who live in utter oblivion about skin color, this is probably not the article for you. But this is the cold hard truth.
What makes the perfect teacher in the Thailand EFL classroom?
Let me point out that this list is based more on personal experience than large-scale research. Also, while most qualities on the list are probably appreciated worldwide, some are considered particularly important in the Land of Smiles.
I couldn't believe what was going on in the classroom
I come from a society and a culture where the copying of anything in or out of a classroom is simply looked on as cheating. Not only cheating the whole idea of education but cheating oneself out of any possibility of learning, not to mention a total disrespect of the student who goes to the trouble of learning the correct answers in the first place. So I was appalled beyond measure when I saw my first example of copying in my classroom at my first school in Phuket.
An ode to a semester in the books
One thing I will say for any aspiring teachers who are even mildly contemplating the idea of hopping over the pond to teach is this: Give it a shot! I for one am 25 years old and despite being here for seven months, am still wildly unsure of what I want to do for a career.
"We're not teachers, we're entertainers!" That's a dangerous little meme and it's something I've read countless times on countless websites as it concerns teaching English in another country, especially Thailand.
I’ve had team teachers in Korea, China, Kenya and Thailand, And then there was Mrs. T
Opinion continues to be divided
Three things which seem unavoidable are death, taxes and debates on ajarn.com about the requirement for teachers of having a degree. Those without degrees generally argue a degree is not necessary, while those with degrees will normally make the case a degree should be required.
Those who are in Asia teaching English need to understand this simple reality: English teaching is a superficial industry. English language aptitude is simply social and economic capital in Asia. Is this not stating the obvious?
Perspectives on becoming a student again
For the most part, I was teaching (in a variety of different capacities) during the years I was also pursuing my graduate studies. Now once again I am alternating between the front and rear of the classroom, and this can be an effective method to help one to keep the student's perspective in mind when the time of the day comes for one to assume the role of teacher.
Which one comes out on top for a teacher?
I have to remember that I can't just do things for anyone who asks, else I'll bleed dry in a hurry. I'm bad about always agreeing to do things, even if they cost me time and money to do so. There's a point where you must say no, like it or not.
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