Join in the discussion and give us an answer to the burning question. This month - what would you like to see your school do better?
It doesn't matter if it's a university, a government school, a private language school chain or a little kindergarten tucked down a deep soi, give us your opinion. What could your employer do better? What changes would you like to see made? Please put your comments in the section below and I will transfer them to this page. You don't have to give your real name and there's also no need to mention your school either.
I'd insist on soap dispensers and paper towels in the toilets. There is NO SOAP in any of the toilets at our large school. I have a private toilet annexed to my classroom, so my own situation is different, but as any foreigner teaching in Thailand knows, shaking hands with hundreds of small, grubby students every day can't be very hygienic. It's because of the soap issue that I simply don't do it, even when the tiny paw is thrust in front of me. I'm not rude about it. My coffee flask will switch to my 'shaking hand' if I see a student headed towards me with Western style familiarity on his mind!
Our school insists on having weekly teachers' meetings even when there is nothing on an agenda and nothing to talk about! I think that management see it as some sort of bonding exercise to get all the teachers together in one room for a couple of hours each week but truth to told, we would just rather go home early if there is no purpose in having a meeting.
I'd like to see more people from the front office moving around the school classrooms and paying more attention to the teachers and what they are doing. It appears to me that if there were more supervision, the amount of time playing games and checking in with Facebook would plummet! And I swear I have never worked at a place where the employees can fall asleep anywhere at the drop of a hat! Then again, it's none of my business and what they do doesn't affect me so I shouldn't really care.
The accountant at my school is such a fearsome woman. Everyone treads on eggshells around her because she's both well connected and she's worked at the school since the year dot. Unfortunately, she's the lady you have to go to if there is a problem with your salary. I would just love to see her replaced by someone with a bit more compassion. She does nothing to enhance relationships between Thai and foreign staff.
Simple.....allow students to fail.
I'd like to see my school give more importance to early childhood education. I am a strong believer in early childhood development being pivotal to a child's future and well-being, and it saddens me that so often in Thailand not a lot of young children are being given the best learning experiences, they often sit tests far too early, and aren't given enough time to play and explore. I'd also like to see more appreciation for hard working teachers.
At the moment? I'd say hiring one more teacher to cover the "miscellaneous" classes that pop up whenever someone at the international school I'm at gets "moved up" to admin. There are always a few classes drifting about... not enough to warrant another teacher, yet enough to require the rest of us lowlies to take on one more course. Prepping and teaching five different courses across five different grades is at the verge of my abilities.
Extra pay for extra curriculars would be nice too, but hey, let's take it one step at a time.
They could defend their teachers more and not listen to stay at home moms about how to teach their children.
1) Let the students fail.
2) Only let students in to the English Program who can cope, a 5 year old Chinese boy with learning difficulties and no understanding of Thai or English just isn't going to cope in a class of students who have all been learning English for 2 years, but they can charge the parents more for EP.
3) Can the teachers please stop hitting the children! It is illegal for a reason.
4) COMMUNICATION! The farang teachers often need to know what is happening tomorrow as well!
5) As Trevor said, soap in the toilets would be nice. And if they felt like putting some toilet paper and bins in there as well that would be appreciated.
I could make this list a lot longer, but I think I will stop there.