Dear Peter and the Super English Team
Date; 02/01/2011 - approximately one year and a bit (I did say approximate) since I left
Thailand for new adventures.
Current location; a rather chilly and wet England
Current status; TBC, but exciting!!!
Peter, a huge word of thanks to you and the rest of the Super English team of fellow teachers and staff, who have all in your own way, great and small, shaped for me my most recent paths.
Since coming to work for you in Thailand from early 2008 until late 2009, and having such a positive and inspiring experience of teaching, i have been pursuing that path ever since. I arrived home to the UK in late 2009, and landed a job working as a learning support officer for an environmental charity, aiding students studying for qualifications in Environmental Conservation achieve their goals. Post that I worked for some time in a Nursery school in England working with the younger children as a teaching assistant, and in particular with one beautiful young boy, Max, who had speech and language development needs. I am 100% convinced that the tools that learned out in Thailand and the games and exercises picked up from you guys helped me enormously to communicate with Max and to help him develop his communication skills. Following that I managed to land a pretty sweet job teaching
environmental education, and English language teaching, to students at a nature reserve in a Costa Rican rain forest, working as part of a programme funded by the European Union. Again, with language barriers, I was able to present information using the physical teaching methods and play-work I had developed in my teaching in Thailand. The skills and confidence I had gained delivering English language teaching in Thailand definitely stepped up the quality of my teaching to students in Costa Rica. Since returning once again to the cold and grim north of England, I am now enrolled onto a professional teaching course, to teach primary school aged children (5-11 year olds) at Manchester University which will be starting in September, and to keep me out of mischief in the meantime I am applying for posts teaching English as a foreign language with the British Council in Spain.
I felt I needed to write to you to tell you about all these wonderful and exciting things that have happened to me as a way of thanking you for all that you taught me whilst I was with you and for undoubtedly changing my paths direction in the most positive of ways. Many thanks for the skills, games and tricks I now carry wit me into every classroom. Thank you for the continued support since leaving. Thank you for all the references you continue to write for me. And thank you for being a wonderful inspiration and opening my eyes to the joys of teaching.
“Active, interested students.” Ryan Johnson
“Really getting to know the students and seeing them progress leaps and bounds as time goes by. Also the community of teachers Super English fosters is really helpful, not to mention tons of fun.” Erica Ambrose
“Working with the kids, seeing them have fun while learning and know that I was a part of making that happen. It is extremely rewarding to know someone is enjoying learning from you and with you.” Peter
“Freedom to develop into whatever sort of teacher I am inclined to be. Freedom of curriculum. Relaxed work environment.” Craig Blackburn, former teacher
“Hands down the atmosphere and the children. Given the opportunity to work in such a positive atmosphere with kids that make me smile is all I could have asked for.” Jamie Erman, former teacher
“The most positive thing about working with SE is how smooth and painless you’ve made such a monumental transition become. “ Scott Saier
“Working with genuinely caring, friendly, and nice people: the staff at Super English, the staff at the Thai schools, and my students.” Caleb and Codie Kostechka
“Feeling continually supported. Working in a foreign country is daunting at times. It is nice to know I
always have someone to talk to or help me (personally and professionally). Creative freedom and possibility for advancement.” Victoria Biggs
“The students. Having taught kids between 4 and 11 years old I find Thai kids to be kind and fun-loving with a little hint of crazy.” Clair McCalla
I am fortunate to be able to say that I have managed to do a lot of travelling throughout my life thus far. I am always taking off on a new adventures and living & working in different countries but the older I get, the more I ask myself how long I can keep this up? After one long spell away I told myself that I should go back to the UK, focus on a career, money and buying a house however, now that I have been in the UK for a couple of years I can never seem to focus on any of those kind of things and I spend a lot of my time planning other trips and fantasizing about getting out of England. I have been searching for some thing that will allow me to be able to get set up in life, travel and help make a difference. Over the last five years the idea of TEFL has crossed my mind many times. TEFL will allow me to do all the things I believe I need to do without having to keep coming back to the UK. I have tried all kinds of jobs and one thing I know for certain is that I never want to work in an office again! I now don’t care about how much money I make, who wears what or any nasty office politics – it’s the simple life for me.
All the signs seem to be pointing in the right direction; it’s just taken me a while to actually read them. After I took the plunge and completed the TEFL course I started to apply for jobs immediately. The fear I once had has now turned into complete excitement and a certain belief that this is the path I should be on. I applied for many TEFL jobs and I waited eagerly for a response. I remember applying for the SE job late one night. I got a response the following morning and set up a SKYPE chat for that very afternoon. I instantly clicked with Peter and I felt as though I had known him forever. I didn’t feel nervous and it didn’t feel like an interview, we had a bit of banter and he got to the point. I was offered the role. I did hesitate at the beginning as all the other jobs I had applied for started to respond. I was offered another 7 roles in various countries, all offering good money, benefits, paid holidays and my flights. I was faced with a difficult decision, but having called them all I noticed that none of the others came close to giving me the warm feeling that I had with Peter.
This is my first teaching job and hopefully it will be my new career. I really want to learn as much as I possibly can and be as creative as I can. I didn’t get the impression that the other schools were particularly keen to assist me in this way. No one seemed interested in me or my lack of experience and I felt that there was little or no support. I really didn’t want to take some thing just because it was good money. I was looking for some thing that would allow me to be happy and comfortable in this my first teaching post.
One of the first things Peter advised me to do on arrival is to take a few days to get settled. Thereafter will be given three days training and the opportunity to watch others teach before I fly solo. I was honest with Peter; I explained that I was nervous, had no previous experience and that I had only recently passed my TEFL course. Peter reassured me by making me feel calm, confident and positive. I gave myself a day to think about it and the only thing on my mind was Super English. I had a warm feeling and just knew it was for me.
I know I have made the right decision. I get regular updates from Peter. I have been emailing a few of the other new Super English teachers and already I feel part of the family. I am thrilled to discover that we are all of a similar age with similar interests. I am so looking forward to being surrounded by like minded people and to learning new skills and techniques along the way. It is my intention to be creative in the classroom to help the children learn in a way that I know can be fun.
I want to use the opportunity to learn more about Buddhism, the Thai language and their culture, meet new people and most importantly making a difference to the children. Five weeks to go – nervous – oh yes. Excited – definitely!