Teach Enrich Empower
John Allard - Teaching in Thailand
My name is John, and according to some sources I am 31 years of age. Until last year I was an office drone living and working in Brighton.
I was loving living in that lovely lively location but loathed the long laborious lengths of lamenting labor (ask a Thai student to say that!). Two good friends of mine had been teaching English on the beautiful Thai island of Koh Samui and had recommended that I take a TEFL course and do something similar.
It just so happened that I gone and done a English degree when I was younger, which in classic 21st century university graduate style, hadn’t put to any good use at all. I saw an opportunity to justify the student loan that I am still paying off and to make a life choice that promised adventure.
The TEFL Academy provided an excellent course with really helpful assistance from the teachers and from the resource books provided. I still keep these with me. My English language skills are pretty good but I knew that teaching would be a challenge, so I was grateful for the confidence that completion of the course gave me.
“The TEFL Academy provided an excellent course”
I had a stroke of luck with my job, in that I was able to take voluntary redundancy just when I was planning on resigning anyway! Which was nice. So with my TEFL certificate and my unexpected nest egg wrapped up in a poker dot bundle hanging from a stick, I set off for the world.
I left the UK for Thailand in January with a group of friends and, after travelling around Northern Thailand for a spell, we took up residency on Koh Lanta, Krabi. As our other friends left in stages, myself and a friend of mine with the same idea as me found ourselves slipping all too easily into the laid-back Thai beach life. We knew it was time to start teaching.
No sooner had we agreed to head to Bangkok to seek our fortune, when an angel emerged from the ether in the shape of a homely Yorkshire lass. She was an English teacher herself, and told us of a magical place called Chonburi where she worked. With her help we relocated to Chonburi and found work teaching English privately. We settled into the Chonburi lifestyle like a stray dog slips into 7/11… Easily, but not unnoticed. Next we needed a school and a whole bunch of students to teach. Both of these requirements were satisfied in the form of Chonradsadornumrung School (Yes it did take quite a while to learn how to say/spell).
My friend and I have been teaching here for five months now. It was daunting at first as I teach high school age students, but it’s definitely the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. The students in Thailand have what I would describe as ‘next level’ respect for their teachers but they’re still as cheeky as the Thai monkeys that go for your passport. Every one of my students is a little legend in the making, and teaching them English is a challenge that I now relish on a daily basis.
My plan now is to continue to teach here until the end of my contract and then go and mooch around Australia for a bit. I would recommend teaching English as a foreign language to anyone who is considering it. I have been loving life in Thailand but I now have a skill that I can take almost anywhere in the world. The world is my oyster. It can be your oyster too. We can share the oyster. A half-shell each. Or go to the shop and get more oysters. Whatever. Oysters. Peace.x
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