Natasha Sinclair Taikato

Teach Enrich Empower

Teaching in Thailand

Looking to get paid while exploring magical destinations? Well this is what brought me to TEFL.

Before this I had never heard of TEFL and never thought of teaching.

I was bored of my 9-5-day job working in a bank, I had some passable high school French, and mostly I just needed a change from little old New Zealand. So, I packed my bags, flew to Paris, and started a part-time English Assistant job with the TAPIF programme in a town not far from Paris. Before this I had never heard of TEFL and never thought of teaching. Interestingly, the Assistantship does not require any teaching training, but you are essentially leading English conversation classes for groups of around 12 students. My lack of experience had me researching courses and this is how I found The TEFL Academy. If only I’d had this at the start of my journey! It gave me an understanding of grammar that allowed me to better lead conversation groups and ended up being the gateway to my next adventure!

My contract and visa came to an end in France, and because I am one of those poor souls without an EU passport, it was time to leave Europe. Not wanting to return to the horrors of a real job again, I started researching jobs for English Teachers. I was discussing my plans with friends I had made in France who had also completed The TEFL Academy’s online TEFL course and it turned out that I had a like-minded friend, who was not ready to return to her home country of South Africa. We went to The TEFL Academy’s jobs board and started looking there. That very day we completed three application forms. We completed the forms together as a pair because ideally, we wanted to be placed in the same city. That same day we were offered interviews with all three companies, completed all three interviews that same week, and had accepted an offer by the weekend!

What luck we had! We were placed, not only in the same city, but in the same school; a wonderful private school which was combined Kindergarten and Primary School. Most companies have experience placing couples and friends together which is great if you aren’t wanting to start your new adventure alone.

After taking a short two-week holiday at the end of our contracts in France, we flew from South Africa, and Paris, respectively. We met in Bangkok and travelled down to Hat Yai for Teacher Training. The training was amazing because we were able to meet so many other like-minded travellers who would also become teachers. This network has been so great for sharing the highs and lows and laughs that Teaching in Thailand has brought us.

From training we took a 20-hour bus ride from Hat Yai to Pattaya. It was awesome fun because we were on the bus with other teachers going to nearby cities, plus we travelled VIP, so we had reclining seats and someone came to serve us chicken and rice onboard! When we arrived in Pattaya at 7am we were taken straight to the school to begin greeting students and parents.

Now to share what a day in my life as Teacher Tash is like:

  • 7:30 - 8:30 Bow to parents and students when they arrive (The bow is called a “Wai” in Thailand)
  • 8:30 - 9:00 Sing songs with kindergarteners
  • 9:00 - 11:00 Play games and teaching basic English with Kindergarten
  • 11:00 - 12:00 Free lunch at school featuring the best Thai food you will ever eat
  • 12:00 - 12:40 Supervise kindergarten nap-time
  • 13:00 - 15:30 Teach English from a textbook based curriculum in Primary School
  • 15:30 - 16:30 Gather kindergarteners and primary schoolers on stairs to wait for their parents. We greet parents and tell students when their parents arrive.

Thailand has been an amazing adventure and I can’t wait to see where my TEFL adventure takes me next…. I’m thinking maybe South America...

Before this I had never heard of TEFL and never thought of teaching.

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