First impressions of a novice
A couple of months into teaching at a school in Pattaya, I think I've learned a thing or two about living and teaching in Thailand.
Sometimes I decide to just look on the funny side of trying to teach
I've been teaching in various capacities almost two years in Thailand now, and the differences between teaching students who want to be with you versus those who must be there are quite clear.
Do those who don't teach English in Thailand look down on those that do?
What do expats who work in Thailand but don't teach English think of us teachers? Are we ridiculed when out of earshot or do even the high-flyers afford us maximum respect. An invitation to a business networking evening and a chance to really find out.
Do they deserve such a bad press?
I first wrote about the topic of teacher placement agencies (TPAs) back in 2006. Back then, there were relatively few TPAs recruiting foreign teachers in Thailand compared with the number who operate today - but even in those early days, there were certainly a good few complaints about them.
Sometimes just be thankful that's as good as it gets
I'm now in my third year as an English teacher at a secondary school in Thailand. I guess you could say I'm a veteran now, though this is a job which 'veteran' doesn't mean much
On the topic of Thai classroom assistants and are they useful to a foreign teacher? I have six teachers with me. (One for each level that I teach.) They are all different and they all need to be treated differently.
You can do it - but have a plan!
First decide which camp you are in. There are two. Either you are coming to Thailand because you want to live here or you are coming to Thailand because you want to teach here. It's important to make this distinction.
An approach to teaching special needs students
Because I am teaching primarily in an English program where students' parents are paying for them to be there, I do not encounter many special education students. That said, I do have two students in one of my mathayom 2 (grade 8) classes who definitely have learning disabilities.
The highs and the lows and what I've learned.
Now that this academic year is winding down, I reflect on my first year with a lot of mixed feelings. There have been a lot of awesome moments where I really felt like a teacher. I really felt like I was getting through to the students and I was the getting the job done.
I thought this might be of benefit to new ajarn readers in particular
I was asked to fill in a questionnaire by my old university on the topic of teaching English in Thailand. Although it was intended to encourage applicants to take a Thai study program in Germany, the information might be useful for those teachers thinking of coming to work here in Thailand.
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