A Day in the Life of a Nursery Teacher
Most expats who come to Thailand to teach usually end up teaching English. However, as a Nursery teacher at an International Kindergarten in Bangkok, I am fortunately able to teach a range of topics to my students in my very own classroom. I enjoy being able to teach a broad, fun, and engaging curriculum to students of different backgrounds. A typical day as a Nursery teacher goes something like this:
Waking Up/Getting to Work
I wake up to my alarm at 6 AM, although I don’t usually get out of bed until the last possible minute. After I shower and eat breakfast, I head out and catch the Skytrain to work for 29 Baht ($1 Cad). Packed in like sardines, it’s a good thing the air conditioning is on full blast to keep sweating to a minimum. I pick up some local fruit and hop on a moped, which gets me to work by around 7:30 every day. If it’s raining, that makes getting to work a whole different kind of adventure.
Starting the School Day
My day officially starts at 8 AM, but I like to set up activities in my classroom beforehand and plan my curriculum for the days ahead. I also enjoy the peace and quiet, aka “the calm before the storm.” At 8:30 AM, I greet the students. I currently have 10 two-year-olds in my class and a teaching assistant who does more of the “dirty work” such as changing diapers. By 9 AM, we head back to the classroom where the children put away their bags and settle down. We sing good morning songs, fill out the weather and days of the week board, and sing simple nursery rhymes. The children have an alternating Mandarin/Thai lesson, followed by snack time.
Depending on the day, we then take the children outside to play either on the playground, on bicycles, in inflatable swimming pools, or in the sandbox. After cooling off, the students do arts and crafts related to the theme of the week. For example, this week the theme was “Stories We Like.” We read The Three Little Pigs and made paper plate pigs and a straw/wood/brick house. The students also play games to improve their fine and gross motor skills, learn the alphabet, numbers, and shapes, do puzzles, painting, as well as pre-writing practice.
Finishing the School Day
At noon, both the students and I eat lunch together. Fortunately, I am provided with a delicious lunch at school every day. Following lunch, the students have “nap time” where they relax on foam mats with stuffed animals.
Around 1 PM, students engage in music class where they can sing, dance, play instruments, and move their bodies to the rhythm! To wrap up, we read stories together and sing goodbye songs. I quickly fill out each student’s “Communication Booklet” with their eating habits, toilet habits, and mood from that day, as well as any reminders or special notes for parents. The school day ends and children are picked up by 2 PM. Occasionally I will chat with parents about their child’s progress or upcoming events.
I usually have from 2-4 PM to prepare crafts for the next day, update my weekly blog post, plan lessons, or socialize with teachers before heading back home on the Skytrain. Fridays are the exception, as I lead an after-school Painting Class for a few students from 2-3 PM.
Sounds fun to you? Thailand is full of adventure and for me to teach English at an International Kindergarten in Bangkok is very rewarding.