After living and working in Thailand for nearly two years, it’s difficult to actually jot down
everything that really made the experience what it was. Whereas when most people first arrive, they
notice every gecko, variance in spice level, and motorbike holding more than four people. Now all that
just seems normal. It’s not the strangeness of Thailand anymore. It’s just Thailand—or home. And with
the exception of the occasional (well, frequent) off smells and kids attempting to give you Durian at every
opportunity, I’ll miss every bit of the country.
As for the job itself, I have little of anything but praise for students and the day-to-day work. Over
the last two school years I’ve taught classes for 7th graders and 12th graders at Suratpittaya, the smaller
one’s at Super English, Adults at a Petroleum building, and given private lessons to a big wig at the
Labor Department. Writing it all down and thinking back on it, it really does appear like a lot of work.
The age differences and class sizes ranging from one to fifty may seem daunting, but what could have
been a hard two year grind at another company was streamlined for our entire teaching staff. Teaching
isn’t an easy job (anyone who has taught will tell you this) and there is definitely a lot of skill
development involved. That said, Peter has been doing this for a long time now and knows how it all
works. He makes a lot of the first questions and problems that come up with a very Thai level of
calmness and control. I don’t think I can think of a single time seeing Peter guffaw in the face of a
unexpected problem. And teaching is full of those moments. You have to roll with the punches and
Peter’s there to help people learn the Mai Pen Rai of it all.
Having taught in the states before moving to Thailand, I can attest to weirdness of the differences
between a Thai classroom and a stateside classroom. Having fifty students is a scary thought, but that
terror is easily put aside by the surprising level of good behavior (at least for my older students) of them
all. That’s not to say that American students are nightmares, but the Thai classroom is just something
completely different. It’s difficult to explain, so you’re reading this with the hope of landing a job and an
adventure, you’ll just have to come over here and stand in front of your first Thai class as they stand up
and chant “good morning teacher…” to find out. There’s a pleasantness to teaching here that’s just
makes my work in Thailand the most stress-less existence I’ve ever had. That’s something I’ve only just
recently realized. After nearly two years, I won’t leave missing the food or the beaches most. I’ll miss
the stress less life and job here, and everything in and around my daily life just being kind of fantastic.
|Brian Steinbach’s Testimonial