To learn or not to Learn 3
To learn or not to Learn (Part 3)
Approaching my last days of teaching at the Thai School that I was assigned to, there’s one thing that until keeps coming back into the back of my mind. It was not the act that all the entire 3 weeks of my teaching, they were loud and boisterous; believe you me I myself were literally having a hard time listening to my own voice. Funny thing is, I lost my voice during my first day of my teaching career.
The students will definitely show right in front of your face that they are not that interested in learning about the Language, some of them were just talking with their classmate, some were even roaming around the classroom and some girls were fixing their make-ups (yes, high school students are already allowed to wear make-ups)
The only time that all of them will stop talking all at once when my partner, (which is a Thai teacher0 will scream at the top of her lungs or hit the board with her stick (mind you they use it in hitting the students).
Corporal punishment is very much alive in every school; it’s their way of disciplining their students.
So, after giving them a certain activity I was actually inspecting each and everyone’s work. Correcting and teaching them the correct usage of the sentence structure and of the vocabulary of the day.
In order to get their attention; I used the reward method of teaching. I actually prepared 100 baht and have it in 50 baht each.
I wrote a 3 sentence tongue twister on the board and I asked them to look for a partner. And whoever can read the entire tongue twister properly and correctly I’ll give them 50 baht.
After, giving them several minutes to practice, I roam around finding out how they were doing. Some were really into it and were interested in pronouncing and reading the phrase correctly. I got actually a handful of them most were girls, of course since most of the boys were just goofing around.
While I was doing my inspection, one of my students a 15 year old young girl, wrote something on her finger, at the front of her fingers actually. Then she called me to listen to them, since I gave each of them a chance to practice first before they would go to the front and recite the phrase in unison.
Instead of reciting the phrase she showed me what she wrote on her fingers, I thought it was just something else so, I looked at it and read it.
It spelled “PUCK” and while I was trying to figure out what was it, she keeps on pointing at the word while saying “50 baht teacher, 50 baht”.
It was only then that I realized what she was trying to tell me. I didn’t know what to say right then and there, I looked at her and said to her. “That’s bad, don’t do that” that was the only thing that I could say. She was just 15 years old and there she was offering herself in such a small amount. It was one of the most unforgettable and at the same time heartbreaking realization that happened to me during my 3 weeks stay in that school.
Indeed, I know that they only learn very little during my short stay, but they have indeed taught me a lot about life, about them. It was not I who taught them but it was the other way around, I indeed learned a lot of things in that 3 weeks teaching career.