TEFL Flashbacks – letters to my previous self

Three years ago today I did my very first TEFL lesson as part of my placement on the TEFL Heaven course in Koh Samui.  Facebook very politely informed me at the top of my news feed today.  Good old Facebook memories feature, constantly reminding us of the wonderful things we have done in days past, and also some of the not so nice things which you can then delete and forget about forever.

This was my first proper lesson on placement as I was also being observed.  I can remember being a mixture of crazy excited to be getting in the classroom and crazy nervous at having to teach such little children.  I was a well seasoned youth worker but my main clientele were 17 year old young men and somehow I found this group of 8 year old more intimidating…

Anyway, seeing this come up on my Facebook news feed this morning transported me to where I was three years ago, and how things are so very much not what I expected them to be now.

If only I had a time machine, I could go back and tell myself…

Guess what?  You’re never going to go home!  That’s right, you may think that you are only going to stay in Thailand for a few months but so far you have now stayed for three years and you aren’t showing any signs of leaving yet…

Relax, you are going to do fine on placement (actually, you’re going to do pretty well… I’m still modest).  Just have some fun with it – you’re going to end up working at a high school once this placement done so make the most of these cute kids that you are inexplicably afraid of.

You’re about to be told where you are being placed for your long term job.  Do not, I repeat DO NOT tell mum to google ‘Hat Yai’, because the only results are about the bomb that went off a few months ago and she is going to go spammy.  Send her some nice links instead.  Soon enough when you Google ‘Hat Yai’, your (currently very young) blog will be in the results, sometimes #1 – yay you/me/us (this time travel stuff is confusing)!

Don’t worry about the bomb mentioned in my previous comment.  None will go off while you are there.

You will never believe where you are going to end up living – only bloody Phuket!  I know, I know, you have sworn to never go there.  But it will all make sense when the time comes.  And trust me, you can earn more money and go to the beach more often.

You are going to become overrun by pet animals.  I kid you not.  Get ready – you’re about to become an animal lover.  I know, it’s ridiculous.  But Thailand is going to change you.  Just wait and see.

I was so fresh and green back then, with half a plan of returning to my old job in a few months… little did I know.!