Teach Enrich Empower
Dan Gray - Teaching in Thailand
As a final year university student, I was attending early morning lectures in the cold and spending my last three months constantly studying for my final exams and writing my dissertation. I was longing for a gap year to travel to somewhere sunny and have a break from my normal day-to-day life and the endless rainy days.
After researching fun job opportunities that would allow me to live in many countries around the world, ESL teaching stood out to me the most. A quick Google search lead me to The TEFL Academy. As someone who had no experience of teaching and always found public speaking a little bit daunting, I felt I needed a TEFL course that would help me develop and gain some teaching experience.
The 100-hour online and 20-hour classroom course was a perfect way for me to gain my qualification. The classroom course allowed me to practice and go through many classroom activities that I still find useful to this day. Along with the online assignments, which allowed me to work at my own pace from my home.
Once completing my final assignment, my TEFL certificate landed through the letterbox a few days later. This was my ticket to teach and I soon packed my bags and headed off to Thailand. I’m currently living in a small village just outside of Chiang Mai, surrounded by mountains and waterfalls, which gives me many great places to relax and chill out after a day in the classroom.
I teach in a school with around 160 students ranging from 4-15 years old, meaning I have a great mix of loud and energetic classes with my younger students and more calm lessons with my older students, where you can have lots of fun conversations and jokes with the class. From my own experience Thai students love nothing more than having fun, so its my job to create exciting games and activates that will help them practice whatever is being taught throughout the specific lesson.
My workload is very manageable; in fact, it’s far less than the Thai teachers in my school. I teach 20 classes a week and my school day starts at 8:00 and ends at 3:30. I will often have many free periods throughout the day, which gives me plenty of time to plan lessons and watch a couple of YouTube videos. I never have to take any work home with me, so I’m free in evenings and weekends to do whatever I want and travel.
“I couldn’t recommend getting a TEFL qualification highly enough”
The great thing about Thailand is there is a huge market for ESL teachers and it is rather easy to find a teaching position in pretty much any part of the country. Outside of teaching, the country itself is such a great place to live. Whether it’s the temples, mountains, beaches or cities, Thailand has it all. Combined with the incredibly low cost of living and endless sunny days, it makes Thailand such a great place to live. Oh and if you find yourself with a long weekend or time off you can easily travel to many other amazing places around South-East Asia!
Having my TEFL certificate has opened lots of doors to living in Asia and can be used in pretty much any other country around the world.
Okay, here’s the cheesy part! (But it’s true). In my short time in Thailand I have already had so many great experiences and I couldn’t recommend getting a TEFL qualification highly enough, as it really does allow you to get out and experience living in a country without just feeling like any other tourist.
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