Primary School1 August 2016
Today marks the official half way through point of the teaching programme. Doesn’t mean we are more adapted to teaching or to the environment. Unfortunately after a weekend of little sleep, we were all a bit under the weather this morning, definitely some more than others. It meant that Kate did her lessons with Hannah and then went back to her room for the rest of the day – kudos to her for even doing the lessons feeling like that.
Today I went with Eilidh to teach with her. She assists teaching G.4-6 with teacher Mook (which means pearl in English). This is because the students in the high school, G.7-12, are sitting their midterms until Wednesday this week. So instead of sitting in the office with nothing to do, Hannah and I decided to help Kate and Eilidh with their teaching. This was particularly useful to Kate as her teacher told her on Friday that she would not be there for this week.
We only had one G.5 and one G.6 class that day, but even without the G.4 class (who are about 10 years younger than my students) it still felt like a very big jump. Admittedly the students were undeniably cute. Despite the students having a few shy moments when I spoke to them, and me not speaking slowly or simply enough, I had a quite a bit of fun in those classes.
It was useful helping with the younger classes because I could then assist and so watch Mook as a teacher and Eilidh (who is studying Primary Education at Edinburgh). This helped as I could see the techniques they used, how they both interacted with the students and helped the students with their work. The G.5 class were creating a poster about a particular country. It included the map, flag, flower and animal of the country, as well as the people and their clothes. They were going to present their posters in their next lesson so I copied Eilidh and went to help with their spelling on the posters and pronunciation for the presentation. In the G.6 class the students were finishing off their posters on occupations and presenting them. The posters varied from doctors, to chefs, models and singers. When helping the students with some words, they became confused because I was saying things differently to Eilidh. Her Edinburgh accent compared to my south-east English accent made some words sound very differently to the students. Mook explained to them and they understood fairly quickly. I think they stuck to saying it the way Eilidh did, which to be honest, was probably for the best.
I also learnt today that I have been saying hello to my class incorrectly. At the beginning of each class in Thailand, the students stand up and say ‘Good Morning teacher, how are you?’ In response you are meant to so ‘I am fine thank you, and you?’ to which they respond ‘I am happy thank you’ or ‘I am okay thank you’ and you then ask the students to sit down. Instead I’ve been saying ‘I am fine thank you, please sit down’. It doesn’t seem like a big thing but after not asking my students how they are for four weeks, I do feel quite mean. So I can say I have learnt at least one thing from working in the primary school.
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