I started my first teaching post last week - In a large Government school in NE Thailand.
Apart from some private tuition I am inexperienced but 'qualified' to teach in Thailand.
I suppose I expect something more in the way of support, well at least for my first real teaching day.
I was handed a schedule at 8am and was surprised to see I had 6x 50 minute lessons on my first day.
These were all in different buildings, no map was given, and the classes were all between 50 and 60 students.
To put it mildly - it was Hell
I was asked to simply introduce myself and learn about the students - the real teaching starts tomorrow.
I made it through the day and the rest of the week was no walk in the park.
I realised the TEFL course I sat did not fully prepare me for this, but was useful in places.
Is this kind of experience par for the course in Thailand, or was I simply 'lucky?'
To conclude - I mentioned my feelings to several Thai staff who simply smiled and told me not to take it serious.....
There are 18 in the week - the first day was a Wednesday and the heaviest of the week - I suppose I would have appreciated a Thai Teacher coming with me and
perhaps introducing me - but they had meetings all day.
On the bright side, the rest of the week got easier and I am looking forward to the week ahead..well kind of
Sounds exactly like my first semester in Esan. Could be worse, they could actually expect you to teach the students English...which would be damn near impossible.
Be prepared to sub for others, if that is the case. I have this feeling that you may get your sick days and visa runs on Wednesdays.
What pisses me off to no extent is the fact that I have to teach new classes this year(science, physics, chemistry, biology) but there is no curriculum for any of them.
I was handed a schedule - now go teach.
Much to the consternation of my boss, back when I started here some years ago, I was running on internal rules that meant that I point-blank refused to teach until I had observed what my new colleagues were doing. I needed to get a 'feel' for things. I was lucky I suppose, in that I was indulged - grudgingly! - and then I took my first class.
Looking back I feel sort of embarrassed, but in a way - no! Fuck it. They wanted a foreign teacher. I was a teacher from the Land of Foreign. They do things differently there.
Normal, Phil. Normal.
"Take this, brother; may it serve you well."
Well, the workload is unevenly spread. I have days with 5 lessons plus 2 private ones. That's my limit!
Sadly, this is normal. I recall running around, not finding some classes or students, being drenched in sweat.
And I'm still waiting to hear what I'm supposed to teach
Don't show your weakness, folks will mercilessly use that against you!
That schedule stinks - how's your boss? Just wondering. I doubt any Thai colleague has such a heavy workload on a single day.
Hang in there!
Cheers Guys - I've learnt a lot in only a few days -= hopefully I will be able to help the students learn a little this week.
Chris, I saw a few of the Thai Teachers schedules - I think 6 lessons per week was the norm
You got a schedule on your first day, that's a good start. My mate didn't ever get a schedule. He was constantly covering for Thai teachers' lessons and the students were just confused and literally walked out.
Here's some more normal for you...I work at a uni in Central Issan...classes usually begin tomorrow...but they reconstructed the syllabus and it's not certified yet so they've taken to arranging a week of "activities" in the hopes that the syllabus will be ready by next Monday...as for the schedule it's still in the rumor stage at this point and we should hopefully see the first draft sometime in the middle of the actual first week of classes...
Once we have received the third and usually final draft of the schedule, then begins the "personalization" of that schedule where we teachers move and exchange classes that we are still not happy with...so the actual finalized schedule will settle down about a month to a month and a half after classes have actually begun...then two weeks after that most of the students will actually begin showing up for those classes...and we can begin the term proper like...
"You really want to save the planet?...the next time you see a hybrid car with a childseat... smash the window, remove the childseat and replace it with a box of condoms..." Doug Stanhope
I have spent the whole weekend in my house, trying to make sense of school nonsense. I've been in Thailand since Pontius was a Pilot and I never, never, have had one year that is the same as the one before (teaching wise).
Come and visit me at the Franz Kafka Academy for Thai Gentlefolk.
Bring jam. I miss jam.