All Thai and foreign ACEP teachers must act professionally and responsibly at all times while at the school.
For foreign teachers, it may sometimes be easy to forget that they are role models for students in a school environment where a ‘language barrier’ exists. BUT teachers must remember to follow school rules, and act as appropriate role models for students, to protect the image of both the school itself and of all teachers working in the school. If in doubt about how to behave in a certain situation, foreign teachers should look at Thai colleagues near them and follow their lead.
Teachers should follow the guidelines below. While some of these are cultural, many of them should be common sense to professional teachers trained to teach in schools in Western countries:
  • Thai people do judge others by their appearance and actions. Dress professionally and act responsibly at all times (especially at or near the school).
  • Teachers should not wear headphones (IPods etc.) around the school during school hours (except in the Teachers’ Room).
  • Teachers should not publicly display anger – in Thai culture showing anger is a sign of weakness.
  • Teachers should never use ‘international swear words’ around the school. Thais will understand these.
  • Teachers should not eat while walking around the school.
  • Teachers should be extremely careful when walking outside the Teachers’ Room areas with ceramic coffee cups. Teachers should prepare their drinks in the Teachers’ Lounge and return to the Teachers’ Room or other office immediately when carrying ceramic cups or hot drinks. This is to protect teachers and students.
  • Teachers should never point their feet at students or others and avoid walking over students (not even in jest!).
  • Teachers should not sit in the position shown on the right (foot on opposite knee) when teaching, during whole school activities or any other kind of ceremony. This can be interpreted as rude by Thai people.
  • Teachers should not wear sunglasses on top of their head in or around the school. Sunglasses should be worn on the face or carried in hands.
  • Teachers should never sit on desks – especially while teaching.
  • Teachers should never put books on the floor or throw them to students.
  • The Thai Royal Family is highly respected and should never be made figures of ridicule.
  • ‘Wai-ing’ …. Foreign teachers should only ‘wai’ someone if they feel comfortable with it. Don’t wai anyone younger than you unless they wai you first!
  • Teachers who smoke should limit their need to smoke during school hours. They cannot smoke within the school grounds, or in an area outside the school that is clearly visible to parents and community members. Smokers should discuss suitable places to smoke with continuing teachers who smoke.