I was made to feel like a "Super" Star when I arrived at the Hinngompittyakom High School! Everyone from the Principal, to the teachers, to the students greeted me so warmly and with such enthusiam.... I felt like pop star!
Hinngompittyakom High School was the first school in Thailand where I began my volunteer teaching some five years ago. I get the feeling that my teaching career has become rather legendary at this school... as well as thoughout Thailand too! It was here I was given the name... "Ajaan T" .... "Ajaan" being a revered title given only to monks and University Professors.
The comment I get most often from the administration as well as the students is "When you speak English, you speak very clearly so I can understand you." That plus all the interactive, student focused instructional strategies I've learned while teaching in Rialto Unified School District in California, have made my Thai classrooms rather animated! I really enjoy teaching these students!
Having the Thai students speak English is the focus of my classroom instruction. In this lesson, a group of 7 students tell their classmates "My favorite food is...." The kicker however is that they must remember and say all the foods the other students have mentioned before they list their own favorite food.
By the time the last student gets to tell the class what their favorite food is, they must also repeat the favorite foods of all the other six students! Quite a challenge for these sometimes shy students!
After teaching all day at Hinngompittyakom High School, I returned back to Nongkhai only to more teaching... now with my good friend, Phra (monk) Sanya at Wat Sisaket! These were the same novice monks I taught last year. This year however, they were full of questions for me!