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  1. #1
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    Stupid Stuff You've Seen At School - By Foreign Teachers

    Over the course of my 17 years of teaching in Thailand, I've seen many displays of ignorance and just general stupidity by my fellow foreign teachers while at school.

    I'll start with my most recent and probably one of my most favorites.

    I worked with a middle aged black man that made every effort to remind everyone around him he was black. The foreign teachers routine was to drop our bags off in the office first thing in the morning and then go downstairs for assembly. I always wanted to fuck with him by putting up the Confederate flag on my desk, but seriously couldn't be bothered.

    This teacher shows up in the office one morning, drops off his bag with his shirt untucked (meaning he's already walked through the school looking like shit) drops off his bag and myself, him and another male teacher go to the elevator to go down for assembly. While waiting for the elevator to arrive, I pointedly look down his shirt and remind him we're going out in public.

    About that time the elevator arrives. We jump in, he unbuckles his belt and pants and starts arranging his shirt. Of course, the elevator stops at the next floor down, where an older female Thai teacher gets on. She sees him tucking his shirt in the front of his pants and gives a gasp.

    It was all I could do not to laugh. When we got to the ground floor, the other teacher got me aside and told me I'd be getting a phone call from the agencies management. Sure enough, I get told to remind an adult male that he should have his shirt tucked in and be presentable before he arrives on campus.
    "I was a good student. I comprehend very well, OK, better than I think almost anybody," - President Trump comparing his legal knowledge to a Federal judge.

  2. #2
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topper View Post
    I get told to remind an adult male that he should have his shirt tucked in and be presentable before he arrives on campus.
    As it should be!

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat TheRealKW's Avatar
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    a colleague in Malaysia ust shared this frustration with me.

    “Just been informed that one of my teachers is planning a trip to Langkawi next week. During the school term! You can imagine what my email to him has just said!

    I am gobsmacked! Imagine a parent saw him at the hotel.

    Never mind anything else like us needing him to be on standby to come in to support the additional classes that join us. Not even sure he checked to see if the hotel internet would support his online lessons!”

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    Thailand Expat armstrong's Avatar
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    We had a few teachers ask if they could do the online lockdown classes from Phuket etc

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by armstrong View Post
    We had a few teachers ask if they could do the online lockdown classes from Phuket etc
    How would anyone know?

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    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    How would anyone know?
    Naked hookers on the bed?

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    With the older teachers, I mean 60 plus, the dress code seemed a challenge. Three schools, all the same: shirt with a collar, could be a polo, tucked into the trousers. Closed toe shoes, no sandals. Simples.

    One problem for the fatties was getting a shirt to stay in the trousers without exposing the belly. One guy had particular trouble because tucking the shirt in exposed the safety pin holding his trousers closed.

    The most memorable character was a Brit, born and raised in Birmingham. He did not have a typical Brummie accent but all the Thai teachers and students found it extremely difficult to understand him. Which is a problem for an English teacher. He has a Thai teacher wife and two children, had been teaching about 10 years and spoke no Thai. He really was a curious personality and gave us a giggle most days. He had a clear sense of superiority so didn't find it necessary to communicate with lesser mortals. Also, whilst intelligent, he seemed unable to process more than one idea at a time. He could walk or chew gum. So one afternoon in the office the large sliding window was open and it was a bit warm. Muttering about being hot, no consultation, he walked over to the aircon control beside the large open window, turned it on and returned to his seat. Everyone else is watching, then giggling. Eventually the boss suggested to him that he shut the window. Sounds less funny written down but all present remember this example of his odd behaviour. Eventually the boss found him a different office and it was an easy sell telling him this was a 'special' place.

    He had about 500 students and didn't want to use the pink book registers. "I have my own platform." He would tell anybody who asked. So he input all the students' numbers into his 'platform' and gave and marked a worksheet for every lesson. He had mountains of worksheets and sometimes you had to walk deep into his office to know if he was there or not. Now, those familiar with government schools know that students rarely use their long student numbers, they always write their two-digit class numbers. Which would be fine except that these numbers get changed when students come or go. So by mid-year he is scoring student number 9 who is by now student number 10, and so on down the list. (Ten years teaching and he didn't know this?) Come final exam time he suddenly twigs that many students' numbers on test papers do not map against the class numbers on his 'platform'. He cannot read the Thai names so he cannot fix it. He told me many times that there was no logic to the class lists, no order at all. He was wrong about this, it is Thai logic, names in Thai alphabetical order, it can get confusing. In the end he left without being able to submit all the data from his hard work. A Thai teacher just scored them all as passing.

