The story of how I got my full-time teaching break
After three months as a part-timer, my chance arrived when two of my fellow full-time teaching colleagues, Big Barry, a former scaffolder, and Londoner Jeremy, an ex-soldier and former plumber, both failed to turn-up.
Amusing recollections of foreign teaching colleagues
I thought I should write about some of the more interesting or obscure behaviour, that I have witnessed from foreign ex-pats living in Thailand, or have had related to me by others. Although I'm going to travel back a bit in time, so as not to put anyone's nose out of joint that I know at present.
Settling in to my apartment and meeting my wacky teaching colleagues
The apartment had no windows, though a sliding glass door leading to a tiny balcony funneled in a trickle of sunlight. Worse than its size was its smell.
Sometimes showing the students tough love doesn't work.
My teaching colleague was just a bully who could only intimidate the younger students. ‘Find something unique that the kids are interested in, then you will be halfway there’ was some of the best advice I ever got.
Why do so many schools not recognize the importance of a good teachers' room?
It's in the staffroom that teachers grow their own skills, expand the range of the school curriculum, coordinate their efforts, and construct a coherent school culture. School administrators (who don't teach) are not aware of the power of a good staffroom.
The concluding episode from a first year teacher in Thailand
After work, late in the afternoon - back in my bungalow having packed my saggy suitcase with the few items I was going to need. I sat on one of the two chromed chairs in my compacted kitchen and couldn't prevent myself from thinking about the possible impending events of this coming evening.
A satirical look at TEFL personality types
If you’re just an average teacher struggling along in a sea of two legged sharks trying to do your best give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, because you sir or madam are gold dust.
The secret to managing office politics
Conflict in a workplace can pop up unexpectedly. This is why it’s necessary for you to write things down. This way, when it comes time to defend yourself or to shed light on the matter you can look back to your notes and bring up exactly what happened
The single best political strategy
Managing the politics involved in teaching requires you to just admit that you know nothing. Pretend that you are an alien from outer space. You have no idea how to teach. You have no idea how the system works and you need help at all times. If you don’t do this, then people want to use your sense of importance against you.
Working with another teacher
I've come to believe that putting two teachers in the same classroom needs careful planning, and even then, the clash of egos is a minefield. It only takes one wrong step. With the cultural dimension added in, especially for a newcomer, things can become noxious frighteningly quickly.