Teacher Diego: A bumpy road to becoming an English Teacher
Teaching in Thailand is one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had yet. I’ve learned a lot about the culture of this beautiful place and I will never regret my decision to leave Italy and start my adventures abroad, which ultimately led me here.
I had to work hard to get the opportunity to take a TEFL course, going through countless adventures in Australia and New Zealand to learn the appropriate level of the English language that allowed me to start this amazing career. Despite my Bachelor degree in foreign languages and literature achieved in Italy, the language barrier was huge when I landed in Australia for the first time. Every day included many mistakes and struggles with incomprehensible words and local phrases. However, unashamed, I kept trying and trying until my conversations were fluent and my understanding was nearly perfect.
Then, after 4 years, it was time to face the new adventure that I had planned after my degree: teaching English in Asia. Many friends told me about their amazing experiences visiting Thailand so I did my research on the internet and found a very interesting TEFL course on the island of Koh Samui. Upon arrival I discovered paradisiacal beaches, warm weather, and amazing fresh food; it seemed about right. In short, it was one of the best adventures of my entire life, I was surrounded by amazing people – future teachers, in fact, the location was beautiful and life seemed to be amazingly perfect (which it is even now).
The TEFL course was a blast and it went by too fast. The instructor was clear and funny and after the classes, I was definitely ready to apply for a teaching job. I had quick replies from three different schools: one in Songklha, one in Krabi, and one from a charity Foundation called “Phuket Has Been Good To Us”, like the name says, in Phuket. I decided Songkhla was too far and in the middle of nowhere so I placed this offer as my last choice and arranged a Skype interview with the other two offers. Any doubts I had were gone after these interviews. There was nothing wrong with the Krabi school but the professional and friendly people on the other side of my screen from Phuket Has Been Good To Us (PHBGTU) were just amazing! My questions were all answered by the senior teacher, the recruitment volunteer and the boss of the Foundation. I decided to start my adventure from the Island of Phuket!
Friendly staff welcomed me in the small town of Kamala. We had lunch and introduced ourselves; everyone was very friendly and at the same time very professional. The staff and my co-workers helped me a lot during the first months of the job until I got used to it and I started to have my first achievements. Students began to get used to me; the younger ones started to see me as an example and the older ones as a friendly face who they could open up to and explain their problems, dreams, and hobbies. Teaching in the underprivileged government school is not the easiest thing to do but the rewards are enormous considering we can make a small difference in the lives of less fortunate students. I have been so fortunate as to be put in charge of the P6 class here in Kamala which has been sponsored by Jean-Claude and K Kantaya, meaning I can make an even bigger difference.
Every day is a new experience and there is something new to learn. Even after one year and a half as a teacher for PHBGTU I am still surprised an amazed the Thai people, the community and my co-workers and I’m looking forward to the rest of this academic year ahead.