A lot of this could be avoided at the interview stage. I wonder how many teachers ask the question 'How are the students tested/assessed'
With this one question alone, if it's a school that doesn't care, they probably won't want someone like you. If they don't have a great system in place, they may see you as a tool to fix it or they have a good system in place so long as you convince them you are the man for the jib, you have landed on your feet.
I think it would be very rare for them to dupe you, but that would be the only scenario that would have you in this position had you asked beforehand.
So no solution, just food for thought. That said, approaching the school is still an option, there could easily be someone there knowing something is broken, but don't know how to fix it.
It is so very difficult to change anything in Thailand. I once mentioned in a meeting that I don't appreciate it that other teachers walk into the classroom, interrupt my lesson and announce something or do s.th. they could have done during a break or their own lessons. Of course it backfired, they gossipped about who it may have been, and the townsfolk was up in arms.
They just didn't understand that my kids are concentrating and actually thinking when I teach. They didn't know that it is possible to interrupt a lesson in progress.
One has to be accepted as a teacher which can take years to have any sort of input and even then you're on thin ice...
This is my first school and it never occurred to me to ask such a thing since it is such a foreign concept. I started the thread because I was dismayed from seeing the results of the testing. I appreciate the thoughtful responses I receive.
Today I asked about how the results of the tests are given to the students. I had assumed they would be given their answer sheet back along with the test so they can discuss the results. I believe we learn from our errors more than our successes. Apparently, though, the students are only given their scores. I don't see myself changing such a system, so I will endeavor to teach as best I can and give them feedback as they work with me. I don't see how a multiple choice test would be of any value in a conversation class, anyway.
And I also get interrupted during class by other teachers. It hasn't bothered me but I would rather not have them.
Sometimes when I post here, I am reminded of this routine from Monty Python.
Argument Clinic - YouTube
After I made the original post, I started reading the responses here. As I as still grading, I started asking around.
A man of words and not of deeds
Is like a garden full of weeds,
And when the weeds begin to grow
It's like a garden full of snow,
And when the snow begins to fall
It's like a bird upon the wall,
And when the bird away does fly
It's like an eagle in the sky,
And when the sky begins to roar
It's like a lion at the door,
And when the door begins to crack
It's like a stick across your back,
And when your back begins to smart
It's like a penknife in your heart,
And when your heart begins to bleed
You're dead, and dead, and dead -- indeed.
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OP - I've got to wonder why you're marking tests that aren't yours?
Pick up your pay cheque.
Guy Manpoof sux nuts for $$.
Tomcat trained. Satisfaction guaranteed.
But nobody (other than a few idealistic foreign English teachers) could give a damn.
The Thai education system's primary purpose is to be a cash cow for the people who administer it. How else can you explain that a country which spends more than twenty percent of its GDP on education (the highest percentage in the world) has - as a norm - classrooms with 50 students in them, and resources that consist almost solely of badly photocopied knock-off books. Oh wait, they all have iPads now - I forgot. Yet I bet that nobody knows how the financing of that was worked out, or if anyone bothered to ascertain how these things were going to be used before the money was 'spent'.
Some years ago, when I taught in a well-known Thai university, I was advised by my Thai boss, 'Your problem, G, is that you care too much' To which my response was, 'You don't pay me enough NOT to care!" - and very shortly thereafter I legged it for the Gulf. At least here there is a basic concern for student learning, and if you end up at odds with your teaching conscience occasionally, they pay you properly as compensation.
Just take your 30,000 baht or whatever it is, and get some classroom experience. If you start worrying about the shortcomings of education in Thailand you'll only drive yourself mad.
Although I work in a different field (but servicing teachers) I recognise the "cultural" issues the OP raises.
The difficulty is that Thais live with certain cultural "norms". If you are to change those norms, even in your own small corner of Thai society, because the "Thai way" isn't getting results, it means people are going to feel uncomfortable. Now here is the chicken and egg problem... they have to see that you can get results before being prepared to feel uncomfortable. The initial effort is huge but once you break through that barrier you will be rewarded with a career-defining sense of accomplishment.
As Chomsky says " Most schools are training for stupidity and conformity " and he was just talking about the West
Most Schooling Is Training for Stupidity and Conformity - Noam Chomsky on Education - YouTube
Thailand has many years to catch up to our stupidity