Leaving Thai University Lecturer Job is just like Freedom

During COVID outbreak, most university in Thailand immediately turned regular on-site classes to be online classes. Most teachers or lecturers in my university used Google Meet or Zoom to provide the narrative lesson with slide show during class period. Everything was real-time, like, live video of teaching.

Teacher student lessen reading book

My teaching style was different. I create about 3 video clips per a class. Each got about 10 minutes in length. Every clip got some activities for students to do. They wrote or drew the answers in a piece of paper, and at the end of the clip, each of them had to take a photo of the assignment and submit it at the time. To prevent students copied the work of one another, I also created many versions of assignments. For example, I asked them to compare themselves to their favorite celebrity, and I provide different adjectives for every student. Therefore, they could not simply ask their friends to take a photo and simply write down what their friend had.

Online class is very hard for me because of my dishonest awareness method. Like the above example, I had to prepare 6 adjectives for each of 80 students. This took me whole night to make this adjective list and random them to match the names of all students.

About 3 days each week during the semester, I did not have time to sleep. I invested much time and health to prevent dishonesty and to design the activities that students would do something that is not just taking a note.

Animal skink reptile got more freedom than human both teacher and student

After that semester, I felt I cannot do this anymore. I was very tired. Although I got a very good class evaluation from my students, I do not want to be a lecturer of online class again. I told one of my good friends who persuaded me to come back to teach, that I would not teach unless it is full-time on-site class.

We all know that 3 years later, COVID is not considered as dangerous disease anymore, but the university broad still need to continue online classes. Why? Because all the students have to visit the university website, which bring about ranking on Google and Webometrics Ranking of World Universities.

Thai elephant Thailand protected animal

Nearly 10 years, I had been a university lecturer. The latest online classes made me feel, enough. I love my students. I love teaching. However, the online classes cause me the lack of time to do something else. Being a university lecturer in Thailand is not just to teach. We have to create many types of useless documents (that the university board and government want to see), conduct many research studies, write proposal to get research fund (research article without fund will be scored much less than the one with fund), run a seminar project for students and local people, provide academic assistance or academic volunteer to other organizations, and run a project to earn money for university. These are many things, and it is too much for one person to do within a year.

I do not think that this is strength of Thai academic system, but it is weakness. Teachers or university lecturers should have enough time to teach, maybe 80 percent of the time for teaching, preparing, student assisting, or grading, and another 20 percent of time for research studies.

Myanmar student Nurma Burmese Mon with green and white suit uniform

Birds without wings still have freedom


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