“Welcome Teacher Zoe Gossage to Tesabarn Khaochaison School”
The above is what was written on a hand painted banner when i arrived at 730am at the school gates this morning. I was really touched, it was so nice with balloons! There were a few teachers about too and then the principal arrived and i welcomed nearly all 450 students into the school by ‘wai’ing at them as they came through the gates.
In assembly all the kids line up standing and sing thai songs and the thai flag is hoisted up the pole, then they sing more thai songs. The Mayor came today to welcome me too, so he did a speech in Thai and then I got up on stage and received flowers, and then was given a microphone to say a speech. A very simple speech, it went like this..
“Hello my name is Zoe. I’m 23 years old. I’m from England. I’m excited to meet you and teach you all English…”
I wasn’t sure how much they understood but they were very excited i was at their school.
I then taught 10 year olds first, then 9 year olds, then a different class of 9 year olds and then the youngest, 8 year olds. All had pretty similar lessons of My name is.. What is your name, and focusing on greetings such as Good morning/good afternoon/good evening/ good night. The younger ones found it tough and the games showed they weren’t really getting it, so i changed the lesson and made up a song and a dance! I had my camera too so i recorded them and they loved that, then loved it even more when i played it back to them. So definatly going remember that to reward them with next time!
Also because i wanted to play games, they first had to move the tables and chairs out of the way. They did not understand, even when i started moving the tables and chairs. They moved with the tables and chairs and sat in them all squished together at the sides.. i then told them to get in the middle and they started moving all the tables and chairs back into the middle. Eventually they understood to leave the chairs alone and get in the middle, but it took a lot of explaining and miming. I guess because they’ve never had an English teacher before the games are new to them, but because we’ve done it once they should get it next time! Also the game of chinese whispers is completely lost on them.. they shout to the front of the line in thai the answer and still wouldn’t play it without cheating when i deducted points!
The ball games worked well once they got used to it, at first some of the shyer ones were purposely letting the ball hit them in the head and bounce off of them, so that someone else picked it up, and therefor they didn’t have to speak English..but it was okay in the end! The best part was singing and dancing, theres some right little groovers, bet they loved hearing my voice!
The day was really fun, sweaty, rewarding and I cant believe I’m a a teacher!!! Also one little girl gave me a rose! So cute, and when i went to the shop this evening i heard “Teacher!” and one of my students came over to say “hello” and “goodbye.” Looks like they’re learning already!