When it Rains, it Pours.

2 Jun

Teaching is terrifying….

Tomorrow marks the beginning of our third week of teaching in Bangkok… So far, I have found the teaching experience to be entertaining, humbling, exciting and (most of all) exhausting. Each week I teach a variety of kindergarten and lower primary school children. Most of my classes are full of children with a lot of  energy, who demand a lot of attention. Its not rocket science to know that kids pick up on your energy levels, mood and feelings very quickly – so being bubbly, enthusiastic and full of energy all the time has taken some getting used to! At the end of our first week, I have never been more excited to welcome a public holiday in my life. But, by the end of our second week, I felt far more alive and I think we are slowly adjusting to the schedule, early mornings and late afternoons.

Before I actually started teaching, I thought that the younger the children/age group, the better. Well, I was mistaken. Don’t get me wrong – the little Thai kids who are just starting their first year of kindergarten, are ridiculously cute… They are also ridiculously dumb struck at the sight of a Western face – and at times, terrified. Most of my first kindergarten lessons consisted of a symphony of crying and screaming petrified 4 year olds. Oh, and the few who did nothing but wet their pants… Literally. I’m used to seeing the home room teacher discreetly exit the classroom, only to return with a mop and a child no longer dressed in school uniform – but a dry set of pyjamas. Teaching a class of 25-30 little kids who are genuinely petrified of you, takes some getting used to. But as each week passes, they seem to be getting more and more comfortable with the sight of my Western face, ‘hairy’ arms (the Thai’s do not have much body hair at all) and bizarre sounding voice.

The primary school kids are great! Most of them have already been taught English for a number of years and are not scared of me (thank goodness!). I love being able to interact, have a laugh and converse with them on a basic level. Most of the students are extremely eager to learn, practice their English and participate in the lesson which you have prepared. It does, however, break my heart when these young kids – no older than 7/8 – come rushing up to you shouting “Teacher! Teacher! ——–“ and then start rambling off in Thai. Their enthusiasm sets the tone for an incredible story or adventure and I, unfortunately, can do nothing but smile and ask them to please tell the Thai assistant teacher. The disappointment in these little kids faces when they realize you have no idea what they are talking about is terrible, but my minimal Thai (for now) just does not permit two-way conversation! :)

Oh, the names… I have to mention the names. Not a day goes by where I don’t have a little giggle at the names of the kids in some of my classes. Each child has a Thai name and an English nickname which they are given at birth. I have a Chesecake, an Autopilot, T-Pain, Pancake, Gun, Pooh, Fart and Coffeegrinder… And that’s to name just a few! Sometimes I catch myself thinking – are they for real??! All in all – I am teaching at two wonderful schools, the kids are lovely and my days are predominately full of fun!

Let’s be friends?

One of the benefits to waiting so long to sign and formalize a teaching contract in Bangkok, is that we really did our research into the company which we are now working for. We both wanted to work in an environment which would allow us to meet other foreign teachers, make friends and socialize with young people in the same boat as us. And that is exactly what we have done. We have honestly met some of the most wonderful people since being over here… People who will come and go throughout our Bangkok journey, but who we will stay in contact with for many years to come. I miss my friends back home terribly – but meeting new people over here – people who I can relate to and have a lot of fun with – makes things so much easier!

So, how’s the weather?

The general topic of conversation is the weather at the moment… Primarily because it has become much cooler in Bangkok in the last couple of weeks, compared to when we first moved here in April. I couldn’t be more grateful. It is the start of the rainy season here. What this means is that we have a thunder storm almost every day or night. Unlike back home in South Africa, thunder and lightening can light up the sky for up to two hours before there is any sight or sound of a serious downpour. Most of the thunder storms take place in the evening – a truly magical sight to witness from our apartment on the 26th floor!

Time is flying and I struggle to fathom where the last 4 months have gone. I have days where I hate every single thing about this city – the smell, the inability of the street food vendors to satisfy my craving for a home cooked meal, the pace at which I have to stroll to get to the BTS station, the weekend traffic and constant language barrier… But I only have these days ever so often. Most of the time, I continue to love Bangkok, the teaching experience and wonderful lessons I learn each and every day. I am so grateful to have airconditioned classrooms, a beautiful apartment to come home to in the evenings and an amazing person to share this adventure with. Long may these happy, cool days last! :) :)

Wishing you all a happy week x

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2 Responses to “When it Rains, it Pours.”

  1. Daily Post from Bluxome Street June 2, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    Reblogged this on Bluxome Street Post.

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