Confessions of a new teacher

What I learned in the first five months

I'm Karisa and I couldn't be more of a cliché: a blonde, American, recent college grad who decided to go teach in a foreign country! Don't be too impressed with me; I'm hardly unique in this expedition to teach English abroad.


We've found paradise at last

Ignore the sob stories and the doom merchants - Thailand rocks!

We've both been here about six months, have only done two visa runs, had both our employers apply for our work permits for us, have started saving money as we actually make a little more collectively than we did in South Korea - and are both loving life again. Life really couldn't be much better.


How's the project doing?

A progress report on the Nonthaburi Project

The Nonthaburi English Teachers Project (NETP) in Thailand began in 2005. It has existed for nearly 9 years now but I haven't read a personal account yet from someone who is a part of it.


Researching the unknown

Postbox letter from James

In my opinion, many of the text books used in Asia in general are far in advance of the student's capabilities. They assume a level of competency that few attain, given the ‘happy happy’ method of teaching and the no-fail emphasis.


Things I'd do differently

How am I going to get the best out of my students next term?

It's the last week of school, and I find myself thinking of ways to conduct my classes better than I have during this term. It's not that I think I've done a poor job, but I know there's always room for improvement. Besides, I'd hate to get bored; a bored teacher equals bored students. Bored students don't learn.


Beyond speaking day

Activities to get your students talking

My school director asked me to organise an English Speaking Day in our school. When I implemented the idea, my director was overwhelmed by its impact on students' interest and English language development.


Government or private school?

Which one comes out on top for a teacher?

I have to remember that I can't just do things for anyone who asks, else I'll bleed dry in a hurry. I'm bad about always agreeing to do things, even if they cost me time and money to do so. There's a point where you must say no, like it or not.


A teacher's pet peeve

The unenviable task of having to plan lessons

Lesson planning is a routine task that has now got into my system, yet if I had my choice, I would get rid of it. But how? So several times I tried teaching without a lesson plan? Do you want to know how it turned out? I think they were better than my planned lessons.


Thrown to the wolves

Teaching kindergarten for the very first time

Today's class was my very first 2-hour stint with a group of kindergarteners. I've never been the world's largest fan of little kids, not because I don't like them, but because I have no earthly idea what to do with them. Well, all things considered, I'd say my class went quite well!


Mid-term prep and a week in review

You have to go with the flow in Thailand

Here's another example of why you must roll with the tides here in Thailand, too. I spent a good two hours making a 40-question midterm for my Mathayom 2 class. My paperwork shows that the M2 class I have is divided into Science 1 and Science 2, but the curriculum is identical for both


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