by Rachel Shelasky (Summer, 2008)
Words can not express how wonderful my experience was as a teacher with Super English. Throughout my journey, Peter, the Director of Super English, was always there to answer my questions (I had MANY!) and make me feel comfortable. He was always straight-forward and honest and told me exactly how it was.
When I arrived in Surat, I had come alone from New York and needless to say, I was both nervous and excited. I was met with such a fantastic, warm group of people (other teachers) who literally took me under their wings. It was like I had an immediate family there. I never felt lonely because people were always around to grab dinner or drinks with and just hang out. Everyone was so helpful, fun and just awesome. It was never cliquey because Peter makes sure that everyone who is part of Super English is open, cool and accepting. After one month of teaching, I had made best friends for life.
The teaching experience was great!!! Thai kids are so loving, warm and respectful. They are so excited to have you there to teach them. It is a very playful environment. Of course, you work hard on your lesson plans and take teaching seriously but it is equally about having fun in the classroom. Super allows for teachers to be extremely creative. They guide you and support you 100%, but at the same time, give you the freedom to teach your own way and “own it” which is very important.
Surat is a great place to live!!! I was a little skeptical in the beginning since I had never really heard of it (judging by the guidebooks and friends who had visited Thailand). It turned out to be the PERFECT place for me. If you want to see the real Thailand and immerse yourself in the culture, this is the place. Surat has fabulous night markets (with the most amazing and unique foods), bars, restaurants and parks (I did aerobics every day!). I liked the size because it was small enough to feel like a village and see some of the same people but big enough to always find new restaurants, internet cafes, etc. It was also in a perfect location for traveling to the islands on the weekends.
I would love to talk to anyone who is considering teaching at Super English. I promise that I will try to answer your questions as honestly as I can. I would recommend the program to anyone seeking a teaching experience overseas. It was truly a life-changing and magical experience that will always be in my heart. I live in New York but my second home will always be in Surat Thani.