Them words right there, I kept on playing them over in my head to try and get used to the situation but every time I said it, the tears would start to flow and refused to stop.
I have completed my first semester teaching in Thailand. It was the most amazing, exciting, fun, exhausting, exhilarating, soul destroying experience of my life. I set out on this journey to make a difference someone’s life and to test myself, to push my limits, but if I am completely honest with you, this adventure has changed me, my students are the reason I see a difference in me now. I have became more patient with people, myself and life. I have learnt to smile at the smallest things, to laugh out loud and never feel like you are being judged. I feel grateful for the things that I have had in my life because some of these children come from very poor backgrounds or broken families, you learn to accept them for who they are and make them feel ‘alive’. To see their faces light up when I gave them a sticker made my day, to know I have made them happy with such a tiny gesture, is really something else. I see these kids happy with the things they have, some of them very little and they still manage to show respect to the elders. It makes me look at them and think that Western children could learn a lot from them.
Saying good bye to them was the hardest thing, I think I have ever had to do. I thought in the past I had perhaps had my heart broken but no, NO! when the one simple word GOODBYE came out of my mouth for the last time, I felt my heart shatter in to 1000’s of pieces, I broke into tears, as I stared into my p5 students faces. I turned around to try and hide my face, not knowing what was going on behind me, when all of a sudden I got swept off of my feet as I had 200+ students charging at me crying, clinging onto me, hugging me at any chance they could get. In that moment right there, I knew I had made the difference I had set out to make. I have never felt so much love. Even though my heart was breaking right there in front of all these little people, It was so full of love too. Is that even possible to have a breaking heart that is so full of love?
p3/1 So cute and so so so loud. Even I couldn’t shout over them
Piya: God Bless your little heart for trying your hardest in my lessons. I know you didn’t understand any of it but good on you for trying your best. I will remember you for the rest of life, my little buddy.
Baitong: You are an amazing girl, bright, clever and kind. I know you will go far in life. I was very good at spelling myself at 9 years old but you are amazing at English spelling. Just remember life isn’t all about being serious and studying, most importantly you must be happy.
P3/2 Thank you for the smiles and cuteness.
My little darlings. p3/2 certificate winners
Penpan; you were such a delight to teach, keeping achieving high in English. I know you will do awesome.
I am so blessed and happy. So much love
P3/4 The reason for my headaches on a Thursday but in the end I became very attached to you. I hope you keep torturing your foreign teachers.
Eggasit: You broke my heart when you gave me your card and it read ‘ Don’t forget me’. I could never forget your infectious smile and kind heart. You are a very clever boy and I hope you succeed in life and keep learning English because you have a gift for it.
Theerapat: It took you 15 weeks to finally decide you would do some work for me. 15 weeks of refusing, running around like a loonatic and driving me up the wall. I remember week 15 as the week I entered the classroom you were sat there, with your notebook and pencil ready, by the end you had done everything and more. I was so proud in that moment, We had the break through, I was trying to get from you from the first day I set eyes on you. I knew we could do it. Thank you Theerapat.
P4/2 Thanks for being so great to me
p4/5 I will miss your smiles
p4/1 I sometimes wish you would have made my life easier, but we did have some fun, like that time you brought in a fake gecko and scared the living day lights out of me.
p4/4 our classes were cancelled a lot, so we didn’t spend as much time together as I would have liked, but you were easy to teach. Thank you p4/4
p6/1 you are all so kind, intelligent and one of the best group of kids to teach.
Sarocha: You have a big heart, keep being so so kind. Your English is great. I hope you get to see Maroon 5 one day. Ormsin: You have one of the greatest personalities. Thank you for making me smile everyday. Jormpol: You are a great dancer, I hope you fulfill your dreams and be happy. Thank you for making me laugh.
p6/4 thanks so much for being so kind and welcoming to me. I will miss you all very much
So many selfies. I am glad they love photos as much as I do
P6 girls: you all have such big hearts. Be happy in life, I will miss you all so much
Also I love how much you want to be like me, to the point where you draw my tattoo on yourself in the exact same place where I have it.
p6/3 thanks for making Mondays not so bad.
