My decision to teach English was the best decision for me to succeed in everything I do today and it all revolves around when I arrived from Birmingham Airport to Bangkok with enough money to take my TEFL course at TEXT-AND-TALK Academy and live for about a month which was scary but a little exciting as you can imagine. After all, it wasn’t a job stacking food in a factory or working in an office from 9-5 like in the United Kingdom and for me, it was a new start after I had made my decision to become a teacher during my previous travels around Australia for a year. I didn’t want to return home and live the same life again in a system that never suited my character of being a traveler and Go-Getter.
The TEFL training was exceptional and although difficult I enjoyed the lessons and the course content which was guided by several course content books that highlighted the science behind a language and the skills needed to complete the certificate of teaching Asian students. Our course team were all interesting and well-organized teachers and our mentor and trainer Kamita from Canada was amazing and she taught us in Japanese her previous country of residence for one whole lesson to concentrate on our skills of learning a language overall, strange to learn Japanese in Thailand but effective to learn a language development as I was to teach English afterwards.
I made lots of friends and hooked up with another teacher who studied with me in my apartment organized by the school. I was happy and willing to learn a little Thai and have a few nights out, but I knew I had to concentrate on this overpowering need to succeed in something I had never thought would have led to such an amazing life in teaching English as a Foreign Language. As the weeks unfolded I managed to eat out, make friends and maintained my studies to complete the course and begin a new life. I was nervous at the end of the course when we had to construct several demo lessons to teach for the first time to students and our mentors. It's one of those times that everything seemed to fall into place, but my lessons were basic, however, I completed the course and was delighted to graduate and pick up my certificate from Leigh, the course organizer and the school's owner James (RIP) now passed away!
I was teaching English within a week of completing my course and although scary at first, I was sent out to businesses around Bangkok to teach Business English and found something in me that contributed to my successful future. I remember my Business English students at Illusions Marketing Company who were under contract with the likes of huge corporations like Colgate and Heineken. Illusions Marketing had private offices in a penthouse in Lumpini, Bangkok where I had dinner between English lessons with students that loved my lessons. I remember making a lucrative business call for them to their customer in France to retrieve an owed exhibition fee as they observed my training call. One of the reasons I loved working there was their openness to their business as they showed me the whole internal business functions which as you can imagine being an advertising company for Colgate and Heineken was strictly private and I learned from these guys as they learned from me.
Another contract included teaching English to a company in Asoke, Bangkok called Abacus Solutions, a flight booking platform for the travel industry with fantastic training facilities in the form of fully functional audio and presentation equipment and over 40 computers for students to practice on. I taught Business English here for some time and had a fantastic review from them after the contract was finalized. Another contract I had was to teach at Pao Jing Jong, Thailand's Channel 7's broadcasting company, a place where I was welcomed with such warmth. Pao Jing Jong is in Nonthaburi also in Thailand where I was to meet famous Thai actors and also Miss Thailand who was the wife of Pao Jing Jong's owner. It was no big deal until I thought about it after, especially turning down a part as an extra in a soap opera where I was asked to walk down the road and speak to other foreigners in a tourist area. Teaching Business English was so much fun. However, it wasn't my objective to be running around Bangkok from business to business teaching Business English and I knew I could do better and create more personal time for myself.
I admit Success was a great feeling at this point, but my days grew longer, and work was exhausting giving everything I had to achieve results and bring more students to Text-And-Talk Academy, the agency I worked for. I worked weekends teaching at primary level, in-house and continued this for a few months but I was tired and although extremely overwhelmed and happy my thoughts moved on to a more static, less travel-based job position and it took me one weekend after applying for schools to start a new journey. I will never forget the interview at a university I applied for which I eventually turned down due to another school offering me a better contract. I turned down the university position because I was a younger male teacher at that time, successful and by then financially stable and the thought of having thirty or more 22-year-old female student's staring at me in class was a little too much as I tend to be a teacher that drives education forward and I guess I get a little shy in such environment but it would have been fun.
Here's the funny conclusion to the university position because a girlfriend I eventually met was studying at that exact university called Dhurakij Pundit University, as mentioned the exact school I had the interview at. (Quite a Coincidence) and I had no idea? We met in a chat room called Bangkok Chat. I wasn't one for Bangkok nightlife and meeting someone wasn’t as easy as people might mention, to be honest, but I was overwhelmed by my success and wanted to settle down. We met at Mo Chit BTS station as she walked around the corner with her mobile phone in her hand, talking to me, I looked over and we both smiled and pointed at each other to confirm we were the ones to meet each other and off we went. From Mo Chit BTS we made our way to Siam Square and the Hard Rock Cafe for a drink and a dance, although I was so shy I couldn't dance. I hadn't even left the BTS and our hands were holding each other through the crowds. I was wowed at this point and felt a burst of energy in my heart. We were both amazed and with her, as my strength and us being a great team together we both lived a good life and I even managed to guide her into a fantastic career with the American Peace Corps in Bangkok and she supported me with all my decisions for my own future success. The next four years were made, and my success improved as I grew from strength to strength.
Anyway, I had turned the university down after a phone call from Saint Francis Xavier school in Nonthaburi with a Canadian called James. a true gentleman and later a great friend only a true friend could know. I accepted a cigarette and James offered me the job there and then and I knew I wanted the job with my thoughts of not having to travel too much around Bangkok. So once again I was off on my next journey into a Thai Education Program and loved the whole experience with such a fantastic mix of English teachers from the UK, Canada, USA, Thailand and the Philippines. We were all incredible teachers and well organized and well-liked by the school management and students. The school is run by the Catholic Church and I was simply blessed by their kindness to me over the years.
This was special, and I knew I had made the right choice. After two years I was lead to a new decision to try something new at the school which was the brand new English Program on the other side of the school and where I became the head teacher into yet another journey which was one of the most wonderful experiences of my career as a teacher. My Thai students followed me from the Thai program into the English program under their parent's decision to pay more for extra English studies. You get what you pay for these days in education and I was right at the forefront of the school's plans to grow and felt an immense amount of pride in that. So, at this point, I knew there was something special about me and this time in my life taught me more about myself and creating a good atmosphere within the school, classroom and even sometimes often around the town. My well-planned lesson plans made me into a mature teacher with so much more to offer not to mention the new move into the area into a nice condominium overlooking a beautiful lake on one side and Bangkok far in the distance, my life was made.
You see in life we don't realize what we have until we go and find it and deep down inside the realms of my self-confidence I had made every choice a good one. You see deep down inside the community I had moved into what was far different from Bangkok because there were a limited number of foreigners to speak to other than other teachers in the area and we had created an incredible expat community from where I had found such happiness and I knew enough Thai to convince the locals I was a good listener and learner myself. Those are just a few decisions I have made over the years and I’ve been lucky to have been able to teach in China for three years, South Korea and Bangladesh since those days not to mention traveling around South East Asia at least three times with the occasional trips to Singapore, Malaysia and much more.
Now my teaching days are over I have made it possible for others to either luck ay my success in various ways such as a reason to give teaching a try but my recruitment platform is what I am able to offer to recruit TEFL teachers because I think the world needs teachers that can progress with a good mentor and teach from the best of their heart to give foreign students the chance to learn the western way with the art of learning the English language.
The platform I offer you in the form of TEFL recruitment is an excellent method to create a business that can be mobile and follow you wherever you want around the world. It’s almost something you can build as you learn your career and can be completed in a day or a year it’s up to you how you build the future but I’m sure about one memory about the past and that’s those that always stood out in my life and now in my memories as a traveller, teacher and recruiter always remain with me as my student’s on my last day said thank you so much teacher, Stephen.
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