Teaching is what brought me here to Thailand and I realized that I haven’t written much about it! I definitely lucked out with my placement in Lang Suan (although I cried for two days straight when I got here). I only work four days a week (well, actually 3 1/2, but those days are pretty jam packed and exhausting), the school isn’t strict and the classes are small, the teachers are cool, I have good friends, and I get to live in the South.
I have heard horror stories from other AYC teachers that their students tried to light their butts on fire, the kids try to pull on their skirts or get naked themselves, the class is jam-packed sometimes with class sizes over 70, or the children are just completely unruly and unmanageable.
Well, then I really lucked out.
My students can sometimes be a little loud and obnoxious, some tend to prefer standing and walking around the class to sitting and learning, and some sit there chanting, “Mr. Bean, Mr. Bean,” the entire class time, but they are all really great kids.
(One of the first class periods we had them watch Toy Story over the week and one of my M1 classes never got to finish the movie. Alan had borrowed the movie from Bangkok and had promptly returned it and thus I was stranded with no Toy Story to show them. They still to this day have not seen the rest of Toy Story and yes, they still remind me about it.)
Of course I have my favorites. I have students that love to speak English to me (some even try to speak Spanish to me because I made the mistake of telling them that Ispeak it), ones that are actually interested in my life and ask me what America is like and how my family is, students that love to learn and sometimes get upset when we’re playing a game instead of studying, and students that love to push my buttons. I love all those students, even the troublemakers. I will get mad at them, steal their chairs (I had a student keep making excruciatingly loud sounds with his chair and I told him I would take it if he did it again. Of course, he did it again and I took the chair. He awkwardly stood there for a second and then did a half squat. It was really hilarious, and yes I ended up giving him his chair back soon afterwards), threaten to punish them or throw them out or try to ignore them, but they are still the students that smile and wave at me outside of class. They go out of their way to come up to me in the cafeteria and ask me what I’m eating and how I am.
So, I love my good students and sometimes I even like my troublemakers more, despite the headaches they give me. But all in all, I have loved teaching. But I don’t think it’s the actual teaching that I’ve loved. The kids are definitely what have made my experience here so great. I love being able to ride my bike through town and be greeted by a 14 year-old jumping up and down yelling, “Hello Sandra!!
Their smiles are to die for and their laughs are even better. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.