Erica’s 1 Year Testimonial

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!

Advertisements

Testimonial

by Meghan Mulvenna (October, 2007 – October, 2008)

I recently finished a year of teaching for Super English and living in Surat Thani, Thailand. Peter and the fellow teachers from Super English were most welcoming on my arrival to Thailand. I remember the first few crucial steps were purchasing a bicycle, a telephone and learning where the vegetarian restaurants (where I only had to point to the food I wanted) were located.

Within a few days of arrival, I began teaching a mostly Kindergarten caseload. Although I had a background in education, this was my first experience with teaching English as a second language. I was warned about the possible intimidation factor of teaching over 50 3-5 year olds at one time, but I immediately loved the sea of little faces. During my second term, I also taught primary levels and enjoyed those classes as well. I lived with a number of other roommates during my stay and have made some great friends with teachers from all over the world.

My greatest adjustment to Thailand was culturally, having previously lived in a Latin culture which is likely the furthest in similarity. Initially, I spent a lot of my free time reading, writing, and focused on what I had primarily come to do, teach. Gradually, I found a niche in the social scene, with the support of Thai people who could speak English and have discussions about cultural differences, religion and politics.

I was fortunate to have had the 2.5 month school vacation during my year in Thailand. Since I dedicated to saving money for those months during my first term of teaching, I was able to travel around Thailand, take a quick trip to Hong Kong, and participate in a 10 day silent Buddhist meditation retreat. All were treasured once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

It was a memorable year in Thailand. It went very fast and in some ways I can’t believe it’s over. I never learned much Thai outside of the expected courtesies, and I occasionally relied on Thai friends as translators. I enjoyed Thai food, especially coconut desserts. I am grateful to Peter and all who make Super English possible, as it gave me an opportunity to live in Thailand, experience the joy of teaching Thai children, and make lasting friendships.