I can't believe I've been at my site 2 weeks now- yet it feels like I've been here much longer! Most days I spend at the school with my co-teacher and the other teachers. Right now it is summer break (April is the hottest month in Thailand) so no students are here. The teachers are as busy as ever though, trying to finish up reports about the entire year. Every few days we have meetings and the principle talks about progress and results from the students. One of the key points is the results from the ONET, which is the standardize test the students have to take here. I like going to these meetings because I get to practice listening to Thai, but usually I just become really confused! In Thailand, most people go by nicknames, so I don't know the teacher's full names (which are really long!) But in the meetings the principal calls everyone by there full name. Each meeting I end up asking my Co-teacher to translate words I don't know- and most of the time they are just names! I've been given the nickname “duuan” which means moon.
The school itself has about 400 students, from kindergarten to 9th grade. The grades are divided in to three buildings: a-na-mee (kindergarten), bra-tom (1-6), and ma-ta-yom (7-9). I will be co-teaching grades 4-9, with two different co-teachers. Volunteers are suppose to teach at least 16 hours in class room a week, as well as lesson plan with our co-teacher's, and devote one weekday to community service work. I think it will be a busy two years!!
The school seems to have a lot of projects they are working on. Last year they had one University exchange student come from England to co-teach for 2 months, who will be coming back in July. In addition to teaching English both my co-teachers also teach Chinese. An exchange student will be coming from China as well to work with them on learning and teaching Chinese.
While at school the last 2 weeks I've been dividing my time between learning to read Thai and planning a teacher training on conversational English for the teacher's at my school. It will take place for 3 days in May, and I recently found out we will be doing it on one of Thailand's beautiful islands! So even though its a lot of work now- I think it will be worth it!