This was my last week volunteering. I haven’t been this sad in a while.
The school that we taught at this week was a summer school at a facility that nobody had been to before. The kids didn’t have tables, and wrote on the concrete floor. Their notebooks are only a couple pages long and they don’t have any kinds of textbook, as per many of the schools.
Teaching in Thailand has been very different than what we see in the U.S. Children are regularly hit and yelled at here, more similar of the teaching styles of Japan rather than America. There are little to no textbooks at the schools, definitely no computers, and many times children sit on the floor instead of in desks. They are also trained military style to say “good morning teacher” when we walk in and “thank you teacher, goodbye see you later teacher” when we leave. One of the more interesting things is that every time they leave the room, they ask for your permission to get their book, go to the bathroom, or get a drink. They also ask “may I come in please?” every time they are about to reenter the room.
No matter how much you try to establish that you are on the same level as them (after all we are just volunteers and not their actual teacher), they hold you with such high regard. I still don’t know how I feel about that. But I guess that’s the way it’s done in Thailand.