A lack of professionalism

A lack of professionalism

I recently went for a job interview and was shocked by the lack of professionalism shown by a school with a good reputation. I was applying for a math teacher position and I have had experience teaching maths to Mattayom 1 and 2. This position was for teaching Maths to Mattayom 4 and 5.

I was asked to attend the interview at 9am but given it was in Samut Prakan and was just the interview stage I asked if I could come at 11 am because I wanted to miss the rush hour traffic.

The interviewer / head teacher said that was fine but wanted me to arrive before 11am. I duly arrived at 10.30 am. He also told me beforehand that I would have to give a 15- minute demo. No big deal - just to see if the students could understand me. And he told me I would probably be offered the contract anyway.

So I arrived at 10.30 am and meet the head. He never even bothered to shake my hand, which I found strange, and took me over to a building where I was told to wait and “make myself at home”

There was nothing in the room except a computer so I got on it and thought I could find something out about the school or prepare the lesson I was going to give. I had planned to teach something about Pythagoras and maybe Sin, Cos, Tan.

The Thai maths teacher arrived, showed me a book and asks if I can teach it. I look at it and say yeah fine no problem. He then asks me if I want to prepare for the lesson. I say no, given what I have been told, the interviewers just want to see “if they can understand me”

I say right I am ready to go. I go into the classroom and the students ask me where I am from. Then I start teaching. They stop me. “Can you teach from the book?” Well, no sorry I can’t because I have never been told to teach you from the book. If I had known, I would have asked for the book in advance so I could give you the right lesson plan.

So then the Thai teacher takes over but the kids seem completely demotivated. They do not for instance even attempt the examples I have given them on the board.

Then time is up and we walk out but they want me to teach another class. I walk into the second class. I flick through the book and choose a percentage exercise. Forty minutes later, I have finished 4 questions and I am getting the students to do the answers which in my experience is always the best - especially in Maths And I get people who are not participating to come up to the board and do the example in the book.

Remember I had less than a minute to prepare for the lesson. I get some laughs, the students seem to enjoy it.

I go downstairs to the room I was put in before and there are two Thais in there. I'm expecting the final part of the interview. Did I get it the job or not? Instead they ask me to go outside because they “are eating lunch”. I mean in a supposed good school I am thinking to myself WTF? Talk about disrespect. No wonder they are struggling to find teachers.

I go outside and talk to some teachers. Eventually the maths teacher emerges and we go back into the room and he says “Tell me about your experience”. I am confused. Did you not get my CV? Oh, it is upstairs. I say well would you like to get it? I mean talk about lack of professionalism.

He then asks me if I have taught Mattayom 4 and 5 Maths. I say no but it says that clearly on my CV. I have taught Mattayom 6 English and Maths to Mattayom 1 and 2. The transition should not be too difficult. With no preparation I gave a good demo lesson. With preparation it would have been better. He says he will get back to me.

I then phone the foreign head teacher twice and ask him to see me out of the school and let me know what is going on. I finally leave and later the foreign head sends me an sms to tell me I did not make the grade - and I then tell him what I think about him and the school and the treatment I have received. Everything he has told me is wrong. It was not a 15-minute lesson “to see if they could understand me” but a full-on lesson expected to be taught from the book.

I am simply amazed that some schools, even supposedly good ones operate like this and I’m in no doubt why they struggle to find themselves teachers. It is clear that there are deep problems in many schools where they do not give a damn. Maybe if they gave us the right information we might have a chance. They always expect teachers to be polite but in my experience often could not be bothered to give the right information, and are less than polite.


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