There are so many things that I wasn’t prepared for before stepping into a classroom in Thailand. I didn’t know what to expect but I didn’t know I’d be this surprised. Here are a few short stories.
Some schools have air conditioning. Mine don’t. I teach in open air classrooms, which sounds exotic but isn’t. My husband works in an open air classroom, has no bugs, and loves the atmosphere. Apparently my school is near a bus breeding ground, or is one. Some days, I am covered in bug-bites by the end of my lesson. Kids swat flies off my legs for me.
I teach kindergarten and figured I’d have my fair share of curious hands now and then. But… lets just say that young boys and girls are equally curious what a boob feels like and have very quick, sneaky little hands.
Random animals wander into my classroom. Most schools have dogs that hang around as school pets. They have generally learned to stay in the yard and not come into the classes. At my school the animals are less pet and more raw animal. I’ve had dogs wander into my classroom and hang out. I’ve had a few dog fights right outside my classroom. Apparently our school yard is occasionally the battle grounds of a doggy-turf-war. I’ve even had the occasional chicken or rooster that will fly in and out of the class.
Where Are All the Kids?
In Thailand they have an amazing, wonderful sense of community. There are many beautiful festivals where the community comes together to celebrate. That sense of community starts in the schools and can result in all levels of community activities that interfere with classes.
- Dance rehearsal
- Play rehearsals
- Hair cut day
- Eyebrow trimming day
- ‘Clean the classrooms’ afternoons
- Plus Many national holidays
There have been a few days where I’ve show up and the kids were’t there and I found them all dancing in the gym. Or half my kindergarteners comes wandering in late, with fresh hairdos courtesy of the Thai teachers.
Yes, salesmen have visited my classroom in the middle of the day. It’s strange but apparently very normal because the Thai teacher welcomed him in and, after a demo, bought the kitchen utensils he was selling. He gave me a demo and I was oddly tempted. He had obviously watched the home shopping channel because he knew to offer all sort of unexpected, “free” bonus gifts with a purchase!!
Are you teaching in Thailand? Share your stories in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!