So I got through my first day of teaching… and boy what a day it was!!
First shock to the system was the early start, to be at school for 7.30 so had to get up at 6.20am to make sure I was ready, last few days I was getting up at 11/12 due to not being able to sleep at night so when the alarm went off it was quite hard to get out of my bed!!
Walking to the school with Samantha I was unsure as to what to expect… thoughts started running through my head- what if I couldn’t do it? What if I hated it? What if they hated me? ARGH!!
Started off with morning assembly, unlike British schools, Thai schools have an assembly ever morning!
First came the marching band that was bringing the Thai flag to the (outside) assembly, playing the world’s most annoyingly catchy school anthem! (It’s played at quarter to 8 and then again at half 3) then came prayers and at 8 o’clock on the dot the national anthem, followed by the Kings anthem.
Before I knew it Sam and I were up on stage in front of a crowd of 1500 children. “Good morning teacha Jennie” No going back now!!
Luckily I was off first period so I could chill out and get my lesson plan in order ready for my first class. Prathom 1/5 (primary 1, class 5) Unfortunately their building is under renovation so I was put in the assembly hall with at least 6 other classes (with at least 30+ students in each… I am sure you can imagine the noise!) I launched into teacher mode, only to realize my whole lesson plan was going to have to change as the children didn’t have a clue!! Whole lesson was learning the alphabet, with one kid crying in the corner, another practicing drop kicks, one doing cart wheels while another drew circles on a piece of paper. Great start!!
Next class was 1/ 4 and right beside the other class I had just taken…. Couldn’t have been more different!! Starting off with all the children sitting and by the end they were all huddled as close as they could get to me… was a tad difficult to teach 38 students when you can’t even move!! At least the kids were interested and my ball game went down a treat- even if one of the boys bounced it off another boys face!!
Moved onto a classroom next for 2/1… and boy did they restore my faith in my teaching! Got them making name tags using their nicknames-which they LOVED!! (In Thailand all Thai’s have a nickname and they are usually something a bit silly, not 100% sure but something to do with if an evil spirit comes they will not be able to find them if they don’t use their full name, that and their full names are about 30letters long!!) Had a good wee chuckle to myself as the kids started to show and tell me their nicknames…. Big bite (was a wee tubby dude which made it even funnier) fluke, gift, phone, fook, dmax, cartoon, fat and mickey mouse were some of my favourites!
Moved again onto my next lesson this time 3/ 4…. Can only be described as the lesson form HELL!!! Was out in a concrete shack, with one fan, and about 40 children and none of them were remotely interested in what I was doing. I finally got (most of) their attention and set to work teaching “how are you?” Just as I thought I was doing well and getting through to them I turned round to see a boy hanging out the window (before you panic was on the ground floor so don’t worry!) one leg and arm hanging out don’t know if he was just bored or trying to get some fresh air! Next the whole class were in hysterics… leaving me clueless until one wee kid pointed out my grey skirt which had been covered in Chalk from the board (not the crime of the century but they are easily amused!) Finally after one VERY long hour the class was over. “thaaaaank yooou teacha Jennie” phew
Finally I was back over the other side of the building and in classroom for my primary 1 class. So much easier to control when you don’t have another 6 classes to contend with!!
With the School song playing to announce the end of the day…. My first day OVER and I survived!