17 February 2009

End of Term

It is now two weeks to the end of term, and the end of the school year here in Thailand. I will be saying good-bye to some of my students, but most will be back next term to begin the next level of their education. For all of us, both student and teachers, it is a time of change.

The school is currently full of nervous excitement; with all the students preparing for exams. All our classes are now focused on revision instead of new information. Hopefully we have taught all that needs to be taught for the year. We teachers pester the students to revise; we all know that any of the student’s failures will also be seen as our own. I feel like an anxious mother waiting for her child to perform at an important event.

Many of my Matayom 3 ( similar to 3rd year in Ireland or the UK) also have entrance exams for other educational institutions - so the pressure is really on them. Our schools bilingual programme finishes at the end of 3rd year so if students wish to continue learning, with such intensive focus on English, they need to change school. Some of the students will stay in our school though and just attend regular classes, others will be lucky enough to gain entrance to the schools genius programme for year 4 but most will be moving school.

Although most students are anxious about their exams there are others who are making no real attempt to prepare. They know the open secret that it is actually hard to fail the school’s exams, because it is the teacher’s job to make them pass. If they fail one test it is up to the teacher to provide a test that they will pass. The final week will be spent chasing students around to get them to do extra work so that we can push their low mark above the expected pass mark.

The other foreign teachers and I are all excited about the end of term. We are all going away for the two months to different parts of the world. We are travelling to India, China, the Philippines, and in my case Ireland. It has been a long year and we need to recuperate before we do it all again next term.

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