"Thanks and thanks again to Him who offers to the man whom the sorrows of life have assaulted and left naked–offers to him the fig leaf of the Word with which he can cover his wretchedness." -Søren Kierkegaard

New Job

Posted in Day-To-Day by matt on Sunday, June 21, 2009

Having been at Wat Pathumwanaram School (quite a mouthful) for about three weeks now, I thought it’d be good to write a little about my job and to post a few pictures of the school and teachers for you.

I teach 7th, 8th, and 9th graders English on the basis of 14 classes per week; two of those being English clubs. Unlike Chitralada (where I worked last year), this school has a more central location within Bangkok as it is in the ‘downtown’ district of Siam. It’s also only about a 10 or 11 minute walk from our apartment, which is nice.

Also unlike Chitralada, this school is, on average, lower on the socio-economic spectrum. The two teachers I work with explained to me on my first day that many of the kids are ‘slum kids’. I guess the stereotype that goes with a term like ‘slum kids’ would be misbehavior and fighting, but I have really enjoyed teaching these kids over the past few weeks. Obviously they misbehave sometimes (like all kids), but they’re kindhearted and willing to try whatever I throw at them.

But most of them haven’t had the same opportunities many other kids have, so their English is only recently developing. Some of my 7th graders can’t even write their name in English, so teaching them verb tenses is obviously a challenge.

The good news, though, is that a group of specialized English teachers working for the H.E.L.P program are going to be working with my 7th graders to improve their skills in speaking, reading, and writing English. They’re Thai, so they have a big advantage when teaching the more technical aspects of English, and they’ve worked with my 9th graders in the past and it shows. The kids are able to keep up and understand most of what I’m saying.

I was waiting to snap a few pictures for you before I posted this, but my camera is upset with me. I didn’t take it on the honeymoon and it’s jealous of Cayla’s camera, so now it won’t even turn on. I even got angry and threatened to smash it against the wall, but to no avail. The camera is so stubborn.

Anyway, I’ll get some pictures posted one way or another for you. Thanks for reading!

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5 Responses

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  1. Camille said, on Monday, June 22, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    You are living a most interesting life!! You are doing what I always wanted to do–teach in another country. They are lucky to have you. Your fast moving mind will always be ahead of them and therefore, you will have little to no discipline problems. It is a wise teacher who overlooks most actions–these kind of kids just need attention.

  2. Dad said, on Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 9:55 am

    ditto

  3. matt said, on Friday, June 26, 2009 at 5:22 am

    Thanks for the encouragement! I hope I can become wise enough to overlook some of the things my 7th graders do, haha!

    Love you both.

  4. Mom said, on Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Teaching is challenging yet rewarding. I think
    the teacher learns and grows as much as the students.

  5. Dad said, on Monday, June 29, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Matt, I have been teaching your mom for 25+ years and i have learned alot! don’t tell her i said this or she might beat me up!


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