Daily Phuket #84: 28 November 2021 – Anticipating a FUBAR Day

Maybe I am worked up for nothing. After all, to paraphrase the late, great Tom Petty: “Whatever I worry about never happens anyway!” But for some reason, I believe tomorrow will be one very messed-up and frustrating day. In other words, it will be just another normal day in Thailand. To paraphrase a more fictional sage, “Prepare for the worse. Hope for the best.”*

Either way, I am prepared. Well, as much as I can be with a complete glut of information.

Why all of this worry? After weeks and weeks of waiting for my assigned school to finally decide to reopen after a prolonged closure, word finally was sent out to our agency yesterday. I received a text at one minute to midnight, to be exact, that classes would resume at 8am Monday morning. We all thought that we would hear from the school before closing time this past Friday for a December 1st reopening. When that deadline came and went, we felt we would have to wait yet another week.

Nope. We were given one day’s notice. However, the ONLY information we have is that the school is opening. They have not given us any class timetables and nobody in our organization knows if the students will be at school or if we are teaching online (different staff members gave conflicting information today). There is no curriculum and the school has not revealed the teachers’ class assignments (there will be five foreign teachers including myself).

Before the former branch manager (“Big Boss”) and head teacher left the company (and the country) more than a month ago, I was promised a certain range of grade levels in the IEP (Intensive English Program) and spent much of the past few weeks preparing lesson plans and materials for those classes. It was this promise that lured me from my former school. Somehow, I feel that that I will not be teaching the IEP classes although I am the most qualified amongst the group of foreign teachers.

I was so befuddled today — my last chance to purchase school supplies until next weekend — that I just couldn’t decide which was more important: new whiteboard markers for on-site lessons or a new webcam for online lessons. While I do have a standard “Get to Know Your Teacher” lesson plan that I can use over the first day or two of a new school year (or at a new school), so I won’t look like a complete idiot tomorrow whatever the format it would be nice to know….something, anything.

At least my dinner was good this evening. I had a Chicken Caesar salad …

I know that it will all turn out okay but I am really tiring of the lack of information given out by these Thai government schools. It really is a big reason why so many new teachers give up so quickly. Even those of us who have been around for years and years get frustrated as this lack of communication seems to be getting worse not better.

About the only positive thing about returning to school tomorrow is that I will have two full working days in November added to my mid-December salary. I just hope that I earn that money rather than looking like a fool.

…and a salami sandwich with cheese. Much better than 7-Eleven, that’s for sure!

Hopefully, I can report back tomorrow that I got my IEP classes and that it went without a hitch. That is my hope and goal.

At the very least, I will have something new to photograph. If I remember to take some shots….

*Jack Reacher

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