Deana’s Diary Entry #7:
I am standing in the front of the classroom and thirty pairs of eyes are watching me, waiting for me to say something. Some of them look eager to learn while others could not find the ground more interesting. It is my job to motivate them and excite them to learn English! A huge grin spreads across my face and I begin with a simple, “Good morning, students! My name is Teacher De.”
They respond as a group with a loud, “Good morning, Teacher De!!”
Ahhhh they are so cuteeeee <3 LOL the one in the back is picking at his feet. All the girls are sitting in the front row so ready to learn. I see the cool boys in the back. I better start teaching. I hope they like today’s lesson!
I begin with a quick activity to get us all comfortable and energized for the class ahead. The students are laughing and smiling which brings me such joy. I begin the lesson with visuals and games to get the students to see and remember the vocabulary. Today’s lesson is on adjectives, using the city of Bangkok as a relatable reference. I try to be extremely animated when trying to act out the words amazing, beautiful, tall and peaceful. They seem to be laughing and enjoying the lesson.
Haha this is a 180 from my analytical underwriting job back in the States. And, this sure beats sitting at a desk any day. My favorite part about this TEFL course is the teaching practicums we have to complete in a classroom full of Thai students. It really gives us the full experience of what teaching a class will be like. I can’t wait to have my own classroom!
After I present the material, I have the students break into teams and recite the dialogue to practice speaking English. Having a game and competition makes speaking English a little more fun for the students. Some of the students are really nervous to speak aloud, but they are really good at helping each other say the sentences correctly.
I love the teamwork!! They want to see their classmates and friends succeed. It’s so refreshing! Aww she is so nervous… It’s like when our TEFL instructor made us say a Thai dialogue aloud. That was so hard!! Time to help her feel more comfortable with English.
I come over and give her a soft smile. I tell her that she is doing a great job and what she is saying is very close. I encourage her to try it again. She completes the sentence flawlessly and I cheer her accomplishment!
I live for moments like this! To me, my main job as an ESL teacher is to help the students practice English, so they can feel comfortable and confident in their English language skills. These students continue to amaze me! I really enjoy seeing them improve in the classroom.
I continue with the lesson and begin to challenge the students by taking away some of the vocabulary from the board. Some of them are okay with the challenge and others require a little help to complete the dialogue. They practice and repetition helps them really learn. Some of the stronger students are already starting to come up with their own adjectives to apply to the dialogue. They are so smart!
As my 50 minute class comes to an end, I look out at all of the students staring back at me. They are smiling and laughing from the game we just played. I point to my watch to indicate the time is up, and I am forced to say goodbye. This is my third time teaching at this school and all of the students shout, “Thank you, Teacher De!” I am sad to leave the classroom. I am sad that my lesson has ended. I want to see them again. I want to teach them again. Teaching these students has been so rewarding.
I know I made the right decision about coming to Thailand.
I want to send a huge shout-out to the UniTEFL course I completed in Chiang Mai, Thailand. My life has been one giant detour, and my original plan to come to Thailand in September was postponed for personal reasons.
When my original plan changed I considered taking an online TEFL course, but I am so glad I didn’t! The 120 hour in-person TEFL course that UniTEFL provided was hands-down awesome! It was totally worth every penny. The program did a great job of providing an information package prior to me leaving the U.S. and they did an excellent job once I got here. Everything has exceeded my expectations from grammar lessons to valuable feedback on our teaching practicums to becoming a teacher.
UniTEFL offers not only a TEFL Certification allowing me to teach anywhere in Thailand, but they also provide a TEFL International which is fully credit bearing, accredited and validated by Fort Hays State University. This accreditations is better than other international TESOL certificates that are only validated by an examining board and not externally examined. The TEFL International is accepted internationally allowing me to teach in many countries around the world. 🙂 Who knows what the future will bring!
Overall, I am extremely pleased! One of the UniTEFL instructors had recommended me for a job in the second week. During the third week, I had interviewed and received the job offer. I ended up turning it down to travel for a bit during the Christmas holiday. I feel confident in my ability to teach thanks to the UniTEFL course and all the wonderful teachings and guidance provided by the UniTEFL instructors. I have nothing but high praise for this school.
If you have any ounce of interest in becoming an ESL teacher, I recommend checking out UniTEFL (Information listed below). Chiang Mai is a BE-A-U-TI-FUL city. Everyday, I am falling more and more in love with the city of Chiang Mai.
If you’re reading this at a 9-5 job you’re considering a change, check out this blog post: My Quarter-Life Crisis. I made the decision to take this jump a year ago and I am now living this dream. Make yours come true 🙂