Sports Day … Scratch that … Week.

7 09 2011

I haven’t been teaching much the last few weeks. Granted, I don’t teach much at all anyway, but the last few weeks in particular I haven’t spent a solid amount of time in the classroom. I could tell you it was because of teacher meetings, which it often is. I could tell you it was because of holidays, but August and September are sadly lacking in those. No, the reason for this particular jaunt of classless school is Sports Day.

I should start by explaining that Sports Day isn’t actually a day … it’s a week. Sports “Week” starts this Friday and carries through the end of next week. Nine schools come together from around the area to take part in what I would refer to as a giant field day. Students have put together teams in four different sports – volleyball, soccer (football here), petange (the Thai version of Bocci ball), and degraw (think three person volleyball with a low net and you can only use your feet). For six days students will come together and play their hearts out for awards, trophies, and let’s face it, fun!

The reason I haven’t been teaching much is because Sports Day in this country is serious business. At one school my entire schedule was altered to accommodate sports day. Each class was shortened by ten to fifteen minutes to give students over an hour at the end of the day to practice. At the other school, classes were not cancelled but students regularly stepped out of class for team meetings, practices, and uniform selection. There are even some intermission shows! My particular favorite is the hoola hoop routine that my co-teacher has been working on with the anubaan (preschool) students. It’s adorable.

I should care about this thought right? The whole not being in class and not teaching thing? Well, I guess for some people this might be a huge frustration. Back in the states complaining about sports overriding academics is kind of a routine thing. Here though, I’m pretty content with it. More days than not, my students are not in the classroom, and for much sillier reasons than this! I’m thrilled that this particular reason is justified and includes at least some redeeming factors – working on hand-eye coordination, teamwork, determination, and obviously hoola hooping is a plus too.

Not to mention, I think next week is going to be just plain fun!

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