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No other outlet to air.

Discussion in 'Staffroom' started by bahn_farang, 24 Jan 2017.

  1. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    So here goes. Still in the less than zero point of mind.

    Some people came to the school today, very important by all accounts.

    The end result was that although no doubt a satisfactory score will be received from the central authorities, nothing has been improved nor will it.

    Was able to eavesdrop the conversation.

    ......" You should use exit slips" ...
    ....." You should use mini boards to seek an awareness of who gets it"
    ....." You should use traffic lights to see who gets it"

    the thoughts of no sh1t sherlock came to mind. Have been doing it as routine for like 3 years.

    At what point does someone who started out as as a backpacker teacher, who then submerged himself in self improvement get to have a voice in the Thai education system? The results are in.... Never.

    Feeling so so low for the future of education in Thailand. Thai kids (my kids) need better than this!

    Thanks for reading now time to move on
     
  2. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    You seem to have a hard time, but that will soon be over and you'll see the light again, don't worry. The light is still there, you just don't see it right now.

    I've just received the news from good old Germany that a very good friend has passed and I can't just fly back to say goodbye to him.

    BTW, I also went through rough waters here but i somehow found a way to bypass all the cliffs and icebergs.

    But it's not just Snack who had to go, being only 58. Unfortunately, quite a few others have died. Solo, for example, who was so happy that his wife could fight a very serious cancer and got back on her feet.

    But not long and Solo, her husband had a heart attack and died right after his 57th birthday. But these two weren't the only ones who had to go and I figured something out.

    Please don't see the little things as a huge problem. Please sleep over it a night, or two and you'll find a solution, or you'll start to see it from a different point of view.

    I had my own hard time where I couldn't see any light at the end of the tunnel. But I'll quit my job as I said and I know that there'll be something new.

    And the new part in my life can hardly be as bad as the place where I'm trying to be a teacher now. I'm finally only fighting with windmills and I have to deal with arrogant, ignorant and corrupt people only.

    I'm basically just a babysitter who's fighting with a bureaucracy that I'd never ever experienced in my entire life. And nobody seems to give a shit about the EP which I started to set up and I've really lost a lot of tears and energy over it.

    Nobody is even listening to my ideas to save the program and to make it to a better one, with teachers who do speak English and not some marionettes who pretend to be good at what they are doing.

    I've got nobody I can talk to, which might explain my sometimes very long posts. I've got the solutions how to change certain things to keep the programme alive, but it doesn't seem to be of interest to anybody. Only the money the parents pay is important.

    Now it's time for me to take my hat and leave the place and I will not turn around and look back when I'm leaving the main gate for the last time. I will stop caring very soon because I know that I can't run three classrooms alone.

    The victims are again the kids and please, believe me, there are plenty of such schools in this country.
    I'd tell friends not to send their kids to this school, but I haven't got any parents as friends.

    I've realized that just talking about something doesn't change anything. It's over now to deal with things I can't see anymore and that's a great feeling. Life goes on.........

    BF, please try to understand how hard I got hit within the last two days, where I also had to realize that I can't change anything of it. It's called life and life sometimes sucks. Excuse my language, please.

    Your kids still got you and if the quality of their education is really that bad, please go to see the director after sampling some stuff you can use as a weapon against the guy(s) you believe shouldn't educate your kids.

    They can be happy to have a caring father, others don't give a flying one about their kids. And you should be happy to have healthy kids.

    I could tell you some other stories, but I won't. Life is a constant up and down of feelings, emotions, having more, or less money. But life's a gift.

    So please don't stick your head in the sand and wait until somebody pulls you out.

    Have a good one. Cheers-:bye
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2017
  3. Hey_ewe

    Hey_ewe Well-Known Member

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    There can be times when the problems seem insurmountable. Especially towards the end of term.

