My name is Dan Shering, and in October 2018 I moved to Thailand to teach English as a second language. I’m here with Podio Magazine’s editor, Andy (one of my closest friends here)
We were given identical teaching roles at the same school, for different age ranges, as part of the ‘English for Communication’ (E for C) programme. Many students at our school attend up to 20 hours of English classes a week, which are paid for, however those in E for C lessons only receive 4 hours of free English tuition per month.
For the entire semester this made our jobs extremely rewarding, as we were educating the kids less financially fortunate in comparison to some of the others. But because our programme is free the teaching resources available to us are a lot more limited in contrast: E for C classrooms are without projectors, English books and air con (quite something given the sweltering 38c heat).
This makes our style of teaching different if compared to the paid English Programme. Our lessons are almost entirely verbal, which ensures students can effectively practice their new speaking skills before using them in the real world. Due to the lack of projector there is more responsibility for the teacher to convey information in the form of flashcards and board work, thus making the lessons much more teacher focused.
But oh do we love it so!
To experience such a thirst for learning every day is indescribably heartwarming and the student’s eagerness to absorb new skills is nothing short of wonderful. Some of these kids have considerably less in comparison to children in Preston, across the UK and in other countries around the world. Their attitude to learning though, is absolutely astounding; always laughing, never without a smile on their faces, consistently present with a refreshing and constructive mindset. It can be tough, I’m not denying that. Teaching a class of 50, sometimes alone, a foreign language that they can speak very little of can be a real challenge. But to share and pass on knowledge, and see a child develop and grow in front of you? There’s no better feeling in the world.
More from Dan can be found on his personal blog at: www.flipside933.wordpress.com