I saw a funny meme the other day circulating Facebook and thought I would elaborate on what really happens in an average day teaching English in Thailand. Although I only have experience teaching at one school, my experience can’t be too far off from my fellow teachers throughout the entire country.
I want to start by saying, I WAS NOT ON VACATION EVERY DAY! There’s a huge misunderstanding when my friends and family back home would say, “but you’re on an extended vacation!”…… No, definitely not. I went to work 5 days a week, 8 hours a day. The only difference between my job in the US and my job in Thailand is the location. I was somewhere new and exploring places where many choose to spend their vacation days. But, many people travel from all over the world to see San Francisco, so… you could be on an extended vacation, as well! 😉
6:00-7:30am – wake up / run / talk to family back home / press snooze
7:30-8:00am – arrive to school
I usually got to school around 7:30am. This gave me time to order breakfast and eat before signing in.
8:15-8:45am – student assembly
The student assembly happens every morning. Students line up with their class and listen to announcements, sing the King’s song, and drink milk.
8:45-11:00am – teach 1-2 classes (50 minute periods)
I set up my day to teach from the textbook (for testing purposes) in the morning. I spent time doing repetition and conversation practice.
11:00am-12:00pm – lunch (free to leave school or eat at school cantina)
There is food everywhere you turn. It was easy to try something new, stick to a favorite, or get some errands done.
12:00-4:30pm – teach 2-3 classes (60 minute periods)
My afternoon classes were spent reviewing the morning lesson through games, activities, and worksheets.
4:30-5:00pm – End of the school day
Some schools allow their teachers to leave when they are not teaching but my school did not. If we weren’t in front of our class teaching, we were making copies, preparing vocabulary cards, grading worksheets, and lesson planning. When that was finished and ready for the day or week, we would talk, read, plan weekend trips, etc.
What you can expect teaching abroad?
Anything and everything! There were many times a teacher was absent and I was asked to substitute 5 minutes into class starting. It’s a go-with-the-flow environment with a very rewarding job! If you put in positive energy and effort, it will be reciprocated by a very gracious and appreciative school – Thai teachers, students, and parents.