Volunteer in Thailand with Friends for Asia

Teaching Monks Volunteer Project Additional Info

Teaching Monks Volunteer Project Additional Info

Teaching Monks Volunteer Project Daily Schedule

8:00 Morning Assembly and Prayers
8:30 classes begin
11:10 Lunch/Break
12:10 After lunch Assembly and Prayers
After Assembly and Prayers afternoon classes begin.
4:20 School ends for the day.

A volunteer is free to come and leave the school as they wish. It’s recommended to stay at the school during most of the day to get to know the staff and students as well as possible, but if a volunteer is free to leave the school during times when they don’t’ have classes, if they have something they would like to do off campus.

Throughout the day and during assembly the students, faculty and staff pray and practice meditation. If a volunteer wants to participate in these prayers or meditation they are welcomed to do so. If a volunteer does not want to participate in the prayers they are asked to be respectful towards those who are taking part in the religious activity.

Buddhist Days

Some of the schools, some of the time, observe the week’s Buddhist Day. Each week of the calendar has a Buddhist day assigned to it. Some schools close on this Buddhist day and the students stay at the temple where they sleep and take part in Buddhist activities. If the Buddhist day falls on a work day of the week, the lessons for that day are most often made up on the following Saturday. Volunteers in the project are free to either teach on that Saturday of make-up lessons, or take the time off to relax, travel or take part in one of Chiang Mai’s other activities.

Volunteer Video 1

This is a video that you may have seen on the project page for the Teaching Monks Volunteer Project. It shows two different schools and gives a pretty good picture of the atmosphere of the project.

Teaching a lesson

It is important to plan and prepare lessons. For the inexperienced teacher, lengthy, in-depth lesson plans are not necessary. It is however, crucial that when preparing/planning a lesson that one must write down a simple procedure of how they plan to conduct the class. Attempt to cover all four skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) in the period of an hour class. Below is a basic plan as to how inexperienced teachers can plan lessons:

  1. Introduction to the class and a short fun warm up activity

  2. Presentation of new material/review of already covered material.

  3. Practice of the material presented Speaking activity then writing activity using the material covered.

  4. A quick wrap up / closing activity.

Suggestions for Topics

Days of the week/months of the year
Places around town
Countries / travel vocabulary
Things at home
Things at school

Volunteer Video 2

You may have also seen this video on the project page. This video was taken by an Australian film crew making a show about volunteering in Thailand.

Suggestions for basic Activities

Tick tack toe (with vocabulary)
Memory (vocabulary and definition/picture)
Word searches
Crossword puzzles
Dialogue type games
Songs (to follow, but not sing)
Scrabble type games
Bingo (with numbers, pictures, vocabulary, whatever)
Spin the bottle (conversation / vocabulary, not kissing)
Simon Says
Running Dictation

Note that all monks (whether it’s the student novices or faculty and staff) are not allowed to touch or be touched by a woman. Furthermore, women are not allowed to directly hand a Buddhist monk something. They must place it on a secondary object (table, chair, NOT the ground) before the monk can pick it up.

Other things that monks have religious rules against:

No singing
No dancing
No sports or active games
No clapping

Students are allowed to play simple games (so long as they are not too physically active) and are allowed to act. In fact the novice monks love acting. The art programs at many of the schools are rather popular amongst the students. They very much enjoy expressing themselves through art. Any type of new artistic technique or project that a teacher can bring into class would be a helpful. Please keep these Buddhist rules in mind when preparing and planning lessons.

Volunteer Video 3

The following was a video made by one of our previous volunteers. It originally had different music, but it infringed some Youtube copy write law or something and had to be changed to the elevator music you hear in it now.

Materials, Stationary and Books

Most of the schools use student textbooks and workbooks in their English courses. With this being said, most of the textbooks are not very well written and are often times far above the abilities of the students that are using them. Some volunteers are free to use any material in their lessons, however it is recommended that volunteers try to use the textbooks and workbooks when possible, as it is important that the students follow the curriculum, especially considering the students will continue to use the textbooks and workbooks after end of the volunteer’s service. With this being mentioned, please don’t think that the textbooks and workbooks have to be used exclusively. Pictures and different materials from a volunteer’s country can be a lot of fun and be incredibly educational.

There are stationary stores close to many of the schools. These stores are labeled on the map. Unfortunately there is no budget available for volunteer teacher resources. Therefore if a teacher wants to purchase supplies or materials for their classes they will have to do so with their own money. Friends For Asia staff will be happy to show you the way or take you to a stationary store during your orientation or service to help you prepare for your lessons. Most of the schools have some type of procedure for copies that volunteers are allowed to use. For specific information regarding the system of making copies, a volunteer would have to consult their coworkers at their assigned school.

Volunteer Transportation

Airport pick up, the city tour and the transportation to and from the cultural show and dinner are covered in the project fee. Friends For Asia staff also sends volunteers and interns to seek medical assistance in non-emergency situations. Obviously, in the case of an emergency a proper ambulance would be called and used. A volunteer will have to cover the cost of their own transportation if they make multiple appointments to see a doctor or dentist.

Volunteers in the Teaching Monks Volunteer Project are responsible for their daily commute to and from the Volunteer House and their school. More details are listed below, but expect to pay anywhere between $1.50 – $3.00 per day for transportation. Although all the schools where volunteers work are a decent walk from the house, many volunteers take this on foot option to take in more of Chiang Mai during their service.

Transportation by SongThaews (Thai style mini-busses) are normally 20 Baht (roughly 70 U.S. cents) per ride. Therefore, most volunteers spend around $1.50 a day on transportation to and from work. Tuktuks (three wheeled, motorized rickshaws) are more expensive, but faster. A regular priced ride in a tuktuk is about 50 Baht ($1.60 USD). On your first day of your project, the volunteer coordinator will escort you to your school and introduce you to the administration at the school. Volunteers travel with the coordinator on that day by local transportation in an attempt to teach volunteers how to get to the school and back by themselves on the following days of their volunteer service.

Visit the Teaching Monks Volunteer Project Page

Read advice written by previous volunteers in the Teaching Monks Project