Hello, I’m Miss. Krista. I am going to take you on a journey through what my day looks like as an English teacher for kindergarten in rural Thailand.
The life of any teacher (no matter the subject or location) always has its challenges. Even though I am not the sole teacher of this classroom, teaching English to kindergarteners came with many challenges, but despite the days I hated everything; the overall experience was life-changing and an adventure I will never forget.
7:00 AM – Alarm goes off. Get up and ready, put on school outfit (long skirt and shoulders covered), wait for taxi man to pick us up outside.
7:30 AM – Arrive at school. Depending on the day, we would have to partake in “Gate Duty” which meant standing at the front of the school and waving to everyone that walks by. If not on gate duty that means breakfast from the shop across the street. Normally consisting of an egg or noodles.
8:00 AM – Bell rings, school starts. Little humans are running around really fast.
Class Time: To start off the lessons, we would sit on the floor in a big clump and stare up at the video screen on the whiteboard. Cue soft voice and animated pictures. Start every morning with “HELLO, HOW ARE YOU?” FINE, THANK YOU AND YOU” like mini robots, every morning.
Slowly getting a little more energy into them. Asking about the date, the weather, what they ate for breakfast (almost every morning it was cake). Sing some more songs. Do some dances. Practice the vocabulary we learned yesterday, using a song or dance.
Finally, we would break the class up into two sections. They still have to do their Thai lessons while I taught the same thing in English. We would sit in a circle with our textbook, practicing the words on each page. Two minutes later, one kid would smack another one straight across the face. Not even a full second later, one would be sitting on another. And two would have left the circle and to start practicing their gymnastics skills. I would roll my eyes profusely. Wonder why I am here. Take a deep breathe and wrangle them all back to the circle. Page 2. Page 3. SMACK. All the vicious cycle starts again.
After a few months of this torture, I finally learned some techniques to get them to sit for a solid ten minutes and actually finish a chapter in their textbook. PRAISE THE LORD. Then lunch. Then nap time. Yes, nap time. I would partake too. Then my teacher started bringing me coffee in the afternoons. I took that as a sign. Outside play. Back inside to sing some songs, make up some dance moves and just play (or try and teach Miss. Krista Thai words) until their parents came. Then hugs goodbye until tomorrow.
Motortaxi home. Eat. Workout (or Netflix, mostly Netflix). And pass out.
Wake up and do it all over again.