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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    BobR's Avatar
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    Useless Thai Assistant Teachers

    I've been at my school 3 years. last year I had 2 great Thai teachers to assist me as the disciplinarians. Unfortunately this year one has left for another school, and the other has been assigned to the lower grades for reasons unknown to me. Now I have 1 Thai teacher who is so lazy she usually shows up 15 minutes into class, and walks in and out without any reason. She is retiring next year and obviously does not care. When the children act up and I look over at her and she's sitting there reading a book. If I ask, she will tell them to be quiet, but that lasts about 5 minutes. The sad thing is, she's the best one. The other one has some kind of emotional problems. She comes to school maybe 70% of the time, sometimes in tears. (depression I think). When she's in class, she'll sit there is a daze while the children run wild, then sudenly explode and start hitting them with a stick and screaming at them. The older children (P6) actually laugh at her. I feel complaining to the principle is starting a battle I cannot win, and the school probably knows how useless these 2 are, which is why they are being used for classroom monitors.
    It does not surprise me that in a country where 30-40% of adult car and motorcycle drivers think it is OK to drive on the far edge of the wrong side of a divided highway instead of going around the block, you will have disciplinary problems in the schools, but this is reaching the level of making any effort to teach useless. Any ideas? Like I said, we have a good Principal, but starting a pissing match with the Thai teachers seems like I'm starting a battle I can;t win, no matter how right I am. Thank you in advance for any constructive suggestions.
    Last edited by BobR; 19-09-2009 at 10:10 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
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    Oh I want to be a teacher .... NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. #3
    I am in Jail

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    MAIPENRAI

  4. #4
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    You have worked wit AA then?

  5. #5
    Tiger Bay CharleyFarley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobR
    I feel complaining to the principle is starting a battle
    Last edited by BobR : Yesterday at 10:10 PM. Reason: spelling

    God help us

  6. #6
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    Sorry, Bob, but as you so eloquently said above, .

    Managing "assistant teachers" can be a chore on par with teaching a class. Why not drop the assistant and figure out an effective method of controlling the class? Figure out a system (something simple- anything complicated is mostly useless), make sure the kids understand it, and then follow it consistently. It takes some time but it can be done. P6, if that's what you're teaching, are young enough that they'll respond to games and other fun things. I found that it works best when you teach the same kids year after year, meaning you'd teach them as M1s next year. However, even if you don't do this, you can still manage the class for a year. It depends on a lot of different things, how often you see the kids a week, etc., but it's better to have something like that you can do because it doesn't seem like your assistant teachers are doing much assisting.

    In my experience, the assistants resented having to be in my classroom in the first place. They were supposed to be on break and they were forced to come in and help me do my job. The fact that I was being paid much more than them did not sweeten the deal.

  7. #7
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    Fuck being scared. Of upsetting them. Document their lateness, number of times they read a book, use a phone, sleep, walk out, scream n hit kids etc. After a week or a month give it to the prinicpal and he'll have to do something about it

  8. #8
    Member theudonshawn's Avatar
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    Speak Thai fluently and be a teacher... not a trainer. I don't need a Thai teacher for discipline... Although I don't have an American teacher's license or a masters degree in teaching... I'm well read in the required reading and reflective about my teaching experience. I apply the lessons I've learned about classroom management and student development in Thai and give my lessons in English. Much the same as my foreign language teachers in America did when teaching me French, Spanish and Japanese.

    In my limited experience (I won't argue it... I'll defer to anybody who wants to disagree with me... you fish on your side, I'll fish on my side) I've found that being able to communicate with them in their native language has made me quite successful. I actually get Thai teachers of other subjects than English who engage me in conversation about discipline and classroom management. Really you could try mastering the Thai language and applying the same kinds of discipline you got when you were in school. It works. Once the kids know that you aren't just a Mr. Bean Farang... it doesn't take much to whip them into shape and motivate them.

    for example: I use Thai to explain my audio-lingual teaching methodology to them. (even the Anuban youngsters) I ask them questions when they can't remember something from a previous lesson... "Why don't you remember?" I say to them. My seasoned students can answer (in english and in thai) "We need more practice sir." I also use Thai to explain to them that if we work really hard now, for about 15 minutes, we can play a game afterwords. Or, if they work hard and keep their noses clean... we'll watch a cartoon on Friday. If you speak Thai you have a whole new set of tools to use. Real tools... the same kind of tools your teachers used back when you were a student.

    It works for me. I get a lot of criticism for speaking Thai to the students... but I see a great irony in that at my better respected American schools, when I learned a foreign language, lots of the instruction on grammar and all of the real "teaching" was done in my native language. I seriously believe that the push for no native language communication with the students is based on either bad or irrelevant science (1st language acquisition and ESL acquisition are useless in EFL environments) or socio-economic greed/lazy-reasons...

    I've said too much... you get my point. As simply a native speaker, you are a trainer, but youngsters need a teacher. Beginners need things laid out for them as simply as possible. There is nothing more simple than native language explanations. And nothing more useful than teaching in the same manner you received when you were in school

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat
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    Makes sense.

  10. #10
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    Experience is the best teacher

    Every successful teacher develops their own teaching style and unless you are a born genius at the craft it takes about 7 to 8 years. You need that much time to find out what works and what doesn't. I don't like aides in my classroom, they are a distraction. If you must have them, keep them busy doing paper work, filing, cleaning, doing errands.
    Teaching style: Example. I'm a sub teacher with 33 years of teaching experience.
    We were studying Buddist customs. An Amerad student got up and left the room without permission. When he came back in, I asked him to come back in and bow to me, which he did. Of course others wanted to come back in the room and bow to me. It was hillarious.'
    Stay relaxed, step back and deep breathe when you need to reorient the learning process, and for reinforcement, talk in a softer tone. Nothing fears the students more than your silence, and above all have fun.

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