Lewis Mckernan

Teach Enrich Empower

Lewis Mckernan - Teaching in Thailand

Before teaching English, I was living in the woods and fjords of Norway, I was living hand to mouth playing music in the streets and doing the odd job of cutting down trees and some other small jobs.Foraging and hunting to sustain myself.

Before this, I was working in bars, or sales in the UK and not really enjoying it, I wanted to do something new and good for myself and I had always wanted to immerse myself in Eastern culture.

I took a TEFL Course because I wanted to know the ropes and requirements of what is needed to be a professional teacher, I needed to understand my own language even more. I had to be prepared!

Right now I am teaching in one of the best schools in Thailand, I work with two other English teachers from the UK and the USA. They are older than me and very experienced and a pleasure to be around. I teach year 7 and year 11. M1 and M6 in Thailand. The ability of the students varies but some classes’ command of English really is excellent.

I’m a teacher at Surat Pittaya, it is on one of the main roads in the centre of Surat Thani. And only a 10 min scooter ride in traffic from where I am living.

“My advice for others wanting to teach overseas is. TO DO IT.”

My TEFL Course helped me, giving me the right tools to make lesson plans, how to handle rowdy classes and of course refreshing my own English. It gave me confidence and the ability to do my best as a novice teacher.

Once in class I was asking students questions in regards to the module, I said “ What was the last mistake you made?” She said “ Teacher, it was a mistake falling for you”

I went pretty red and got all bashful, I think this 18 year old student was referring to platonic feelings?!!! Anyway, I quickly dissolved the comment and turned to the whiteboard to hide my embarrassment. Also, when the kids are sleeping, first thing on a Monday, its quite fun seeing them fall asleep in what seems like seconds.

Thailand is a cultured and different place to the UK. It has great food, beautiful nature, kind and open people. The traffic is a bit crazy and the humidity now in raining season is quite full on, nothing that a UK native cannot deal with. I live close to Phuket, Krabi, and the Koh Samui Archipelagoes, Jungles, Waterfalls and lots more. It is a gift and pleasure to be here with my new Thai friends and staff. I feel welcomed and respected.

My plans are to teach here for at least 1 or 2 terms, when summer break comes by in April to March, I am going to attend some Muai Thai tournaments and probably go and live in the Jungle with my hammock, water bottle and machete.

My advice for others wanting to teach overseas is. TO DO IT. Life is a gift and you make the opportunities happen. Be clear and respectful of your intentions when moving here, you are representing your family, home, friends and country. Make sure you make it the best and enriching experience for yourself and your new community. Do take the time to learn the language of the nation you move to and come well prepared, make sure your paper work is in order. Grow, learn and have as much fun as possible.

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