Inspiring Confidence, Shaping Student Beliefs

"Khru Ving often says 'You Can Do It,' and that was when I thought I couldn't help my friends on the team with anything. But then I began thinking about what I could do," echoed Job, one of a fellow’s students. He studied with Ving - Panisara Suksraem, a 3rd cohort fellow. This statement reflects her unique teaching style.

"Without Khru Ving, I might have stayed closed-minded, fearing new things, sticking to what I'm good at, and staying in my comfort zone."

From her first week at the school, Ving had important tasks. For instance, a group of students asked for advice on making a short film because they knew she had filming experience.

Ving – Panisara Suksraem

     “They gathered 4-5 people to consult about a film due in a week. There was a scene in the water, so I jumped in. After that, Job wrote in a notebook, sent to me, that Khru Ving was fully committed.”

     Their short film earned second place in the province, much to their delight.

     The passion, enthusiasm, and dreams of the fellows are infectious and touch the students’ hearts. Pao, Nopardol Bootsatorn, from the 5th cohort, helped his students secure funding and build careers.

     “I’m still amazed. Khru Pao started with just a school camera, creating activities and selling photo books. At first, I doubted it, but we sold the books. I’m proud,” said Tawan, one of Pao’s students, showing the fellow’s dedication.

     “The photography skills I gained are now my profession. I work as a photographer in the Civil Affairs Division of the Royal Thai Navy in Sattahip. Without Khru Pao, I wouldn’t have these skills.”

Pao - Nopardol Bootsatorn

     “Khru Pao cares for students and is their friend. Tawan spent weekends with Khru Pao, improving his studies and participating in assigned activities, feeling less lonely.” said Tawan’s parents.

     For White-Suwimon Watanapa, a 6th cohort fellow, forming strong connections with students, especially in the classroom, is vital.

     “Sometimes, students attended my class but then disappeared. They didn’t make it to school or the classroom,” White shared. “I went to follow up with their parents. Once, a parent traveled hundreds of kilometers on a motorcycle to find their child.”

     “At times, students hid near the district office. I went after them.”

     Through collaboration with fellow students, colleagues, and parents, White successfully brought students back to school.

     “There were instances when I was supposed to teach, but I had to track down the students. I gathered students from both classes and taught them together. I also had a fellow colleague help locate the students.”

     “I often had to work closely with parents, who play a crucial role. Sometimes, parents gave up on their children due to a lack of tools and poor communication. Some parents were harsh. I had to soften them and offer ways to connect with their kids..”

     White stressed, “I try to make them understand that a Teach For Thailand teacher isn’t just someone who supervises children; parents need to be involved too. We encourage parents to join in our mission.”

     Collaborating with parents is another important duty for fellows because parents significantly impact their children’s education. This is evident in Amphon’s story, who faced financial constraints.

     “We couldn’t afford Amphon’s school fees. She cried and sought help from Khru Pao, and after that, he came to our house, assuring us not to worry and that Amphon got a scholarship,” recalled Amphon’s mother.

     Pao gathered resources to secure funding, allowing Amphon to continue her education. She is now studying Accounting at the Bann Dung Institute of Technology in Udon Thani Province.

White - Suwimon Wattanapa

     “When I first met Khru Pao, I hesitated to talk to him because students said TFT teachers were strict. After studying with him, we had written dialogues between students and teachers. Khru Pao provided advice through written notes. However, I wanted more guidance, so I decided to meet him,” shared Amphon, a scholarship recipient from Pao.

     “At the time, I was torn between a higher education and a vocational one. I aspired to study in the health field, but it required more time. Khru Pao gave me advice, and in the end, I chose vocational education. I studied accounting, as I had hoped, and my mother supported my decision because she didn’t want me working outdoors”

     “If I hadn’t met Khru Pao that day, I might not have the opportunity to choose my own field of study and enjoy a better quality of life.”

     Having an impact on a child’s life may be just one of the larger efforts to improve education, but it’s a vital part. By empowering children and nurturing their dreams, we are weaving the future of our nation.

     This sentiment is beautifully captured by Dew, Sukontha Nilyok, a 7th cohort fellow, who stated:

     “Enhancing education and weaving the future, for Teach For Thailand, is like filling in the gaps in education. It’s about gathering the power of and inspiring educators. As we enhance education, we witness children pursuing their dreams. These children then become drivers of progress for our nation.”

     White added, “It’s like plugging the holes in the education system. These gaps signify an incomplete system. Filling these gaps makes the system whole. I hope that one day, the foundation won’t have to exist anymore because education in Thailand will be equitable and equal.”