    One day there was a big farewell lunch for young Thai teachers moving onwards and upwards. Typical communication, the boss tells me we are going to lunch, now, get in my car. Superteacher was busy behind his worksheet mountain and being unaware of other people or perhaps just disinterested in them he didn't notice the exodus. He arrived at the restaurant about 15 minutes later with a Thai teacher who had evidently taken pity. Everyone is eating and he is invited to take a seat but he refuses. Hands on hips he announces "In my culture it is very rude to start eating before everyone is present." There was a short silence and then everyone got stuck back into the lunch whilst he kept his pose in the corner. A colleague and I joked about what part of Birmingham had any culture at all. There was a group photo, there always is but this one was blown up to poster size and remains today on the office wall. I laughed every time I looked at it, Superteacher on one hend, hands still on hips, glowering at the camera.

  8. #8
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    ^ classic

    Another one for me was tattoo guy....

    I'm relatively new at the school, I started at the beginning of the second semester. At the end of the term, all the foreign teachers moved on to bigger and better jobs, except moi.

    Start of the next school year brings in a fresh crop of teachers. One of the guys apparently has "fresh ink" that he wants to display to the world on his forearms.

    A Thai teacher politely reminds him that he needs to wear long sleeves and to ensure his tats are covered while at school.

    Of course, he keeps his sleeves rolled up because it's hot. He's reminded by the Thai staff again, no visible tattoos.

    And of course, he refuses and continues the display his "tribal" tattoos.

    I'm asked to intervene by the Thai staff and explain to him the school rules about tattoos, thinking that if the message comes from a foreigner, it will be easier to grasp such a complex topic.

    At this point, I figured why not have some fun. As I reflect on this, it reminds me of my ignorance of Thai culture as well.

    Anyways, I've decided to have some fun. After all, the guy's been warned several times and hasn't taken the fact on board it's a serious thing.

    Our conversation went something like this....

    Me: Dude, you need to cover your tats or they're going to fire you.
    FW: No they won't, they need teachers.
    Me: Several senior teachers have suggested strongly you cover yourself. When you don't take their advice, you're both insulting them and defying their authority.
    FW: Are they going to fire me?
    Me: Why do you think they asked me to talk with you?
    FW: They can't fire me because of my tattoos.
    Me: You're on probation. They can fire you for literally anything.
    FW: It's not right! (at this point he's shouting), which only inspires me to bait him into continuing to display his tats.

    At the end of the first month, he was fired.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat TheRealKW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topper View Post
    FW: It's not right! (at this point he's shouting), which only inspires me to bait him into continuing to display his tats.


  10. #10
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    Now, young teachers. We all know that in many schools your training and abilities count for little next to a young, vibrant, good-looking backpacker. Or, in this part of the Notheast, young American students on one-year teaching/vacation sojourns. There are 2 organisations I know of operating around here who take money mainly from recent US college graduates, give them a vague idea about teaching and find them a place at a government school.

    To be fair, the enthusiastic ones get good engagement with the students and it can work out very well. Not in all cases.

    I wasn't witness to the young Brit whose departure created the vacancy which became my first job. Students had pictures of him passed out in the street. The students thought it was amusing, the teachers didn't.

    Then I worked with American students. A couple were okay, most only understood that they had paid for a year's vacation. At least 3 of them did the same thing, just took time off to visit full moon parties or the like, typically without telling anyone. They'd just disappear for a week leaving classes with no teacher.

    The most memorable was a good-looking young American guy who was also my neighbour. Nice as pie when sober but a classic drunk. Often he'd have a couple of beers with dinner and then about 9pm the door would slam, the motorcycle rev and he'd return with a bottle of Black Label. The walls were thin, his shouted midnight calls with people in the US were tedious.

    It turned out that his mother paid him, mainly to keep him out of the US where he had burned up the patience of every family member. So at times he would call his mother and demand money. Having seen him earlier with a new bottle of Black Label he would scream at his mother, telling her he had no money for food and was starving. The worst was when he called her a 'f*ing c*nt', his own mother.

    He did many bizarre things. Sometimes his motorcycle was abandoned where he had fallen off it the night before.

