Teachers aren't afraid to dish out the punishment if a student steps out of line.
The topic of school discipline came up in one of my classes a couple of weeks ago and it was pretty illuminating to me what happens in some schools here. I talked about it with some Thai friends over the weekend and they had pretty mixed views
When another teacher gets in the way of you doing your job.
I walked in and smiled at the 50-something Thai teacher, who was a pretty big guy. He sneered at me and returned to the whiteboard. Feeling rather non-plussed I retreated and waited politely outside.
Well, job-hunting and snake-hunting to be exact.
So the morning of all mornings finally arrived and it was time for me to become a teacher; a giver of knowledge, a mentor; all of these things. Who was I trying to kid?
And somehow smiling through the pain while trying to teach a class of 50 kids
I was forced to wear sandals for at least a week as my poor toe needed some pressure-relief in which to heal properly. As I limped into each classroom, the 50 or so kids would all notice my footwear and the large bandage on my toe. But not one student smirked or laughed.
I mean, seriously, how many other teachers pass out in their first class?
when I awoke, I was on the floor slumped against the wall. I looked up to see at least 30 faces looking down on me, and yes, the smartphones were out in force. I could only wonder how much of the event had already been recorded.
An introduction to the cast of characters (my teaching colleagues)
It was already 35 degrees in the shade, and the last thing I really needed now was to be doing star jumps and the like. But it seemed that all of the teachers were getting their own dance moves on, and I had to do the same.
The adventure starts at a school in Kalasin
As I rode down the main Kalasin Road, towards the school, I was aware of hundreds of school kids heading in the same direction, I wondered which ones I would be teaching? As I parked up the bike, the school grounds were already teeming with student life it was as if the school had been transformed into a mini city.
It may work out for others - just not for me
It's not so much that I've had enough of Thailand, it's just teaching really. I'd say a good 90% of teachers at my school are women over the age of 50. None of them are open to change.
There are many obstacles in your way that you can do almost nothing about.
There are lots of good reasons why teachers are struggling to get the job done and the good news is that none of them are your fault!
Or is the foreign teacher better off without them in the classroom?
Before beginning my experience as a TESOL teacher in Thailand, way back when I was a newbie farang taking my TESOL course on Phuket, I was repeatedly assured by indifferent agencies and instructors not to worry because you will always share classrooms with Thai teachers that are there to help you.