Teaching a bunch of kids English, how hard can it be?
That was the dominant thought in my mind, every time I discussed the idea of a TEFL career when I was back in Wales. However, that pre-imagined vision soon vanished when I was stood in front of a class of 30 children, all staring at me as if I was some foreign alien (which I was)………
As I nervously led my class through my first lesson, I couldn’t help but think how the term ‘thrown in at the deep end’ couldn’t be better suited than right now. None of the online teaching theory you learn prior helps very much. But, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It doesn’t take you long to get in a routine, judge what works and what doesn’t, and of course work out which students are the best behaved and which are truly menaceful. And you’re supposed to teach them English? A near impossible task.
Any ESL teacher reading this blog will relate when I say that teaching English as a foreign language can be amazing. The comments and work some of the children produce is absolutely outstanding (for the comedy value, if not the correct English). Anyone who disagrees, approach a 7-year-old Thai kid and ask them to say ‘fox’.
Every day in Thailand is different, every class you teach is different, every motor taxi ride to school is different, every weekend is different and every day something out of the normal and funny happens. This is how I like to live my life. Bamboo, Euro, Theatre, Nurse, Focus, PP, Troy, Book – These are not just random words, these are the names of a few of my students.
Being a language teacher also gave me a sense of purpose that I never had with any other job. Helping and bettering people makes you feel like a better person.