Every morning during the school’s opening ceremony and before my attempts at a speech, all the students are required to take part in 5 minutes of exercises, whilst a reggae song plays in the background.
Aside from another weird Thai disco track that hasn’t been played in a few weeks, it is always the same reggae song. Every day. I’ve just Youtubed it and found that it’s called ‘I Love Thailand’, is sung by a band called Mocca Garden, and currently has 17 million views, yet I’ve never heard it playing anywhere else. The song has verses sung alternately in English and Thai, and from what I can gather is a conversation between a local and a tourist about how great Thailand is, but until today I couldn’t understand why the school was so obsessed with it. Asking Bubpha, I found out that this was all for me – apparently it helps the kids focus on the song’s english verses whilst they are exercising, which then enables them to be a bit more prepared for me to try teaching them.
I guess that’s pretty cool, and whilst it’s actually not that bad of a song, after hearing it almost every day for a month I feel like a change wouldn’t hurt.
Today’s lessons weren’t that exciting really. I had Prathom 1 in the morning, which I’ve realised is probably my least favourite class to teach. I think part of this may be because they were the class I had to essentially babysit for 2 hours the other week, during which half of them refused to behave and became immensely irritating. But another large part of it is that they’re a bit too young, which makes it much more difficult to teach them anything that they’ll actually remember in a moment’s time. Plus most of the class swarm me whenever I walk nearby them and try to shake my hand, which was cute at first but has quickly become annoying.
My afternoon lessons with Prathom 2 and 5 were pretty much the same as yesterday, but at least these classes seem a lot more enthusiastic about learning, which means that I have a lot more fun with them.
Thursday meant that the students were all wearing their scout uniforms, which for some reason also meant that several groups were taken to Phachi Temple to do some drawing. I didn’t particularly understand the logic behind that, especially since this trip hasn’t occurred during scouting day on other weeks, but since I got to come along I wasn’t complaining. After following one of the groups who had been instructed to draw turtles I found out that the temple had its own turtle-filled pond, which sounds pretty awesome until you realise how badly it smells. The kids were still enthusiastic about it though, and they drew better turtle pictures than I ever could.
The other group who came along at the same time were instructed to draw the Buddha statue that resided on the other side of the Temple’s lake. I, of course, was eventually roped into drawing this as well, and whilst the drawing itself is far too terrible to post on here I can tell you it firmly represents that art is another skill that I have yet to master. Regardless, I enjoyed getting a temple trip, and I still find it a bit surreal that our school is right next door to such majestic buildings.
Wirot picked me up again this afternoon and I made a second appearance at his Thursday night class. There were a lot more students this time, and since my novelty had probably worn off a bit I wasn’t introduced to them and we immediately got down to lesson Wirot had planned, which turned out to be the same topics that we had taught to the university students yesterday. Because of that it was a bit uninteresting at times, but I still had a good few opportunities to teach the class myself, and despite most of the class being at the same level as the students yesterday they were a lot better with their pronunciation and recognising words. I think the fact that it was a big group helped, which supports my point from yesterday of confidence being a major factor in improving a student’s learning.
After the class we had another meal at the restaurant over the road cooked by one of the students, which was as amazing as last week (better infact, since I didn’t have to cook anything myself) but the amount of spice in most of the food was a bit much at times. After a few drinks i had a guitar shoved at me again too, plus I was introduced to Bow, one of the restaurant owner’s dogs who actually seemed very calm and nice.
I think that means I’ve found another dog here that I’m confident doesn’t want to kill me, and that I actually want to be around. Hooray!