Today was another successful online teaching day with three very enjoyable (and packed) classes. Each was almost fully attended; I know as I took roll as I was told this morning that I need to report this each day. Taking attendance is always rather difficult in Thai government schools as the rosters are often completely in Thai. My usual trick in a “live” class is to pass around a sign-in sheet on which each student finds his class number and writes his nickname next to it. This is a quick and efficient way to get the easier to pronounce names without disrupting the lesson itself.
For this school term, I am lucky in that my agency already provided the assessment sheets for each class with each name transliterated into English. I used these paper copies to call each name during the lessons (putting a tick next to their name). This is itself was difficult in two of the classes where several kids never turned off their microphones which made it difficult to hear their responses. Sometimes, several children would try to tell me at the same time that a particular kid was absent. I wasn’t always certain if it was the person whose name I’d just called saying they were “present” (but in Thai) or if it was somebody else saying they were “absent” (again, almost invariably in Thai). Attendance took around 15 to 20 minutes during each lesson as a result.
I cannot turn in my score sheets for the attendance reports so, during lunchtime, I created spreadsheets for the attendance records. Nineteen in all with an average of 30 students per class. Tonight, I am entering their student numbers and Thai names and leaving the column blank for their nicknames. I may try to ask a few Thai teachers to help me with the nicknames at some point.
I’ve done fairly well at my data entry this evening, finishing the attendance sheets for seven out of my nineteen classes. I think that’s good enough for tonight. I have a long day of classes tomorrow and would like to get to sleep at a decent time; I have been going to bed around 1:30a.m. and getting up at 6:00 each morning. I hope to finish these spreadsheets by Friday night so I can work on lesson plans and flashcards all weekend. I would also be nice to get out of the apartment for a little while this weekend as well. I am really struggling with my daily photos and NEED to find something much more interesting. Who knows what I will post tomorrow?