Amy Salmon's E-Mail from Thailand (Part 7)I've been teaching a lot at NES in Lamphun, a small town about 30km from Chiang Mai, which ends up being about a three-hour round-trip commute from my apartment. I did a book which took forever to send to
I've gotten a great new job that kind
of just landed in my lap when I wasn't looking. I'll be teaching
full time, Monday-Friday 8-3, at a private Christian academy called
They're not sure exactly what curriculum they want me to be doing since this is a new program, but I'm supposed to do things like games, activities, crafts, and songs rather than reading them stories or having them do worksheets. They're also not sure how many classes I'll be teaching right off. One I think will be Level One, which is 2 1/2-3 years old, and they really are seriously, seriously cute. I'll have one of that age group and the others Level 3, two years older. It'll be "play it by ear" for a while, but I can do that.
I'll also be working as a sub for when other
English teachers are out. This is a huge school,
age 3 to 18, with some 8,000 students and 400 teachers.
Only about 30 are English teachers, though; this is a
regular school, so all subjects are taught, obviously
The other part that excites me is that they
want me to "help" with the annual end-of-school English
play. I have no idea at this point
what that will mean -- I could be in charge of the whole thing,
or something else entirely. The director told me that
she wanted me to start from scratch, from choosing the play to
casting and directing and delegating responsibilities to
everyone else. So that's a huge responsibility, but I'd
enjoy it. It'll take a lot of patience, but so does living
The job includes visa and work permit
(meaning that I won't have to venture into
The school is on the other side of town
from where I live now; on the east side of the
Today I had to frantically shop for new clothes, after teaching all day, to wear tomorrow. There's a dress code that I was completely unable to meet -- and it's not easy to find dressy clothes here that fit. Thai women are miniscule; they look at me and just say "No have!". I say frantically because the market where I'd been told I could find what I needed (that is, clothes that would fit me!) is a day market, not a night market, and by the time I was done teaching in Lamphun it was already 5. By the time I got back to Chiang Mai it was a quarter to six and things were rapidly being packed away. I had to have at least one white blouse and dark skirt; that's the dress code for Monday and Wednesday. For Tuesday and Thursday they say "on your own" but they want essentially the same thing; Friday is "traditional Lanna Thai dress", which I also don't currently own, judging from what all of the other women were wearing this past Friday.
I managed to find one very unflattering white blouse, but it fit and it was really cheap, so I got two, along with a couple of slightly less objectionable skirts, one black and one navy, and a pair of heels. (The woman who interviewed me told me at least three times that I needed to get new shoes. I wanted to say, so sue me, lady, I've been teaching barefoot for six months!) I'll look like the public health nurse, but if that's what they want, that's what they'll get.
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