Chris Ansell Testimonial
Super English Testimonial by Chris Ansell
A year living in Surat and teaching with Super English, has me feeling, to borrow a familiar phrase “same same but different” right now, as I sit typing in my favourite restaurant in town, Earth Zone. I feel comfortable here now, I feel that it is my place and this feeling took a long time to come about and an even longer time to actually realize. I could quite happily stay for another term or year. Life is easy in Surat. I can say that with my hand on my heart. A few months into my new life however, I would have said the complete opposite!
From the moment my plane touched down in a small non-descript airport in southern Thailand my arrival was taken care of with just the right balance of care and consideration for need of personal time. I was greeted at the airport by Peter and Wen and taken to my new abode. A small gesture perhaps, but in hindsight a bloody useful one as being left to independently find it would have taken all day and probably cost half my savings! (the Thai's have a nose for new meat and the ignorance accompanying it).
Victoria was next in line to help my assimilation into life. She was first a friend and then a boss and our relationship has always felt like that. Vic is great at her job because of this ability and I feel lucky having had her there at the beginning. I arrived at the same time as Chris M., John and Janet. We shared the same house as Emily. As the only one of us who “knew” Surat and Super English, Emily really helped us settle in too. It was in these early gestures and friendships that I began to learn that Super is as much a family as it is a company.
Just before the actual teaching began Vic invited us all around her place on the promise of coffee and cakes. These were polished off rather promptly and we then had to stand up for 5 minutes each and present how we planned to begin our first class the following week. None of us flopped and Vic offered us all some great hints as well as some constructive criticism. In our observations that followed Vic was there again to offer ideas and suggestions, most of which were pretty obvious in hindsight but were of utmost importance . Vic did this in a way that praised us at the same time and fed us the necessary confidence rather than leaving us with doubt about our ability at teaching.
Super English was always extremely good in offering help, advice and suggestions whether asked for or not. The door was always open. Between them, Peter and Vic have a wealth of experience in teaching all age-groups. I was able to sought Vic's advice when I taught a Mathiom 6 girls class for a while and then Peter's advice when I began teaching the tiny little Anuban students. I went on to use some of there ideas and in some cases adapt them further!
My initial schedule consisted of a similar number of hours to which I am teaching now (25.5) but was far more scattered throughout the week. I had plenty of free time during the day but ultimately had to have a teacher's mindset from 08.00am to 18.30pm everyday. This was a welcome change from the 9-5pm job I had back home but after a couple of months it began to become a struggle. By the time my Super English classes arrived later in the day I lacked the energy and enthusiasm required. I didn't notice this myself until it was pointed out. I had a chat with Vic and Peter and realized just how low I had been feeling. Peter offered to take over my Super class for a while and I was also lucky enough to be given the role at Noo Noy school. This change of schedule did wonders and I have been far happier and motivated ever since. It is credit to Super English that they nipped the problem in the bud before it developed into anything major.
It is the seemingly small things that for me have made the difference between having a fairly good time with Super and having a great time. For example, Peter is always very creative with new ideas about how to improve Super and recently this has been focused upon the website. He has offered topics for us to write articles on as well as creating various extra “positions”, such as Super English Official Photographer, which are all paid. This has been a great and fun way to mutually improve the website and thus the company. There are also monthly cultural events and parties which are great for team bonding and again are the type of thing that adds flavour to the whole experience of working for Super and living in Surat.
There have certainly been some tough times for me this past year. I feel fortunate to have chosen Super English though, as I am sure that it is due to the friendships I have made here that have picked me back up and ensured that my time here has been the most fulfilling of my life so far.
Thank you Super!!!