31 cool and awesome things about living and teaching in rural Thailand
Before we get into the list I just want to mention that everything is written in good fun. Expats and Thailand veterans will understand more than first timers. Certain sentences and parts reflect my own specific experience more so than the general one. Some of it might come across as sappy, but I've had a very positive experience in Thailand and the glass is half full for me.
Avoid falling into any of these teacher traps
Ajarn has put together a list of the most common mistakes that teachers make in Thailand - both new arrivals and those who have been here a while.
Is it possible to find the perfect balance?
It's just interesting to note that it is the relaxed attitude that keeps the East "developing" while it's our go-go attitude that makes us "prosperous". The same attitude that hinders them in business allows them to be happily content with life, whereas it's our work ethic that erodes at our physical and emotional well being.
You've got to roll with the punches
Things are very spur of the moment in South East Asia. You hardly ever hear about things until the last possible second. There is nothing you can do about it.
Is it better to simply observe students and not try to fix things?
I learned a long time ago to not expect Thai people to think or behave the way we do in California. I've come to realize the futility of trying to impose Western values on this ancient culture.
How online comments can be influenced by differing mindsets
Thais are more likely to believe bad luck and evil spirits are the cause of accidents. If the victims survived, Thai people are likely to give credit to the victims' luck, merit, or amulet. Why is this?
Some of these students have had over 2,000 hours of English.
Considering that English has been the international language of tourism and commerce for I don't know how many decades now, and there are I don't know how many thousands of English teachers all over the country, why is the general level of English so poor?
Don't come to Thailand if this kind of stuff makes you mad
As westerners, we like to have schedules and we like to know things ahead of time. Stuff like that doesn't happen so much in Asian culture.
Coping with the demands and frustrations of teaching
Stay positive and view issues pertaining to Thai education with a broad mind. Balancing your concerns, with a deeper understanding of how Buddhist values reverberate in the local community is the way to go!
How to maximize your teaching enjoyment!
Successful good quality teaching is never a "walk in the park." As you prepare to teach in Thailand really try to focus on being there for the students.
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