School’s been out about a month now, but I’m ready to get back to teaching! I’ve missed seeing those little cute faces each morning–picks up my spirit 1,000%! I stayed back in Surat this month to teach some extra lessons until Songkran, at which point I’ll head home for a couple of weeks.
Being out in the community, I never quite noticed how many times I ran into students/parents/other teachers. At the market, at the pool, at a stoplight, etc. They’re everywhere, ha! I’ve actually found these moments to be more valuable teaching times (albeit short ones) when I can interact outside the classroom. Their natural personality flows and I get more a sense about them from their style of dress, hair, etc. They’re more relaxed and usually at ease talking with me. I’m not viewed as a teacher or authority figure, but just another person on the street.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the unique chance to work with two brothers from Thida each day. In the mornings, we’ve worked on grammar and tenses, which can be troublesome to kids. I’ve tried to implement real time examples of why and how we use the various tenses. They’re English ability is excellent and they’ve been able to grasp many of the things we’ve reviewed quite quickly. The boys have a very busy schedule and our usual 9:00 start time has been bumped to 10:00 due to tennis lessons.
I usually have an hour break where I eat lunch with the kids and then have some free time. It’s been amazingly hot and humid in Surat recently, so there’s no point driving across town back home for such a little time. I typically go to Central and have coffee, where I usually run into a handful of other students!
In the afternoons, we have more relaxed sessions. Five hours is a lot of time to spend on grammar each day…learning or teaching! The boys have a basketball hoop in their backyard and a ping pong table inside, so depending on the weather, we’ll take some time and play one of those games. They’ve asked me the process of becoming a teacher at Thida, why we can’t simply cross a country’s border with a passport, and cultural differences between American and Thai students.
I’ve really enjoyed the afternoon talks and think they’ve been valuable for speaking practice. They ask some really good questions and I have to make sure to prep a good deal of things so we don’t have dead time each day!