Tag Archives: Wat Ben

My School in Bangkok

I currently have the privilege (or some days, the burden) of teaching the all-male students of Wat Benchamabophit Matthayom School:

Wat Benchamabophit (ben-ja-ma-bo-pit) School
Wat Benchamabophit (ben-ja-ma-bo-pit) School

Wat Ben is a high school, so the students are aged 12-18. They are all males, though we have a healthy population of sassy lady-boys (and I mean, sassy!) I only teach grades 1-3 (ages 12-15) but I still get warm ‘HELLO TEACHER!’s from the older students. I teach Math and Science in English, which most days is a struggle but also a lot of fun.

Grade 2 students
Grade 2 students

For example, I had to teach Sexual Reproduction to a bunch of 13 year-old boys. Naturally, it turned into us laughing for 30 minutes straight – me, because they kept saying ‘wageena’ (vagina is near-impossible for them to say, those pesky V’s!) and them, because their female teacher was saying ‘penis’.
 

Source
Source

There is a lot of pride in our school, because it’s located on the grounds of a famous wat – Wat Benchamabophit. The temple was built around 1900 by a famous king of Thailand, King Chulalongkorn. Real marble was imported from Italy for the grounds, hence it’s nickname, the Marble Temple. It’s so infamous, in fact, that it’s on the back of the 5 baht coin! (Yeah, I bust out a 5 baht coin whenever I proudly state where I teach, don’t judge me!)
 

My students 'working'
My students ‘working’

 
Despite our prestige, the school itself is unexceptional. The students perform at the average level and there are some major organizational and disciplinary issues. That said, the kids are a joy to teach and always surprise me. They are my own culture and language teachers and at the end of the day I’m really grateful to be their teacher.
 
 

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