I have been teaching overseas for many years now. In fact, I have 31 years of overseas experience. I have mixed feelings about Thailand and the schools. The United States has had its similar problems in education about the time that the society went from agriculture to industrialization. Few were highly educated and those were mostly in the Northeastern parts of the country. But technology forced the system to change. Thailand is now faced with the same pressures as society is moving into the industrial era. Don't get things wrong. The number one problem is culture. Many of our cultures from the west are a mix of ideas and influences that immigration, conguest, colonizations, etc... brought into our countries. We were exposed and through assimilation adapted many ideas and ways into our cultures that are who we are today.
Thailand is just now realizing it has a problem with identity among the rest of the world. That is o.k. for them as it is natural at this time. Our countries are demanding, fast and pro-active. This will happen in time to Thailand. There are many good students and schools. I have been very fortunate but did not realize it until I looked back on a position that I did not understand at the time. If we wait China will force many changes in the thinking of Thailand. As other Asian countries prosper and move ahead Thailand will reluctantly move ahead. It will pick up speed and get with the world program. I am sorry to say it. In many ways the west could learn from the Thai ways.
A great river starts with a single drop of water. Perhaps only a few drops pass each of us but one day they will join together as elders of society and form puddles and small tributaries that will eventually find each other. Time will cure all. I am finally happy with the students now. I understand them. I look beyond the classroom into their fears, hopes and dreams. They are just like me when I was them. We are all one.
My biggest problem now has become the foreign teachers on the ajarn forum. I am an educated man and I am also a student learning daily lessons of life. I expected that people here would be professional as they claim to be. Sadly, when I came back to the forum I was let down. I did make some comparisons once. They were not at individuals but as a general observation. Yet, people think everything is personal. Well, an observation is just that. We see what we see. Our truth is what we understand and perceive it to be.
As educated people we should present a supported argument to something we have a difference with. Here however; it is easy to red mark those with whom you disagree without regard to professional reputation to the forum. Yes, I have been red marked and I only realize that the people that did it are insecure and sensitive in their own person. They label me a non-reputable person not because I posted lies about Thailand or teaching. They labeled me because I made a remark about their heritage, culture, or race not because of them but of an observation of those that attention gave notice to me and the rest of the world. I have never met anyone here in ajarn. So how could I direct it to you. I can substantiate my observations in the general not the personal. They offer no rebuttal but only a red mark and a label of racist. I am not a 100% racist although I, like everyone else, do have some prejudices.
Everyday, people demean the United States and its people. I understand that. I am a US citizen. I also agree with many things they say. I am also man enough to understand that while I have to carry the passport, I am not the people that many hate. I am me. I do not get upset because I know me and I can stand as an individual on my own merit and support criticism. Yes, support it. I am free and have the right to free speech but not to judge without support and then it is only viable to me individually.
The ajarn forum is controlled in my opinion by a few people that want to direct the forums their way. Well, so be it. But when someone is trying to open the curtain to observations it is better to offer communication, debate and proof before you try to destroy this person you never met. I am here in Thailand because the quality of life is so much better than where I have lived before. I do not feel my home is home to me now. My home is where my feet are. I can live on 1/4 my US salary here and I am married and happy. I appreciate ajarn for the job listings and those I will search only to better my position.
One other thing, I let cynicism pull me down and my teaching suffered. I will not be reading many forum posts now because I realize most of my cynical thought came from listening to people like those found here. Next time you have to put someone down or play the superior being ask yourself this question, "What hurts you so bad that by hurting someone else will make you feel better?" Be a teacher be a part of the great river that is coming. Support each other and quit complaining. This is my goal as I walk across this desert of knowledge looking for an oasis to rest and drink. (Maybe, plant a few vegetables)