Living in Thailand, Teaching TEFL

An Update on Life in Thailand: The End of Teaching, New Opportunities & An Apology for Blog Neglect.

I plead Guilty. I know. I hold my hands and will admit that I have sucked at keeping up with this blog. I have every intentions but life here in Thailand has been more than hectic. However, my situation has now changed and I now have time to give to this little venture of mine here to write down my experiences and thoughts. But first, I feel like I owe you an update and an explanation for my suckiness… I’ll keep it brief and entwined in an eggshell.

4 house moves, 3 motorbikes, 2 housemates, 1 case of bad food poisoning, 1 brand new job and a bunch of new friends. All I did was close my eyes for a moment and it’s seems like all of a sudden, it’s April 2017. Whaaaat?! The time train really doesn’t stop for anybody. I’ve been living in Thailand for over 6 months now and I’m finally done teaching my first semester in Krabi.  If I was to paint you a picture of my time teaching in Thailand, it would be me riding a bull and barely holding onto my hat and boots. Chaotic. Stressful. Having  the occasional bump now and again. But extremely fun. Hands down, teaching is the most exhausting job I’ve ever had. But also, the most rewarding. Watching these children happy to learn and progressing in the English language because of my teachings gave me such a buzz.  Everyone teaching in Thailand has a different experience. Some teachers only teach one-two hours a day and only have one grade of students to teach. Some are homeroom teachers and teach multiple subjects all day but to the same group of students. Some teachers, like myself, are the only teacher in their school and are responsible for teaching the whole school and will teach for 5-6 hours a day.

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One of my favourite classes – 50+ students is a frickin’ challenge!
So my living arrangements in Khlong Thom unfortunately didn’t work out. My living arrangements were very unsettling from the get go and I ended up making a midnight dash from my first house and living with a Thai teacher (who is now one of my good friends here) for one week until I could find something else. Then I had a house in the same street as the teachers for 3000 baht – the equivalent of £60 for a month. Bargain! I tried my absolute hardest to settle there but living in a village where I was the only foreigner and the only female foreign teacher this school has ever had, proved to be more than I could handle. I felt so far away from everything and everyone. The teachers wanted to look after me all the time and they couldn’t do enough for me and the kindness and friendship that I received from my Thai teachers was priceless, genuine and unforgettable. After the situation I was in while I lived in my first home, they became protective. I felt like the Queen’s jewels. The final straw for me was when I went for a run.  5-10 minutes into my run, one of my neighbours pulled up by the side of me on her motorbike. She was signalling for me to get on her bike. “No, No! I exercise!” but she wasn’t having any of it. “You come with me! Not to be alone!” – I tried to outrun her but eventually gave in, hopped on her bike and was escorted back home like a naughty teenager who snuck out and broke curfew.

So I made the decision to move to Krabi town and commute to school every day which is about 45 minutes away. I found a beautiful house with a western kitchen, got me a motorbike and I instantly started to feel more settled. Commuting to and from my school every day was hard and tiring. But when I pulled up into my school and I hear the cheers from the students looking out of their classrooms, I felt like Angelina Jolie and have to swallow down the urge to spring off my bike shouting, “I have arrived!”. Instead, I just waved my arms frantically and wore the biggest smile on my face as I walked through the school towards my office. The genuine greetings, smiles and hugs I was bombarded with every morning eased the tiredness and brought the biggest smile to my face.  Despite the lack of communication and the amount of pressure I had on my shoulders, I loved being the only English teacher at my school. I had the best relationship with my students, they made me feel so special and always made sure I was well stocked up on sweets throughout the day.

These beauties never failed to make me smile. Such amazing kids.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay for another semester at my school. They can’t afford to have an English Teacher next year which breaks my heart. I’ve also decided to take a break from teaching at a school and stumbled upon a new opportunity – becoming an Entertainment Rep for a hostel in Ao Nang right by the beach! I love the job, the people and the fact that I now have time to actually stop, look, explore and absorb Thailand for what it is and what i can offer. I’m not ruling out teaching altogether, in fact I still am teaching privately which is a much better option for me right now.

Working at the hostel is a complete change from teaching and one that I need. Or is it? I mean looking after children vs. looking after drunk people? Same same but different.

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My new team at Balcony Party Hostel
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My view from the office sucks.
Life is too short. I don’t have a plan. But that’s okay. I’m living life for the moment and i’m living it for me. Nobody else.  I’ve been brought up to believe that as long as you are happy, that’s all that matters. I’m happy. I’m unsettled, unhinged, reckless… but I’m young, wild and free. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Tessaban Khlong Thom Tai School. Thank you for everything. It’s been memorable, unforgettable and irreplaceable.
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