Life as a school teacher has always been full of many surprises. Whether I was teaching at a summer arts camp or gymnastics school, my years of teaching off and on have left me with the warmest of memories. It is always a treasured moment when teaching allows you to experience great highlights throughout the school day. My experience as a school teacher came full circle when I accepted a position at a high school in Thailand.
My task was to encourage the Thai students to communicate with me in English for an entire 55 minute lessons. Thrown into what felt a little like the deep end of the sea, I knew that teaching would also be an interesting way to experience Thai culture and life. Early childhood development classes in high school led me to work with children in daycare’s and summer youth arts camps in Connecticut. I loved working with children from the very start. Inevitably, I translated that love into working with children over ten of the 16 year that I spent living in the United Kingdom.
It was wonderful working in Thailand as a school teacher and discovering just how shy the students really were. I taught students ranging in age from 11 to 18-years old. The younger students were a lot less shy than the older students. They each had an incredible amount of curiosity about the English language and life outside of Thailand. I was amazed to discover that while their English speaking skills were not always developed their reading and writing skills were of a superior level. Their grasps of the written English language translated onto paper in perfect sentences and impeccable grammar skills.
It becomes almost impossible to understand why they had lacked the ability to speak the language as fluently as they wrote it. Then the answer became clear when the Thai teachers explained that while they taught the students English they too do not speak English well or as often as they would like. The answers to everything became clearer in that one moment. Getting the students to feel confident enough to speak for 45 minutes in English became my mission.
Making each lesson fun and interesting took on new and innovating meaning. I enjoyed watching even the most shy of students suddenly raise their hand to answer the barrage of English questions I presented them with for the days lessons. Building confidence at an early age in a child is so very cruical to the development of a child on all level. This was something that I discovered while working with children in England.
A confident child is more capable of making a decision based on the merit of the circumstances. Not mention, also able to raise their hand and stand up before their peers to answer three very lengthy questions in English when I asked for a volunteer. Creating self belief in a child is another key aspect to the greater development of a child whether they are in a class or at home.