Sa waa dee ka! (Hello)
Our first official day of teaching! I’m teaching at the Nam Phong Primary school in Khon Kaen, Thailand with four other university students representing the Australian Thai Youth Ambassador Programme. And what a fantastic day it was!! We were picked up at 8:00am from Bouranyat Hotel in Khon Kaen and it took a full hour drive to reach the school. We had prepared content and worksheets to teach the day before. The school we have been allocated is huge with over 1100 students from Kindy to Year 6. Each class has a maximum of 40 students but its more like 35 in each class so far. We were pleasantly surprised at how much English the children knew… In comparison to other schools it’s quite a lot.
This morning I taught a year 3 class for 1.5 hours and this particular class was so well behaved and willingly to learn. It was a joy to teach and their resident Thai English teacher is very friendly and lovely to work with. With some things, she would have to translate to the class what I was wanting the kids to do.
Some kids are so determined to learn English, it motivates me to teach them as best as I can and I really hope that by the end of the three weeks that their speaking and written English have improved. After teaching year 3, the school provided us with a beautiful table setting in the open prayer hall of the school. We were served a seafood hotpot with rice and egg omelette and fresh watermelon and rose apple (rose apple and apples grown in Australia have little in common. They share the same outside colour and are grown on a tree however rose apples are much sweeter, have an elongated shape and are almost transparent inside). Next came home made coconut ice cream which was aroy! (delicious).
The afternoon consisted of three periods. I taught two year 5 classes and one year 6 class. Some students were able to read simples sentences such as ‘Lisa rides her bike’ and ‘John likes to jog’ which I was impressed at.
The kids respect their teachers and follow the teachers orders (most of the time). They are so happy at school and they get so excited to see foreigners (also because I’m twice their height). They even put stickers on our shirts and give us gifts while we teach. It’s so touching to experience and I feel so humbled to have the privilege to improve their English so that hopefully it inspires them to learn more English and extend their job prospects in the future .
At 4pm, we were taken out to dinner by the hosts from the school to a Chinese restaurant (how ironic). At 6pm we returned to the hotel and met up with everyone else to talk about the day of teaching.
I’m looking forward to the next three weeks of teaching and seeing the children’s English improve.
Sa waa dee ka ! (Goodbye)
– Amira, Australian Thai Youth Ambassadors, January – February 2014