    The vast majority of the system is only interested in making things appear, very superficially, as though things are improving. The Thai mindset is generally very willing to accept any lie that is sold to them, it's somehow easier to just accept it and move on, rather than actually challenge anything. Any real advances in the education system or any other system, involves confronting some uncomfortable home truths, which are already widely known. It's far easier to just smile put it to the back of your mind and pretend like nothing is wrong.

    I know many people who have moved back to their home countries for the sake of their children's education.
     
  4. OxfordDon

    OxfordDon Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you need a good break to put it all into perspective.

    UK: I haven't been back to the UK much in the last 25 years, but the few times I have it seemed that parents were getting more and more paranoid about their kids getting kidnapped by perverts, more and more stressed about their kids' futures and about the higher mortgage payments needed to live in catchment areas for good schools; competition is so fierce now, kids are often doing 5 "A" levels instead of the 3 we used to do; and that's just the tip of the iceberg. I read a BBC report a couple of days ago that the level of literacy for university entrants is now substantially lower than for my generation.

    Thailand: There are good government schools and bad here. It's perfectly possible for a bright working class student to get a scholarship to a good university. The kids that I know well are well-adjusted and happy, they live carefree lives and most do well academically.

    Oh, a parting question: the conversation you eavesdropped (presumably between Thais in a government school) was in English? Really?
     
  5. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    in my dreams yes, but sadly this conversation was in Thai save for "eggsit salip"

    a trip to the Uk booked and paid for for March/April this year so I will most definitely be keeping notes of all the pros and cons of the UK.

    Right now it just feels like I am in a huge trap. Staying in Thailand and relocating to the UK is a huge decision which will change so so much so the weight of this responsibility is weighing on me. I have in the recent past spoken up for Thailand, but with the debate and recent events, it really is coming an agonisingly close decision between staying and going.

    Thanks to all for the advice, and I hope the advice given has been useful to others as much as it has been for myself.
     
  6. OxfordDon

    OxfordDon Well-Known Member

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    I think it was hey_ewe on another thread who said that a foreign teacher whose only income is from teaching in Thailand is unlikely to be able to meet the financial requirements to retire here.

    I had never thought about it from that perspective before, but it's true. So a foreign teacher in that position who remains in Thailand would be separated from his/her kids when s/he retires anyway. Now that is a scary thought!

    If you are expecting a largish inheritance you have more options, but we will always be foreigners in Thailand. Personally I don't mind that, I've been globetrotting so long it's normal for me; actually I like it, I hate it when things get too cosy!

    The grass is always greener, even if it's the green, green grass of home, but it was only a while ago that UK teachers were up in arms about Gove's policies.

    Best of luck with your decision-making.
     
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  7. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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    Yo Yo!

    As I said before, money isn't everything, but it certainly helps. It really does, especially if you have a family to raise.

    Just because I don't presently live in Thailand, doesn't mean I can't relate. I lived in a system I disliked when I was in the Korean public schools. I felt like I was not getting anywhere, and felt way too educated to be part of a system that didn't want to change. Teaching rote learning wasn't for me, and I couldn't see that changing anytime soon (after three years). It was a big thing for me to leave as I had went back the fourth time after a year stint in the middle east. To make the change to China was a big leap for me (plus a bit of a pay cut). You risk you grow.

    I believe we have to change/grow and learn new things or we become stagnate. I really think believe that. For all the negatives, I will take from my last three years in Beijing, there have been just as many positives. But, the time has come to move on.

    My little story, comes down to ... Move up and on. Don't look back, just move forward is my advice. Best of luck really. Most people are afraid and hence they don't get to do and see as much as people who are willing to risk the unknown. :)
     
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  8. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    The issue comes down to money, in essence anyway. I have a comfortable income flow and plans for the future passive income which would be needed in my retirement. Yet the previous sentence was a focus on myself. For my children, the location where we are financially stable does not provide them with the education necessary for their own long term stability and growth.
     
