Today was my first day in the classroom teaching. I imagined this day ever since I signed up for this course. I used to break into a sweat just thinking about having a students staring at me while I teach them. The course has gone very smoothly up till this point and I’ve come a long way in building confidence over the last 3.5 years.
We spent the weekend working on our lesson plans when we weren’t out celebrating Songkran. We left around 8am for the city of Rayong which is about a half hour away. Thai schools are on break right now until mid-May so finding volunteers to come to the school as students was difficult. We had a very small class. There were 8 students total split between two classrooms. In glorious Joey style, my high confidence entering into the classroom was shattered when someone pointed out that I had torn a hole in the crotch of my pants. Theses pants were just purchased a few days ago after a long evening hunting for a mall in Rayong. I made a quick attempt to use a safety pin to secure the hole but my efforts were fruitless. I just went for it. I adjusted myself as well as I could before hand and went first.
The lesson was over before I knew it. One hour flies by when you’re up there. All weekend I’ve been practicing writing and drawing on a white board only to end up using a chalkboard at the school. I broke 4 pieces of chalk in a matter of 5 minutes but eventually got the feel for it. The classroom was pretty hot, as there is no central A/C. The school is outside of Rayong a bit, in a smaller village. It wasn’t comfortable but it’s more typical than getting to work in a fancy school in the big city. There is always a chance I could end up at a school like this.
Overall my lesson went really well. The trainer had high praise for me and even went as far as saying it was one of the best first lessons he’s seen. Whether or not that is true, who knows but I felt good up there and only had a few issues with my rate of speech. My preparation and planning paid off and I go back in tomorrow morning and do it all again. For the next 2 weeks there will be lesson planning in the afternoon at night and then teaching the following morning.
Here we go!