Joko MacKenna

Stay away from the top knot

When a young teacher fears students have lost his respect

"Yannow, I think my students have lost respect for me." my twenty-something colleague admitted as we sat in our space near the mall entrance on a smoke break.

"Huh." I responded. "Whaddya mean? Why?"

"I think it's because of the hair." He continued, head down, eyes staring at the concrete in front of us. "I don't think they take me seriously anymore because of my top knot."

BWAHAHAA! Okay, control yourself, Joko. This was a junior colleague who looked up to me and he had a serious issue here. Still, I couldn't entirely stifle my guffaw.

"Well," I tried to console him, "you don't really want your students taking you too seriously anyways." I've found that for me personally, getting students to lighten up in my presence has been one of my challenges. Smiles are part of my uniform and I've taught wearing a Santa hat just to lighten the mood in the classroom.

Now, if your personal grooming choices as a teacher are a distraction, that's a different story, but could a top knot do that? My young colleague seemed to think so.

I mean, extreme piercings, facial tattoos, neon hair colors, yeah, these approach the point where they're so un-teacherly that students here in conservative Asia might be taken aback. These choices often prevent prospective teachers from even getting a position in the first place.

So as is in the business of providing advice to ESL teachers, I have a new warning when it comes to hair choices. Stay away from the top knot!


No comments yet

Post your comment

Comments are moderated and will not appear instantly.

Featured Jobs

Qualified Filipino Teachers (Many Positions)

฿20,000+ / month


Qualified Native English Speaking Teachers K-G6

฿50,000+ / month


Fun NES Teachers for Mid-April Start

฿42,000+ / month


High School ESL Teacher for May Start

฿33,000+ / month

Sakon Nakhon

English for Academic Purpose Teacher

฿90,000+ / month


Native English Speaking Teachers

฿400+ / hour


Featured Teachers

  • Lynne

    British, 49 years old. Currently living in United Arab Emirates

  • Lloyd

    Filipino, 38 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Doctorfrank

    British, 67 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Gerald

    Malaysian, 36 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Toree

    Indian, 35 years old. Currently living in India

  • Desmond

    Zimbabwean, 26 years old. Currently living in South Africa

The Hot Spot

Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Walter van der Wal from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.

Renting an apartment?

Renting an apartment?

Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.

Can you hear me OK?

Can you hear me OK?

In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?

Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?

Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.