This week’s question is oddly prescient:
“Hi, ShEvo. Since you both have experience teaching in Thailand, could you give us American teachers some advice on what to expect and how to to approach the mentality of Thai students, parents, and teachers? If you could give examples from specific situations and how you both dealt with them, that would be great!”
Evo teaches digital marketing at a Bangkok learning center that specializes in relevant web skills. Before that, he taught a marketing class at a university. Sheila is the assistant principal at a private Thai school where she also teaches computer classes. That makes us more than qualified to answer the question from our anonymous caller. Here’s what we’ll get into:
- Thai students -- kids or adults -- have much more respect for teachers, and that’s built into the culture. But that works against teachers trying to get students to think independently.
- Parents of Thai students are interesting, because they coordinate as a collective and want their kids to succeed as a part of the collective, often at the detriment to the individual needs of their own child. That takes some getting used to.
- Our fellow teachers are great! Both of us are working with people at the top of their field, all with expanded worldviews, and all enjoying the benefits of teaching abroad in a culture that gives teachers plenty of room to succeed.