Wai Kru (Teacher Appreciation) Day

Wai Kru is a day to honour teachers.  Wai, meaning to bow in respect, and Kru, meaning teacher.  Essentially it’s Teacher Appreciation Day, but with much more reverence. The students rehearsed all week, missing my classes, for Thursday’s ceremony.  The irony is not lost on me.  The teachers were asked to wear their Lanna, and we looked very respectable in our traditional Thai dress. The … Continue reading Wai Kru (Teacher Appreciation) Day

All About School

The school is enormous.  6,000 students.  400 teachers.  30 native English-speaking teachers.  It takes 10 minutes to walk from my on-campus apartment to the gate, and another 3 to get to the 7-11. It’s a private school and all students study English.  They get at least on lesson a week with a NES (native English speaker).  Some students pay additional tuition to get five NES classes … Continue reading All About School

New City, New Job, New Rules

This last week in Chiang Mai has been hot.  Really hot.  I’m sweating at 7:30am.  On my scooter the hot air burns my eyes.  The air con oasis quickly evaporates into a slightly less-tropical meeting room. 14 new teachers have spent the last five days in orientation.  Unlike my last post, ALL the teachers have prior teaching experience.  Mostly in Thailand.  I’m excited about working … Continue reading New City, New Job, New Rules

Tales from My Classroom

My 5/10s are a challenge.  5 means Mattayom 5, which means grade 11.  10 means their ranked 10th.  Out of 10.  There’s only a dozen of them but they take the most energy.  The boys like to skip, which makes teaching easier, but then they fail everything.  My co-teacher had to wrangle them to class.  And every class I have a story. The boys finally … Continue reading Tales from My Classroom

English Class – Where Everything is Made Up and the Grades Don’t Matter

My class is as structured as an improv game.  I’m not saying it as a good thing or a bad thing, but just as a fact.  My goal is to teach conversational English (the Thai English teachers focus on grammar and writing).  My textbook provides the topics, but not much in the way of conversation.  There are listening activities on a CD that I can … Continue reading English Class – Where Everything is Made Up and the Grades Don’t Matter

Teachers’ New Year’s Party

The teachers had their own New Year’s party Monday night.  Have I ever mentioned that the foreign teachers never know what’s going on?  I didn’t hear about the party until a few hours before it started.  And at the end of the previous Friday we were told we needed to perform another dance. (I thought it was happening during the day.) 6:00 we all returned … Continue reading Teachers’ New Year’s Party

Woe is my Visa Run – Problems with my Agency

Can you believe that my agency has just blamed me for my visa run failure?  Not only did they blame me, but they lied to my (email) face.  I’m out a lot of money.  And the worst part?  This isn’t the first problem I’ve had with the agency. Part of the reason one would secure a teaching job in Thailand through an agency is that … Continue reading Woe is my Visa Run – Problems with my Agency