5 Things I Like About Teaching In Thailand (and 3 I Don't): Kingston's Journal #23

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As this school year winds down to the final 4 weeks, I wanted to reflect on the things I like and didn’t like during my time here in Thailand.

Pro: Firstly, the students are quite friendly, whenever they pass me in the hall, there’ll normally be some that greet me.

Con: On the flip side, these kids aren’t the most studious, the average student comes off as lazy and the really good students do what is expected of them, but not much else.

Pro: I also enjoyed the teaching hours for most of the year. 24 hours spread out over 5 days meant that I was fully engaged learning a skillset without feeling overwhelmed. This workload meant that this was my identity in Thai society for the better part of a year and not just something I was doing on the side.

Pro: Additionally, up till near the end, the Thai teachers were very supportive of my efforts and methods of learning the trade. They would drag students into meetings and scold them for misbehaving. I felt respected by the local teachers despite my youth and inexperience.

Con: At the same time, I didn’t like the system in which schools are run. I’ve gotten so many complaints about my behavior and what I can and cannot do. And when I look at the school structure and the types of students tat are produced, its not like they’re great and many of the teachers aren’t qualified. The no fail system is part of the problem. The age of my students have made them aware that whether they try or not, they’re still going to get passed along to the next grade.

Pro: Besides the point, I also talked about previously that its about what you learn in life. And I think talking in front of others is something I’ve gotten comfortable with. Being the speaker on the floor has granted me the opportunity to develop that skill.

Con: While teaching, I found I wanted to stray outside of the textbook, from history lessons to personal finance and life lessons. There was knowledge I wanted to pass down beyond the English language that I feel like I couldn’t due to the lack of maturity of these 11-15 year olds, Not just maturity though, but lack of interest as well. Now that I think about it, these kids don’t deserve my time anymore. One must set the bar high, and put a premium on his time before others follow suit. The majority of these kids, they can be friendly associates, but never my students.

Pro: Lastly, with the age range of 11-15, I feel it is the most challenging which means the greatest transfusion of knowledge to me as their teacher. I am now experienced in handling a screaming 11 year old that’ll cry over anything to 15 year olds that challenge authority at any sign of weakness with everything in between.

Kingston S. Lim

January 26, 2020

Bangkok, Thailand

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