Thomas Stainsby

Teach Enrich Empower

My memorable teaching experience in Thailand

Hi I´m Thomas! I am 19 years old and have been travelling and teaching since I got my TEFL certificate last year.

I initially took the 120-hour TEFL course to teach English and travel for my gap year. However, what began as a short-term experience became a vocation as I taught in two schools in Thailand and one school in Japan. Both were very different, using different methods, which was great as I got to develop my own teaching style. I have been giving private classes in Spain for four months, where I built my own class structures and grew in confidence. I am now travelling home to Ireland, where I am starting an English immersion program with my girlfriend.

My first teaching experience in Thailand is without a doubt my most memorable. I volunteered through workaway.com and with the help of my TEFL certificate found a school almost instantly. Initially, I just watched and took notes as the teacher, Mark, took the classes. Soon I got the hang of the classes and eventually took multiple classes a day. During the night I planned my classes, using the structures and templates that I previously learned on my TEFL course.

“I am really happy to have done my TEFL course”

I particularly liked the TTT (Teach Test Teach) method, which I still use today. It was so nice to interact with the classes of children and teenagers, and I quickly learned that there are different types of students and that a lot of the time it is about finding the way they learn (children like games!). Thailand was an amazing place to visit, and teaching opened many doors and not only let me see lots of places but also meet the people and know the culture.

I am really happy to have done my TEFL course, and for what it has enabled to do. I suppose the best piece of advice I could give to anybody starting out at teaching would be the importance of planning classes. Plan, plan and plan some more. Always have a backup plan (as things very rarely go the way you imagine!). Sometimes, the students are just not in the mood for what you intend to teach, and a class on Present perfect can turn into a game of comparative-top trumps in an instant. And most of all, keep positive, remember that each class is a new beginning. Happy teaching!

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