  9. OxfordDon

    OxfordDon Well-Known Member

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    This is probably where I would disagree with you. I see Thailand as overall on balance a better environment for children than the UK and many other western countries. In both cases of course it depends a lot on the family and where you live. Children can get a good or bad education in both places. But the level of background violence and fear is much higher in the west; the former can be verified by statistics, the latter is just my own opinion.

    I know that 90% of people here will disagree with me and that's ok with me.

    Many foreigners fail to plan properly when they come to Thailand, or they get involved in relationships that don't work (just like they did back home), or they are acutely under-financed, or they have completely unrealistic expectations, and this accounts for most of their angst.

    For TEFLers in general, imho Thailand is a great place if you are young and looking for experience, or "retired" (ie over 50 in Thailand) and have made your money already.

    For those people in the middle, in their "high-earning" years, Thailand is generally not the place to be imho. But there are exceptions, and happily a few of them are on this forum.
     
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  10. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    I must be one of the 10 % then. Thanks for the eye opener, it seems that humans are made to forget the negative things they’ve experienced in their lives and only remember the good points of a country, relationships, and any other negative influence somebody, or something had on them.

    This is not coming from a book, it’s my own life experience and I’m always trying to remember the negative aspects of something as well before doing anything that would drastically change my life, well not only mine, also the lives of my wife and our son. And of course, any other people who might be involved.

    BF, please think about racism in your own country where a lot of people would call your wife a Paki, or similar. The UK and any other country in Europe suffer of huge financial problems, renting a flat in a city can cost a fortune and when you want to eat out, it’s not possible for one quit.

    Angst is something that we all experience from time to time and living in a foreign Asian country can easily make life to something that’s causing a lot of problems. When I look around me there are not too many functioning foreigner/ Thai relationships, pretty similar to our countries.

    Love is something we can’t buy with money and it comes and easily goes away, then hate replaces love and having kids makes all a lot more complicated. Men are always the ones who’ve to pay a lot of cash when a relationship goes down the drain.

    As already mentioned, you are not the only one who’s asking himself a lot of questions. A lot of foreigners in Thailand experience psychological issues after the “holiday period” is gone and money and future plans become a real issue.

    Education in Europe for your kids who were born in Thailand can really become very difficult in a multicultural community that doesn’t really work out well. Happy kids in Thailand, or unhappy kids in Europe? The problem is that you won’t know it before.

    There’s no perfect country in this world, no perfect educational system and there are no prefect people. Nothing is for sure and life can be very sad and boring, even with millions of pounds. Life isn’t really about money. Having some good friends and a functioning relationship is a lot.

    I think a little midlife crisis can’t be that bad if it helps to see things as they really are.
     
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  11. Hey_ewe

    Hey_ewe Well-Known Member

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    The UK education is in a bit of state but that's down to the fact that successive governments have sneakily privatised it over the last 10 years or so. One thing has just about managed to remain, is the fact that the vast majority of teachers in UK government schools are highly trained and dedicated to their profession. As much as they might be totally at odds with the various schemes the government has introduces, they are still excellent, committed teachers, for the most part.

    There are some great Thai government school teachers but lets be honest they are few and far between. If you have access to a great government school in Thailand, then you are very lucky. Far too many teachers are lazy, corrupt, violent, poorly trained with very narrow views of the world and to be quite frank a large proportion of them are thick as sh!t. Many schools serve only as to reinforce the students place in the pecking order. The rich Thai Chinese students get the better Thai teachers and foreign teachers, the best facilities and the poor dark skinned kids get a chalkboard and a fan with 60 in a class. It can be a giant brainwashing factory where the students are taught to know their place, Pee/Nong, masterclasses in cheating, corruption and doing things purely for the sake of appearances.

    All of that said its still not an easy choice. Life here is good. Each country has its problems but I love them both. For the sake of being close to family, I'd like to be in the UK but it's not just a decision for me. The cost of living can be higher but if you're a tight arse then you can live very cheaply. A lot depends on what kind of work you can do in the UK. If you can earn a decent salary, whilst making some decent pension contributions then it's perhaps worthwhile.

