Wai Kru day is an annual cultural tradition celebrated as a sign of respect to teachers, and the Shrewsbury community has embraced it since the school’s inception in 2003. Generally, the event is held as a ceremony in the Memorial Hall, but 2020 has already proven to be a year of new experiences. Social distancing measures are still in place, so, respected members of Year 13 represented the whole student body by delivering a gift to Mr Chris Seal.
In doing so, both Petra and Bhu were invited to discuss their thoughts on Wai Kru and why respect, which is the school’s current half term character strength, is so important. The consensus shared by those present was that respect is both given and received simultaneously. Mr Seal is clear that teachers should earn respect.
“I think respect in schools should be mutual. A position of authority is not the key requirement to receive respect. Teachers are mentors and need to guide and encourage students to achieve their goals while respecting their individuality. Students should respond by working hard and responding positively to the opportunities presented. By doing this, learning develops strongly”, he stressed.
Senior Prefect Petra was in agreement and is someone who values a culture where the experience of others is respected.
“Teachers have life experiences and an understanding of the world that we don’t yet have. It is important to listen and pay respect to that. As young people, we stand to gain a lot from our teachers that will be useful in the future”, Petra insisted.
Kru Fon from the Shrewsbury Thai department also concurs, saying that the role of teachers transcends beyond simply academic teaching.
“Recognising a teacher’s position as a role model is important. Petra and Bhu have made an effort on behalf of the whole school to recognise the efforts of teachers not just on Wai Kru day but for the whole year”, Kru Fon commented.
The discussion during the flower ceremony was an embodiment of the views of the school as a whole. Shrewsbury is a place where ideas are shared and norms are respectfully questioned. While doing so, a discussion about what Wai Kru means to us eventuated and was agreed upon. Having ‘respect’ as a half-term goal is a reminder to all students. As Mr Seal, Petra and Bhu noted - only with mutual respect for each other can we achieve a safe environment that promotes effective learning and allows all students to thrive in various aspects of life.