I work with two Thai English teachers at two different schools. One is a primary school, with about 230 students ranging from pre-school to 6th grade. The secondary school has 300 something 7th through 12th graders. In theory I co-teach in 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 12th grade classrooms every week. It keeps life interesting. On paper, I also spend quality time planning with my counterparts, preparing materials for class, and helping with English club and morning English activities at both schools.
Thank you, co-teachers, for working with me and letting me express my opinions.
I spend at least a little time every day drafting an incisive report in my head on the shortcomings of the school system here (the working title is Everything That’s Wrong with Schools in Rural Thailand According to Jeannine. The thing is rather bogged down with anger). Sometimes I also convert this report to conversational form, and I imagine carrying out this conversation with some revolutionary school administrator (in my daydreams I speak Thai perfectly).
Now for the photos:
This post is heavy on the little kid pictures because they’re definitely the cutest part of school.
At the beginning of every class the students are supposed to stand up, wai and say “good morning, teacher.” The teacher says ‘Good morning. How are you?’ and the students say, in a sad, drawn-out way, ‘I’mmmm fiiiinnneeeee, thannnnkkkk youuuuuu and youuuuuu?” The teacher says “I’m fine. Please sit down.” and the students say “Thank youuuuu, teeeaaaaaccccchhhheeeeerrrr.” These are the 4th graders. There are 32 of them. They’re mostly 10 years old.
These are 7th graders. They’re about 13 years old. This particular class is an absolute zoo (I take at least partial responsibility for that fact). At this moment in time they were relatively engaged in English learning… (they were supposed to be standing up and walking around).
Academics are on the very bottom of the priorities list. Everything else, including cleaning the school, teacher meetings, decorating the library, Buddhist ceremonies, and ping pong practice for sports day takes precedence. (Then teachers whine about how poorly the students do on standardized tests. I don’t necessarily think they should worry about the tests, but HELLO???) The day I took this, a teacher had asked my counterpart if the 6th graders could miss English class to finish cooking. There is something to be said for teaching practical things like cooking, but the adult supervision was zip, which leads me to wonder if they were learning anything new.
I’ve been hearing about the rough life of teachers for nine months… if the kids aren’t providing shoulder massages, they’re rubbing teachers’ feet, plucking out teachers’ gray hairs, or doing teachers’ makeup.
Teacher worship day back in May. Class was canceled to prepare for teacher worship, and then of course again on the day itself.
Look who it is! My counterpart and I were teaching important things like ‘There is a bed is in the bedroom.” and ” There is a toilet is in the bathroom.” On the test (given last week, the one and only graded thing the students were asked to complete all semester) I got much more creative sentences: “There is love in the bedroom” and “There is a father is in the Jane.” (I’m pretty sure they just couldn’t remember the vocabulary they were supposed to be using to fill in the sentence.)
Sometimes I take well exposed, focused photos.
Supervised rice planting activity that happened during the activities period! Good job, teachers!
When the students were told they could go home, they just climbed the wall and left.
The primary school students all live within walking distance of the school Many of the high schoolers ride motorcycles back and forth (regardless of age), and most of the others ride in these pick-up trucks with benches that are payed for by the school. There are these four girls, who live in my village, who seem to walk home for fun.