Teaching English in Thailand: Day 23, Happy Kids

Day 23: Thursday 16th July

There is still some sugar left in Thailand, apparently. I thought we had eaten it all over the past few days. But no, Rowena brought home the bacon and baked some amazing red velvet cream cheese brownies for us. When we got to school, we had a cake smash issue with that the brownies had all left their cases and ‘made love’, as Rowena put it. They were delicious, despite the mess! This girl should seriously go into pro baking!
Delicious mess
I had two brilliant lessons today, with the upper half of the school. We did some body parts and also some other bits and bobs, including a grammar worksheet with the top class of the school as their English is much better than the rest. The inevitable happened, and one of the very flamboyant boys asked me “what is this?” and pointed to his chest. I paused, and all the kids fell about laughing because they could see it was going to be funny. I called him up to the front to be my model. He happened to have an extremely tight top on (and lipstick, for that matter) so he was perfect for the modelling job! I pointed to his nipple and he found it soooo funny and did a little wiggle when he thought I was going to touch him. I explained that men and women have these, and that women also have breasts! The class of 18/ 19 year olds cracked up at these words; as if they were 7 year old kids in sex ed.
2/3rds of the class were missing
Such a funny lesson 

We all ate Pad Thai for lunch, and Rowena had also brought me some Mango with sticky rice and coconut milk – again, she’s spoiling me. I owe this woman so much already and its only been three weeks!

At dinner, Kanang and I were talking about Thai culture in schools, She was telling me about the reason why the teachers aren’t very strict on the students, and the effects that it can have on them. Until now, I have found it a bit frustrating how the children aren’t disciplined, and if they are, its with a stick to the back of the hand or something similar. Growing up in the UK allowed me to have a very structured school life, regarding lessons, discipline, and simple things such as having a teacher that knows your name. In Thailand, you can’t expect any of these things. If a lesson starts at 14:20 half of the kids will stroll in at 14:45 and there will be no repercussion. The teacher won’t have the energy to deal with the situation because the students won’t take them seriously. The students also know that the school has to pass them, even if the students don’t have the capacity to do so.

Mango sticky rice mmm
Unlike in the UK, where students are given detentions, letters/ phonecalls home and even exclusion from school, in my school in Thailand they don’t have the same policy. Kanang explained how the reason for many of the children’s mis-behaviour is because of their family life and upbringing. This, of course, can be the same in the UK, and every other country in the world. However, in Thailand, this is a big problem. If the children are sent home from school or excluded, what will they do? Their parents will be at work from the early hours of the morning until late at night, so they will wander the streets, get into trouble, steal things and in the end, a bigger problem will have been created. She also said that the students have been known to scratch teachers’ cars who discipline them, and she believed that some students would even attack a teacher outside of school.

After school, Kanang went to a funeral at the temple. She took Rowena, Robert and I with her and we caught a song tail (public transport) to a shopping centre called Fairy Plaza. We spent a few hours wandering around and attempting to bargain with an old lady over the price of a pair of jeans. She didn't believe the jeans I was holding would fit me (cheeky!) but when I proved to her they did, she gave me a slap on the bum. I tell you, this lady was fiery! She wouldn't drop her price so I left the jeans with her, even though she had already put my skirt in a bag so I could wear the jeans out of the shop. Nuh-uhh!

Seeing as it’s Friday tomorrow, it’s time to sort out weekend plans. We are torn on where to go: to Surin, where we can go to an elephant sanctuary, or to stay in Khon Kaen and have a chilled weekend after last weekend’s amount of travelling. Surin is about 5hours away, and I just don’t know if I want to put myself through it just yet! We are all also trying to organise our long weekend plans, which is proving extremely difficult. I have been given the whole week off, whereas everybody else has been given just Thursday and Friday off. So I can hang about and wait for the others, or get out into the big wide world on my own, which scares the hell out of me. I would love to be able to go down south and just relax on a paradise beach for a few days before meeting the others there, but I just don’t know if I can hack it! I think I will end up going with them all on the Thursday and just explore Khon Kaen for a few days before hand; not venturing too far from home and safety!

Oh, the stress!



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