Fun facts to help you with your future in a Prathom 1 (First Grade) classroom.

1.        Have fun!!  Teaching Prathom 1 was my favorite part about being in Thailand.  The
students truly enjoy English class; therefore it is pretty easy to win their hearts.  Smile,
make them laugh, they will make you laugh; don’t hold back when it comes to having loads
of fun!  They do require a lot of energy, so go into the classroom, run around, jump
around, and chase them around, whatever it takes!  Positive energy, and lots of it, will
carry you through an exciting year with these students.  Just have fun!  Sanuk maak (“fun
very” in thai)!

2.        Speak slowly and clearly!  The slower you speak the quicker they will grasp what
you are saying.  Patience will help you with this; I can’t believe how much patience I have
now!

3.        Use repetition with everything you do.  Each day was very similar to the day before,
and you might think they will get bored but they don’t!  Repetition helps their progress a
lot, especially with the youngsters. If you repeat your daily schedule they know what to
expect and will be less timid as a result.  This is especially effective when playing games.
The more often you play games (the games they like) the more often the shy, quieter
students will break out of their shell and join in.

4.        Develop a point system.  This is up to you, in my classes we had three teams
everyday (the desks are divided into three sections already).  At the beginning of each
class one student from each team chooses a name- you write it on the board- then
depending on how you want to administer points, you write them under the team name.  (I
used stars, diamonds, smiley faces, hearts, etc. “up to you”).

5.        Develop a system for discipline. This will be a very helpful and necessary tool.  The
students you have are actually pretty well behaved…..of course they all have their
moments.  Their will be a Thai teacher in the classroom making the rounds and keeping
the class somewhat in line and attentive.   I used the point system to keep them in line…..
they really don’t like to lose points so it helps control chaos to have the points up on the
board.  If a student(s) on one team is misbehaving, not listening, etc. deduct a point, and
all of a sudden the team quiets down.  Amazing!

6.        Assign writing for approximately 15 minutes everyday!  The number of sentences
will vary depending on the English level and cooperation of the students, as well as the
difficulty of the writing assigned.  While they are writing continuously walk around and
monitor them…..they are sneaky and some will try and get away with out writing…BAD!  
One student will be on number four and two little chatty girls/boys will still be opening their
books!  

7.        Along with the writing, try to grade their journals twice a week.  All you have to do is
initial each entry….they will make simple mistakes, and many of the students will make
very similar mistakes, therefore grading is quite easy!  They like if you sign your name like
an autograph on occasion, or draw funny smiley faces, etc.  They are easily pleased!

8.        They like to play with balloons, chalk, flashcards, etc.  Once again, easily pleased.  
I used a magic bag that I put objects (flashcards, figurines, etc) in according to the subject
we were studying.  They love reaching into the bag and pulling out an unknown object.  
Then you can have the talk about the object or whatever you want to do in order to teach
them the current subject.

9.        On Fridays you do verbal testing.  Fridays are very nice; you sit at the desk while
each student comes up individually to answer two to three verbal questions.  I used
flashcards a lot for this.  Also, it is convenient to print out worksheets (sometimes two
worksheets depending on the class level) for Fridays.  Walk into class, pass out the
papers, explain the worksheet, explain the subject and expectations of the verbal test,
then sit down and start calling the students up to the desk.  Easy.

10.        Smile, laugh, and thoroughly enjoy the experience!  These students are amazing,
one of the most fun group of students at Thida (maybe this is biased but I don’t care)!  
Have a great time getting to know the Thai staff and the other Super English teachers.  I
honestly wish I was still there, pedaling my way to school everyday, standing for the
national anthem and prayer, and heading off to class where the children cheer and yell
for you because they love English class so much!  Good luck to you! (Chok dee ka)!  
Have fun!  
Instead of a testimonial about the school, Katy wrote some notes about teaching for future
teachers.  They are in their own way equally helpful and revealing about working with
Super English.
Katy's Notes