American Teaches in Thailand for 6 Weeks
Having always volunteered in her own community of Wisconsin, 24-year-old Lexi Morgan decided to travel abroad for her next volunteering stint. With her passion and spirit, and with the help of Projects Abroad, Lexi travelled to Thailand to teach five to six-year-old children at a Thai school.
“I volunteer often in my community; I also love to travel and knew I needed to go somewhere to volunteer. Teaching is my passion so it was an easy choice to volunteer as a teacher. I have also volunteered in Africa and cherish that experience.”
Lexi mostly taught English while at the school. “My typical day consisted of arriving at school during their morning ceremony and pledge. We would often use that time to prepare for our day. Once that was over, the students would come back to the classroom and their Thai lesson would begin.”
After Thai lessons, it was Lexi’s turn to teach the class, “I would review key English concepts that they had previously learned. We would review the ABCs, but I tried to focus hard on letter identification because they only knew the song and couldn’t tell the letters individually.”
Lexi proved that English lessons do not have to be lacking in imagination and creativity by incorporating songs, games, and activities. “We also sang a song everyday called Alphardy. This helped the students learn letter
“After letters we practiced colors. The students demonstrated what they knew by playing a game where I would say ‘find the color _____’ then they would have to point to that color around the room. The students loved singing ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ so we often did that to practice body parts. After our morning review, I taught my main lesson. My main lesson was connected to a topic and an American story relating to that concept. For example I read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to teach the fruit unit. We read the story every day to help the students understanding.”
“My advice would be to find joy in all the little things that happen at school. We are volunteering in a country that is not our own, we cannot do everything perfectly, so try your hardest and have fun. Enjoy every smile and laugh because it goes by so quickly. My last piece of advice would be to ask a lot of questions and learn as much Thai as you can,” said Lexi to future volunteers.
“I was surprised by how little of a shock there was when I arrived. However, I was shocked to see some of the conditions people were living in as well as the lack of sanitation services such as garbage cans. Thailand has a very unique and special culture that I loved learning about and being a part of.”
Lexi stayed with a host family in Koh Klang which is a small Muslim island very close to town. “I absolutely loved living with a host family. Our host mom was so wonderful; she is caring, funny, outgoing, and very kind. My experience would not have been as special if I did not live with a host family. I loved coming home every night to a yard full of men playing petanque. I also loved sitting at our table talking with our host mom and our nervous teenage siblings. I will never forget Pi Lun and her family.”
Every morning, Lexi took a long-tail boat crossing the river to town and caught the bus to school. “I was awestruck at least once a day by the views in Thailand. I am going to miss all the little details the most; boat rides in the morning, saying hello in Thai to everyone I see, and all the beautiful smiles.”
Read more about Teaching in Thailand.