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15 กันยายน 2550
 
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I don't want to go to school today...

Normally it's the kids that say this but, today, I really don't want to go to school. And I'm the teacher.

It's 7.15am on Saturday morning. I'd normally be tucked up in bed, or off somewhere upcountry. The other teachers usually get lumped with teaching the saturday 'class.' I've worked at my school for almost a year now and some how or other, I've managed to duck out of it everytime. Until now...

I say 'class.' It's not even that really. It's rarely more than 7 kids. They range in age from Prathom 1 (6-7 year olds) to Prathom 5 (10-11 year olds.) Some are good students, but the rest are an odd assortment of social misfits who's parents have the money (but not the time or energy) to look after them. I basically have to babysit them for 3 hours... Find fun things for them to do... in English... If I was 7 years old and forced to waste my Saturday morning studying at school, there's no way that I would want to study anything academic at all... art maybe... but English... NO WAY!!! Especially if English wasn't my first language. None of them want to be there.

At home Saturday's are for relaxing. Playing in the street, if the weathers good. Having a lie in and watching cartoons on TV if its too cold or rainy to go out. Most kids wouldn't want to go to school on Saturdays and most parents wouldn't want them to, or be able to make them. Here it's different. Some of my students learn 7 days a week. School on Monday to Friday then an assortment of special 'fun' classes - in English, Maths, Science, Art, computers -whatever their parents can afford and want them to excel at on Saturdays and Sundays. They rarely get a break. The smartest kids in my p5 and p6 classes almost all study English for an additional 2-3 hours at the weekend.

Sometimes I feel really sorry for the kids. They're like minature adults. They go to school, study, go home, do their homework, and then (since most of them seem to be from wealthier families) have to be the nice polite children that their parents expect them to be. They always smile, and say everythings sanuk-sanuk (fun fun) but there seems to be very little time for them to go crazy, to actually be kids.

When I was kid my friends left school to play football or tiggy in the streets. We had bikes and rollerskates. If it was raining we normally piled around to someones house and played board games. Play was a social thing. The more the merrier. Our parents took turns to put up with us, and feed us kit-kats, wagon wheels, orange juice and lemonade. Here, most of the kids I teach go home and play computer games. The older ones say they play on the internet and use MSN. All night.

Some days I ask my kids what they do at home. 'Sleep', 'play game','play game on line','play audition','play on internet','do homework','play computer','go to Central (big US style shopping mall near my school)' are their only replies.

Maybe its the same at home now. I always hear stories from friends about how no one walks to school anymore. How traffic jams mysteriously disappear every school holiday. Old schoolfriends with 10 and 11 year old kids post messages on the net saying that they wouldn't want their kids to play on the street anymore. It's dangerous. Too much traffic. Too many strangers. Maybe home's becoming a mirror image of midle class Bangkok.

Now where was I... yeah, I almost forget... I really don't want to go to school. It's gone 8 now. The National Anthem's just been on TV. I guess I need to go and get it over and done with...




Create Date : 15 กันยายน 2550
Last Update : 15 กันยายน 2550 8:16:43 น. 2 comments
Counter : 180 Pageviews.

 
When I was young (6-7 years old) , I started to help my parent in the rubber tree garden . Growing up the rubber tree . My feeling at that time is "bored" .
I just need to see some Japanese cartoon on TV.
My grandma always brought me to the forrest looking for some herb , muchroom , fishing.
It is fun for me at that time . And I have never go to any class on weekend.
This is the advantage of not having so much money like the people I always meet now .


โดย: รายารีย์ วันที่: 15 กันยายน 2550 เวลา:10:02:25 น.  

 
Wow... Playing in the forest. That sounds really cool. Am quite jealous :) My parents didn't have that much money when I was a kid either, but I know there's a very big difference between being poor in England and being poor in Thailand.

Whenever I get home from school the kids where I live are normally kicking a football around, riding their bikes in the car park or sat with their parents (the guys and girls who sell coffee and clean the rooms.) They always seem so much happier than the kids at school.

Sometimes I feel really sorry for the kids at my school. OK, they have what most other kids probably want - the latest mobile phones, gameboys, dragon ball toys and can always afford to buy candy after their school meals but, in other ways they really seem to miss out.

I have 1 friend N who had an excellent education. She studied at Chula and then did a Masters in England. Sometimes she talks about how her parents have high expectations of her, and how how she was pushed as a child. I remember her saying that she studied gymnastics, English and Spanish amongst other things.

She's never said she resented this, but I often wonder whether the kids I teach now will grow up resenting the way they were educated, and treated by their parents.


โดย: kerrie วันที่: 15 กันยายน 2550 เวลา:16:53:19 น.  

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