Getting Creative with P5

As a P5 teacher, I’ve had to think outside of the box this year to try and make topics such as “matter” and “triangle properties” as interesting as possible for my students. When it came time to teach about statistics,p4 I decided that looking at examples of pictographs and frequency tables in the book would not be as fun as making our own. Each student chose a topic and made a survey to give to all of their classmates. The topics ranged anywhere from “Favorite Country” and “Favorite Color” to “Blood Type” and “Favorite Smiley Face.” After gathering the data from their surveys, the students created their pictographs. I was impressed with their creativity and was happy to see that not only were they having fun, but they were also starting to grasp the material better. It’s always nice to see my students put in an effort and then make themselves (and their teacher) very proud.

Mango Sticky Rice

Mango sticky rice is one of my favorite desserts to eat here in Thailand! And yes, when I’m feeling cheeky I eat it as dinner! This dish is the perfect combination of sweet coconut milk and refreshing cool mangos, perfect for a hot afternoon! This traditional thai dessert is typically eaten with the hands, just be sure to have some napkins on standby! 


1 cup Long grain rice

150 cc Coconut milk

1 cup Palm Sugar

1pc Ripe sweet mango, peeled and sliced

½ tbsp. Salt

2 tbsp. White sesame seeds (option for garnish)



  1. Soak rice with enough water to cover rice, soak for 3-8 hours. Next, steam rice on medium to high heat for 20 minutes.
  2. Mix the coconut milk, sugar and salt into a pot to heat over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve the sugar thoroughly.
  3. Combine the sauce with hot sticky rice (if rice is not hot, the mixture will separate). Stir to ensure all of the rice mixes with the sauce.
  4. Arrange a plate with rice and sliced mango. Pour any remaining sauce over the sliced mango.
  5. Add sesame seeds (optional).


Bungalow Life

Before I even hoppedb2 on my plane to Surat Thani, I had decided that I needed to live in one of the bungalows in order to make my Thailand experience complete. After reading one of the housing articles on the Super English website (, I fell in love with the simple but beautiful little homes in the middle of the jungle. After a long day being energetic Teacher Allie, nothing makes me happier than crossing Donnock Bridge into the jungle and leaving the town aspect of Surat Thani behind. It’s really the best of both worlds, because I get to live in a bungalow surrounded by palm trees and monitor lizards, but I am just a quick drive away from school, the night market, 7-11, and many restaurants. Another major plus of living in the b3bungalows is that the other 4 are filled with fellow Super English teachers, so I get to live right next door (and across the pond) from my friends. I also get to pick bananas right off the tree behind my home, see monitor lizards float by, watch gorgeous sunsets, and relax in my hammock… I could go on forever. I have to be honest and say that the only con is the occasional giant spider or gecko corpse in my bungalow, but it’s all part of the experience and I wouldn’t have it any other way! (ignore my post-motorbike crash bandage)

Vegetarian Meal of the Month

burgTeacher Allie here to help all you vegetarians survive here in Surat Thani. Everybody told me it would be hard to avoid meat/chicken/pork/fish/shrimp/etc. living in Thailand, but I’m doing just fine. This month’s find is a wonderful veggie burger from Nature Cafe, one of my favorite places to eat in Surat. It costs 80 baht without cheese, and 90 with… a little pricer than if I were to just get vegetable fried rice, but that’s no fun to eat everyday. The patty is made of texturized soy protein and bits of vegetable. I prefer vegetable burgers made of beans, but this one is still delicious! It is topped with fresh lettuce, tomato, and onions, plus you can add cheese if you want. It also comes with french fries, making it the perfect meal. Enjoy!

Kao Pad Gai

(Chicken Fried Rice)


1 cup Steamed rice

20g Chopped chicken

2 tbsp Cooking oil

¼ cup Chopped onion

½ tbsp. Chopped garlic

1-2 tbsp Oyster sauce

1 tsp Sugar

1 tbsp Soy sauce

1/8 tsp Salt

1pc Egg

¼ – ½ cup Mix vegetables (kale, carrot, long bean, tomato, corn)

1 pc Lime Slice



  1. Heat cooking oil in wok. Next, add garlic and stir until yellow.
  2. Add chicken and stir until well done.
  3. Crack the egg and cook until well done.
  4. Add steamed rice, oyster sauce, soy sauce, salt, sugar, onion, and mixed vegetables. Mix well.
  5. Serve hot with lime slice.

