More adventures in rural Thailand

My first semester at a Thai government school

I've now worked at a rural government school for a whole semester. I thought I might share with you my account so far, with some practical advice that may help ease your transition to teaching in Thailand.


My ideas for change

Postbox letter from James

Having taught at government and private schools I echo the frustration of native English teachers when it comes to Thais being poor in English.


Dealing with the troublemakers

Discipline: tips on control in the classroom

Troublemakers. We have all seen them do their thing, causing mayhem and disorder in the classroom; perhaps you were even one yourself at some point during your time as a student. Troublemakers are the bane of every teacher's existence and they make our job go from difficult to pounding headache and hair-tearing proportions.


The Ideal Student

What qualities and characteristics make the perfect student

This blog doesn't focus on teachers and how to achieve near-perfection, but on what the ideal student would be like. Let's keep in mind though that nobody's perfect and that most teachers would probably be over the moon if only a slight majority of students showed some of the traits mentioned


Class control

Tips on how to make your kids classes go smoothly

You need to know how to control kids better than they know how to control you. The way you control any class depends on what size class you have and also on the age of the children, but here are some tips on how to keep your class together.


Learn all your students' names?

Surely you can't be serious.

It's never been my intention to become best friends with any of my students but I truly believe that a good relationship and strong rapport with students is absolutely vital in order to begin being an effective teacher. If I ever expect to receive the respect of my students (which is all the time) then the obvious thing for me to do is give respect to them as early as possible.


Thai students and the fine art of copying

I couldn't believe what was going on in the classroom

I come from a society and a culture where the copying of anything in or out of a classroom is simply looked on as cheating. Not only cheating the whole idea of education but cheating oneself out of any possibility of learning, not to mention a total disrespect of the student who goes to the trouble of learning the correct answers in the first place. So I was appalled beyond measure when I saw my first example of copying in my classroom at my first school in Phuket.


Fired for no reason

Postbox letter from Ray

I just got fired from a government school for picking up an empty desk only about two inches off the floor and slamming it down in an effort to get the attention of an extraordinarily loud class of about 50 students. I've done it many times before without consequence.


Teaching quality vs teaching quantity

What to do when the odds are stacked against you?

So apparently my current Mathayom 2 reading class didn't finish the reading book assigned in Mathayom 1. The result is that I've been told I must teach both that book AND the one I was assigned to teach... in one semester.


Sneaky little cheaters

The joy of midterm exams

Midterms means a week of sitting bored out of our minds in classrooms with students that usually aren't ours. I feel bad for the students; I'm bored, and they're having to sit there and take test after useless test.


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