Teacher Appreciation Day

In typical Thai fashion, I found out about Teacher Appreciation Day the night before the ceremony.  Which was fine because I went as a spectator.

Teacher Appreciation Day, also known as Wan Wai Kru, is usually held on the first Thursday in June (around 1 month after the start of the new school year).  My school celebrated the second Thursday of June, but a Thursday nonetheless. Thursday is a very important day because it’s the day of “wisdom.”

My co-teacher and assistant teacher

My co-teacher and assistant teacher

My school did multiple ceremonies which were broken into a few grades at a time.  Pre-k, Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade, 3rd and 4th, and so on.  I envisioned the student body standing outside for 2 hours melting away.  Friendly weather report: we’re averaging a heat index of 111ºF every day. The humidity alone makes you think you’re going to suffocate. To my happy surprise, we were in a huge air-conditioned auditorium, in a building I didn’t know existed at my school. Ya learn something new everyday.

After a quick rehearsal with my Co-Teacher, we were on our way to the ceremony. We entered the auditorium and each class was split – boys on the right and girls on the left. Then, they pulled teachers onto the stage to sit behind the head Director of the school. Class by class, two students (one boy and one girl) walked up to the stage, and shuffled towards the Director on their knees with their heads down.  After a formal exchange with the Director where they asked for his blessing over their studies, the students moved to the other side of the stage and eventually back to their seats.

I wish I could explain in more detail what exactly was said and what the songs meant but everything was in Thai. The Thai teachers that were not on stage were busy trying to control hyperactive students so I wasn’t able to ask them to translate and explain.

However, it was a great experience.

Lately, I’ve had a tough time getting back into the swing of teaching.  Having 2.5 months off from school, traveling to Northern Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia, and of course having Sean here has not helped getting out of my “vacation brain.”

Last year, I grew very close to my students and really took pride in their milestones.  This year, my mind hasn’t been in the same place.  I am more homesick than usual and I’m planning a huge backpacking trip.  So mentally, I haven’t committed to teaching like I did in the past. Teacher Appreciation Day changed that for me.

When we were lining up to walk to the auditorium, my students weren’t in a straight line, they weren’t quiet, they didn’t keep their hands to themselves, and they didn’t care. I didn’t stop them and try to correct their natural 6 year old behavior.  They were so happy and full of life.  There were multiple classes that stood like robots and it made me sad for them. They would say, “good morning Teacher Kayt,” and then look away from me. My students would scream, “TEACHER KAYT! I CAN DANCE!” followed with The Macarena. 

So, while I haven’t given them 100% mentally, they’ve given me 110%. When I can’t wait to go home for the day, they grab on to me and say, “Good bye Teacher Kayt! See you tomorrow!” (all things I’ve taught them). And during the ceremony when everyone was misbehaving, I gave them one look and immediately they folded their hands together, straightened their line, and stopped talking.  Other students were pushing each other, kicking, and talking, but mine sat there and paid attention. I’m either REALLY scary or they respect me as their Teacher. That was the turning point for me.  I was beaming with pride! 

Now, I have 3.5 months left in the term and I am going to make the best of this time together. 


  • Carole Chomik (Grammie) says:

    What a wonderful tribute your kids gave you – it’s obvious they love you, respect you and as most of us are – in awe of YOU! I look so forward to your Blog’s and living your experience through all the writing (which is excellent) and the pictures! You are collecting a lifetime of memories that will continue to bring a smile on your face years from now. These children too will always remember their school experience with TEACHER KAYT! It’s a win/win for all of you- I love you my Katherine and proud doesn’t even begin to express how I feel about you – xoxoxoxoxo

    • Kayt Adamson says:

      Thank you, Grammie! I love you! Can’t wait to see you and show you more pictures and share more stories. xoxo

  • Auntie Barb says:

    How lucky to be your student and how lucky to be Teacher Kayt What a celebration and the fact that your students are so happy speaks directly to your ability as a teacher, role model, and making learning fun Sounds like you have mastered the Chomik women’s “look” Love you tons mmfmbn

    • Kayt Adamson says:

      Like I said, the “look” is either really scary or really powerful in a good way. If it’s a Chomik look, I’m going to go with powerful 😉 How lucky we are! Love you so much! xoxo

  • Steve Chomik says:

    Hi Teacher Kayt 😉 Thanks for keeping us educated about your adventures.

    I’ll miss seeing you in a few weeks in Seattle but look forward to may many family celebrations once you get back home!

    As I read your blog I couldn’t think that your 1st graders in Thailand are the same as Kaylin’s 1st graders in Dallas — all full of fun and life (and energy!!).

    xoxoxox Uncle Steve

    • Kayt Adamson says:

      Hi Uncle Steve! I’ll miss seeing you and everyone, including Lacey! Kaylin definitely has a calling for being a teacher because I struggle with my sanity sometimes!!! 😉 1st graders are a handful! xoxo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *