Teaching in Thailand!

Hi Everyone,

As some of you may know I have had a very rare opportunity to teach in schools in both Thailand and London for short periods of time.

So today I thought I would share a brief snip it of my experiences in Thailand.

In 2008, during my 3rd year of my teaching degree, my university was offering students who were interested an opportunity to undertake their teaching rounds in Thailand. I thought it would be such a fantastic experience and of course jumped at the chance! I had never been to Thailand before and was offered to go to either Bangkok or Chiang Mai. I chose an area called Chiang Mai - it is in the North of Thailand and myself and around 20 other student-teachers joined me.

During my 3 weeks teaching at a Christian School, I was presented with a number of challenges. Firstly, the hours were very different to what I was used to. We were all waking up so early to get to school at 7am. We would walk from our accommodation to the school and by the time we arrived we were already hot and sweaty!! It was so hot! The classrooms didn't have any air conditioning and we were teaching classes of around 35-40 students!!! Needless to say, the days were long and tiring in the heat - but oh so rewarding!!!

Fortunately, I was asked to teach English, and subsequently, my supervising teacher could speak English as well. Other teachers were asked to teach Math or Art/Music and were placed with a teacher that could speak very little, if any, English at all - so at times it was quite difficult to communicate.

I taught 3 separate grade 3 classes and whilst I was there the children were learning about occupations. The teaching in Thailand was very different to what I was used to back home. They had very minimal resources and the children sat in rows with very little group work or interaction with other students at all. Most of the learning was done by rote and listening to a cassette tape whilst the students repeated phrases.

As the rules for photos are different to what they are here, I am able to post some pics of the students and what the classrooms looked like.

This is how the children's desks were arranged.

I moved the desks around so the children could work in groups. 

With very limited resources, I was forced to draw pictures of different occupations on card and create some flashcards and sentence sequencing activities. The kids seemed to enjoy it!

I would start every lesson with some movement - despite the heat - the kids LOVED the Hokey Pokey!!!

I brought in some Alphabet flashcards from home and gave them some fun learning letters of the alphabet.

This is how the students do their Independent Reading! On the floor, squashed into a tight space sitting in rows.

This is a photo of my supervising teacher and I. She was so beautiful. She would buy me red bull because she knew how exhausted I was! :) :)

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my experiences teaching in Thailand. If anyone else has had any time teaching overseas I would love to hear your stories too!

Till next time,


  1. Amazing pics. What a lovely experience to have had. Hot, humid but one many will not experience. Do you pen pal them?

    1. Yes Paula it was so special!!! (I cried so much on the last day to say goodbye to the kids). Unfortunately, I don't keep in touch with them :(

  2. What a fantastic experience for you! My husband went to Thailand a couple of years ago to build a playground at an orphanage. It makes us realise how lucky we are as teachers in Australia to have all of the fabulous resources that we have!

    Learning is Rosey with Mrs Josey

    1. Hi there! Thailand is the most amazing place! I have actually been there 3 times since and came back to visit the school and the kids a year later whilst I was on holiday :)

      The work you and your husband did would have been so rewarding! And yes, it was a real shock to see their learning environments and compare them to what we have here. We are a very lucky country indeed!

  3. What an awesome experience you must have had! I love the pictures! I'm sure you have changed their lives forever!

    I'm your newest follower by the way! Come check out my blog and follow me! :) I'll add your button!


  4. You are quite the artist! I would love to teach overseas one day.

    I'm your newest follower! :)

    Coffee, Kids and Compulsive Lists

  5. Hi Chantelle. I've found your blog through Mel (From the Pond), and I'm so excited to find another Melbournian teacher online!

    It sounds like you had an amazing time teaching in Thailand. I take my hat off to you!

    Miss Galvin Learns

  6. I found your blog through the TES on Pinterest. Just wanted to comment because I've also taught in Thailand, but my experience was very different from yours! I worked in a private school where we had all the resources and space we could ask for. It was amazing - I learned a lot from it. It was interesting to see your post and see how different schools within one country can be. I'd definitely recommend other teachers take the opportunity to teach abroad if they can, it changes your way of thinking. You've inspired me to do a post about my experiences abroad...we'll see when I can get around to it!

    1. Hi There! Thank you for taking the time to read my post :) Where did you teach in Thailand? I taught in Chiang Mai. It is in North Thailand. I agree that other teachers should really embrace any opportunities to teach overseas! It is such an eye opening experience! What grade did you teach there and how long ago was it? I taught there in 2008 and will never forget it :) I look forward to reading your post :)


  7. I stumbled across your blog today and enjoyed reading about your experiences teaching in Thailand -- one of my favourite vacation destinations! (I think my favourite spot in Thailand is Khao Lak closely followed by Koh Samui.)

    I am a Canadian who is enjoying my 4th year of teaching overseas in Doha, Qatar. It can be quite an interesting experience as not only am I living in an Islamic state, on the first day of school each year I usually have zero students that speak English. About 90% of my students are Arabic speakers from different regions of the Middle East. The other 10% over the last few years has consisted of Chinese, Malaysian, Greek, French, and Ghanian students. (And not an English speaker amongst them!) Last year during the third term I had a young lad from Australia join my class and I was thrilled to have a native English speaker!

    Here in Qatar our resources at times are rather limited as books of any kind are not readily available in the country. I am always bringing books back with us when we go on holiday, and after four years finally feel as though I have books for most of the topics I will teach. (Well, I did notice today that I am lacking transportation books for air/water. I will remedy that soon though!)

    I think my biggest challenge here has been convincing people that nannies and parents do not belong in the classroom. They tend to linger for weeks and I'm finding it nearly impossible to convince them that their child will settle in more quickly if they don't linger. (Have you ever tried to get a four year old to do what you expect of them while their mother or nanny is in the room to veto whatever you are asking of them?)


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