Hear from Our Teacher in Thailand – Ayla Miller
Before Coming to Thailand
Why did you want to teach in Thailand?
I left my job in New Zealand to travel and my money didn’t last as long as I hoped. I wasn’t ready to go home yet so I started looking for teaching jobs as I had completed a TEFL course before I left. Thailand was a nice central place to base myself as I wanted to travel around South East Asia when my contract was up. Plus it’s a beautiful country with many natural attractions.
How was your experience finding a job through On the Mark Education?
The experience with On the Mark was wonderful. I looked at a few other agencies but On the Mark replied to my emails almost immediately and the communication was professional and friendly.
What website did you use to book your ticket to Thailand?
I booked my tickets with AirAsia.
Teaching Life in Thailand
What was your first impression of Thailand upon arrival?
First impressions of Thailand was it was super hot. Leaving the airport was like walking into a giant hair dryer but after a while your body adjusts. I went straight to Khao San Road and it was just as eclectic as I had hoped. So many things to see and do. The food was incredibly cheap and the city never seemed to sleep. It was exactly as I had hoped!
What was the biggest culture shock about Thailand and/or in your current city?
The biggest culture shock was the lack of English spoken in my school. It was very hard to communicate with the teachers and students at first. Another trivial thing we noticed was that when eating out, the food never arrives at the same time. Also the usual driving rules do not apply here!
What’s your favorite memory of life in Thailand?
My favorite memory will be playing with my students after school whilst they were waiting for their parents to pick them up. I got to take off my teacher hat and just have fun with them. It really helped build closer relationships and made them try harder in class.
What do you like most about working for your school?
My school was really professional and always tried to make sure the students were happy and having fun. They also provided me with a free and delicious lunch everyday. My head teacher would also always leave snacks on my desk in between my classes which was always a really sweet surprise.
What three things do you wish you would have known or brought with you before you arrived?
I wish I could have brought more gifts from New Zealand to give to my teachers when I left. I also wish I brought a laptop as it wasn’t always possible to use the computer at school and I wish I had some English picture books because the school only had Thai story books.
Did you have the opportunity to save any money? What percentage of your salary were you able to save?
Yes, I lived on one and a half months salary the whole 4 months so I saved 2 1/2 months wages. That wasn’t even trying! The food is so cheap and there isn’t much to spend your money on in rural Thailand. I even rented a scooter for all 4 months and went on some short adventures in the countryside. Petrol is so cheap this is definitely a great way of seeing whats around.