Teaching English in Thailand: Day 6, My first day

Day 6: Monday 29th June 

My new school dress from the market 

Today I woke up with a lovely puffy eye from a mosquito bite on my eyelid, just in time for my first day at school! Perfecto. Waking up at 6:50 was a struggle, but a lovely traditional Thai breakfast (just kidding) of frankfurter and chopped apple soon got me going! Mm-hmm, deeeee-lish!

On the way to school, Kanang and I picked up Roweena, who is a Pilipino teacher at the school. She speaks amazing English and looks 20 years old, not 30! I tell you, there must be something special in the Asian diet which works wonders for ageing!!  Roweena is so friendly and instantly we were chatting away to each other in the car. She cannot speak Thai so it is perfect for me that she only speaks in English with the Thai teachers and students!

Feeling spesh
When we pulled into the school grounds in the car, the children were all looking at us as we drove past. It felt quite strange, and Kanang had already told me that the children couldn’t wait to see me and they had all been talking about me.  Next thing I knew, I was stood in front of all 500 of them, attempting to give an introductory speech. I pretty much just introduced myself and said about England being cold and rainy and Thailand is crazily hot! They all laughed. One point to teacher Olivia!

I was introduced to all of the English teachers and also the director of the school who was extremely friendly. While the whole school watched the selected children raising the flag, the director made small talk with me in English which was nice, seeing as he is seen as such an important figure at the school! 

My office / My view of the library

My “office” is in the library, where I sit along with Kanang and Roweena. They gave me my own desk, which makes me feel oh so important! My first lesson was in second period in the library, which was convenient! It was Kanang’s lesson, with a student teacher from Khon Kaen called Bum (lol) and then also me! It was after about a minute that the lesson was pretty much handed over to me. I didn’t mind because I was just reading text from the (really rubbish) textbook, which the children then read back to me, as instructed to do by the student teacher. Kanang was back at her desk at this point; it’s a hard life being a teacher in Thailand! The children were about 13 years old and were quite shy to begin with. As soon as I looked at any of them they would giggle and shy away with their friends. I broke the ice by shaking the odd student’s hand during our introductions every now and then, which cracked them all up! By the end of the lesson they were all crowding around me with their books for me to mark and sign. I think they enjoyed the lesson!

My second lesson was straight after this one. The children were older than earlier, but their level of English was almost worse. It was quite hard to get through to them and to give simple instructions. Again, I was left to take the class with a bit of help from Bum, (I think the main teacher of this class, Tan, was off sunning himself or something.) The children were less excited by my presence than the class before, but more excited than my final class of the day, who were not shying away but showing off and they didn't want to speak in front of the class whilst they told me their names and nick names. All of the children were sitting on the floor as there were no tables and chairs in this room, and one boy was moving away from me as I made my way around the children in the nice big room. I called him up to the front, shook his hand (hilarious) and handed him a microphone. That’s when he wished he sat still! He was begging not to use the mic, but I insisted. So he introduced himself to me, the class, and many others on school grounds who could hear his sheepish whisper into the loud mic.

"Do you understand?"
A huge problem for me, was that the children couldn’t understand my question of “do you understand?” Surely they know what that means?! I asked Bum to ask them in Thai, so she said in English, “understand?” and got a response!! Why do I only receive a giggle or a blank stare? Frustrating.

For the rest of the day I had free periods which was pretty boring to be honest. I sat in on some lessons to avoid being a landing place for mozzies at my desk, which only distracted the children more than they already were. Having a white girl sitting next to you when you’re a Thai 14 year old boy is quite funny apparently! I had a group of girls shyly come up to me and ask for a selfie after their lesson; I felt like a celeb! A very sweaty celeb, with a mosquito bite on her eyelid: beautiful.
My favourite: young coconut and The Alchemist

After school, Kanang and I popped into Tesco Lotus, grabbed some ingredients for dinner (Thai red curry, mmm) and some BEER! I jokingly asked Kanang if we should get drunk and she giggled like a little girl- she’s so funny. We made a beautiful red curry, and also a side of sweet and sour. The food was amazing, with real authentic flavours and ingredients, without the MSG and whatever crap they put in this kind of food in England. I will never look at sweet and sour chicken in the same way again!
Thai mama cooking the Thai Thai
Tomorrow I don’t have to go to school because the children have an all day sex education and drugs lesson. As much as would love to participate, I feel like It will be an extremely boring day full of Thai language, SO, I’m staying at home to catch some Thai sun (and to catch up on English TV, of course!)

P.s, below is a picture of the infamous Durian Fruit, or 'King of Fruits'. It smells like literal crap, but tastes good. Kanang was trying to tell me that its texture is like a natural cream, but could not say 'cream' so we had a pronunciation lesson whereby we repeated the word 'cream' so many times it started to sound very wrong. CREAM!

Sawasdee ka!



  1. Seeing your comments yesterday about food, try chicken Penang.....my favourite. The street market food is safe & the best in my opinion. Food bought in everyday and cooked in front of you. I've never had an iffy tummy. Cafe food often stored for days and not always in the fridge. Xx

  2. Whats that like Paul? I think my host told me about it the other day! Yeah I understand, but sometimes the street food can be dodgy! Flies everywhere as well! Just have to assess each situation individually haha. xx

  3. The traditional dish contains beef cut in thin strips, kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk, phanaeng curry paste, palm sugar and fish sauce. The dish typically contains thick coconut milk and has very little other liquids added. Delicious. X

  4. You're so right to keep away from stray dogs. They are renowned for being nippers. Rabies is rife in Thailand. If you are invited to someone’s house for lunch or dinner, it is expected that you will bring some small present as a gift to show gratitude. Usually, fruit or some flowers will be more than adequate. If you are sitting on the floor as many Thai families still like to do, try to refrain from pointing your feet in the direction of other people. Instead, keep them tucked under your body for politeness. It is also not recommended to touch Thai people on the head! Interestingly, Thai people love their food and like to eat together sharing all the food they have between them, including Penang curry. Let me know what you think of it. Xx