Teaching in Thailand ended up being a completely different experience than what I thought it would be. I’m going to say the thing that people don’t expect you to say when you set off on a cool new experience, I didn’t like it. I’ve said that to people over the past few months and everyone makes this weird face and looks at me as if I’m nuts… they say “but why?” The short answer is that teaching is just not for me. And you know what, thats okay…
Don’t get me wrong, I had a wonderful situation in terms of being with 7 other Americans and living very close to our school. We were given wonderful accommodations (hot water and our own rooms!) and bicycles, and for that I am grateful. I have made some really good friends in my town and they are the reasons that I stuck around.
I was placed in Anuban 1, which is basically preschool. I think that only people who have had experience teaching young kids and are at least a little bit familiar with the students native language should be placed with this grade.
The kids are very young and extremely adorable and I LOVE all of them. Still, I didn’t really feel as if I was actually teaching them anything. I was struggling from the beginning and no one offered me any help. I think thats what discouraged me from the get go…. It didn’t seem as if anyone wanted me to succeed. I had said in my application that I had never been a teacher before and still, my superiors expected me to know exactly what I was doing on the first day. That set a tone for the remainder of the semester and even when I tried my hardest, it seemed like my actions were still falling short.
I never really wanted to go and teach english and quite frankly I don’t think I’m very good at it (to all of my friends who are teachers, you’re amazing…seriously you rock) … I really only wanted to travel. Still, my friend convinced me that it would be a good experience and if I had to go back and do it all again, I probably would based off the fact that I got to live in a country full of very kind people and have had amazing experiences in it.
Sometimes the experiences that don’t go exactly the way you planned are often the best ones. They teach you about yourself. Yes, I’ve learned that I should never be a teacher, but I also learned that I can do anything. I wanted to give up and quit so many times, but I forced myself to stick it out. I needed to prove to myself that I could get through this. Sure, it was challenging, but I made the best out of it.
Everyday I spent with those adorable Thai kids taught me that I can make an impact on people’s lives and its important to stay positive even in a bad situation. I am leaving Thailand and this experience knowing so many bright, young children and I’m excited to check in with my friends who are staying to see how they are doing….
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