by Erica Ambrose (October, 2007 – March, 2009)
One more term!
After living in Thailand for about 8 months and working at Super English I realized that a year was not going to be enough time to accomplish all the things I wanted to do. I was then offered the option on staying on staff for one more term. I immediately jumped at the opportunity and have not regretted it. I have become too attached to Surat Thani, the people, and of course the children.
Once getting over the initial jitters of teaching English (especially to 55 students) I began to realize I really enjoyed it, the lesson planning gets progressively easier and you really have the chance to see your students grow and learn. It is truly amazing to look back on a year of teaching and realize how much your students have progressed and how much in turn you have learned in the process.
Super English also fosters a lovely, friendly social circle for its teachers. There are many cultural events and staff appreciation nights. These offer a chance for everyone to get together and learn more about Thai culture, go out for a night on the town, or take an evening boat cruise complete with karaoke and dancing! All of the teachers ride bicycles so it is fun to cruise around and surprise Thai people with 12 white people on the road in a bicycle gang (this is not a common site and proves to be a source of great amusement for all Thai people). Why it is so funny I have not yet figured out.
I find that there is a very strong support system at Super English. All of the teachers and staff are willing to share ideas and concerns freely and the management has always been extremely helpful with any problems or questions which have arisen. Granted this is Thailand so mix ups do occur and curve balls can be frequent. But it is part of the daily excitement of working in a foreign country to never know what new twist may be coming your way. I find the staff team always handles these surprises with a smile, a slightly baffled look and accommodates everyone to the best of their ability.
Whilst being in Thailand I have also become involved in a few forms of alternative medicine. I have begun taking Reiki classes and will be certified in my second level in a week. I have also taken a 2 week Thai massage course in Chiang Mai and am now qualified to practice Thai massage. Many of the super teachers have been kind enough to allow me to use them as practice dummies. These courses were all fantastic and are about half or a quarter of what they cost to take back home. Super English also allows a lengthy vacation time so you have a lot of time to take any course that interests you. I would highly recommend getting certifications in Thailand, and most courses are available close to Surat Thani.
All in all, my year and a half in Thailand has been fantastic I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I have made great friends who I hope I will stay in contact with even when my time is finished. If you are looking for a country with amazing weather (but hot – it gets damn hot!), beautiful, friendly people, and a chance to make a difference in children’s’ lives then teaching at Super English in Thailand is the place to be!