Baby steps and spontaneity

An ode to a semester in the books

One thing I will say for any aspiring teachers who are even mildly contemplating the idea of hopping over the pond to teach is this: Give it a shot! I for one am 25 years old and despite being here for seven months, am still wildly unsure of what I want to do for a career.


Don't turn your back on the kids

Postbox letter from Jon

Who are we there for? The school? Maybe. But I would hope that most teachers would say that they are there for the children, to offer the kids a chance to improve their English


A Thai field trip

Where's our risk assessment?

I'm hoping to be invited on another Thai school field trip. The students are well behaved, and it was quite a lot of fun! Who would have thought you could get a job that pays you to have a good time at the zoo?


Are degrees required to teach?

Opinion continues to be divided

Three things which seem unavoidable are death, taxes and debates on ajarn.com about the requirement for teachers of having a degree. Those without degrees generally argue a degree is not necessary, while those with degrees will normally make the case a degree should be required.


Researching the unknown

Postbox letter from James

In my opinion, many of the text books used in Asia in general are far in advance of the student's capabilities. They assume a level of competency that few attain, given the ‘happy happy’ method of teaching and the no-fail emphasis.


Help urgently required

Postbox letter from Jojo Tiger

I'm a teacher at the end of my tether with the situation I currently find myself in.


A view from the student’s side of the classroom

Perspectives on becoming a student again

For the most part, I was teaching (in a variety of different capacities) during the years I was also pursuing my graduate studies. Now once again I am alternating between the front and rear of the classroom, and this can be an effective method to help one to keep the student's perspective in mind when the time of the day comes for one to assume the role of teacher.


A teacher's pet peeve

The unenviable task of having to plan lessons

Lesson planning is a routine task that has now got into my system, yet if I had my choice, I would get rid of it. But how? So several times I tried teaching without a lesson plan? Do you want to know how it turned out? I think they were better than my planned lessons.


Mid-term prep and a week in review

You have to go with the flow in Thailand

Here's another example of why you must roll with the tides here in Thailand, too. I spent a good two hours making a 40-question midterm for my Mathayom 2 class. My paperwork shows that the M2 class I have is divided into Science 1 and Science 2, but the curriculum is identical for both


There are always terrible teachers out there

Postbox letter from Lucie

I have to say that there are loads of native speakers out there who have no idea how to grade their language to an appropriate level for their students. There are even plenty of qualified teachers who may have been great at teaching, say, biology, in their home country, but cannot accept that to teach it to non native speakers, they have to change their methods and the way they introduce both concepts and vocabulary.


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