Tuesday, 3 April 2012

TEFL Teaching...From Two Months Ago...

Tuesday 3rd April, 2012; 13:43
Location: Chiang Mai Thailand
Why: New layout! And an old subject in a new post. Yah, I'm getting myself caught up...

Well my original plan to get up and go to the gym for 8:30 was a total Fail. The days start slow here in Melaka, no matter what my intentions were the night before when I plan out my day on my white board.

Not all was a fail this morning. I did a good solid 75min of Vinyasa on my splendid new mat! Finding a yoga mat at a decent price, let alone a mat period proved a challenge in Melakatown. At least I can now practice in my undies. Simple pleasures you know? So I'm all kitted out and expect to have a lean, mean wanderin' machine by summer's end. I hope.

Speaking of lean, I've decided to train for the St. Denis Semi Marathon in Paris (gulp). Have I spoken too soon? Maybe. Now that you've read this, I have to do it. Ahhh, nothing like laying down your goals and becoming accountable. Hmmm, once a lulu girl, always a goal setting girl....

Thinking back on the last few months, a lot has happened emotionally as you can see by reading posts on my grandma. In between all that, there was a TEFL course that I'd neglected to expand on. So here goes.

UniTEFL, an English Teaching course that I partook in in February has been a highlight on this little wanderin' adventure. It gave me the opportunity to hang out in Chiang Mai again, this time with my girl, Amazing Anna. I also met some interesting individuals and learned something to boot. All for the low, low price of 39,000Baht (aprox $1300CAD) - a good small investment in my future travels.

So what happens in a TEFL course Chiang Mai style you ask? Well, besides generous amounts of Chang and Leo beers, phad thai and rice egg omelets from the Omelet Lady, there were long hours of class instruction, emotionally charged lesson plans and actual teaching classes. Oh, there was also that dreaded Grammar test to pass...

A bunch of Falang Teacher Students hangin' out after a successful teaching day at a local Thai school. L-R: Jan The Enforcer, Amazing Anna, Delicious Davie and Steve, a fine Welsh gentleman:

As the course went on, so did our teaching classes which increased to two classes per week. And when I said emotionally charged lesson plans, I'm talking about the infamous row between the laugh out loud (literally) Canadian baldie and the prudish man hating (?) British lady. We were all under a great deal of stress. Oh but what a row it was! That one will go down in the TEFL history books I'm sure.

When it was time to get serious, serious we got. Lesson plans complete, we also rehearsed those damn lessons the night before teaching a class. Gotta say, it was a great exercise to do in the beginning.

Giving my students instructions on a game activity. Today's lesson: Clothes!

And the class where I famously (or infamously) ejected a little shit disturber. Oh the power of being in control!

Gettin' down with the kids for a Valentine's theme game of memory. My students were wonderful that day!

I gotta give props to all the teachers out there in the world, teaching is a tough gig. Much respect to my friends and sister who do it because they love to teach. Not gonna lie, I took this course as a means to finance my travels for when the bank account starts drying up. Also not gonna lie about this one: I'd rather tutor a really small group versus a full class. I'm down with my bad self yo'

And when I was teachered out, I'd bugger off to a table and got out the sketch pad:

After all our hard work, 12 diverse individuals and a cute TEFL instructor ham it up for the camera. That's Bubi being awesome in side crow pose:

After graduation, we all went to Blah Blah Bar for some drinks and shenanigans that had us heading into the moat for a night of more drinking, dancing and general debauchery. The pics from that night are also one of my highlights in this crazy adventure.

For example: Two Crazy Asians + Two Crazy Brits = One Drunken Grad Night Out:

This experience has definitely been a highlight in my SE Asia wander. For anyone interested in doing this, hit me up! If you sign up through my referral, I get money!

 Yah, I just shamelessly plugged UniTEFL Chiang Mai. Sign up! Pretty please?


  1. This one got me laughing:

    "The class where I famously (or infamously) ejected a little shit disturber."

    Years ago, when I was teaching English, Dave, an old school Australian teacher, would drop by my classes, open the door and randomly eject a kid. After he would always ask me if he'd punted the right one.

    Dave had a sixth sense, 90% of the time, he knew who the trouble makers were. He always used to say, when you're new to a class, the kids are going to test you so pass the test before it administered.

  2. Hey Mark!
    Glad you liked that post (:
    We were taught that if you have to eject a student, to bring them back into the classroomm later with no hard feelings. I totally forgot about the kid afterwards! We all had a good laugh about it in our de-briefing later that day, haha.

  3. That's exactly the way it should be! I liked using hockey rules. 2 minutes for minor slip ups, 5 for majors and a 10 minute misconduct for gross violations of the rules. Match penalties meant a trip to the directors office.

    I always found the students were respectful for about a week. Once they got comfortable, there would always be one little trouble maker who would test the limits. A "soft" 2 minute penalty early in the game kept everyone else inline.