Teacher Appreciation Day

As previously noted, Thailand has great respect for its teachers -though on some days those rug rats are so loud and wild you wouldn’t be able to tell. One day a year schools in Thailand actually devote an entire day to appreciating these teachers for all the hard work they do.  They call this day “Wai Kru”. 



A ceremony is held for each mattayom (grade).  Teachers sit on a stage in front, students down below.  A special couch is placed in the center of the stage for the director and other big wigs of the school.  The ceremony opens with a Buddhist prayer. Following the prayer, the students begin a chant that acknowledges the fact that teachers give all of themselves to their students in order to make them wise adults.  They thank the teachers for having taught well in the past and encourage their good fortune in teaching well in the future.  Our co teacher, Pee Nid, translated some of the chant to us.  “Teachers are like sand paper.  They sand and shape students into fine human beings with good and strong morals.” Aunt Trisha, maybe you would like to teach something like this to your students…



After the chanting students come to the stage and present gifts.  The gifts are called “paan” and it is a gold container filled with intricately placed flowers and candles.  I think they look like miniature parade floats.  The flowers on the piece signify mother, and the candles show that teachers light up their minds.  Days before T.A.D. students begin working on these masterpieces. They take many hours to complete, as each single tiny flower must be pinned into place.  For the ceremony one student representative comes forward on their knees to present their creation to the director sitting on the couch.  After the creations are received the students bow down in thanks. 



The ceremony ends with the director (principal) preaching to the students about the importance of good behavior in the classroom.  Per Pee Nid’s translation, the director tells the students to not disturb their teachers.  The teachers are teaching them to be respectable people so they must respect and not be loud. 


It’s a very unique event. As we’ve been learning, while the students respect the Thai teachers it is quite a bit more difficult to get them to respect the English teachers.  I don’t expect we’ll be seeing a ceremony like this for us any time soon.



~ by The Piersas on June 16, 2008.

One Response to “Teacher Appreciation Day”

  1. Each day feels like Wai Kru here in Somerset…
    Actually I have learned that in Vietnam each family gives gift of money-as much as they can sacrifice to the teacher to show their appreciation and respect. (I get that too!)
    I have loved each entry, Renee and Vince. I actually have shared several with my third graders-it is a real eye opener to them and a great learning experience for all of us. You are bookmarked on my computer and checked often SOOOO keep ’em coming! Brennan loved looking at the pictures of the fruit-crazy!

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