P6/2 I looked forward to our classes each week. To the boys: Thank you for renaming me as David Louis (yes the Brazilian football player) all because my name sounds like his surname. It was fun to talk football with you, even though I only knew a little. P.S I told my niece you thought she was Beautiful. To the girls: You are all so kind and have big hearts. You became more like my little sisters than my students. I will remember you all so much. Keep being happy and funny.
I got my hair braided in my last lesson by the girls of p6/2 and the boys were being cheeky as usual. They took a liking to my niece when they saw her photo on my phone and asked for my number. So I wrote 555 on their hands. Which means HAHAHA in Thai.
The beautiful hair braid one of my students did for me
p6/5 Thank you for trying your best and making me smile. You were all so welcoming to me and respected me so much
Teacher Oranuch; Thank you for being my support, my co-teacher and one of my many Thai mothers. I am so blessed to have met you. You looked after me and I really appreciate you and your warm heart. I will miss you more than words can say. Thank you so so much for everything.
P5, It was no secret that you were my favourites. What an awesome bunch of kids you are. You showed me so much respect and reasons to smile everyday. I was always excited to teach you guys. You respected me like your teacher but treat me like your friend. You were all more than students to me. You were my kids and I wish I could stay to teach you again in p6. I will miss you all so so much. Saying goodbye to you was the hardest thing I have ever had to go through.
p5/1. You were always so kind and funny. Such a great bunch of kids
Polawat and Jiranun: You were both a delight to teach. Polawat: Do not let anyone ever tell you to be anything you are not, I admire your strength at such young age, always be happy. Jiranut: you have one of the biggest hearts and sweetest smiles. You are an amazing young lady. P.s. Thanks for being the first 2 students to make me cry and cry with me. I will miss you both so so much
p5/2 so much kindness and laughter we had. Keeping making people laugh and remember to keep laughing at Teacher Sutep when he falls asleep at the back of the classroom.
P5/3, try and not get stuck in any love triangles whilst I’m gone. So much fun finding out who is with who every week. I will miss you all
A mixture of p5/4 and p5/5 words can’t even begin to describe how much it hurt saying goodbye to the students in this picture. You made me laugh so much, I learnt so much from you. Keep dreaming big and be happy. Thank you for everything
Tonkao: I see myself in you when I was your age, you have one of the biggest hearts I have met in someone, you are so kind and it has been a pleasure knowing you and being your teacher. I will also miss your grandmothers home made pork scratchings and chilli dip.
Pattarawadee- Thank you for being so kind hearted, I will miss you so much.
Chalinya- I respect you for wearing your heart on your sleeve at such a young age. Such a bright future ahead of you
Fam: My little Fam, you made me smile everyday, you are a great boy and have big future ahead of you. You have a big heart. Try and not break to many hearts.
Suzie: You made me laugh so much I can’t even begin to describe. The fact you have a girls name as a nickname and you didnt have a clue until I told you, is just one of the reasons why I love you. You broke my heart when you fell to my feet, crying begging me not to leave. I didn’t know what to do right there and then, except hug you and say it’s ok. Thanks Suzie for making my days and my job the best thing ever.
Cdan: Everyone knew you were one of my favourites. You were the first student who’s name I found out and remembered. You always managed to put a smile on my face and you always no matter what showed me the upmost respect. Look after Suppada, she is a great girl. I will miss you more than anything. Thank you Cdan
Anna: You weren’t my student, but you were the only student in the school that I could have a proper conversation with. For a 7 year old to be able to speak as many languages as you can. You are amazing kid. You are like little my sister, everyone even says we look like each other because you are half western. I love you with all my heart Anna Banana and I hope you remember me when you are older. I will miss you so so so much.