I'm at the final stage of a Diploma in Education which I had to enroll in to be able to continue teaching in the Kingdom of Thailand.
After 12 years and four different schools, I have come to the conclusion that the "quality of Thai students' English skills" did not improve within the last 12 years. But how is that even possible when more and more NES teachers with experience and degrees in education teach Thai students, even at smaller schools?
Here are some problems:
Too many agencies sign a contract with corrupt school directors who only want to fill their pockets. If the students learn or not isn't really important to them. All agencies have great brochures with information that makes people believe that thus agency provides plenty of experienced NES teachers with many years of experience. The truth is that a lot of them are NNES guys and I don't even want to call them teachers now. They are only there to fill in because they couldn't find an experienced NES teacher who signs a 10-month contract with a monthly salary of 30K, or even less.
I know from the past that these agencies have a hard time finding such people and they even look in tourist areas, approach people from English speaking countries and a week later they enter a Thai classroom for the first time. Some of them were planning to travel, but making some extra money and leaving after the first salary is quite common.
I've met ex- students who told me that they had seven different foreign teachers in one term? A shocking example was a 19-year-old girl with her 18-year-old brother and both were my students at a well-known primary school in grade six. They "Waied" me and I soon found out that the English they were taught at primary school was completely gone. After six years of high school at the best high school in town, they couldn't even answer the easiest questions. When they were in grade six, both could communicate and understood when English was spoken. Six years of high school, taught by experienced NES teachers and all of their English was gone down the drain?
Students have to fail when they are not good enough to do their assignments.
Teachers need to learn more about child psychology.
It's time that somebody stops all the fishy agencies that pay so-called teachers, often only backpackers, a 10-month salary only, many of them don't even have a degree. If a teacher didn't go to university, it's a very bad start position.
The school directors are only interested in signing up with agencies because they make good money by doing so. The best teachers are those who've got a lot of teaching experience and hired directly.
A 12 months contract, visa and work permit paid for is a must and only shows how a school is treating foreign teachers.
A lot of foreigners are long enough in the system to understand what should and has to be changed to see much better results. The students from today are the future of tomorrow. We don't need some shortsighted people who don't understand the importance of a good education. And when I hear that education in Thailand is free until grade 12, I only have to smile. Nothing is free and hidden fees have to be paid too often. To get a student into a school with a good name is already expensive.
And if a Thai teacher who worked 30 years in a smaller town wants to work at a school where he or she is living, the schools usually asking for 400,000 baht. people have to buy their teaching position.
Students til grade 12 are not allowed to ask their teacher a question because they could lose face by not knowing the answer? It's time to stop this insanity, nobody can lose face, we can only work together and create a good environment, learn from our mistakes and help each other.
The use of Multi -media in class these days also helps a lot. I could go on and on and on all night long, but it's time for bed.
I wish all teachers a great time, please write about your own experiences and there might be one day where we all are united and have some say in this big circus called education. Sawasdee khrap.