May 23, 2017
Today was the start of day 5! our first day of teaching!
We woke up early for breakfast and then had time to get materials ready for our first day of teaching Thai students. We were split into three different groups, a group for ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade. Each class was 50 minutes long and had approximately 40 students. In Thailand, students show great respect to their teachers. There was a daily routine followed for how to say hello to the teacher. All the students were in the classroom and would stand to acknowledge the teacher and wait until told to be seated. Respect for teachers is valued in this culture.
Our three groups split up and when it was time to head to the classroom, nerves were high. Luckily, as soon as we saw how welcoming the students were, the nerves were gone in no time and we jumped right into our lessons. In our classroom, we did three lessons in our 50 minutes. The lessons were designed to get students talking in English. We started with an icebreaker we called, “snowballs”. We had each student write down a fun fact about themselves and then they would crumble it up and throw it across the room. After they threw them across the room they would pick up someone else’s and read it out loud. who’s ever snowball they read then had to stand up and read theres. It was very interesting seeing what was written on the snowballs. These ranged from, I like food, I am pretty, I am rich, I am happy, I am tall, I am short, I am athletic and so on. One student even wrote ladyboy, and I learned that they are very accepting of gays and lesbians in the school. After that we tossed a beach ball around with various questions and they had to answer whatever question their thumb landed on, Lastly, we ended with headbands. The students reacted very well to this and really seemed to enjoy it!! We are all incredibly excited to get back to the classroom on Thursday and teach more lessons.
After teaching, the dress clothes were off and the sandals were on, it was beach time! It was another beautiful beach day and it felt good to relax. However, the relaxation did not last long as it was time for sports camp. It was a cool day and we got hit with pouring rain. My two friends and I danced around in the rain like little kids! It was so nice to not be hot for awhile. The cheerleaders learned their dance today and they are improving and learning so quickly! They all love to dance and cheer and I love being able to share something that was such a big part of my life with them. Sports are a large part of Thailand, and it is a privilege to get to share hobbies with people around the world.
We ended our day with another trip to the Night Market. Everyone’s hands were full of bags and food. Today was a success! We were able to experience a classroom from a different perspective. It was a day to remember!