Today is the last day I will see the kids I teach. Today is officially the last day of Kindergarten. Some of my little munchkins will be going up to Pratom and the others will stay in Kindergarten. Either way, I won’t see them again :(. From the minute I started thinking about moving out here I thought I would be out here for at least a year and probably until I’m 50 but as it turns out I will be home after just 8 months.
This journey started when I completed my TEFL course with a group of the most amazing people I have ever met. We completed our course in Krabi through TEFL Heaven and honestly, I don’t think I will ever meet a group of 30 people from different places, work, live and play so well together. Training was amazing!
As part of training, we taught at an English Summer Camp at a school in Krabi… That was the first time I had been in a classroom with kids other than when I myself was a kid. Those two days at summer camp changed my life… My head completely fell off! On the first day, I went through the whole “what the hell am I doing, I can’t do this, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, I’ve made a big mistake”. By the time I had woke up the next morning I had had numerous motivational talks with myself and decided that I had to try. I got to the summer camp, took a deep breath and off I went. My confidence was shattered but my determination was high. To start the day we did group activities which went amazingly, so I felt a little more ready to fight this battle I was currently losing. By the time we had finished the day… Well, I needed a drink, but my whole world was somehow different. I had changed, I had grown and the best thing of all was that even I had learnt. That was the moment I fell in love with teaching.
I then completed the course and moved from Krabi to Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat), five hours away from anywhere. From day one I completely fell in love with every single one of the kids that I taught. I have given teaching them absolutely everything I have every single minute I could. Of course, it’s been mentally and physically draining but it has been more than worth it and the kids don’t deserve any less.
When you walk into a classroom and there are 30+ 3-6-year-olds looking at you and you watch as it registers with them that it is you walking into the classroom… Their whole body and face light up and you can see them trying to work out what they are going to tell you first. Then BOOM! Within seconds of walking into the room, you have 30 children all trying to tell or show you something different. The room explodes with excitement as they tell you about their own world or point out the little gecko watching the class from the ceiling or the drawing and writing left on the board from the class they had before you, everything in the room comes to life and has a big story that they must tell you. As they settle down and their attention turns back to you, their eyes are fixed on yours, shining with excitement and curiosity of what you are going to say next and what they will be learning today. As the lesson goes on you notice them understand, one by the one the light bulb turns on and immense gratification take’s over their faces. Those moments are magical and one of the main reasons I now want to become a fully qualified teacher.
Don’t get me wrong it is extremely hard teaching Maths to 3 – 6-year-olds especially when their first language is not English and even harder when their first language is Thai which is completely different from English. You start to speak in a different way, your body language and gestures become your primary language and the words become your second language. The best part about it is that communication and understanding are probably the hardest part of the job. The good news is that communication is the easiest thing to find answers to and if you are patient, passionate and caring, the understanding part comes eventually.
Becoming a teacher I stopped thinking about myself and started thinking about them, how can I change things to help them grow? What can I do to help them learn? Who should I be to help them understand? I thought I had put others first in most things that I have already experienced and done, little did I know just how much your life and world can change and revolve around somebody else. I fell in love. After such a short period of time, I would do anything for every single one of the kids I have taught. I love and care about them more than I have anything else in my life. I’ve put everything I have into teaching them, spent hours planning and hours teaching and now it’s the end. The end of something very special. Im going to miss them more than I have missed anything in life before (other than how much I currently miss my dog!).
I’m going to miss how they tend to put an A after every S… Sa-poon, Sa-unday, sa-pecial, sa-wim, sa-ing. Im going to miss the daily I love you teacher Danni and the big hugs. Im going to miss being called teacher Danny. Im going to miss the introduction… Me: Good morninggggg, class: good morning teacher, me: how are you?, class: I. am. good. thank. you. and. how. are. you? Im going to miss the naughty kids, the quiet kids, the clever kids and the excited kids. Im going to miss every single one of them but completing my education and becoming a fully qualified teacher in England will give me a oppertunity to continue teaching and helping our next generation.