Wednesday, January 19, 2011

No copy teacher?

It has been almost three weeks since our students have taken their mid-terms, but the process here makes it seem like they were only a few days ago. Like we have said before students can NOT fail, no matter what they do or how hard they try to. Because of this the students who did fail the mid-term have to be giving a chance to take the mid-term again, or do a make-up assignment. This process to get all students to pass has been the most time consuming and frustrating process. Trying to communicate to the students that they did not pass and must take the test again is almost impossible. They do not understand what I am trying to say to them, a perfect example of why they failed the test in the first place! I have to bring over a Thai teacher to translate to them what they have to do to make up the points. I have also reached the point where as long as they do something I am going to give them the points to pass. Its horrible and I feel like im giving up but I dont know what else to do. The whole system makes you want to give up, trying to make a difference and do things the right way, in accordance with my values,  is impossible.
I tell my students "no copy" all the time, but they do not really understand because it is a completely acceptable thing over here. I had three boys "go to the bathroom" and when they got back they handed in a photo copy of the night's home work! It was on different colored paper than what I had handed out and even had their friends name up in the top corner covered with whiteout with their name written over it! Now that is even a form of coping the Thai teachers would have had a problem with. These kids feel that because I am white and dont speak Thai that I must be stupid! yes, kids I can tell the difference between a photocopy and your own work, I'm not dumb.
We have asked our teachers over and over again about it and they say, "but they did a good job, yes?" they dont care as long as the students turn in something, even if they copy from the internet. Its can be kind of funny when the kids do this because they are reading the words but have no idea what they are saying. Really, an eclectic art deco decor? hmmm can you tell me what that means? All I get back is  "alleway?" That means "huh?" Its pretty frustrating, but what can you do? When in every other class its ok.
I guess the best we can do is keep making them do it over and over again by themselves even if we have to make them come to the office and do it on their own time and watch them do it themselves. But there are just to many students to do this unfortunately I'm getting tired of fighting with them and I'm leaning towards not caring. Its sad but at the same time its not health to bang your head against a wall that is never going to move.

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