David Parfitt

A teaching room of your own

It's not just about having a space to teach; it's about creating a hub for learning, laughter, and lifelong memories.

Many years ago, my teaching journey took off with an English teaching project, and boy, was it a ride! 

Starting out as a floating teacher meant I didn't have a proper classroom for the first two years. Imagine me, hauling my teaching gear up and down three flights of stairs to the school library every week, trying to carve out a corner to call my own. It was like being a nomad in the world of education, but it taught me to adapt like a pro.

Then came the breakthrough: my very own classroom. No more playing musical chairs; students were finally coming to me. But oh, how quickly things change. When I switched schools, it was like hitting the reset button on my teaching career. This time, I found myself teaching in some of the quirkiest spots imaginable—a museum room filled with ancient relics that seemed to whisper secrets of the past, a library that magically transformed into a multimedia hub overnight, and even the school clinic, where I swapped textbooks for band-aids!

After what felt like an eternity, I finally scored another classroom. Well, technically half of one, but who's counting? Still, I was grateful for it. I rolled up my sleeves and got to work, turning that space into a cozy little learning nook. With its tiled floors, a couple of windows letting in that sweet natural light, and a few trusty wall fans for ventilation, it became the go-to spot for about 15 students. They didn't even mind ditching the chairs and plopping down on the floor.

And you know what? They absolutely loved it. The decorations, especially during special occasions like Mother's Day or Christmas, added that extra touch of warmth and charm. The school even decided to dub it an English-speaking zone, which not only helped keep the English flowing but also gave the classroom that official seal of approval.

That classroom became my sanctuary, my little slice of teaching heaven. After lunch, I'd sometimes lock the door and steal a quick catnap or catch up on the latest gossip from back home. It was a far cry from those early days of schlepping my teaching gear from one makeshift classroom to another.

So here's my two cents for all you fellow educators out there: fight tooth and nail for your own classroom. It's not just about having a space to teach; it's about creating a hub for learning, laughter, and lifelong memories. Whether you're showcasing student artwork or just shooting the breeze, having your own spot makes all the difference in the world. So don't wait around—put in that request as soon as you can. Trust me, it's worth its weight in gold!


Having your own space is absolutely paramount for maintaining your sanity in Thailand. It took me roughly eight years of running back and forth before I finally got my own room. It had an active bee hive in it, but it was mine.

Being able to decorate your room with useful material is huge. If students don't know how to use the subject verb agreement, they can look at the subject verb agreement poster. It's a game changer.

I used to use this as a topic of discussion each semester and without exception, every singly student who chose this topic argued on the side of teachers moving from class-to-class instead of students.

Personally, now that I have my own room I'd never be able to go back.

By Clif H, USA (6th March 2024)

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