Teach in Thailand: The Final Chapter

Teach in Thailand: The Final Chapter

It’s hard to believe that five months ago I was driving to the airport to embark on my journey to teach in Thailand.

Although so much has happened between now and then, I still vividly remember everything about that day.  I remember that I hadn’t finished packing until 20 minutes before leaving for the airport (which drove my mom crazy).  I remember the leggings I was wearing (that I ripped the first week by walking into a barbed wire fence).  I remember where we ate dinner on the way to the airport and what I ordered (seared ahi and mac n cheese).  But mostly I remember the thoughts running around in my head.  I’ve never admitted this to anyone, but I was questioning if  my decision to teach in Thailand was the right one.  I was wondering if I would make friends.  I was doubting if I had what it took to be a good teacher.  I was second guessing, essentially, if this was all worth it.

With just two days left until my semester comes to an end, I can tell you that I absolutely made the right decision.  I made friends and then I formed friendships with people that will be in my life forever.  I can tell you, with 90% positivity, that I’m a good teacher.  And I can tell you, without a doubt, that it was all worth it.

TESOL certification for teach in Thailand

While it was worth it, it wasn’t always easy.

It wasn’t always easy to find the motivation to get to work in the morning.  There were days when I would have given anything for my own bed instead of the rock hard, potentially bed bug infested mattress I currently sleep on.  Sometimes I’d get a Facebook invite to an event at home and I’d remember the gender reveal party I’m missing for my best friend.  And occasionally, a girl just really needs a meal that doesn’t involve white rice.  However, I wouldn’t change a thing.  Being here has taught me some of life’s most valuable lessons and has given me some of the best memories I could ever ask for.  It taught me that you don’t have to speak the same language as someone to have a relationship with them.  It showed me, firsthand, just how much love a five-year-old has to give.  It reminded me how lucky I am to have been given this opportunity.  So I’d sleep on this mattress and eat a pound of rice a day one thousand times over if it meant getting to relive these last five months.

Now that the end of the semester is finally here, it’s a bittersweet feeling.

I feel incredibly grateful to have formed such a special bond with my students, but I also feel an overwhelming sense of sadness having to leave them.  I thank God for the wonderful memories I have with them, but I dwell on the fact that in a few years they won’t remember my name.  I can’t help but smile when I think about my worst behaving class running around the classroom while I’m trying to teach and it’s hard to picture anyone else attempting to control them.  I am eternally grateful for the invention of cameras that allowed me to take hundreds of pictures of my students, but I am saddened by the fact, that in all likelihood, I’ll never see their smiling faces in person again.

Teach in Thailand

The reality is, though, that this is life.  Sometimes we have to say goodbye to the ones we love in order to pursue our passions elsewhere.  It’s not always fair and it’s certainly not easy, but it’s the price we pay for living the life we do.  So while my heart hurts to think about the 150 students I’m leaving behind, I take solace in the fact that I was able to be a part of their life at all.

So as my semester as an English teacher in Thailand comes to a close, I feel incredibly grateful.

Grateful for this opportunity and grateful for each and every one of my students.  Grateful for the growth I have made as a person and in the direction my life is heading.  Whether I’m teaching English overseas elsewhere or I’m working in a cubicle in my hometown, I will never forget the sheer joy I feel in this moment.

~Tar



26 thoughts on “Teach in Thailand: The Final Chapter”

  • Beautifully written. And always from the heart. So proud of you honey and I’m so glad that this journey has been all that you dreamed of and more. I love you!

  • DEAREST TARAH – AS YOUR MOTHER SAID, YOU WRITE BEAUTIFULLY AND MY HEART IS FULL JUST READING WHAT MY PRECIOUS GRAND DAUGHTER HAS JUST WRITTEN AND HAD THE BLESSING OF EXPERIENCING SO MUCH AND WITH SUCH JOY. YOUR LIFE WILL ALWAYS BE FULL BECAUSE YOU GIVE OF YOURSELF TO OTHERS AND TAKE EACH DAY WITH A GRATEFUL HEART. MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU AND WHAT YOU DO. GO WITH GOD AND HE WITH YOU. YOUR LOVING GRAND MOTHER, TATA

  • Oh, Girl, you have made me emotional. I can understand you must have sacrificed so many things to learn others. And now when it is time for those learning to say Goodbye, again you get emotional. But that is what is known as the vicious circle of Life. You have to keep moving. Those kids look so happy.

    • Haha I’m sorry I made you emotional, but I’m glad you connected with the post! Love your insight and completely agree

  • Glad that after all the difficulty, you still lile Thailand. The kids seems likes you a lot. That’s a blessing 🙂

  • That’s an experience! At least you can see that the children are happy to learn, not like those spoiled brats in the west 😉 I wouldn’t mind to be a teacher in a place like this – especially in forgotten places which never appear in the media, like Armenia, Georgia, Tajikistan, etc… If I had enough money, I’d volunteer right away 🙂 But I would never teach in one of western schools – even if I was paid double! 😉

  • I’ve taught English in Nicaragua, Korea and Turkey, and I can say that it’s such a rewarding experience. I can definitely sympathize with the bittersweet feeling you described! I think you captured the experience well. Thanks for sharing!

    • Oh my gosh you’ve taught all over! That’s amazing. I hope to continue my teaching journey elsewhere and would love to teach in any of those spots!

    • Thank you so much! I’m currently in Bali and heading to Vietnam next week! Then back to Thailand for a bit and then the Phillippines!

  • Awww! These kids are so cute! I’d love to teach English somewhere in Asia, but I’m afraid I could find it a bit hard as English isn’t my mother tongue. Anyway, seems like you had a wonderful experience!

  • Looks like you had such a wonderful time teaching in Thailand and creating a difference in the lives of those kids. We spend good times and create memories forever. Now it’s the time for you to cherish those memories and look forward to making new memories!

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