In my time teaching in Thai schools in the Thai system, I could manage to control most of my classes, but some were simply impossible. The reason for all of this is not always the teacher's fault. Nor is it really the pupils' either. It's the system as a whole.
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.
The 800-pound gorilla no one talks about
On more than one occasion last semester when I was teaching at the local high school I walked out of classes because I wasn't able to control an unruly crowd of 35 teenagers.
A list of almost twenty issues that certainly need looking at
I want to list some of the more egregious problems and describe reasonable solutions. Testing and implementing the solutions on a small scale will come later, if at all.
Let's figure out how to fix the education system
I fully expect the majority of farang teachers to disagree with me and the approach I'm advocating. If you don't want to participate, fine, go drink a Chang and reflect upon your superior knowledge.
I’ve been teaching here a little over twenty years and have heard students say they don’t care if they fail because they know they will still pass.
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.
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?
A fun challenge to see if you, as a teacher, could do better.
Could you create the 'perfect' educational environment? In these positions, you'd have the power over some of the issues facing us every day as teachers, but not all. Some problems can only be addressed higher up the chain, at the ministry level.
I have been working in Thailand for two years now, and with regret I have decided to bid farewell to a country that I adore.
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