Teaching in Chonburi City
Teaching in Chonburi City. After de-stressing from 7 years of employment in the UK, by partying all night long in the crazy town of Pattaya for about four months, I decided it was time to look for work and get back into a more sensible routine. I searched on the internet at ajarn.com and applied for a couple of teaching English positions teaching in Chonburi.
Two days later I received a phone call… ‘Tom?’ …’Yes’ …’You’ve got the job!’ …’Oh right!’
I was a bit freaked out at first, how could somebody just give me a job without even meeting me or even asking many questions about my life? Especially for a job with such responsibilities as teaching? …and you hear alot about scams in Thailand with foreigners getting ripped off so I was naturally a bit worried!
I checked out the agencies website and it seemed ok, professional and established. I really wanted to stay longer in Thailand and to have a go at teaching English so I decided to proceed.
The next step was an interview/ meeting in Chonburi City… The agent was English, a friendly chap, and I liked him throughout our relationship. Although I didn’t fully trust him but that was partly down to the situation we were all in. There were six teachers (English blokes ready to have a bash at teaching) at the meeting all ready to sign up for the project. By the end of the term only three had survived.
The job was full time forty hours a week. This was to be split between three schools. The wage was 36,000 Thai Baht a month. Within the first week one of my schools changed due to something that made no sense. Another school lasted about a month before they announced they couldn’t afford my wages. The school I taught at Wednesday and Thursday remained consistent throughout the term.
Thrown into the Deep End
I was basically thrown into a classroom full of kids who could not speak English and I could not speak Thai. The teachers didn’t help …they could not speak English and I could not speak any Thai. I quickly broke out and began singing children’s songs to grab their attention and got them to join in. I collected a large pile of flashcards, shouted out the words and tried to get them to copy, including characters that would excite them like Ben 10 and Spiderman. Also for when they were rowdy and not going to listen I would have colouring in sheets ready. This always worked a treat but wasn’t exactly developing their English skills. To get round this I would include some writing at the bottom of the picture and get them to copy it and read it out.
For the older students (9-12) singing songs rarely worked, they would just sit and take the piss which got tiring. Colouring in was again a bit young for them. They enjoyed word searches immensely, this would keep them quiet for a whole lesson. However, they would not be learning spoken English with this so I would mix it up with interactive games I invented or found on the internet that used the English language.
Teaching in Chonburi Danger
One morning I was greeted in the classroom by a large Lizard! The kids thought it was fantastic and were jumping around with excitement. I managed to catch it in a bucket and pass it to an older student to release it into the nearby jungle. I was a hero for the rest of the day. I didn’t find out until later that it had the ability to bite my finger clean off :p
I worked mainly in the government schools who were struggling financially. You would be lucky if there was one room with air conditioning in the whole school. You could then cool off in this on your lunch break. It was not uncommon for the classroom to have fans that did not work as well as no air con. The temperature was around 35 degrees and by the end of the term I had lost 7 kg :p
Chonburi itself was reasonably priced and I picked up a motorbike to rent for £60 a month (3,000 THB). My room was air conditioned with a solid Wifi connection for £60 a month also.
Teaching in Chonburi Finale
All in all I lasted six months teaching English which is a full Thai term. I would of liked to have stayed longer but I didn’t let anybody down, I fulfilled my contract and did not sign for another term. I was very sad to leave, I definitely enjoyed the teaching in Chonburi and I’m pretty sure the kids enjoyed my classes too.
If your going to travel or live in Thailand it would be a good idea to learn Thai language.
‘The greatest teacher I know …is the job itself!’
Watch events and train Muay Thai on Koh Samet Island.