A Letter to My Grandparents

Dear Nanny and Grandad,

Thailand is so different. My classes this semester are huge, (32-34 students) in each one. My section 2 is crazy. They get up and walk out, jump around, ignore me, cry all the time. I had one autistic kid who tried running out, and I had to block him. He broke down crying, because I didn’t love him. I explained to my co-teacher that I worry about their safety when I’m supposed to watch them. She ignored me, and God knows what she told the kid. The next day, I had to spend 5 minutes with him holding on to me and crying for no reason. It was hard to teach. The co-teacher doesn’t do anything and gossips instead of preparing indicators and books, so my kids still don’t have them. I’ve had to turn into a giant dinosaur and yell at the kids. Yes, some cry, but oh well. If Dad heard this he’d tell me my loud bitchy side finally came in handy.

Each time I teach, I find something else wrong with the educational system here. Today, my teacher told me it’s too much writing for the kids. They don’t have beautiful writing, so they shouldn’t be doing it. How are they going to practice or learn? On top of that, we keep getting new kids despite being over the legal limit for the classroom. They let the kid in because the parent is important or pays their way in. We’re not allowed to fail students. The co-teacher undermines us and does the work for the kids. My section one is doing better, but it’s because of hard discipline. I laugh when I discipline my section 2 and my co-teacher complains that they don’t understand. Well, that is why she’s there to help me. Half the kids understand, ¼ don’t, and the last ¼ doesn’t give a crap.

I’m sorry if it seems a lot of my letters are complaining, but I see so much wrong here. They keep wondering why things don’t change or get better. I tell them and they ignore me. That’s the very reason they’re falling behind in education. I want my kids to learn and go further than just the books, but they say it’s too hard. Nothing is too hard. Last semester, I taught my kids contractions in English, and they remembered! It’s not too hard if you actually try and let the kids work. Don’t do it for them.

The kids are being taught the same exact thing all the way up to P6. If that doesn’t tell you something is wrong, I don’t know will. The head of the English MEP department wants us to make changes and some of us do, but my section 2 co-teacher is preventing all of it.

It doesn’t help that my mornings don’t start well. I sweat immediately when I wake up or after a shower. I have heat rashes 24/7 these days, I’m exhausted, irritable, and I just want it to be cold. Even the Thai’s have been sweating lately!

We got several new teachers this semester from all sorts of places. The other Primary 1 teacher was supposed to have her husband come here and teach. He came, but isn’t teaching. What he was told was that there are too many Africans, so he wasn’t hired. Reality… he couldn’t teach the 1 class he was hired for. His wife kept asking people to give up their classes for him. Ultimately, that’s why he didn’t get hired. It’s odd that Thai’s would rather blame race than incompetency.

I keep going back and forth about liking this job. If I taught English speaking students it would be completely different. Some of these kids look at you like you’re the biggest joke. There are those few who make it enjoyable, some even treat you like a mom. One girl, surprisingly, was able to say Samantha. “Th’s” are extremely hard for them, so that’s why I always use Sam.

The Thai teachers have several methods to quiet kids, like counting down from 5. That doesn’t work for me. Today, I’ve restored to the traditional southern “1…2……..” and they respond. They don’t want to see what happens when I get to three. Guess that one’s a keeper.

This semester I can’t keep my mouth shut. Everything I think I say. I called one girl a bitch. It was in regards to drinking, and what we normally say back home, but boy did it feel good to finally call her that. I told another girl she’s not my mom, she’ll never know when I come or leave, so she should get her crap out of my fridge. I told my co-teacher that I don’t care if the kid’s handwriting is pretty, I’m going to make them practice it! I told some people what I thought of the Canadian… “He’s a mysogonistic egotistical asshole who is completely incompetent. They thought I was over exaggerating… not anymore. I’m done with being pushed around here. I’m told which plate I can eat, when and where. How I’m supposed to teach. How I’m supposed to look. How I should stop sweating. How I should work without pay. How I’m incompetent. I’m done… I’m going to raise hell this semester. If I get fired oh well! I’m tired of being nice to mean, fake people. Besides… they all rip us off because we’re white!

I apologize for the rant. Things will hopefully get better soon

Love,
XOXOXOXOXO

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