P1, P2, and P3 English Camps!

This past Saturday at Thida we held our final English camps of the year.  The P1 and P2 camps were held at New Thida, while the P3 camp was at Old Thida.  Teachers Calum, Torie, Alli G. and myself were leaders for the P2 camp and Teachers Alex, Ali, Ashton, and Jenna held down the fort for the P1 stations.

There wasn’t a particular theme for the camps this time around–we just focused on entertaining the students while having fun!  The P2 stations were held under the morning assembly area and the P1 stations in the circular bowl area of the New Thida building.  Stations ranged from English Olympics to Getting Jiggy With It to Teacher Alli Says!

The morning started off with a prayer by Sister followed by a mini photo session (of course).  It was so cute to see the kids in their normal street clothes as opposed to their Thida daily uniforms.  It served as a reminder how young they really are!  Lots of Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty, and bunny rabbit ears.

After the first assembly we broke into our stations and had the first three rotations.  Each station was 25 minutes long.  It got pretty toasty outside being active and running around!  My station, the ‘English Olympics,’ didn’t quite go as I had imagined.  I took eight flashcards from our current P2 unit (After School) and used them for a relay race.  However, I found I first needed to spend some time reviewing the pronunciation of the classes to make the children feel more comfortable.

The main portion of my station was a two team relay race.  I placed four of the flashcards ten feet or so in front of team one and the other four the same distance away from team two.  Each of the teams hopped on one leg down to the flashcards, raced to say the four respective cards (dance class, piano class, etc) and hop back on the opposite foot to tag the next child in line.  They really got into it and had a great time!  I also planned to do a crab walking activity but found after the first station there just wasn’t enough time.  That was ok, though, as the students really took to the first activity and that’s all that mattered to me!

After the three stations we had a little break and afterwards went right back into our last three rotations.  To conclude the day’s camp we had fun dancing a few songs like the Macarena and the Cha Cha Slide.  The kiddos have a ton of energy and using that to our advantage was a good move!  The last game was ‘Mummy Wrap’ game where five P2 students and four P1 students were each wrapped in toilet paper by two of their classmates.  They loved it!  A big shout out to Teachers Ali and Jenna for coming up with activity.  It was the first time we’d done that and was a nice change of pace from the same games that are recycled from different camps….I’ll definitely be using that one again!

All in all it was a fun day!  We had clear skies for the day before the rain moved in today (Monday).  Unfortunately, this will be the last IEP camp I’ll be able to work with the P2 students as most of them will head over to Old Thida for P3 I imagine.  It was a great last camp, though!


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Let’s Go! English Training at Thida

Today the farang English teachers and Thai English teachers from both Thida 1 & 2 gathered for an in-school seminar about our English text, “Let’s Go!”  Of course, I think I speak for most people when we we’re told about a 3 hour training, but it was informative and entertaining.

Jay Richardson, an Englishman living in Nakhon, led the presentation.  I was originally under the impression the presentation would be led by the authors/publishers of the text, but I was mistaken.  He was an Academic Advisor/Trainer who’s lived in Thailand roughly 15 years and had ‘speaking Thailand’ skills I’d never seen before (for a farang).

Jay led us through the contents of the book, describing how the authors intended the book’s breakdown in terms of number of lessons and his approach to both the text and how it could be applied in the classroom.  As a foreigner, he also understood that the text isn’t everything.  It’s a basis to be supplemented with our creativity and own outside the box ideas.  That was refreshing to hear.

Jay talked a good bit about TPR (Total Physical Response) and CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference).  The latter has become a bigger part in Asia and other countries and will also be a part of the Thai teachers’ and students’ testing in the not so distant future.

It was great Jay was able to speak fluent Thai as he could keep the Thai teachers engaged and speak Thai if needed to keep things moving.  Definitely helped keep a good flow during the presentation and I think it benefitted them a great deal.  He touched on some common classroom mistakes (a few I’m guilty of!), which served as a good reminder to not get complacent in the classroom.

