So a couple of weeks ago I had some parents come in to my class. I've had parents visit before but I'd had some advance warning and one of the Thai staff came in to translate as I chatted with them. This time - nothing. So I did the best I could, made some very general off the cuff remarks about the students and asked if they had any questions. One of them did so I answered them and that was that. Later that day I got a talking to by the Head Teacher (Nicole) - apparently one of the parents complained. Of course I have no clue what the actual complaint was having gone from the Thai parent to the Thai staff to Nicole to me. "Wasn't what he was expecting." was the best I got. Grrrrrrr! And I was informed that the parents are invited to come any time we finish a 30 hour course... and apparently I won't get any more forewarning than that.
No problem! I can roll with the punches. So last week my other class finished 30 hours so I knew that the parents would be invited today. I sat down and thought through what I would say to them, had a whole outline done about the grammar we'd covered in the previous course, and what would be covered in the next. I had specific suggestions for what the students could work on and even thought up a couple of generally-specific comments about the students - just BS to make the parents happy.
Today I was setting up the classroom and as my students came in I noticed they were alone "Are your parents coming today?" They looked at me like I was crazy. NOT A SINGLE PARENT SHOWED UP! Gaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!
But I shouldn't complain too much. The classes are actually doing much better than when I first started. Both the classes finally have books that are at more or less the appropriate level. The books are boring but solid, there's a little listening, a little grammar - plenty of busy work in the workbook, and the teachers book even has some ideas for projects. So rather than having to come up with 6 hours of material from scratch each Saturday, now I just have to think up one project or speaking activity or game per class to supplement the book. Which is really not all that bad.
Saturdays are still not my favorite day of the week, but I'm surviving. And in fact I've had a couple cute moments. I've got at least one brown-noser in each class and honestly it's refreshing. Everyone needs at least one sycophant in their life! First up is a portrait of teacher done by Pet #1:
Not sure why they think I have a boyfriend, or why he looks like a frog....they got my hair about right though!
And then today I was telling my students that I was learning to read Thai and wrote a word on the board. I thought I was writing "Giant" but in fact I wrote "Difficult" (both pronounced 'yak'). So Pet #2 wrote a few words on a worksheet. I tried sounding it out - I can read several consonants, but none of the vowels so it's kind of a guessing game. I got "k--kr-" from the first word and then skipped to the second and sounded out "suay!" / "Beautiful" so he told me "khun kru suay" basically "Ms. Teacher is beautiful." =)
So I will admit that it's not all bad. No... it could be a lot worse.
TAG: Code Sweet Chili Sauce.
I still hate kids though.