Thursday, July 11, 2013

It's Midterms Week and Happy Belated 4th from Bangkok

It’s English Midterms Week here at my Bangkok high school, and I have had the busiest, most intensive week of work I’ve had in a long time.  See, I have to write these exams.  I have to compose an instrument that measures not only their performances as students, but in a way, my performance as a teacher.  How well they do on the test reflects on how good a job I’ve done teaching them.   Consequently, I’ve spent a lot of time this week at the school and at home compiling ‘study guides’, documents which condense the last 6 weeks of instruction into a page or two of notes.  I want them to do well.  

There is no worse feeling as a teacher that I’ve experienced than wandering the classroom on test day and watching as the kids sit there squirming, staring at the test page, grabbing their hair in both fists, completely clueless as to how to proceed on the exam.  I was in charge of teaching you.  I wrote the test. It would be wonderfully validating if you would methodically spill out what I’m asking of you.

Doesn’t always work out that way. 

On a recent quiz for my 7th grade ‘Intensive English’ class, I had one kid who didn’t understand the concept of a true or false question.  He summoned me over to explain.  I point to the instructions and said, ‘the answer is true or false’.  He answered one question ‘true’, the second ‘false’ and the last question he answered ‘or’. 

Gave my first midterm today to my 11th graders.  A quick sampling of their results shows that they’re averaging scores with about 80 to 90% correct answers.  Just where it’s supposed to be.  Tomorrow, I test my other 3 intensive English classes.  I hope they do well.

Tonight’s video is still me catching up on the backlog of old footage.  HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY FROM BANGKOK!!!!


  1. Looks like you and Will had quite a fun time for the 4th! The 4th of July doesn't even exist in my town.

  2. Hard to believe you have been teaching for six weeks already. Does someone review your teaching? Will they write a reccomdation for you? Will you apply for your next job before you are finished here? No video shows for me this morning, but I am on the ipad. I'll look again later on the regular computer.

  3. Looked again on the laptop. Looks like you had a nice time with friends. Boy there sure is a lot of junk and garbage in the background on the beginning of your video. Is that typical of the city, or are you living in a run down place? Do they have a lot of homeless people there? What about crime? It would be interesting to read about now that you are more settled.

    1. Ah, that is a small path that is a bit of a shortcut out of my condo building. Not typical of BKK streets at all, nor the streets in my neighborhood. I just happened to be walking by the neighborhood dump. Very few homeless, not much crime.

  4. Apparently (and I speak not from my experience as I don't have it yet) Thais are not the hardest working students in the world. It is tough to teach them and make them study. Some teachers give up really quickly.


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