National Teacher’s Day (วันครูWan Kruu) is celebrated every year on January 16th in Thailand. It is also a school holiday. It is the day that teachers gather together to pay respects to their first teachers. Thai people believe that every field of work has a teacher even for actors, dramatists, magicians, astrologists and boxers.
Therefore, we have a Wai Kruu ceremony to honour our teachers. The highlights of the day include religious activities, a ceremony to pay respect to teachers and activities to strengthen unity among teachers. Every year on this day, the Prime Minister or an important poet will establish the motto for teachers. Here is what was chosen for this year;
“The future can be bright if you have good and quality teachers.”
At ISC, in Thai Studies and Culture classes, my students learn why Thai people look up to teachers and the meaning of this day for the Thai people. It pleases me to see students of all nationalities being respectful to ISC staff daily. When they come to school, or if they pass a staff member during the day, they use a traditional wai. Students will also thank staff by saying “Khorb khun kha / khrab” and doing a wai. Children lower their heads if they need to walk between teachers. I believe they will grow in to adults who understand the meaning of Wai Kruu and be able to demonstrate their respect, not just to teachers, but to all people.
It makes me very proud of them.