Teaching Abroad Thailand
Updated: Feb 2
In this Series, Teaching Abroad, we ask expatriate teachers working in Southeast Asia some questions on their experience within the education sector. This series is focused on travellers who gained paid teaching positions with a school faculty.
As a responsible travel blog, we advocate for each individual to participate in sustainable and ethical work in this field. Travel For Change does not support short-term volunteer work with children in care facilities.
Why did you choose to teach?
I chose teaching because I absolutely love working with children. Also, because I believe that education is the global tool that will help alleviate poverty and spark change within the younger generation. In my eyes, it is the single most important component to the local community.
Do you love what you do?
Although it has its tough days and moments, I truly love teaching. I’m not positive I’ll retire in this career, but it is right where I want to be right now. I now work in Canada after years of experience abroad I have returned to my home city to support children in under privileged schools.
Is this your first job? If no, why the career change to Education?
This is not my first job, but it is my first career move. I have worked as a server, sales associate, youth worker, pizza maker and the list literally goes on! Now that I have completed my studies and backpacked around the world, I cant say I have found something I really enjoy doing everyday.
What do you like to do on your days off? How is the work-life balance?
Personally, I believe that maintaining a healthy work life balance is vital. While this looks entirely different for everyone it’s important to have hobbies and activities that get your mind off work.
I like to call myself a lover of nature, a hobbyist photographer and a part-time yogi and long-distance runner. I run marathons for charity to raise money for non-profits working with children in foster care so training for this keeps me busy! For a way to reduce stress in a high pressure job I now practice yoga 2-3 times per week. I also like to take short trips to new destinations on the school breaks.
Did you learn the local language?
One of the schools I taught at was in Bangkok Thailand so I did learn some basic Thai conversation whilst living in Bangkok to assist in transport to and from work and general day to day living. At the international schools the faculty prefer it if everyone speaks English to best assist the students to improve their language acquisition.
Do you have a memory in your teaching experience that you are proud of and wish to share?
During my teaching experience, my fondest memory is when I had the opportunity to train orphanage staff in Gulu, Uganda. My school in London graciously donated their older books and I taught the staff how to read and ensure the children comprehended the work.
I also provided them with the chart of all the levels and some basic assessment tactics to make sure the children were being challenged. Working in Uganda has its own set of challenges so training the staff will ensure that they can assist the students long after volunteers leave.
Do you have any starter tips for those wanting to teach?
When you start teaching abroad, you must have an open mind and go with the flow. Be confident!
Do you think education is important to the local community?
I think education is the backbone to the local community. Children are in school five days a week and for most of the day it is like their second home. It is amazing to see the innovative things some schools are up to; it is exciting for any educator. From Canada, to Africa, London, to Southeast Asia; education is worth every investment.
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