Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Teaching... With a Twist!

From the 2nd November to the 18th of December I taught English at the Wat Kuang Singh school in Chiang Mai. 

The biggest challenge was the communication with the kids, because most of them had only learned English for a short time and so they understood next to nothing of what I was trying to say. But with the help of tooth and nail, pictures, a Thai speaking teacher or google translate, everything was possible. 

I taught 3 different classes and discussed different topics in every class. With the youngest (6-7 years old) I talked about pets and the numbers until 20. We learned new words with pictures and played pantomime games. 

The middle ones are about 8-10 years old and we spoke about our families and the different rooms in a house. We drew our family trees and the ground plots of our homes. 

The oldest ones are about 10-12 years old and they were the biggest class with about 48 students. It was really hard to work with such different levels in one class. But they all had fun when we talked about weekend activities or the western Christmas. Furthermore we played a lot of hangman to learn and remember new words. 

The other teachers were really nice and from my first day on I was a part of the team. One day we made a school trip to Doi Suithep and to the Bhubing Palace. Because the guided tour was in Thai the teachers did everything to explain the whole tour to me. And at the temple a few girls took me with them and showed everything to me.

Furthermore I learned how to build a krathong, a traditional, boats like structure made from banana leaves and flowers as part of the Loy Krathong Festival. I was a bit helpless at the beginning but the teachers and also the students showed me how to fold banana leaves and how to fix them on the banana trunk. 

The father's day ceremony was also a great experience. Everybody wore a yellow shirt and girls of all ages performed traditional thai dances. They also sang the National Anthem and other Thai songs and every adult had to write greetings for the King in a book. After the ceremony every class made their own chilli paste and then sold them. 

I should also say something about the food because I've never had such delicious food at a school. I am really impressed that one person is able to cook such good food for so many people.

All in all I had a awesome time here and I am really upset that this time has ended so fast. But the time here showed me that I really want to become a teacher in the future and I'm thankful that I was able to have all these experiences.

Alina, Germany

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