People ask me what it is like to teach English in Asia. I am a teacher in Phuket, Thailand, the Pearl of the Andaman. So, to start with, my location is fabulous. The sunsets are incredible. Yesterday, I was by the beach for sunset with colors shifting and melding and as the blazing sun dipped below the horizon I remembered to breathe again. The beauty stopped people in their tracks. No one spoke. We all simply stood, absorbing the beauty, speechless.
My students are delightful. There are not enough superlative adjectives (yes, I teach English) to describe the warmth, playfulness, and hospitality of the Thai people. We always laugh in class. Their whole approach is to have fun while learning and this is nice to encounter as a teacher. Happy people who are having fun make great students.
Teachers are highly respected in Asia and Thailand is not an exception. The again is seen as one who is trying to help the student, to train their most precious asset their mind. To give the gift of learning is so overwhelmingly valued, that the teacher is seen only a bit below the monks, the King, and even their most beloved teacher, the Buddha. As a foreigner, I must constantly remind myself that their approach to what I do is perhaps different that my approach to my own teachers. My students have an entirely different way of relating to my position than I do or ever did. I have to become comfortable accepting their respect and have to take the role seriously in a light-hearted way.
I was well-prepared for my job by TEFL Phuket So teaching is at once rewarding, challenging, interesting and fun. The work never seems hard maybe because I try to remind myself of my good fortune in being here. At any rate, I’ll blog some more specifics as time permits. For now, rest well and sweet dreams of fresh mangoes, banana pancakes, and glorious sunsets.