‘We are on the same team…’ - Bangkok Prep

‘We are on the same team…’

Wai Kru is always a special ceremony for teachers and quite the spectacle, especially for expat staff new to Thai culture. The levels of respect our host country has for the teaching profession is not only humbling but quite remarkable. It’s certainly something that grounded me when I first moved to the international sector 12 years ago and made me realise just how lucky I really am. 

The professional relationships between students and teachers have changed dramatically over the years. Learning used to be done to students and now it’s in complete partnership. Student voice on teachers is regularly conducted and fed-back to improve the teaching and learning process. Many teachers go further and systematically gather feedback on their lessons, asking, ‘how can I do things differently to make learning more effective?’. This level of feedback and feedforward are rarely seen in some other major professions. The very thought of me giving my maths teacher feedback back when I was at school scares me to this day.

In order for this two way process to be successful, essentially it comes down to the culture we create as a school for students to feel psychologically safe. If students feel content to provide feedback, they feel a sense of belonging and in return they have agency and ownership of their learning. Add all of these together and we really are creating the most conducive learning environment and setting our students up to succeed. 

During the Wai Kru ceremony it really brought home the notion that we (students, teachers and parents) are on the same team. It’s one of my beliefs that those that don’t feel the same are missing arguably the most fundamental part of the teaching and learning process. In the same breath but to go even further, as a school community, every stakeholder is on the same team. Although some policies, decisions and maybe the odd disgruntled email the other way, doesn’t always feel like it, ultimately, everything that is taking place at School is in the best interests of our students. In our context as Bangkok Prep, it’s to prepare them for a sustainable global future.

Mr. Hurworth

Deputy Head Teacher 


From our Deputy Head student’s perspective…

 

KK

As the Wai Kru chant begins, we students show our greatest respect. To the teachers in front of us, and to the origins of the tradition that has brought us all here today. The core purpose of this special ceremony, aside from giving us the opportunity to show appreciation to our teachers, is to ask teachers to accept us as their students, for them to mentor us with their words of wisdom and shower us with their good intentions. For this reason, the Wai Kru ceremony takes place at the beginning of every academic year. As a Thai student nurtured in an international school culture myself, I feel incredibly grateful that Bangkok Prep values and embraces the culture that I grew up in. This school is truly my second home. On behalf of your students, we look forward every year to see the remarkable looks on our teachers’ faces whether it is the look of absolute awe or even trying to hide tears of joy seeing students from all over the world take on this ceremony in harmony. Here at Bangkok Prep, regardless of our backgrounds and our roles in this diverse community….we are all on the same team.

JL

Through speaking with various students, Wai Kru is shown to be collectively seen as a vessel for multiple opportunities, each unique to different members of our community. For many students, Wai Kru is an opportunity to reflect on all that our teachers have done for us, and comfortably express our gratitude. Some students stated Wai Kru to be a proud display of the richness of Thai culture, which can serve to teach individuals the importance of sincere gratitude – and the ways by which we, as a community, convey it. Lastly, Wai Kru is an opportunity for an exchange of motivation and encouragement between students and teachers, as both continue to strive for self-improvement.

Importantly, while living through the various ups and downs of school life; getting caught up in exams and homework, Wai Kru serves as a reminder for us to perceive school for what it truly is. Rather than a duty or a job, it is a community where people come together to aid each other’s journey in life. With this realisation comes endless gratefulness, and the understanding of the purposes of this beautiful ceremony. Wai Kru is not only conducted out of tradition, but also out of the sincere respect the students have for their teachers.

 

Our Campus

BANGKOK PREP ADDRESS

77 SUKHUMVIT 77, VADHANA
BANGKOK, 10110

77 สุขุมวิท 77 วัฒนา
กรุงเทพมหานคร 10110

02-700-5858