As you prepare for your move to Thailand and ready yourself for receiving your TEFL qualification, you’re likely feeling a little apprehensive about what to expect. Relax! You’re going to have an incredible time. The fear and anxiety are perfectly normal reactions to such an alien experience. It’s the fear of failure and the unknown that gets most of us but understand this: thousands and thousands and thousands of teachers have come before you. You’ll be fine.
Of course, it’s always handy doing a little preparation beforehand. Which is why we’ve put together a few essential tips for teaching in Thailand. Take note of these when you start your classes and you will go far.
Always plan your lessons
Writing lesson plans is a part of the job, but it gets easier and less time consuming with experience. You must always find time to plan what you are going to teach your students. Refrain from trying to wing it because at the end of the day, you have a job to do.
Have plenty of games in mind
The most fun you will have as an English teacher is the games! Children love playing games and when they are enjoying themselves, they will have a much easier time of learning the language. So, have plenty of awesome and exciting games up your sleeve. This is especially handy when your lesson plan doesn’t quite go the way you intended.
Don’t stick to the textbook religiously
Find new ways to personalise the material and give it your own flair! Have fun with it and get your children out of their seats as often as possible. Learning English should be exciting and spontaneous (carefully planned spontaneity, that is).
Make friends with your fellow teachers
Depending on the size of the school you may be working with other western teachers. You must endeavour to get to know your fellow teachers, as you can never have too many friends. Having someone close to you who is going through the same life experiences as you can be comforting, especially when missing home. You should also become friendly with the Thai teachers and develop a relationship with them as well. This is the key to enriching your overall teaching experience.
Go easy on the students
Learning a foreign language is difficult, so go easy on your children. You must adopt a high standard of patience and acceptance. If you scrutinise and embarrass your children too often, they will switch off and begin to fear or even resent speaking English. Be kind!
The most important tip of all is to have fun. You have the opportunity to create your own classroom environment! You set the rules, and if you decide that it’s going to be their favourite lesson to attend, then you best well make it so. That means, having as much fun as possible, laughing all of the time, playing exciting and competitive games, and being a kind, patient, and understanding teacher. If you can have fun, you will cherish your time as a teacher in Thailand forever.