    There was a club in town, the only place that opened late and I never went there because quite a few students frequented the place. Outside the club was a sort of balcony where my friend watched this young man, supported by the wall, getting a blow job from an American girl who was on the same program at another school. One witness to this was a Thai girl who thought she was his girlfriend because he had recently penetrated her every orifice.

    Only the highest standards in public office.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    It turned out that his mother paid him, mainly to keep him out of the US where he had burned up the patience of every family member. So at times he would call his mother and demand money. Having seen him earlier with a new bottle of Black Label he would scream at his mother, telling her he had no money for food and was starving. The worst was when he called her a 'f*ing c*nt', his own mother.
    So you know FaRT?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    The most memorable character was a Brit, born and raised in Birmingham.

    Well as the head MOD doesn't seem to want to say it i will. TD does not wish to get embroiled in libel cases so posters need to be careful what detail they post on here - even thick brummie wankers can see who you are alluding to.

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    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NamPikToot View Post
    Well as the head MOD doesn't seem to want to say it i will. TD does not wish to get embroiled in libel cases so posters need to be careful what detail they post on here - even thick brummie wankers can see who you are alluding to.
    Oh look, people sharing real life experience on a thread, but then along comes a dim alcoholic squaddie trying to turn it into a shitfest.

    A dim alcoholic squaddie who also regularly posts bemoaning how people no longer share their real life experiences on the forum like they used to...

    What an utterly pathetic hypocrite you are.

  14. #14
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    morning Syb, whilst i cannot share teaching experiences i'm sure you have many 3rd person anecdotes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NamPikToot View Post
    Well as the head MOD doesn't seem to want to say it i will. TD does not wish to get embroiled in libel cases so posters need to be careful what detail they post on here - even thick brummie wankers can see who you are alluding to.
    Not my intention to make anyone identifiable and of course the truth cannot be libellous.
    However your point is taken and if Mods wish to delete then that is their call.

  16. #16
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    ^ only joshing Shu. Some Brummies have no sense of humour, its a known fact since Arjan days and before, 56 years in fact.

  17. #17
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NamPikToot View Post
    ^ only joshing Shu. Some Brummies have no sense of humour
    Yeah, it was a real zinger now I've read it again.

    It's the way you tell 'em.


  18. #18
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    Syb, its a lighthearted thread - joshing is part of it - get over yourself i'm sure head MOD Topper will delete any posts he feels aren't warranted































































    #17 Tops

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat TheRealKW's Avatar
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    Population Birmingham. 1.086 million

    I think we're safe.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topper View Post

    I worked with a middle aged black man that made every effort to remind everyone around him he was black. The foreign teachers routine was to drop our bags off in the office first thing in the morning and then go downstairs for assembly. I always wanted to fuck with him by putting up the Confederate flag on my desk, but seriously couldn't be bothered.

    .
    Dude. Did not think you were that guy.

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    As surprising as it may seem, Mongolia has been an oasis of sanity on that front. Decent school, fair management and plenty of PD opportunities help attract a good bunch, I guess.

    Myanmar attracted some characters for sure, but to be fair management were a very temperamental bunch and it was not hard to upset them in someway. My coffee consumption bothered them for some daft reason, despite never drinking it in the classroom or in front of kids. Oh boy, where to start with Thailand! Notable examples:

    Mrs Hipster (aka the girl with the owl tattoo): One day she decided that she would get a tattoo to symbolize her love for teaching (nothing wrong with that mind, people get tatts for all reasons.) Alas, the placement on her neck was not really that well thought out. She also yelled at me for not eating Thai food often enough. Odd character for sure.

    The Giant: This guy interviewed in full traditional Thai dress. Within his first week he got in a fight with a taxi driver on campus. got drunk and took a dip in rancid Klong Si, tried to barfine a noodle vendor and told a parent that their daughter would be a good gogo dancer one day. That last one got him fired on the spot, as it should have! That should have been the end of it, but he hung around the area for weeks being a drunken pest. In the end another fight led to the police getting involved and him having to pay a fine not to get deported. Luckily he left the area within hours of payment.

    Honduras- long time ago, don't really remember, I was only 18 so probably made many cultural faux pas myself. My lessons sucked for sure, which is no surprise as a 24 hour TEFL is hardly going to prepare you for shit.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...in my 3 years at a Thai uni: a degree fraud, several incompetent morons, a plagiarist, a number of manipulating swine and...oh...this thread is about foreigners? Mostly a solid group that kept the department functioning efficiently and at a reasonable educational standard...

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    Thanks for opening up Tom.

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    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...happy to help...

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