Teaching Abroad; My Year + Working in Phuket – by Yulya Sorokina
I have come to Thailand from Russia. I grew up in a small city in South Ural. I studied linguistics at the Russian Academy of Education. It took me almost six years to finish my education. In the middle of my studies, I decided to go abroad to practice my language skills. I signed up for English courses in the US and successfully completed them. With my degree in Linguistics and with five years of teaching experience I decided to teach abroad. The events that led me to teach in Thailand began when I was on holiday in Phuket. I deeply enjoyed my visit and felt very comfortable with the Thai people and culture. Teaching in Thailand was an extraordinary opportunity for me to challenge myself and to help other people. I was confident that I could bring something new and interesting to the teaching process and help children to improve their language skills.
I signed up for an accredited TEFL course that was partially online and partially in person in Thailand. As I completed this course, the coordinator of my group introduced me to Phuket Has Been Good To Us Foundation. After meeting with some of the teachers, volunteers, office staff and of course our lovely director of operations, I was surprisingly overwhelmed with what they had done for underprivileged children. Without any doubt, I agreed to volunteer with PHBGTU foundation and I have never regretted the decision. A few months later I was offered a paid position from Phuket Has Been Good To Us and gladly accepted! I am lucky enough to be sponsored by Phuket Condos & Homes which allows PHBGTU to pay my salary and cover my visa and work permit costs.
November marked one year since I began teaching at Kamala school. I am currently teaching nine different age groups ranging from nine years old to sixteen years old. Teaching has always been challenging and exciting to me; it gives me the energy to work harder and to achieve my goals in the classroom. In Kamala school students come from different backgrounds and with different levels of English. This makes teaching quite challenging, but also brings the teachers together as a team. My fellow teachers and I work together on planning our lessons and try to come up with the best possible ways to adapt the plan for our students with different learning styles. Our team is from all over the world and each teacher has their own individual experiences and teaching styles. I have learned so much from working with them. Every day I improve as a teacher; I learn to adapt, experiment and improvise.
Another great part of being a teacher here at Kamala school is our afterschool program, Coconut club, which I help to coordinate. Monday through Thursday, the Foundation’s teachers and volunteers spend an extra hour at the end of the school day with the residential students. Every week we plan different activities that will be both educational and fun. We also have regular sessions which we run every week such as rugby club, bingo, and guitar club.
Mondays are usually our Lego day, which all of the students really enjoy. I love art and try to incorporate it into Coconut Club when I can to help the students use their creativity and imagination. I truly enjoy doing all the art projects and teaching children new skills such as paper mache, painting different materials, or making their own dream catchers.
I have lived the most memorable year of my life here in Phuket helping children to improve their language skills and adding a bit of excitement and happiness to the lives of underprivileged students. I look forward to more continuing to grow as a teacher here in Phuket!