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Teaching English in Thailand: Lessons Learned

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It's almost time for my journey of teaching English in Thailand to come to a close. I can’t believe it's already here! It seems like just yesterday,  I was picked up from the Suvarnabhumi Airport to begin my six months of teaching English in Thailand.   Where has the time gone?

In these final weeks, I find myself reflecting back on the moments that have past, and wondering about the future that is to come. It is hard not to wonder what lies ahead.  But I really can’t worry about that all too much. If I have learned anything from teaching English in Thailand, it is to stop worrying! Stop thinking! Stop planning for the days to come…because right now, in this moment, the future is nonexistent.

Teaching english in Thailand Teaching English in Thailand is an adventure for the student and the teacher

Easier said than done! It took some time to get used to this way of life.  But in all fairness, is learning anything really that easy?

While teaching English in Thailand, I don’t know how many times I have fallen on my face; but with each fall I took, I began to understand a little bit more. I may not have noticed at the time, but I was growing so much as a person.

Whether it was a lesson plan that backfired, a miscommunication with one of my Thai teachers, or the struggle to find a feeling of content within myself, I always managed to get through.

What is real is this moment. You can’t plan for the future, or worry about the past, because you will miss out on what is happening right in front of your eyes. For the people of Thailand, this is the way of life. Not a care in the world about the future. Right here is the now. At times it may lead to a bit of disorganization, but that is part of the fun!

Teaching English in Thailand Some of Christina's students take a break from their lessons

To the Western mindset, disorganization is the epitome of dysfunction, because it does not lead to success. To the people of Thailand, success isn’t really that important. They could care less about the rat race going on in other parts of the world. As long as things get done, it doesn’t matter how they got done.

At first I used to get so frustrated with the lack of organization in this country, but now all I can do is sit back and laugh: when the bus never runs on time, when a monk is taking a selfie, when I have to drop all my lesson plans and improvise right on the spot. Everything is unexpected! And when everything is unexpected, each new day is a surprise. Now isn’t that the way to live?

Teaching English in Thailand Teaching English in Thailand helped Christina make some life-long friends

As I move forward from my journey teaching English in Thailand, I will truly miss this country- the amazing people that live in it, and the sights that are one in a million. I will miss my students, the smiles on their faces, and all the moments we shared.   I will miss my co-teachers, the town I have called my home for the past few months, and the simplicity of life that came with it.

“The past is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, and that’s why we call it the present.” –unknown.

Until next time Thailand…Christina

 

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