We have just finished our fourth day of teaching and so far it has been a crazy experience. We teach two year groups, Matthayom 1 (year 7) and Matthayom 4 (year 10), and each year group has 18 classes with around 50 children in each. Between us, Kelsey and I, teach around 1,800 students per week. The classes are ranked from 1-18 with 18 being the students with the lowest level of English.
The classes can be absolutely mental with kids just bouncing around all over the place but majority of them run surprisingly smoothly. We have Thai co-teachers in each lesson, who help discipline the students when necessary, and a microphone which is our secret weapon when trying to get 50 kids to listen to us. So far we have only taught around 50% of our classes so we are still doing introductions in every class. Next week we are going to be starting with topics from the exercise books that the Thai teachers use in there classes. Other than those text books we have been given no indication of what they expect us to teach. Some Thai co-teachers leave it to us to do whatever we want and others want us to teach from the book. All in all it is pretty chilled.
We teach 18 hours a week and have a lot of free periods during the day. We have to be at school for 8am everyday and on Mondays and Fridays we finish at 4pm, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 3pm and Thursday we finish at 1pm. We can leave school as soon as our lessons are over so we get plenty of time to ourselves.
We are 2 of 6 native speaking English teachers at the school. There are 2 American girls, a Canadian girl and an American guy. The American guy has taught at the school for 4 terms but the rest of us all started at the same time. On Friday there is a teachers party, on a restaurant river boat, which has been organized by our employers. It should be a good laugh and we get to meet the teachers from other schools too.
We are employed by a company called the Learning Link and they recruit for a lot of schools in the area and employ teachers to work at their centre too. They have really looked after us so far, they drove us around lots of apartments, took us to buy our bikes and generally offer assistance with anything that we need in Ayutthaya.
We don’t start teaching until 10:30am tomorrow so it will be a nice relaxed morning chilling in the air-conditioned teachers room, followed by 1 lesson, and then lunch. The school dinners are amazing and really cheap. You get curry and rice for 20baht which is like 40p and it is sooo good. They sell loads of other stuff too and it is all around 20baht.
So far it is all going really well. I can definitely see that this job will have it’s ups and downs but we plan to stick it out for at least 1 term, save £400 a month, and then travel afterwards.
Let’s see if we are still feeling chirpy by the next time we post…