Ridiculous!

Ridiculous!

Dear Marvin (The longer I stay here, Ajarn Postbox, 19th October) Your whining is pathetic and puerile. Yes there are numerous incompetent teachers that are hired simply because they are young and attractive. Yes there are numerous schools that simply want to keep up appearances by hiring such teachers. Yes there are older and more experienced teachers that are often better for the job. However, in my short time teaching in Thailand, I have met my fair share of older teachers who have been teaching in Thailand for more than a decade and yet can barely control their class, wander through their lessons aimlessly because they have not set any goals for their students, and are often the most unlikable characters in the staff room.

Your insinuation that school staff members hire cheap teachers so that they can squander the extra money on drinking is uncouth and plain culturally ignorant! Not to mention the fact that you are treading politically dangerous ground by referring to another culture as "black teachers".

Of course native English speakers trump Filipinos when a school is trying to keep up appearances but your personal preference of accents has nothing to do with it. I find some British accents more off-putting and incomprehensible than that of a Filipino and the fact that you couldn't understand this Filipina's pronunciation of the word "Asian" (which is pronounced differently in every Asian country) reveals your intolerant and impatient character as well as your inability to think laterally. I spent many years working in Filipino slums with some of the most impoverished people in the world, yet despite their lack of formal education, some of those people are more proficient in English than you, a teacher, who cannot even spell the word "principal".

Finally, I am downright infuriated by your insinuation that the only reason that young, blonde-haired, blue-eyed teachers are hired is so that the school staff can "get some".

I am 23 years old with blonde hair and blue eyes and I will have you know that I am a well sought after teacher with numerous job offers, not only because school directors may find me attractive but because I have a very good teaching performance record and I am culturally sensitive. If they have found me attractive, I haven't allowed it to be a downfall to me. If my looks gained me a demo lesson, great! I proved myself in those lessons and every lesson thereafter. I am not naive and I quit one school very soon after I realized they were only interested in having me on staff as, in your words, "window dressing". I quit because there is more to me and my teaching career than that. To insinuate that every young, attractive teacher is interested in making money by that notion is ridiculous.

Furthermore, I am one of those "serious" teachers that you mentioned but I also acknowledge the value that is found in educational games and "learning through play", which is currently being widely accepted as the preferred method of teaching in the west. Perhaps it would be advantageous to you to try a little harder to make your students happy. Not because their parents are paying their fees to have you on staff but because it has been proven that students absorb information far more effectively when they are, in fact, happy.

You say that this country will never change but your attitude reeks of someone unwilling to change their ways or adapt to more modern methods of education. I would suggest that the first change you make is towards becoming more culturally sensitive and perhaps willing to please your students and school faculty a little more. This doesn't mean butt-kissing, but a little respect goes a long way.

Lauren


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