Kingston’s Journal: Pivoting and Progressing

A sound strategy requires adjusting expectations to reality.

June 3, 2019

One month into teaching English, I think I’m starting to hit a rythym in my teaching. For the group B students, I mainly stick with the book due to them being weak learners. For M2A, once I’ve covered the book, I move on to a social studies topic and facilitate a discussion. I do just the social studies topic for M3A as they seem disinterested in the book. As for M1A, they are to my surprise my favorite group. This group is the best behaved, eager to learn, solid English and… childish. 

If I didn’t know the kids, I would guess the M1 (7th grade) kids to be 5th graders. I suppose kids here hit puberty later. In any case, going through the text, then playing brakes seems to work well. Here are some games I use:
Word volleyball

Guess that object (with paper on forehead)

Detective and Secret Student


Use that Letter (Scattergories)




Dictionary Deception

Board Race

Lastly, in terms of M3B, they are a handful. This is the class that I really struggle with as it seems almost all the students don’t want to learn and would rather spend the class talking to each other.

I’m still working on a way to get them to do something. 

In terms of the teachers, U do sense something “off” about many of them. All the teachers are older than me and with the British teachers, they’ll always mention how expensive things are at an age in life where (I think) they should be financially well off. They’ll also try to sell me shirts that they don’t want and I even see one taking school milk home.

Additionally, more than half the teachers are Filipino and when I hear the constant charter of Tagalog in the English Department, I do wonder why there is such a lack of native English speakers. I’ll roll with this crowd for now, but not long term.

I also found out that I’m 54 kg now (119 lbs), 8 pounds less then when I was in March 21st. This explains why my pants and belt have gotten so loose. I suppose it’s the physical activity from Muay Thai and dancing combined with the heat and irregular eating.

Regarding Muay Thai, I feel stronger now then I did a month ago when I started. My shins, after over a decade of neglect, is starting to feel stronger with both the pad work and the heavy bag work. The bruises aren’t coming as quickly now and I’ve started clinching about a couple weeks ago. It’s painful but I feel it makes me stronger. Both my neck and arms are being toned while I’m learning how to take punishment on the midsection. I’m not much good at it now, but I’ve just got to give it time and effort before seeing the payoff.

Regarding dancing, it could be better, but I’ve been giving it an honest effort. I think I have a solid understanding of Bachata and Salsa On 1 in terms if the basics. Being really proficient at it though is going to take months of work. The current instructor I have I thought was going to be very solid in terms of guiding me to be the best dancer I can be. That was my impression of him when I bought a monthly pass from him. The reality has been different.

The very supportive Virginia girl has stopped attending class which makes me wonder why. There is also no women to practice with half the time. During the times when there are no women, he used to show me some solo moves (“shines”) that I could do on my own. Lately he would only work with me for 15-20 minutes out of a 2 hour class with the rest of the time he would he on his laptop or phone.

During classes where there are women he would focus almost solely on them leaving me feeling like In just there to go through the motions so they can practice. He would also teach advanced techniques to beginners while not spending a a whole lot of time on it. It leaves me half learning a technique without being able to use it in a social scene. I think from a man’s perspective it is especially important to master a technique because as the leader it is more then just about knowing the footwork, it’s about being fully confident in leading the followed so that there are no misunderstandings in the non verbal communication. 

With that said, I’m not finding salsa easy, but I’m going to keep at it probably with a different instructor. I’m doing this so I can:

1. Loosen up

2. Learn how to command a physical presence (same as teaching English).

3. Become a better leader (again same as teaching English).

Kingston S. Lim

June 3, 2019

Bangkok, Thailand

2 thoughts on “Kingston’s Journal: Pivoting and Progressing

  1. Pingback: Teaching English in Thailand Review: 8th Grade (M2)

  2. Pingback: “A Wrong Does Not Right A Wrong” (From Accountancy to TEFL #4) – Kingston S. Lim

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s