I think each and every teacher in the room was able to take something away from today’s presentation and apply in their own classroom.  A refreshing part was his understanding that everybody operates in his or her own way, so it was wasn’t a ‘do as I say’ type of event, but some suggestions on how to implement different ideas and get the most out of the resources.  As I’ll be teaching the same group of kids for the third year next year, it’ll be nice to have some different methods to use and hopefully the kids will feel energized by some new activities!



Premier Fitness in Surat

Located in the middle of town by the bus transportation system (Taled Kaset) is Premier Fitness, my after school home.  It’s been incredibly convenient, offers good value for the money, and is usually pretty quiet around 4:15.

Premier isn’t the biggest gym in the area (that’d probably be Aleeza) nor the cheapest (Koh Lampu is free) but I’ve found it’s offered what I’m looking for and a not-so far out of the way location to maximize my membership.

The gym is actually 3 levels–on the first floor are the locker rooms and weights/machines.  On the second floor are some kickboxing gloves and bags, and on the third floor is where the classes are held.  I’ve done some of the classes from time to time, but they start a little too late for my liking.  By 5:30 I’m usually done and ready for a shower and dinner.  The classes don’t start until 6, though.

I try to go each day after school and always pack my things to head directly there after school.  I’ve self-aware enough to realize if I don’t go right after school, I simply won’t make it.  Tough getting the motivation to go back to the gym after a nap or watching a show at home.  😦

The gym itself has everything I’d want–a lot of free weights and dumbbells, treadmills/cardio machines, and a spacious area for abs.  I always hated going to the gym at the prime hours and waiting for some weights or a machine.  The after work rush usually doesn’t start until 5:30 ish, which is perfect as it’s the time I’m finishing.

The membership fee itself isn’t too taxing–I’ve been seemingly grandfathered into paying 4,000 baht for 3 months.  I believe there are 6 and 12 month memberships available, but the savings is minimal when compared to paying out of pocket.  I don’t necessarily have an extra 12-15,000 baht laying around to pay for the year, either!

Premier’s staff is very friendly and helpful.  They’ve always been very hospitable to myself and the other foreigners who exercise there.  I know they offer personal training services but luckily I’m familiar enough with the machines to not need to shell out for their services.

I’ve been to a few other gyms in my time here–Aleeza (a bit pricy), Smart Gym (good size, but no air con), and the Stadium gym (small, outdated equipment) and think Premier has the best combination in town.  I haven’t made a ton of friends at the gym, but that’s only because it’s headphones on, music up and take care of business to enjoy my evening!

Note:  I don’t have any pictures of me because I find it a little odd to take pics of myself exercising.  One of the female staff walks around snapping photos, but I never seem to make the cut!




Pad Prew Wan Kai

I spent my Christmas holiday back in California… yes getting there took more than 35 hours… but it was oh so worth it! While I was home my friends and family badgered me to cook all the delicious Thai foods I eat here in Surat! But, being a native Souther California resident, all I wanted to eat was Burritos and In n Out! Although I refused to eat any Thai food while I was home, I did give quite a few Thai cook books out as gifts! Heres a recipe for one of my favorite go to meals! This dish is “aroy mac mac” as the Thais would say!


(Sweet & Sour Chicken)


30g Sliced chicken

4 tbsp Tomato sauce

3 tbsp Vinegar

2 tsp Sugar

1 tbsp Oyster Sauce

½ tsp Salt

¼ cup Chopped onion

¼ cup Chopped cucumber

¼ cup Chopped pineapple

1-2 tbsp Spring oinion

1-2 tbsp Coriander

1/8 cup Water


  1. Add tomato sauce, sugar, oyster sauce, and vinegar into a wok. Mix together.
  2. Keep gas on low. Once boiled, add chicken and stir until well done.
  3. Add onions, pineapple, cucumber. Mix ingredients together until the the mixture is a little sticky (if too thick and sticky add water.)
  4. Lastly, add the spring onion, wait 3-5 minutes before turning off the gas.