Teachers here in Thailand are addressed as “Kruu”. The word comes from the Pali language, meaning “knowledgeable, true and without blemish”. In the Thai social hierarchy of respect, a teacher has the same status as a parent. It is the responsibility of the teacher to be a parent to the children; I guess this is true in every culture and nation.
I feel privileged to work as a teacher here. My colleagues are very welcoming and are eager to extend their help and guidance despite the difficulties in communication, for most of them do not speak English. All documents and instructions in the school are in the Thai language and script which is difficult to learn. I’m slowly learning to speak and read Thai.
I teach kindergarten, primary and secondary level. It is really a tough load, but I really enjoy it. I like being with the students even if there are times when they are not that interested. For some Thai students, learning english is a bit of a burden. They often complain and comment that it is a very difficult language. It maybe that they feel secure in their own land and there is no need for them to venture out of their comfort zone. The opposite is true for the Burmese student. These students really try their best to learn English in the hope that they can have a better future by settling in another country.
As the academic year ends, I really hope that my presence in the school has made a difference to the lives of the students.
Ian John Magarao