How to Spend Free Time While Teaching in Thailand
Free Time, YIPPEE
Free time and what is it? As a teacher teaching in Thailand, you won’t teach 24 hours around the clock but, yet probably only teach five days a week from 7:30-4:30 pm depending on your school. The rest of the time, you can be asking yourself hmmm, what next? Well, don’t worry, there is plenty to do in Thailand and you may not get to do it nightly during the week but that is your call. It overall depends on you and your balance of life but, just in case you want more of insight let me help you with your options because moving to a foreign place in general can be somewhat nerve racking.
First Term – Travel / Explore
My first semester, which I thought was going to be my only semester and it wasn’t, I did a lot of venturing out to see the sites at every chance I got. It seemed like every weekend I was hopping on a plane, renting a car with friends, taking the minivan, or bus somewhere to explore what Thailand could offer. This landed me in places such as; Bangkok, Ubon Ratchathani, Pataya Noi, many national parks, the Candle Festival (held in June), and so much more. Exploring like this really occupied my weekends but, I found myself during the weekdays either working out at either the privately-owned gym or the free outdoor gym or hanging out with my new friends until I found myself in a state of needing sleep. This was at times very rewarding because I was in good shape and allowed me to get to know the others quite well but, this also could get boring to where you want more.
Thailand is very peaceful place so depending on where you are placed will depend on your surroundings. I found that a lot of teachers were not placed in the high end touristy areas and it took them some time to get used to it coming from a busy western lifestyle but in the end, they loved it and really engaged themselves more within the communities or got to know themselves more. With all that I did the first semester, I really took a different mindset before my second term begun.
Second Term – Different Options
Prior to my second semester starting and returning from more overseas travel, I decided to try to reach out more to the community to see if I could get more involved by teaching more. I really wanted to get more teaching experience and become more with where I was living than just another foreigner. I wanted to show them how they have impacted my life and see if I could help them, which for me I was right. Luckily for me, I had a friend that knew of a private language school that might be interested so, I got her email and inquired about an interview. This was the best decision I made. The interview went smoothly and I got the job. I was going to be the head English teacher for the private school initially teaching two nights a week (adults) and then teaching on Saturdays (kids starting at 5 years old and up).
In addition to that, I was also able to continue working out because I also personal trained Thais twice a week. The second term really kept me busy but, I learned so much while teaching. For the private school, I used a completely different curriculum and I could explain more because the class sizes were significantly smaller than that of a public school.
The Truth – What Do You Want And Go For It
So, by now you might be asking yourself, why would I want to work more but, the truth is, you must determine what suits you. In reality, living in Thailand you won’t get paid westerner wages but, the cost of living is a lot lower and you can do a lot with what you do get, as long as you budget wisely. So, it’s up to you if you want to save money, explore, or whatever you choose. I decided that I wanted the best of both worlds and am more thankful for doing it because teaching more my second term helped understand the differences between the private and public but, I was also closer with the community with the students, their parents, and grandparents which was ultimately what I wanted. When you engage yourself in getting to know the Thai community around you, then you will truly understand the culture and why they are peaceful individuals.