Tuesday, February 5, 2013

First Day of School

Today was TCCS' first day co-teaching with a Thai teacher in a Thai classroom to Thai kids... Thailand! Peace Corps sets us up pretty nicely with regards to feeling really prepared for our actual role when we eventually get to site. We've had a few weeks now of technical training (lesson planning, classroom management, "oh shit" moments), and now we teach one hour a day for eight days, observe a fellow trainee for another hour, reflect, and lesson plan with each other and a Thai teacher.

Words don't quite do the Thai people justice when I say that they are thankful for the PC presence in their country. Even though TCCS trainees are teaching four days a week for two weeks here in various districts of Suphan Buri, we receive the utmost respect from kids, parents, teachers, and administrators, and the community. The school insists on serving us lunch, the kids want to have anything, and everything, to do with us, and we are welcome to do as we wish within the school, as if we have been working there for years. This is all such a stark contrast to many of my previous occupations, and it is obviously an overwhelmingly welcome change.

I'm really quite excited to be back in the realm of teaching and children. Kids just have a zeal for life that seems to have been sucked out of so many individuals their senior. Their happiness, zest for learning, and whimsy are all infectious. You can't help but smile and be thankful for your life, no matter if you're living within the comforts of America or learning to live much more simply in Thailand.

A few specific highlights of my day:

  1. Running around the school field and literally having dozens of children micro-stampeding after me
  2. Acting over the top ridiculous teaching emotions/feelings and having the power to insist children "repeat after me"
  3. Feeling like one of the staff and enjoying my time working with Thai educators
  4. Being told by my program manager after having my first ever PC English lesson observed,  "I have no worries at all about you"
  5. Learning just as much as I taught

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