This compilation of sayings and doings has been collected over the school year in a small notebook or on my iPhone. It includes things that have occurred to either myself or other teachers at my school that have made us crack up (including photos we managed to snap). I hope there is enough context here for you to get as much out of them as we did. Enjoy!
*Disclaimer: I want to be clear that in the examples where we poke fun at what someone says in English, it is done entirely in the spirit of things. Thai joking culture is very gentle. My kids are always making fun of me in class and I dish it right back, though neither are ever done maliciously. The kids love it, and we do too. So don’t be a sourpuss, because no feelings were hurt in the making of this wonderful collection.
Sayings and Doings:
1. “Teacher, I love you!”
During class in my second or third week at school, First (seen in the picture below), randomly shouted that out in the middle of science class followed by lots of ‘ooooh!’s
2. What do you want to do for Valentine’s day? “I want to make me pregnant”
A very honest and hopeful response to the writing assignment
3. Teacher, I sa-mart maak maak!
This one always cracks me up. Two of my students with weaker language skills always deliver this gem when they get something correct. Not only is smart pronounced as a two syllable word – sa mart! – but they throw a little Thai on the end for good measure – ‘maak maak’ (very).
4. “Teacher Blayne wears the same clothes every day”
It’s always a bit of a shock when you realize how observant your students are (I really did recycle the same 6 outfits in order for a few months), but I was so impressed by the perfect delivery of this statement that I couldn’t help but crack up (though my pride was a little bit wounded…)
5. “Earth in Toilet
After trying to explain global warming and how to prevent it, Reid asked where the student Earth was so he could use him to help explain the concept. The students said “Earth in toilet”. They had grasped global warming even better than he thought!
6. ‘Staaar ahh ahhhh’ (sex noises)
The oldest students I teach love to try to make me uncomfortable. While I sometimes have to ask my youngest students to stop humping things, the older kids should know better about sexualizing the classroom. But does this stop them? No. So during one of our astronomy lessons, I had the students practice saying ‘star’ (the arr sound is really hard for Thais to make). So I made them say ‘star are are’ to get the pronunciation down. It came out more like ‘stah ah ah’. One of my more confident students discovered it sounded slightly like a pleasure noise and thus kept repeating star with a very sexualized ending. It got more and more out of control each time he said it until finally I had to ban the word for the rest of the class. He succeeded in making me super uncomfortable but I also couldn’t stop giggling at how absurd it sounded, which made all the students laugh too. Yeah, we didn’t accomplish much that day…
7. “Toon, please stop humping the chair”
Teaching all male students certainly has its interesting challenges. One of them is socializing my youngest students to know what’s appropriate and what isn’t. I once had to physically grab this student (erm, on his arm obviously) because he was violently humping a chair and mocking female sex noises. It was a joke, but it was such a shock that I instinctively grabbed him and pulled him away from the chair. I then gathered my wits and asked him to please stop humping the chair, because it was inappropriate for the classroom. Inside I was cracking up at the absurdity of it.
8. “Teacher, you look like Tom Cruise”
First, once again, decided to pay a compliment to one of the teachers to try and get in his good graces. Here is a photo of him sleeping during class:
9. Nap Time
In fact, in continuing with the napping theme, here is another splendid photo taken by one of the teachers when they walked into class to start their lesson and found some of their students asleep:
10. Anatomically correct teacher drawings (Teacher Reid)
Now let’s spice things up a bit and take a look at some of our favorite assignment answers from this year:
1. Create an advertisement for a product: the recyclable condom
This is probably the best piece of work a student completed the entire year. They were supposed to create an advertisement for a product, and they came up with the recyclable condom that could be squeezed out of a tube. The best parts of this ad are the pictures of a flacid mushroom growing erect, its product description (“a new thing!”), and step 3: ‘let go!’ This kid would be a marketing genius.
2. Basic writing practice: what would you like to do this weekend?
Once again, blatant honesty from the students, though I’m not sure Tung has multiple girlfriends….
3. My shoddy job teaching safety practices during sever weather
I clearly didn’t do a swell job teaching how to be safe during severe weather considering this students’ answers on the test:
4. 420 every day
I have no idea what inspired my student to write this on the top of his quiz:
5. Favorite Teacher
I like to give my students a freebie question on the midterm tests, but this student really went above and beyond to try and get some extra points:
6. What is the most dangerous problem in the world?
The most dangerous problem is have many homework.
Tongmay really nailed this one. Global warming (which other students wrote), not a concern. The violent protests that have been happening in Thailand the past few months? Meh. The real high stakes concern is free time: the students can’t have endless free time if they have so much homework! Here’s a photo of him, cheesing for the camera: