Saturday, February 19, 2005

Last Day of Teaching & More Contract Details

Last day was spent just playing games with the kids and some of them were alright, some of them were just out of control and didn’t want to listen even to instructions on how to play. Idiots. They knew they would be getting something special as I told them not to bring books., immediately of course they started to go apeshit. As soon as they came into the room they moved all the chairs to in front of the tv. Why they thought they would be getting a video is beyond me as they have never got one all semester and they only had one or two lessons last semester.

It does look as though that will be the last time I ever see those kids as it appears that I am not going to get an interview with the school. Some who have applied have got interviews but I haven’t received a reply. Shame in a way but possibly it's good overall, stops the rut of the same old same old, new school environment etc etc

Drum roll please drummmmmmmmm tksssh!

We had the meeting to confirm what was happening for the rest of the semester and it was, in reality, quite boring with no major riots, arguments, storming of the gates, lynchings etc.

Whether it was deliberate or not it seems to have been that the rumours that were coming out last week were wide of the mark. There is no unpaid leave, no option to get away early etc. But the downside is that for the next two weeks we are going to have work full time in a couple of rooms off the school library. Hmmm. The rooms themselves are nice as meeting rooms but totally unsuitable for 20 teachers for two solid weeks. What are we doing during this time? Doing marking and writing report cards. OK. That takes care of 3 days if it's approached in even a slow but steady manner.

After that we have to work in the main offices preparing “Teaching Portfolios”. These are going to be used for the schools who have no resources or have very few. Riiiiight. Are these new schools? Exisiting schools? If they are existing schools surely the teachers there have created prepared some stuff. Also they know far better than we what year level and language level the kids are, what the class size is, what the school likes the teachers to do etc etc etc. Without knowing that, we could be preparing material that will never be used. In fact odds are, that is exactly what will happen. The work will go into a binder somewhere and never be looked at or used.

Basically the idea is to take the best ideas that we used during the year and write instructions on how to do the exercise. Now the question is, what was wrong with the material that we have been preparing, creating and using and storing in various binders during the school year? Apparently the answer is that they are not specific enough. Huh? They want more specific and detailed portfolios not just a scatter gun approach and the FUD is going to set up teams to create these. Wow, I can hardly wait.

Also because we are going to be in the main office we need to work full time and wear shirts and ties. Shirt and tie? Why? I didn’t wear a shirt and tie when I worked there at weekends. But no biggie I suppose. Full time for two weeks? Why? Again it really would take only a couple of days to do if it's approached in a steady manner. Traditionally the non contact time is reduced hours, something like 9 til 2. Why are they saying full time now? Who knows?

And on March 18 they are going to throw a party for us. A PARTY?!?! It will be interesting to see just how many people turn up as this is the last day of servitude and it will mean freedom – at least as far as turning up goes. They still hold the back pay over us and the end of year completion bonus will get paid at the end of April. So just for the moment, to stop burning bridges I wont name the names yet.

One other thing that came up was the announcement that there could be new schools for us to go to next year and that certain people had already been approached and offered jobs and that in the next couple of weeks more people would be approached. Age old story isn’t it.

The other thing that came up is that the school could and probably will cancel our visas on March 31 which means unless a new school picks us up very soon we need to go through the whole work permit process again and I HAVE to leave the country to get a new non imm B visa. Wonderful, not. Apparently the FUD never thought about what will happen to us. Even the ones who are going to be kept on by the agency!! I suppose I should be shocked but unfortunately I am not, it's just another example of the lack of forethought. It also more importantly shows the effect when people have a 11 month contract. If you have a 12 month contract, the work permit runs to the same date. With an 11 month one you have a gap every year and probably have to do a visa run and scramble around.


Anonymous said...


Maybe a 12 month contract would be better at that...

Abi said...

Hi, I'm curious about your experience teaching in Thailand. Where are you from, originally? Had you taught before you moved to Thailand? Is there a program that you'd recommend one use? Which part of the country did you enjoy most? Please let me know:

jonesabi (at) gmail dot com