Preparing for Thailand

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  • Welcoming New Teacher by Janet Phelps 2010

    I felt cared for by Super English from the moment I stepped off the plane into the warm, humid air of Surat Thani,

    Wait, that's not right. SE is a company, a school. It was the people at SE, the staff and the managers who made me feel immediately at home here.

    SE Thai staff manager Wen was waiting at the airport with our names on a sign. She smiled and asked us
    how our trip was. Then, she took us out to lunch, brought us home, took us to the grocery store, bought us our phones and our bicycles.

    Our first housemate Emily organized a welcome dinner and showed us around town. She took us
    everywhere with her for the first few days we were here. Got us oriented, helped us learn our way around.

    SE owner Peter took us out for breakfast. He gave us advice as first-year teachers and took us on excursions around town. He offered us training for our first week and made listening to our ideas part of that experience. He picked us up on our first weekend and took us to the bus station, showed us how to take the bus to the beach.

    SE manager Victoria and her partner Vee had us over for dinner or to play cards many times. They
    showed us where to get food and helped us with all of the details of adjusting to a new country. Vic talked us through our first day of classes and helped us whenever issues came up.

    If it wasn't for those people who stepped in when we first got here, my husband John and I would have felt alone and strange in this new place. But because of the intentional kindness of so many people, we were welcomed into a sincerely friendly experience which made us immediately happy to be here.

    John and I are now a year into our contract at SE. We would never have agreed to stay on another year
    if it wasn't for the wonderful welcome we received. And because it meant so much to us, we're committed to making sure every single new teacher has as good of an experience as we did when we first got here.

    When you get off the plane, there will be someone waiting for you. You will have housing waiting for you, and friends to show you around. Whenever you have a question, need advice or want to talk, someone will be here for you. When things get tough, SE will support you and make sure you're being taken care of.

    I've seen it happen over and over again with each new staff member becoming part of the welcoming
    crew. So I know it's true.