Today (or yesterday, or a few months ago, depending on when I get round to posting this) I started my training for the teaching job – tired, sweaty and shitting myself by the time I was at the end of my Soi. That’s wee street in Thai. Get used to weird and wonderful words appearing here 🙂 However, it seems I may have precious little to worry about; I’m pleased to report it all went swimmingly and I emerged unscathed.
My first two classes are in Suratpittaya School which is one of the local high schools, and a pretty large one at that with a roll call of something like 3,500 students. It was pretty daunting to begin with, not only is it a veritable rabbit warren of a place but my ‘guide’ had only been there three times previously so hadn’t a clue where anything was. Thankfully I met up with Nikki, the teacher I’m replacing, and she managed to give me a bit more of a feel for the place after classes.
As of 26th October (yeah, I don’t start actually working for fecking ages) I’ll have two classes in this school, both the equivalent of first year back in Scotland i.e. between maybe 12 and 14 years old. Class size is about 30-odd students which cause me a bit of terror – I’d only taught classes of less than ten before – but it turns out they’re actually pretty well behaved. Even better than that, they actually seem fun and (gasp) even enjoy learning. Their English isn’t too bad so you can actually conversations with them and they enjoyed pelting me with a barrage of questions before the class began.
Favourite one had to be “Do you have a girlfriend or boyfriend?”. Nice open-minded bunch 🙂
For this week I’m only shadowing Nikki so it’s a case of sit back and observe, trying to get a feel for the level of their abilities, who the shy/outspoken ones are and who’ll need a bit of attention on the discipline front. Still, I can’t see these ones being much trouble. Touch wood, fingers crossed, stab a jakey, etc. The only unfortunate thing is that I’ve arrived at the end of a semester so it’s time for tests and revision, not the run-of-the-mill classes which will make up the bulk of the year.
Meh. It’ll be fine.
After two classes at Suratpattaya it was time to head up the road to The Language, a private language school and the place which officially employs me and farms my labours out to the school. It’s a very different story here, these are after-school classes which cost the parents a small fortune, are much smaller (my two classes are 12 and 6 strong respectively) and seem to be, so far anyway, better structured. Again the kids were in pretty strong spirits although they seemed to need a bit more of a prod than my high school ones. In any case the lessons were fairly similar to those from earlier on, similar levels of ability and leaving me feeling similarly settled about my future here.
Afterwards, at the end of a rather tiring 10-hour day, it was off to a restaurant on the river for a spot of curry and a mixed berry smoothie with Nick, Jeff, Nikki and Michelle.
Back to the flat.
Write this post.
Off to bed.
Got a much more civilised start tomorrow – noon from now on – so going to get back to my old morning workouts. Maybe a bit of good old-fashioned endorphin-fuelled exhaustion will finally give the sleeping patterns the last little nudge they need to put me on an even keel.
Goodbye for now, or as we say in Thailand, au revoir.
(PS – It’s now the next morning, completely failed on the whole workout thing cause I’m still having a bit of trouble with sleep and a lot of trouble finding breakfast. Sure it’ll all come together in time 🙂 )