    If you want your children to do well academically, then I'd suggest that the UK makes much more sense. The primary and secondary education system in the UK is in a bit of transition and morale isn't great but it's still light years away from being in the same state as the Thai basic education system.

    When it comes to tertiary and university level the picture is the same. Thai universities produce incompetent graduates. So you might think that they could go to a UK university when they are old enough. They will charge international fees, unless you've been living in the UK for about 6 years (I believe) and they won't have access to student finance.

    I don't know if your other half has been to the UK before but her reaction will be an important factor, some Thai people will love it others might homesick very quickly because they can't get somtam! Thai people, generally speaking, aren't the worlds best travelers, so make sure you take a load of Thai food with you. =D
     
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  12. OxfordDon

    OxfordDon Well-Known Member

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    Fair comment, but would you say that westerners travel better than Thais? A survey of the expat forums in Thailand would suggest not... the number of column inches dedicated to finding the best burger would fill the British museum, and don't get me started on Marmite!
     
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  13. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    A fantastic post and so true. I haven't met a lot of well educated teachers in my time in Thailand.

    But I've seen a lot of brutal, arrogant, ignorant and brainless teachers, who're using bamboo sticks and other things to hit the kids. If they're really upset, their bare hands hit them with full force on their heads.

    But you can't talk about it because it doesn't exist. Thais don't do that. What do you do, Khun Kruu?

    Bamboo_001.png
     
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  14. Hey_ewe

    Hey_ewe Well-Known Member

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    We all get cravings for foods from home. I love Western food and Thai food and there's plenty of both around me, possibly a bit too much! =D

    What I meant, and I'm speaking generally here, is that most of the Thai people I've traveled with, only want to travel for short periods and are quite keen to get back to what they know, once they've had a photo taken in front of something. This is even true on trips within Thailand, 10 hour road trip to spend a few hours somewhere and then head home. They just haven't quite got the knack of travelling yet but it's still a relatively new concept in Thailand for most people.

    Westerners are, in my opinion, more likely to have an adventurous spirit than the average Thai person. This is just a cultural thing that is more pronounced in the rural provinces and is less pronounced in native Bangkokians, who have been exposed to a wider range of cultures. This is also something that is gradually changing, as disposable incomes rise amongst the middle class and hi so Thais. Those who do travel for leisure, tend to fit a lot into a very short space of time for example a tour France, Belgium, Switzerland in 5 days.

    There are a definitely a large number of expats who divide their time between moaning about their home countries and moaning about Thailand.


    p.s. I'm well stocked for marmite!! =D
     
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  15. OxfordDon

    OxfordDon Well-Known Member

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    I can see a lot of your points, but I do think you tend to make sweeping generalisations based on your own experience. If Thais made the same generalisations about westerners based on such limited exposure (and some do), they would rightly be called racist.

    Personally, I have never never ever craved food from "home" in all my decades of wandering, though I do often need a change from Thai food, and I do have some Marmite in the fridge at the moment!

    Westerners have an "adventurous sprit"... hmm... did you read the BBC article about east and west that I posted last weekend? Maybe it's dissatisfaction with their home countries rather than adventurousness? I'm not saying it is, but it's definitely worth considering. The great British Empire was founded initially on competition with Spain, then Holland, then etc etc, and geographical factors (an island nation) which led to the biggest fleet the world has ever seen, at least as much as on a sense of adventure.

    I have a few close Thai friends, they have lived in various countries, they are highly educated, and successful, and fluent in English; they are not Bangkokians; they don't fit in any way the stereotypes I read about on expat forums. I have a large number of not-so-close Thai friends. I have no expat friends.

    To be honest, I find the patronising attitude expressed by so many foreign teachers towards Thailand hard to believe, particularly as almost none of them are actually qualified to teach here, and exist from one waiver to the next.

    Please take this in the manner it's intended, as the presentation of a different point of view, not as a personal attack.
     
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