Alec Doubleday

Teach Enrich Empower

Finding my groove in Thailand

Hello. My name is Alec. I am 29 years old. I would like to tell you my story of how I went from a monotonous call centre, to a thrilling career teaching in Thailand.

Back in July ’14, I made a careful decision to enrol on The TEFL Academy combined 120 hour course and I have not looked back since.

Now I am teaching full time, approaching a full year of teaching in a government school in Samut Prakan and I absolutely love it. It is a challenge and there have been times where I have questioned myself, but ultimately I can look back in satisfaction at what I have achieved and absorb every new memory I make. I have always loved coming to Thailand on holiday but now it’s my home and I keep pinching myself!

I chose this course because it is convenient, local and the course is run by highly experienced trainers. As long as you are committed and aspire to fulfil your dream, you can certainly find success through this course. The methodology The TEFL Academy teach you will put you in good stead for your first job and having the 10 hours of experience in the classroom is invaluable. Yet, what I can say is that your first job will always be scary and never plain sailing but you will learn a lot and grow in confidence with time.

“I had my first job interview within a week!”

It took me about 10 weeks to finish the online course and I decided to book my flights for the new year.  I arrived in Thailand in February and after browsing jobs on a popular online website (which The TEFL Academy can give you the links to) I had my first job interview within a week. I subsequently got the job on my very first attempt and I have been working at this school ever since!

I remember when I entered the classroom for the first time it finally hit me, that this was real now, and I think the adrenalin gave me the energy to keep the lesson flowing. It was by no means a smooth lesson but by the end of the week I had already found a groove. The kids are fantastic and this is what makes it all worthwhile. But be warned it is hard work, if you are willing to put the effort in you will find it very rewarding.

In my very first lesson I was playing a warmer with the students. I wrote information about myself on the board and got them to guess the questions. They loved it and it set the tone for teaching in my first semester. In my experience, students in Thailand are very active in the classroom. They prefer the lessons to have many activities and they like to be entertained, especially in regards to classroom management. I have found that being proactive is always more effective than being reactive. So for anyone wishing to come here, make sure you are active in the classroom. If you follow some of The TEFL Academy resources you will find many ideas for making the lessons fun but educational too. Also, do not be offended if the students get quite rowdy at times. The younger students around grade 6-7, are willing to learn but generally get quite loud when excited! For example, when they stand up at the end to say the usual “Thank you Teacher” in chorus, the younger ones will often shout it as loud as they can and nearly deafen you!

Next year I plan to get married in Thailand and working 9 to 5 in a call centre in the dreary surroundings of an industrial estate seems like a long time ago. So if you are reading this, you can also change your life. Just sign up!

Oh and about the Chipmunk thing, it was the crazy sight of a rodent seemingly happy resting on a motorbike taxi rider’s shoulder, just another normal day in Thailand!

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