It’s taken me more than a year and a half to recover!
When I returned from the CELTA training course I found my brain had changed. I seem to flip between data driven thinking and artistic thinking and often cannot find a good balance. The training was very linear and intensive (as it should be) and on reflection now, some 18 months later, was easier to complete than I imagined beforehand and during. The pressure to achieve was very high but that pressure mostly came from within. Now, I realise that I can turn my hand to anything if I wish to.
Of course, the circumstances since the training have mostly helped me arrive at this conclusion. First I started doing some free teaching with students from the local university. This gave me a little self confidence though I was often shocked at the students poor language levels, in the language they are studying for their degrees, whatever the subject. I can suggest to myself that I could probably easily complete a degree at the university here purely based on the fact I can use the language fully. Anyway, that’s by the by for now as I’m not really considering that as an option at the moment.
After a few months kicking around and enjoying much free time I ended up working with Grade 5 students at a nearby provincial school. I have a million stories from there, many which I would like to forget. I soon discovered the crazy dysfunction in the education system here. If it’s obvious to me, an unqualified teacher starting their first job then the system must be pretty poor.
I don’t intend to tarnish the education system as a whole as that would be unfair. The circumstances I was in influenced a lot of my impressions and I try to understand that what I saw was not indicative of other places. It was, however, the belief of many others teaching here that things are not much better elsewhere in the country. There are a million reasons for this and books could be filled trying to explain. The main down side for me was that I felt that I was unable to do a good job and provide useful learning for the students a lot of the time. I hate doing a bad job – especially when eventually someone else is going to suffer for it. So that was the other down side – watching willing students deal with the inadequacies of the system which lead to inconsistency in almost everything. Frustrating beyond belief.
Beyond that though I have found myself with a passion and love for the students that has made me incredibly happy. It’s a job that I really love to invest my time in and to go to work to do it. I’ll talk more about this in future.
Just a short one this time as I push myself to get back into this.
“Every heartbeat, every movement, every moment, every sigh.”
I am so grateful and happy to go to school on Friday, which was hard as I had been sick this week and had a bad experience on Monday. The kids also drove me crazy and made me quite angry but I survived and talked to Kru Noon about strategies to get them to listen more. I will take her advice and try this next week!
The Chiang Rai Alternative Hour #15
Music from Hamster Theatre, Super Thief, Infidel-Castro!, Arm, Kultur Shock, Captain Beefheart, Fugazi, Bogshed, Brainiac, Neon Rose, By The End of Tonight, Rafter, Huggy Bear, Jimmy Two Hands, Zu/Mats Gustafsson, Secret Hate and The Ex.