When the Thai teacher left, the little ones with melting smiles and playful nature transformed into something menacing. What happened was unfathomable chaos and destruction. They started kicking and beating each other, slapped each other with anything they’re holding, and hopped from one place to another.
I felt I was invisible in front of their eyes. I felt insignificant. I reluctantly admitted my failure of controlling them.
But when the Thai teacher came back, they showed so much respect. The deafening shouts of more than 30 students were gone in an instant. Their ears were back at me. The order was restored.
It’s no longer a surprise that most teachers here (TH) are practicing corporal punishment. They deem it necessary. Therefore, it is expected.
Read: A FEW REASONS WHY I PREFER TEACHING ADULTS
Teachers hit the students on the head, neck or the hand. They hit if students are talking. For being naughty. And for getting an answer wrong. The list is endless. And when they hit, they hit hard.
At first I didn’t understand fully why Thai teachers can become military generals who use their loud voices and quick hands as weapons. Last week in a different class, I saw a Thai teacher hit one of the students. When she was about to do it again I immediately looked away. The student’s face turned red. He bowed his head, and when he looked up his focus was back.
I am not a fan of hitting students as it may have a negative effect on them. But I must admit though that it really works like a charm. One intimidating command and the seemingly unstoppable lions became domesticated cats.
Truly, I am no experienced teacher for kids. Perhaps my motivation was lacking. But you know what? I wish the Thai teacher who was in and out of the room to pay her friend next door a visit didn’t leave. I wish she stayed. Because in times like that, it is better to have no preference.