Why I Love Kindergarten (And You Should, Too!)


I enjoyed having a little chat with former Thai Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij when he paid us a visit two days ago. Before the van he was in arrived, I was patiently waiting for him in k2 class and Aj. Lloyd was relaxing with the k1 students.

Mr. Korn had a short meet and greet with the people from Area 1 before we all went straight to the long table to discuss more of the project. And since I was seated next to the former finance minister himself, I was bombarded with questions (som nam na!).

His first question was, “How did you get to Phitsanulok?” I told him that I was in Bangkok for two months before I got the job at Pibulsongkram Rajabaht University seven years ago after they posted the ad at ajarn.com. My answer was met with a follow up question about my degree and if I happen to have a license to teach in my home country. I said “yes” without blinking.  That moment, I had a sudden realization that he wanted to know my credibility as a teacher and if I could really teach. Perhaps he knew about other foreign nationals posing as teachers without a degree in the Kingdom. “We’re glad to have you in this project,” he then responded. 

In my class, Mr. Korn was just literally sitting on the desk whilst observing. The BlueSky Channel cameraman on the other hand was moving in all direction; capturing a perfect angle for their upcoming news story. Meanwhile, the parents were clapping their hands whenever their sons and daughters answered me correctly. By the way, I taught my students the preposition of place (in, on, under, etc). 

When the short show ended, Mr. Korn asked the students as to where he was sitting. “On the desk,” the students said in unison. He clapped his hands once more and said, “Your pronunciation is very clear. Good job.” 

His next stop was Aj. Lloyd’s teaching demonstration. I didn’t see how things transpired because I didn’t get in, but with Aj. Lloyd’s caliber as a teacher, I think it was way better than I expected. 

I managed to have a photo with Mr. Korn just before he took off. Then he left with a parting message, “The people present are impressed.”

My students did everything I told them to do. They showed energy, enthusiasm and most importantly, they showed confidence. I couldn’t be any prouder. And their sweetness and innocence? Always melts my heart. 

Perhaps it is safe to say that we can finally move on with our teaching and sleep more soundly as we feel more at ease now; at ease in the sense that all the big men behind the project clicked the “Like” button. They were all impressed how the students improved so much in just three months. 
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