10 weeks ago I left on a plane to a place where I knew little to nothing about. I knew Thailand had a King, I knew I loved Thai food, and I knew I was ready for something different. Other than that, my knowledge of this country was extremely limited. Today, as I wrap up week 10 of being here and week 7 of working in a temple school, I have learned more than I could have learned in an entire semester of classes back home.
My work at Wat Khuang Sing School has been the most life-altering time I have yet to experience in my 21 years on Earth. I have been challenged as a person and as an educator, spending every waking moment attempting to improve myself and my teaching. I can remember my first day here like it was yesterday. I arrived shaky and nervous, unaware of the love I was about to receive from the students and teachers. Things have gotten better week by week too. As I grasp what my students know and want to learn, I have been able to adjust my lesson plans and simplify instructions to help comprehension.
Last week was one of my favorite weeks by far. I taught all three classes I work with the Macarena, a personal party favorite of mine. It started with P4 last Monday as a way to kill time during the transition period, but slowly crept around school. By lunch the next day all of my coworkers were talking about how they had seen the dance and couldn’t wait to learn it themselves. P6 learned it next, bringing out a side of them which I had never seen before. I don’t have much of a chance to interact with them as my mentor teacher teaches that class alone, but this moment I’ll cherish forever. The character each child brings to such a simple dance is what I love the most about the Macarena. By the time I got around to teaching P5 the dance, many of the girls knew it already. They had seen their friends doing it and heard the music in the hallway throughout the week. By the end of Week 10, I hope to teach and have them master the Cupid Shuffle.
Something that has come along with this summer is my second guessing of my future profession. Like many of my family members and friends know, I want to be a Social Studies teacher initially but then eventually go into Education Policy. Every day I wake up though wishing I was working at summer camp or doing something different with my day. Preparing each day’s lesson became a nuisance which had me questioning if I even want to be an educator for the rest of my life.
cher teaches that class alone, but this moment I’ll cherish forever. The character each child brings to such a simple dance is what I love the most about the Macarena. By the time I got around to teaching P5 the dance, many of the girls knew it already. They had seen their friends doing it and heard the music in the hallway throughout the week. By the end of Week 10, I hope to teach and have them master the Cupid Shuffle.
As I talk to my fellow interns and friends back home, I realize that hating work as a teenager is just kind of a part of life. We are all adjusting to the daily grind and figuring out how to balance work life and social life. We are testing the waters with jobs we like, dislike, and slightly tolerate. It’s a part of life I’m coming to terms with slowly but surely. With my final year of college approaching, I’m ready to see where life takes me and how this internship changed me for the better.
(Thank you Wat Khuang Sing for giving me these three)