|When you’re in your twenties, two years is a long time. It’s hard to believe that my time in Surat is
over; it still feels like yesterday that I got off the plane and was greeted by hot weather, heavy
luggage and Peter. Before I came here, I knew that I would be comfortable living in Thailand. I
have been here before, and instantly felt right at home. What I didn’t think would happen was that
living here would change me as a person for the better. It has.
Looking back at my time here, I think most importantly my classes have all gone well. I spent my
first year teaching Prathom 3, and while I was focused on delivering quality education to those
kids, I always knew that they would be a ‘warm up act’ for my second year classes. I tried a lot of
different lessons out on those classes – most worked, some didn’t. In my second year I ‘demoted’
myself (with Peter’s permission) to Prathom 1, and learning from my first year of teaching I can
only think of literally a handful of lessons that have fallen flat. Teaching at Thida can be a difficult
experience, as the classes are overcrowded and discipline can be a problem. I feel that I have
overcome these obstacles and prepared my little kids well for P2.
I have always had the opinion that Thida classes and secondary to Super English classes, and my
class at Super English has been my finest achievement in my time here. I taught the same students
for two years, and seeing as my class at SE is only 10 students (as opposed to 55) I have really got
to know these kids as people, not just as students. This is something that just isn’t possible at
Thida or any other Thai school as there are just too many little faces that you have to divide your
When I first inherited my Super students, they were already very good for their age and I knew
from the very beginning there was huge potential to turn these kids into the very best in Surat.
Watching them progress over the past two years to incorporate various elements of the English
language into their everyday conversations (such as past tense verbs, correct pronouns and more
advanced adjective usage) has been very fulfilling and given my time here true meaning and
purpose. Whoever inherits this class will be getting a very rare and talented group of kids; unlike
99.9% of their peers they can converse, argue and insult each other in English, and while they are
not fluent they can do it correctly and coherently. I am very proud of all of my Super students and
my one hope is that they continue learning together at Super English, as this is hands down the
best English class in Surat Thani.
Personally, living amongst Thai people has been an interesting experience, especially since I have
been dating my Thai girlfriend since April last year. Best advice I can give the rookies is to always
be patient, relaxed and try to learn as much Thai as possible, it really does help. With my girlfriend’
s help I am able to have basic but continual conversations with Thai people, and I am learning
more and more everyday. Also, I have found that if you go into a tourist area (like Koh Samui or
Phuket) the tourist touts will leave you alone if you speak Thai to them or if they hear you
speaking Thai – defiantly an added benefit.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Peter and his wife Jeab for their consideration and
support during my time here. Peter is a highly dedicated and professional employer; in my two
years at SE he has always paid me the correct amount (including bonuses) on time, and delivered
on every promise. He is always available to assist, regardless if your problem is professional or
personal. His advice has been invaluable and I would not be the teacher that I have become without
his help. Also, the help from our former director and fearless leader Ms. Victoria Biggs was (in
hindsight) essential to me, her advice helped me to thrive and really become a leader in the
classroom. Super English is a great place to work, and it’s a great place to work because Peter and
Victoria put so much effort into making it a great place to work. Having employers like this,
especially in a foreign country is so critical and makes the difference between Super English and
just plain English.
When it’s all said and done, coming to Surat and working at Super English has been more of the
best decisions I have ever made. The past two years have truly been very good years. Thank you
for having me, and best of luck to all who decide that Super English is the place to be – you
honestly can’t do much better.
|Two Year Testimonial
by Tristan Rentos