If every class were like my M1/1 class, I'd be pretty happy. The other day I walked by them in the
hallway and the 12- and 13-year-old girls surrounded me, proudly showing off a project they had made
in another subject. “Teacher,” they said, “Do you teach 7th period?”
I gave them a puzzled look, wondering if I had forgotten to make up a class. “I don't think so. Why?”
I asked. They gestured toward the classroom - “No teacher period 7. Can you teach?'
My heart almost melted. Granted, their English wasn't really that great, but the sentiment was
there. They. are. the. sweetest.
It's only just hitting me now that there's less than a month left of teaching – and I can't figure out
how to reconcile my feelings of being excited for something new with wishing I could teach them
even more. I'm going to miss the daily smiles and shy waves and the girls who show me their
notebooks when they're finished doing a writing assignment. Shouts of “Beautiful!” and “I love you!”
always lift my spirits, even if they say it to pretty much every foreign person.
Admittedly, not every day is a good teaching day. Working with 55 teenage girls for 50 minutes, four
times a week, can be frustrating. Sometimes they seem so mature and too cool for it all and like they've
done it 100 times before; other times, they are shrieking and giggling and utterly baffled by what I'm
trying to convey to them. They whine or mock me. I whine and mock them right back. It's hard
being in high school again!
But at the end of the day, I like the challenge. More than I thought I would, actually. I try to visualize
myself at that age and see myself through their eyes, and I'm fairly sure I'm “that” crazy teacher.
Unpredictable, wacky, and probably completely different from any of their other classes – which is a
My antics in class are largely influenced by Peter's teaching philosophy, which I learned about through
this very website before I applied to Super English. I think it's apparent that he focuses on teacher
empowerment, creativity, and fun – then lets us do the rest. I really appreciate the confidence he has
in every teacher, and I think that it permeates through the written reflections you read from us.
By encouraging us to generate our own content for the website and the blog, we get a chance to share
our positive experiences on our own terms, which I like much more than writing reports. Peter
understands that giving the teachers freedom (from office hours or in other required work) is much
more likely to generate “a-ha!” ideas for classes than making teachers try to produce a mountain of
paperwork. For this, I am very grateful.
I am also grateful for monthly SE cultural events/get-togethers, the most amazing food in the world,
cheap rent, long vacations and weekends, a truly great group of coworkers, feeling appreciated by my
boss and managers, and the overwhelmingly friendliness of Thai culture. I can't even begin to count
how many times I've been offered food, invited to go places by near-strangers, smiled at for no
particular reason, and taken care of everywhere I go. I really, really, stinkin' love it here.
Some unsolicited advice to end this testimonial:
• Do what you can to learn to speak Thai – it not only stuns Thai people but also opens up
numerous opportunities (being invited to weddings, serving Chinese donuts at the rice soup place on
Amphur, helping you pronounce your students' nicknames correctly)
• Camp overnight in Ang Thong Marine Park, off the coast of Koh Samui. And go to the floating
bungalows at Khao Sok – it's cheap! I really highly recommend going to Burma, too.
• Explore random backroads on your motorbike. Thailand is so beautiful and green. Driving
always lifts my spirits.
• Enjoy not having 24/7 access to internet (and subsequently media and advertising). It's a pain
sometimes, but I think it's a blessing in disguise.
• The silent meditation retreat at Wat Suan Mokkh turned into very powerful ten days for me.
Tough, but wow.
• Read The Artist's Way (if you are scared of being creative, like I was). Wake up early in the
morning when it's cool and quiet, and write through your problems and your dreams.
• Be good to yourself! And email me if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm more
than happy to vouch for my time at Super English.
|Year and a Half Testimonial
by Brittany DeNovellis