Teaching in the US vs. Teaching in Thailand

Authored by:
Alexandra S.

Alexandra S.

 

As someone with teaching experience and certifcation in the United States, I came to Thailand thinking that I would be fairly prepared. And... I could not have been more wrong!!! 

This blog post lays out ways to be prepared for how teaching in Thailand is different than teaching in the United States.

Don't be shocked and don't think its a reflection on your classroom management skills.. Thai children never stop talking. It's simply just part of the school culture so don't be too overwhelmed or take it personally when they dont stop talking. Part of it is that they are just SO excited to see you everyday.​​

I think that another reason why the students talk so much is becuase the behavioral methods are not postive, but negative. Expect to see Thai teachers hitting, shaming and grabbing the students. It's horrible to watch but this gives you the oppportunity to provide a safe environment for the students and let them know that you are an adult they can trust. That is something that will stick with them and make a big difference. 

School administration is less organized. Be prepared for paperwork, schedules and answers to take longer than they would a work enviornment in the United States. 

We don't wear shoes in school! It's actually totally awesome!! 

There is a lack of resources, from paper to running water. Just be patient and flexible. This is the price we have to pay for getting to live in this beautiful, tropical country. But use this challenge as a way to become more creative. 

Thai children are very affectionate, especially when they see someone who looks different. If you are a girl, they will likely love to play with your hair becuase it "looks like Elsa's hair" from Frozen. They are super cute and full of love. 

Thai teachers are very social and integrating  into the community i​​s easier because of that! My coordinator (who is also my boss) takes me to travel on the weekends and we have a great time!! 

Teaching is hard in the United States, just remember that when you're frustrated or stressed because now you're working a difficult job in a harder enviornment.

There is way more prep time built into my teaching schedule here!! I always feel like I have enough time to grade, lesson plan and set up my classroom. 

The schools love parades and parties!! 

 

This is a Christmas party at my school! Everyone dressed up and we all exchanged presents! 

Be prepared to be unprepared and expect the unexpected. This is an adventure with challenges, lessons and growth. But despite the language barriers, you're going to build incredile relationships at your school.  Enjoy this wonderful job and your students. They will change your life just as much as you change their lives. 

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